But the news that adorable newlyweds Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth have separated just seven months on from their wedding has swung in out of nowhere like a naked pop star on a wrecking ball.
“Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time,” a rep for Cyrus told Peopleon Saturday. “Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers. They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart. Please respect their process and privacy.”
Theirs seemed to be a match made in heaven — but in the wake of the split, insiders are already painting a very different picture.
“This split isn’t shocking to people who are actually with them every day. After they reunited (originally back in 2015), everyone thought they were this ‘perfect’ couple, but they still had a lot of issues,” a friend told People.
“They’re not on the same page when it comes to a lot of fundamental things that make a relationship work. It’s not surprising at all.”
While it may seem dramatic, we can’t help but feel robbed of the Hollywood fairytale we all — including Cyrus and Hemsworth — deserved.
We’ve been on this journey for 10 years, watching them fall in and out and back in love again — overcoming their obstacles and finally coming together for a beautifully intimate wedding last December.
And less than a year later, it’s all over.
Billy Ray Cyrus’ daughter was just 16 but already a major Disney star thanks to Hannah Montana when she met Hemsworth, then 19, on the set of Nicholas Sparks’ teen romance movie The Last Song in 2009.
They made their public debut at the premiere in March 2010 and were spotted canoodling on red carpets all over town over the next three years.
“He was just the most genuinely precious, sweet person,” Cyrus gushed to Seventeen at the time. “And the second audition comes around and the chemistry was instant. From the time he walked in that door and we saw each other again, we lit up and we were excited to get (to) work and learn together.”
In mid-2012, Cyrus and Hemsworth, whose star was dramatically rising with The Hunger Games’ release, confirmed their engagement to People magazine. By then, she was 19, and he was 22 — and they seemed completely in love.
“We’ve been together a really long time and I just know that this is what I want, you know, for my life,” Cyrus told Marie Claire at the time.
“So a lot of people I think, you know, say I can’t believe they’re getting married, it’s so young. But it’s like life is too short to not spend every moment making the person that makes you the happiest happy in return.”
And sure, it was sad when — just over a year later — the couple confirmed the engagement was off. But we got it.
As Cyrus told interviewer Barbara Walters shortly afterwards: “I don’t think I realised what 19 truly is, and I got engaged at 19.”
Basically, she loved Hemsworth but was too young to get married. And who could blame her?
That whole period was also a time of major self-discovery for the former Disney darling, who was clearly using her fourth studio album Bangerz to kill off forever any remaining shred of Hannah Montana.
Here’s how that looked:
Like most people in their early 20s, Cyrus was just figuring out who she was and who she wanted to be.
The Bangerz era was a wild ride for the singer. She twerked, got nude (a lot), openly gushed about drugs and did that weird performance with Robin Thicke and a foam finger at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Meanwhile, Hemsworth — now enjoying a position on the A-list in his own right, thanks to The Hunger Games franchise — took a leaf out of his brother Chris’ book and kept a relatively low profile as he forged his path in Hollywood.
In the two years before they finally reunited, both Cyrus and Hemsworth began dating other people. Hemsworth reportedly shared a brief relationship with Baby Driver actress Eiza Gonzalez, while Cyrus dated Patrick Schwarzenegger before having a fling with Victoria’s Secret model Stella Maxwell.
By early 2015, Cyrus was open about her pansexuality, telling Paper magazine in June about a conversation she’d had with her mum.
“I remember telling her I admire women in a different way. And she asked me what that meant. And I said, ‘I love them. I love them like I love boys’,” she explained.
“And it was so hard for her to understand … I just asked for her to accept me. And she has.”
Meanwhile, Cyrus and Hemsworth were offering up a masterclass in ex respect, regularly praising each other in interviews.
Hemsworth even admitted to Men’s Fitness that his feelings for Cyrus hadn’t changed over time.
“You fall in love with who you fall in love with; you can never choose. I guess some people just come with a little more baggage,” he said.
“I mean, look — we were together five years, so I don’t think those feelings will ever change. And that’s good because that proves to me that it was real. It wasn’t just a fling. It really was an important part of my life and always will be.”
Fans rejoiced in late 2015 when rumours began circulating that Cyrus and Hemsworth had found their way back to each other.
It was confirmed the following January when the pair were seen hanging out together backstage at Falls Festival in Byron Bay with Hemsworth’s brother Chris and his wife Elsa Pataky.
As Hemsworth explained to GQ in 2016: “Of course (the breakup) was hard, man. But at the time we were going in different directions and it’s just what needed to happen.
“We were both super young and it was a good decision at the time — we both needed that.”
Clearly, Cyrus agreed.
“I needed to change so much. And changing with someone else not changing like that is too hard,” she said of the time apart in a Billboard interview in 2016. “Suddenly, you’re like, ‘I don’t recognise you anymore’. We had to re-fall for each other.”
It was the feel-good story we all wanted. Cyrus had clearly needed time to shed her child star image and become the woman she was supposed to be, and it appeared Hemsworth had understood she needed that space.
When it comes to relationships, timing is everything — and magically, they’d seemed to manage the near-impossible: break up, discover themselves, then come back together.
In fact, just months later, Cyrus even began wearing her old 3.5-carat, cushion-cut engagement ring again.
Years later — and the wedding was back on.
After losing their Malibu home and almost all their possessions in a devastating wildfire last year, Cyrus and Hemsworth explained that they’d realised what was important in life.
They quietly prepared an intimate ceremony at their Tennessee home, with just family and a few close friends, and tied the knot in December.
Less than two months later, Hemsworth gushed about his new wife in an interview with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest.
“We never wanted to do anything too extravagant or big,” he explained.
“We find the whole thing kind of embarrassing. We know how we feel about each other. We just wanted to do something simple and organic just with, basically, immediate family. It was a really nice day. A really, really special day.”
Hemsworth also revealed the surprisingly traditional gesture Cyrus made shortly after their nuptials.
“She will still be, obviously, known as Miley Cyrus, but she took my name, which is great. I think that was honestly one of the best things about it. I didn’t ask her to take my name, and then she was like, ‘No, of course I’m taking your name’. I’m like, ‘That’s awesome!’”
Fast-forward seven months, and as news broke of the couple’s devastating split over the weekend, photos began circulating of Cyrus and reality TV star Kaitlynn Carter hooking up on a boat in Italy.
It was a shock to the system to see that not only had the seemingly solid marriage already crumbled — but that the singer already appeared to have moved on.
Call it unfair, but after watching Cyrus and Hemsworth grow up together, apart and then together again, we’ve become heavily invested in their love story … and we’d hoped it would have a happy ending.