We take a look back at the divorcing couple’s whirlwind relationship and rumor-plagued marriage.
By John Mitchell
Fans of Katy Perry and Russell Brand were sad to hear Friday that the Gammy-nominated pop star and her actor/comedian husband were divorcing after just 14 months of marriage. Theirs was a whirlwind romance: They were engaged less than four months after they started dating, were married 10 months later in an elaborate ceremony in India, and now, after months of endless baby and breakup rumors, are parting ways.
“Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage,” Brand said in a statement. “I will always adore her and I know we’ll remain friends.”
Like so many Hollywood couples before them, their flame burned hot and fast. Here’s a look back at the many milestone moments in Perry and Brand’s relationship.
September 7, 2008: Brand met Perry when he was hosting the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. “Get Him to the Greek” director Nick Stoller set up a shoot at the VMAs to snag some fun celebrity cameos for the film, in which the British comedian stars. Stoller lined up Christina Aguilera, Pink and Perry, who had immediate chemistry with Brand. Later, following Perry’s performance of “I Kissed a Girl” at the VMAs, Brand joked, “I was so inspired by Katy Perry’s song’s message that I’m currently going through nine ChapSticks a day and my penis has never felt more moisturized.” There was only one problem: Perry wasn’t single — she was still dating Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy.
September 13, 2009: A year later, at the 2009 VMAs, however, was a very different story. Perry and McCoy had parted ways, and longtime ladies’ man Brand, who was back for his second time as host, was single as well when both returned to the VMA stage. They flirted their way through rehearsals for the show, and rumors that they were an item began soon thereafter.
October 7, 2009: Though things reportedly got hot and heavy pretty quickly after the VMAs, Perry and Brand were not spotted together publicly for nearly three weeks, making their debut as a couple at a Fendi party at Paris Fashion Week.
December 31, 2009: On an extended holiday vacation, Brand proposed on New Year’s Eve at a tiger sanctuary in Rajasthan, India, and Perry said yes. A week earlier, while visiting the Taj Mahal, she tweeted, “He built this for me. So when do I start walking the streets naked singing that Alanis song?” (meaning “Thank U,” about time Alanis Morissette spent in India).
August 2010: Talking to Rolling Stone while promoting her multiplatinum, hit-machine record Teenage Dream, Perry admitted her religious upbringing sometimes caused conflict between herself and Brand. “I am sensitive to Russell taking the Lord’s name in vain and to Lady Gaga putting a rosary in her mouth,” she told the mag. “I think when you put sex and spirituality in the same bottle and shake it up, bad things happen.”
October 23, 2010: Perry and Brand get married in an elaborate ceremony at the Aman-i-Khas luxury resort in India, adjacent to the tiger sanctuary where he proposed. The wedding capped off days of festivities in the couple’s honor, including a Bollywood-themed party and tours of the sanctuary. “Russell Brand and Katy Perry are overjoyed to confirm that they were pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Brand on Saturday, October 23,” the couple said in a statement to MTV News. “The very private and spiritual ceremony, attended by the couples’ closest family and friends, was performed by a Christian minister and longtime friend of the Hudson Family [Katy’s maiden name]. The backdrop was the inspirational and majestic countryside of Northern India.”
April 7, 2011: During a co-hosting stint on “Live With Regis and Kelly,” Brand says he and Perry are as happy as can be despite ongoing rumors to the contrary, but admits that the constant attention from the paparazzi does put stress on their relationship.
November 11, 2011: Appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to tout the end of her successful California Dreams Tour, Perry told DeGeneres she wanted kids with Russell. “I would love to have children. I think that’s one of the reasons you get married, and especially to the person that you marry. You think, ‘Hmmm, that person is going to be a good partner, a good parent,’ ” Perry said. “But I’m not sure it’s yet. We’ll see, you know?” During the sit-down, she admitted that she and Brand worked hard to see each other while she was on tour but that it was often a challenge. “Two weeks, that’s the longest we ever go. Anything longer than that is not fun.”
November 22, 2011: On the heels of taking home a special award for having scored five #1 singles from one album (Teenage Dream) at the American Music Awards, Perry was forced to respond to fashionistas claiming she was sporting a small baby bump under her pink dress, telling Hollyscoop, “Hell no!” when asked if children were in her near future.
November 30, 2011: Just days after the pregnancy chatter began to die down, rumors that the pair were through began to crop up across the Internet , forcing Perry to take to Twitter to deny the divorce rumblings. “First I’m pregnant & then I’m divorced. What am I ‘All My Children’?! #ericakane #pshhh #ifihadadollarforeverytime,” she tweeted.
December 2, 2011: It was Russell’s turn to address the rumors when he visited “Ellen” earlier this month. Denying the split, the British comic said, “I’ve treated the whole Internet now like it’s a wicked little liar. Yeah. I am really happily married. I’m married to Katy. Perpetually, until death do us part was the pledge.”
December 25, 2011: Katy was spotted splashing around in the ocean in Hawaii without Russell and not wearing her wedding ring. Just days later, Brand’s ring finger was bare when photographers caught him out walking in London.
December 30, 2011: With the new year looming, Brand filed for divorce from Perry in Los Angeles Superior Court citing “irreconcilable differences.” No separation date was given, and representatives for Brand and Perry have not yet responded to requests for further comment.