The 6 Biggest Over-Achievements in the History of Marriage
When it comes to marriage, there are a lucky few who manage to land somebody way out of their league. Rarer still is the segment of this over achieving population who appear to just hate it: "Eeuw, I'm rich! I have a hot wife! God, how did I end up in this awful situation?" We don't know what's wrong with them (our leading theory is something called Self-Destructive Penis Syndrome) but good lord is it fascinating.
Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong Jones
Princess Margaret (Queen Elizabeth's kid sister) was still reeling from a failed romance, and so was ripe for the kind of hasty, poorly considered rebound relationship that Mr. Antony Armstrong-Jones specialized in.
You know what they say about ladies on stamps, right? We don't, but someone must.
Though he was a well-known celebrity photographer in his own right - mostly famous for his "creative" portraits where he had subjects pretend to be a table leg or stick their heads through a toilet seat - he definitely fell in the realm of "commoner" as far as the royal family was concerned, and that made theirs the first marriage of royalty to a commoner in roughly 450 years. They even had to invent an earldom for him (the Earl of Snowdon) when Margaret got pregnant, so the royal baby wouldn't be born without a title and doubtlessly get picked on by all the other royal babies.
Here they are on vacation in Arizona. All the fences made it easy for Snowdon to disguise his height.
His marriage to Princess Margaret was "like Cinderella in reverse," according to rival photographer Nicky Haslam. But Tony didn't think it was such a big deal. Not only did he flout royal customs like walking two steps behind his wife in public but normal human being customs as well, like not cheating on your wife with other women and particularly not cheating on your wife with other men.
Moments later, he gave a "royal edict" to the cameraman in a nearby broom closet.
Although it wasn't all bad, as this horrible sham marriage did set up one of history's best zingers: When Margaret was asked how the queen was doing, she responded by asking, "Which one? My sister, my mother, or my husband?"
Oh, dang, Snowdon! You need some Royal Jelly for that ROYAL BURN?!
We're guessing the countless pansexual orgies softened the sting.
Tony was such a terrible husband that he felt the need to get a running start at failing his marriage. So he conceived a child during a threesome with his best man and his best man's wife a few months before the wedding. Margaret later cheated on him as well for revenge, but she was, simply put, out of her league.
"Ha! Just one lover? What is this, open mic night? Leave the infidelity to the professionals, Margaret."
He continued his photography work and demanded she respect it, but didn't pay the slightest respect to her station ("Yes, yes, dear, of course you're a princess. You're a doll. You're wonderful.") He tried to make up for his indiscretions by leaving her little notes in books he knew she would read, which is a wonderfully romantic gesture...except his notes tended to be lists of "things I hate about you."
Why was this guy so full of himself that he took marrying a princess for granted? Some say ego, some blame Margaret, but his prep school classmates probably have the real answer here: He had a monster dong. And that lets you get away with anything.
So that's why he needs a wheelchair.
Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky
When you think of the words "prudent" and "marriage," the last person you should think of is Elizabeth Taylor, who was married eight times, and shocked and astounded each and every time it didn't work out. The most bizarre choice of husband was probably Larry Fortensky, a construction worker she met in rehab.
Just looking at him, you can tell he smells like corn nuts.
Gossip columnist Liz Smith, completely misreading the situation (as is her job,) said, "It will be fun for her. After all, Elizabeth is no snob. Under the high gloss of her facade, she is really an ordinary woman who has led an extraordinary life."
And that is the most monumental lie that has ever been told. There was absolutely nothing ordinary about Elizabeth Taylor. Ever. Even if you're unfamiliar with her Hollywood career, just consider the wedding itself: It was guarded by a 100 man security force headed by an ex-Israeli army officer, and held at the home of her good friend Michael Jackson.
Just a normal wedding. With a giant Merry-Go-Round.
After the ceremony, they returned to Elizabeth Taylor's massive mansion where she had an army of servants to attend to her every need, and Larry's needs as well, and Larry just freaked the hell out. Apparently he didn't realizing she was THE Liz Taylor until well after the wedding. He was so shell-shocked by his new life, he made Elizabeth get rid of all her servants and even introduced her to the concept of the stove, which she no doubt came to fear as the magical house where fire lived. Instead of lounging by the pool and working on his experimental new music label, as most rich-woman-marrying jerks are wont to do, Larry kept taking his regular construction jobs.
And wearing his regular mullet.
At this point you might think he was just a humble, salt-of-the-earth guy trying to gently urge his wife back to the simple life, but Larry was no saint: He just literally could not give one crap less about money. When Taylor offered him $1 million to quit his chain-smoking habit, he told her to suck it up and "deal with it." After the marriage, he was arrested for drug use in an illegally parked motor home with his "live-in maid." No secret suite at the Hilton for Larry Fortensky; you get railed in his 1986 Winnebago Chieftain, or you don't get railed at all. He was later arrested again for domestic assault.
Liz Taylor would go on to continue being Liz Taylor.
So sure, his life after the marriage kind of sucked and read like the subplot to a later season of Roseanne, but we're sure it beat living in that filthy mansion and having everything paid for with that god-awful "money" stuff -- good thing he got out of that hellhole alive.
Roger Vadim was a French director known for starting the career of Brigitte Bardot, considered to be one of the sexiest women of all time, and for marrying Bardot and some of the other sexiest women of all time, and finally, for completely neglecting and abandoning the sexiest women of all time.
Maybe he hated his wang?
You're probably reading the words 'French Director' and assuming he was a pretentious but brilliant, world-renowned artist -- which of course the ladies love -- but that's wrong: His best known film was Barbarella, the cheesy sci-fi flick starring Jane Fonda and an all-star cast of breasts and asses. But somehow he managed to marry a succession of ridiculously sexy movie stars that were probably at the top of any man's list in the day - starting with Brigitte Bardot and including Jane Fonda (number 3).
Ho-hum. Another jaunt to an island paradise with a beautiful supermodel. Just another Tuesday for Roger Vadim.
Instead of being grateful that he was married to women that would be pants-saluted everywhere, he quickly tired of them whenever they started developing into real people. He ditched his lover Catherine Deneuve when "my shy adolescent had blossomed out into a hard-headed woman ruthlessly in control of her own life," as he put it. The whole point of Brigitte Bardot as a sex symbol was the natural, unabashed charisma she exuded as a confident woman, but it didn't do anything for Vadim, who said, "From the moment I liberated her ... the moment I showed her how to be truly herself, our marriage was all downhill."
He's like some sort of sex-vampire that feeds on innocence.
After divorcing the heiress Catherine Schneider, he complained how she had taken him for granted by saying, "You bring a mistress flowers, and she accepts them as a lovely present. A wife only notices when you don't bring flowers." Sure, she gave him all the money he could ever want, but she didn't shriek in delight every time Vadim slipped her a $12 bouquet, so he's moving right the hell on.
Being married to Jane Fonda, a feat which every teenage boy in the era considered one step above parting the Red Sea, was okay for a while. But then this happened: "Unfortunately she's lost her sense of humor," Vadim states. "One day I called her Jane of Arc. She didn't laugh at all."
"Get it? Because your names are almost kind of similar? Ha ha! You're not laughing. DIVORCE!"
Rick Salomon's name probably sounds vaguely familiar. He's the guy who spent "1 Night in Paris" and "8 Weekends at the Doctor Fighting a New Strain of Gonorrhea Previously Unknown to Science." He also managed to marry two different Hollywood starlets, and plow the Vaginoplastied fields of countless more. So who the hell is this guy? A millionaire business owner? Some obscure European royalty? Leader of a drug cartel?
Or just some skeevy bro in a crappy t-shirt?
Rick Salomon is a poker player. He runs a gambling website. That's seriously it: Those are the credentials that make him starlet Spanish Fly.
In 2002 he married Shannen Doherty, who had just finished her run on Beverly Hills 90210 and was currently starring in the show Charmed, and as funny and kind of sad as that career path seems now, it was a big deal back then; the whole world thought her star was on the rise. And she chose to wed Salomon, whose career path involved "being really into card games."
A charmer, he is.
You'd think that the hard part of marrying a busy and successful actress might be getting to spend time with her, but not Salomon. He decided that if Doherty wanted to be graced with his presence, she was going to have to come to him in Vegas ... and maybe he'd throw her a pity-quickie in between hands if she was extra good and stayed quiet.
Salomon's vest there may be the single least tasteful article of clothing we've ever seen. And Brockway works here.
They spent so little time together that, when the marriage turned sour 9 months later, Doherty was granted not just a divorce, but a full annulment. The difference being that a divorce is the acknowledgment that a marriage just didn't work out, and an annulment is the court's way of stating that it never existed. The match between Salomon and Doherty was so bad that the legal system had to treat it like the Harry Potter world treats Lord Voldemort.
But having his last relationship end so terribly that it had to be erased from the annals of history did nothing to deter Salomon. He bounced right back and somehow managed to marry Pamela "Baywatch" Anderson five years later. Salomon actually spent time with his wife this time around...largely because he wanted to hijack the reality show she was set to star in. The plan was for the show to revolve around Anderson's job working in a Las Vegas Magic Show, but Salomon wanted it to focus entirely on their relationship, and on his gambling career. His logic being that people were more interested in seeing what hands Rick "Scum" Salomon will ante up for, than wanted to see Pamela Anderson's breasts transform into a tiger live on stage.
Seriously, this guy is the worst. We don't even have a joke here. Fuck Rick Salomon and his fat, ugly tongue.
He was such a persistent ass about hijacking her show that the entire production was sunk, no show was ever made, and two months later, Anderson filed for divorce. Guess what happened next? That's right: Annulled again. Anderson cited fraud as the reason for annulment on her paperwork, and the court granted it. We're not entirely sure what Salomon is up to now -- in part because we don't want to pay any more attention to this human bacterial infection than this article requires -- and in part because, after being erased from the legal system so many times, it's highly possible that Rick Salomon no longer technically exists.
Andrew Robinson Stoney and Mary Eleanor Bowes
After inheriting her father's coal mining business in 1760, Mary Eleanor Bowes became the wealthiest woman in Britain, and a sought-after wife for 18th-century gold digging he-whores the world over. To top it all off, her first marriage was to an Earl who died after a few short years, meaning Mary's stock value actually benefitted from the partnership. She was still young, filthy rich, and now a member of the nobility to boot. In short: She was the holy grail for dudes with nice cheekbones who aren't good at working.
Her gigantic head was the talk of the Isles.
By comparison, her future husband, Andrew Robinson Stoney, was just a simple lieutenant in the Navy. He had no money, and no high-society title to speak of. Well, not unless "Earl of Dick Moves" counts. See, Stoney wasn't content with his station in life, so he came up with the most elaborate love scheme since the Parent Trap. The most amazing thing about it? It actually worked. When a series of mysterious letters appeared in the local paper scandalizing Mary, Stoney immediately stepped in and challenged the editor of the newspaper to a duel for her honor. He lost, badly, seemingly because sometimes karma actually works. Mary saw that he was mortally wounded, and found herself equal parts astonished, guilty, and impressed. When Stoney asked her to marry him as his dying wish, she figured it was the least she could do, to grant a final request to the man that died for her.
Above: What women really want.
But Stoney was less 'mortally wounded' and more 'covered in fake blood': The entire thing had been a set up to trick Mary, and it worked. When Stoney miraculously didn't die after the ceremony, but instead started doing victory laps around the altar while ironically screaming the lyrics to Kanye West's "Gold Digger," the jig was up. Fortunately, Mary ain't no punk, and so had hollered "we want pre-nup" before the marriage. Unfortunately, this was 1777, which meant that the courts just laughed at how cute it was that a woman thought the law applied to her. Look, she thinks she's people - aww!
Stoney easily got the pre-nup overturned and went on a shopping spree, burning through Mary's money like he was afraid the very concept of injustice was going to come to life and kick him in the balls at any minute. But he couldn't have Mary trying any of this pre-nup business again, so he locked her up in their house and kept her prisoner, only letting her leave under guard. During the time she was imprisoned, Stoney managed to essentially bankrupt the pair of them, fathered half a dozen illegitimate children on different women, and possibly reached through the mists of time to high-five Hitler for a job well done.
Pausing briefly to step on some kittens.
Mary eventually escaped, ran to the courthouse, and ordered up a Supersize Divorce with a side of Extra Divorce, to go. Even though it was nearly impossible for the courts to grant a woman a divorce in the 1780's, Stoney was worried about her case. So did he turn over a new leaf, beg for her forgiveness and try to rekindle that old spark they had when he faked his own death to trick her into marrying him?
Nope: Andrew Stoney believes there is no problem on this Earth that can't be solved with a good ol' fashioned kidnapping. So he did just that. Again.
Kidnapping is like duct tape for relationships.
He abducted Mary and carried her around all night on horseback, in her houseclothes, so the cold could get to her. He threatened death if she didn't withdraw the divorce, but Mary refused and was rescued the next day. She was granted her divorce soon after, and Stoney was arrested and found guilty of kidnapping, imprisonment and assault. He died in prison in 1810. We here at Cracked would've assumed he was faking it again to trick his cellmate, Rodrigo the Raper, into marrying him -- but the prison buried him. We doubt even Stoney was committed enough to a con to be buried alive.
Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook
Christie Brinkley is one of, if not the most successful supermodel of all time. She's currently valued at around $60 million thanks to smart investing. Since 'supermodel looks' and 'ludicrously rich' are our only qualifications for potential mates (hell, we don't even specify gender,) we'd say she's pretty much as perfect as a human being can be. Her ex-husband, Peter Cook, however, was less impressed.
Maybe because she has Crazy Eyes.
Cook was a regular, run of the mill architect when Brinkley met him, and they married in 1996. Sure, successful architects can do pretty well for themselves, but Brinkley was making millions a year, appearing in dozens of fashion commercials, modeling for red carpet events and working out with Chuck Norris right before he became the punchline to his own joke -- by any rights she was out of his league. But instead of worshipping the ground she walked on, Cook was inordinately upset about being overshadowed by his superstar wife.
"W-why is everybody paying attention to HER? I can draw really, really straight lines!"
Cook started clambering for attention and acknowledgement from Brinkley for all the work he was putting into their family. Apparently he didn't get it: Fed up with his ungrateful, rich, supermodel, humanitarian wife not praising him for doing the dishes that one time the maid got sick, 49-year old Cook went off and had an affair with his 18-year old assistant. Cook originally denied the relationship, so Brinkley demanded his computer passwords to check out his stories. For the same reason you let cops search your car when you know you have weed under the seat, Cook gave his wife the information. She logged on to discover that not only was he cheating on her, but had also secretly been spending $3,000 a month on internet porn.
At that point, a couple of Russian brides become the more cost-effective option.
Forgive us the tangent, but we really need to stop and ask something now: How do you even do that?! You can't even buy Vaseline online without getting a free, month-long trial membership to every horrible fetish site in existence. It is physically impossible to spend that much on masturbation. The only explanation we can think of is that there must be some higher-level of rich people porn where all bodily fluids are replaced with diamond dust and Crystal.
Anyway, as one can imagine, the marriage ended pretty soon after that. Aside from the extravagant pornography and barely legal infidelity, Brinkley's case was helped along by a court-appointed psychiatrist who testified that Cook was "a narcissistic, self-destructive man."
The "and a total asshat, too" was merely implied.
For more bizarre tales of love, check out 6 Romantic Gestures That Backfired Horrifically and 10 Divorce Stories Too Strange to Make Up.