MONICA CORCORAN HAREL
In Hollywood,last weeks announcement from Kim Kardashian,that she had filed for divorce from the basketball player Kris Humphries,fell decidedly short of making a mark in the annals of short celebrity marriages. Seventy-two days is no record. Still,the hoopla served its purpose,in part,by advancing the plotline of the brides reality show,Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
The record books are full of other couples whose marriages dissolved before the wedding china got chipped. Carmen Electra and the athlete Dennis Rodman were married in 1998 for nine days,which is 24 hours more than Michelle Phillips and Dennis Hopper endured as wife and husband in 1970.
It was a crazy period, Phillips said of her whirlwind eight-day marriage in an interview on TVOntario,an educational broadcasting network in Canada. I was caught up by Denniss energy.
Lisa Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage,and Renée Zellweger and Kenny Chesney toughed it out for three months and four months,respectively. Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock set a benchmark of 115 days.
At 19,Drew Barrymore spent all of six weeks wedded to a Welsh bartender. Britney Spears was 22 when she spontaneously married a childhood friend in Las Vegas. Spears filed for an annulment 55 hours later.
Even more abbreviated was the 1919 wedlock between Rudolph Valentino and the vaudeville actress Jean Acker. The couple reportedly parted ways six hours after the Los Angeles ceremony,when Acker locked the silent screen star out of their hotel room.
Celebrities may be prone to hasty nuptials,but the seven-month itch is not just a famous-person phenomenon.
Marriages that end early are actually the norm in the United States, said Thomas Bradbury,a psychology professor at the University of California,who studies how newlyweds handle the first several years. The level of instability early on is relatively high,and most divorces happen in the first three years. Unlike Kardashian and Humphries,however,most couples do not have more than $50,000 worth of wedding gifts to return or divide. Kardashian somewhat settled the matter when she wrote on her blog,Im so grateful to everyone who took the time to come to my wedding and Ill be donating the money for all the gifts to the Dream Foundation.
As of Friday,the couples wedding registry was still active on the Web site of Gearys Beverly Hills,where a Baccarat Cosmos vase could be bought for $7,850.
I would recommend that they close off the registry because that doesnt make any sense, said the etiquette expert Peggy Post,a director of the Emily Post Institute who also writes the online Well-Mannered Wedding column for The New York Times. Post added that protocol called for Kardashian and Humphries to return their wedding gifts with thank-you notes.
Raoul Felder,a celebrity divorce lawyer and the author,with Barbara Victor,of The Good Divorce: How to Walk Away Financially Sound and Emotionally Happy,anticipates a legal fallout for the estranged reality star and the athlete.
Who knows the story on whether or not that ring was given to them for publicity purposes, said Felder,speaking of the 20.5-carat engagement ring Humphries proposed with back in May. I think there are lots of people sitting with lots of lawyers around the country,saying This marriage was supposed to be a commercial and economic enterprise,not a joke. Or,at the very least,a joke with a much longer punch line.