THE COUPLE: Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan
THE STORY: When London tabloids first reported rumors of an on-set romance between the stars of Proof of Life, the gossip press went into overdrive. The idea seemed almost inconceivable: Ryan, the perky blonde star of rom-com staples like Sleepless in Seattle, was something like America’s Sweetheart—and, by most accounts, was happily married to Dennis Quaid, whom she wed in 1991. A few industry observers said that the largely negative publicity of their affair contributed to the film’s disappointing performance at the box office.
WHAT BECAME OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP: The coupling was as short-lived as it was intense: the two broke up at the end of 2000. Ryan’s divorce from Quaid was finalized in July of 2001.
A FRIEND OF MEG RYAN’S: (to People magazine, in 2001) “Her marriage wasn’t supposed to fail. So when it did, it was almost as if she failed everybody.”