When Reese Witherspoon won a Golden Globe for her “Walk The Line” performance in 2006, husband and “Cruel Intentions” co-star Ryan Phillippe was over the moon. he jumped out of his seat and even playfully slapped her on the bottom as she climbed onto the stage. He joked that he hit her like a line backer when she accepted the award, it seemed like the couple had had so much love and playfulness in their 7-year marriage. But later that year it all fell apart when Hollywood’s power couple called it quits.
The exes cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their divorce, per Entertainment Tonight, and in the years that followed, the Legally Blonde star said that getting married at such a young age was the main catalyst. “I was so, so young. I was ridiculously young,” she told Elle UK (via Daily Mail), and the “Crash” star had to agree. “I think the problem was more age,” he told Larry King Now in 2015. “When we got together, we were so young.”
But that didn’t stop Hollywood insiders and gossip blogs from spreading allegations that Phillippe cheated on the Big Little Lies star. In 2006 he co-directed Stop-Loss with Australian actor Abbie Cornish while married to Witherspoon. Cornish was best known for her stellar performances in Candy opposite Heath Ledger and in Jane Campion’s Bright Star, which was nominated for both an Academy Award and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. After his divorce, Phillippe and Cornish went public with their relationship, but was he cheating?
Ryan Phillippe denies cheating rumours
Popular gossip blogs in Tinsel Town were often brash and brazen, with some outright insinuating that Ryan Phillipe was a scammer. “He’s been dating Abbie Cornish since he cheated on Reese Witherspoon with her,” LaineyGossip wrote. In W Magazine (via People), Cornish would describe this period of intense scrutiny and criticism as “a really difficult time for me.”
In 2008, Ryan Phillippe let it be known that the media’s labeling of his girlfriend as a housewife during his divorce was unfair and denied ever cheating on his ex-wife. “It was unfair for her to be called what she was because that wasn’t the point,” he told People. “I don’t think an outsider can ever bring about a divorce. I struggled in my relationship and in my marriage long before I ever met her.”
Cornish and Phillippe eventually moved in together in LA, and the “W/E” star told W Magazine (via People), “It was love that brought me here, not work.” In 2017, she told Sunday Life, “Am I ended up moving to LA for love because Ryan and I really wanted to live together and his two kids were in LA” (via Daily Mail). She also told Porter (via SBS News), “I’m a hopeless romantic. That’s probably my weakest point.” That weak point may have been the couple’s undoing.
Reese comforted Ryan during his breakup with Abbie
After four years together, Ryan Phillippe and Abbie Cornish decided to call it quits in 2010. People reported at the time that both parties claimed they left the other. A few months after their split, Phillippe spoke to Howard Stern on the host’s SiriusXM radio show and said, “I have a new rule: I can’t date anyone who has a publicist.” via Us Weekly.
“Who is announcing a breakup? I don’t understand!” He continued before expressing his dismay at how he’s been called a villain since his divorce from Reese Witherspoon. “Ever since Reese and I got divorced, I’ve been dumped in the press for relationship stuff. I’m tired of getting dressed. I don’t feel like I deserve it. He also revealed that not only did he and Witherspoon “reach a point where we’re great friends and great co-parents,” but they also comfort each other following their respective breakups. “After my breakup, she called, and after that I called,” Phillippe said, referring to Witherspoon’s split from actor Jake Gyllenhaal.
Since then, Phillippe and Witherspoon have reunited to celebrate their children, Ava and Deacon. In October 2021, son Deacon celebrated his 18th birthday and mum and dad posted on their respective Instagram accounts about the happy occasion, with Phillippe praising both son and mum, writing: “You are a true light in this world and you are becoming such loved by everyone who knows you. We’re lucky enough to be your mom and dad… I’d say we did pretty well @reesewitherspoon.