"If you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you're going to be friends with that person."
Breaking up is hard to do -- and remaining friends afterwards can be even more difficult! For celebrities who part ways in the public eye, getting caught up in tabloid drama can make things complicated, leading to grueling divorce proceedings and plenty of reasons to steer clear of each other forever. But for a lucky few, they're able to turn their once romantic connection into a lifelong friendship.
Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have chosen to take that very path and have remained close despite their split. While getting to a point where things are amicable can be tough, these stars definitely think it's the right thing to do, whether it's for the benefit of their children, careers, or mental health.
Find out which famous exes have stayed close…
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Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin helped coin the phrase "conscious uncoupling" when they announced their divorce and have continued to be a shining example of exes who remain on good terms. Since their split in 2014, Gwyneth and Chris have remained friends and even vacationed together with their children and their new significant others.
"He's like my brother. You know, he's my family. I love him. And I'm so grateful to him for giving me these kids. It worked out well…You know, it really did, I have to say," Gwyneth said on "Shop TODAY with Jill Martin."
Elizabeth Hurley and Hugh Grant dated for 13 years and although their relationship was rocked by a cheating scandal, the former couple has remained friends to this day. Elizabeth considers Hugh one of her oldest friends and she says she even gets along with his wife Anna very well.
"I'm still extremely good friends with Hugh. You know, we went through so much together. But I've been thinking, one of the most important things to keep good relations with your exes is to have a lot of respect for their current life. We haven't been romantically involved for 20 years, I think, even though we have such a strong friendship. But we're always very aware that there are other people in our lives. There's partners, there's children. You can't just, sort of, live in a lovely, rosy, mist of the past. You have to move with the times and be very respectful of the present, which we are," Elizabeth said on the People in the '90s podcast.
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Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr may have been married for three years but their split didn't stop them from being friends. In fact, Miranda is great pals with Orlando's fiancée Katy Perry and they've been seen at events together on multiple occasions — and the group even vacation together!
"He's, like, to me right now, a brother. And most of the time, an annoying brother…We go on holidays together. We celebrate all the important milestones together…I love [Katy]. I mean, it'd be safe to say that I love her more [than Orlando]," Miranda joked on the Moments with Candace Parker podcast.
Ever since Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum announced their split in 2018, they've made it clear that they're on good terms. Even though they were together more than a decade, the former couple have been able to stay friends through it all.
"We started out as friends, and I would say it was an instant recognition. When we met, it felt like we had known each other for many years. Ultimately, no matter what Chan and I are doing, we're really great friends. I think that will never change, no matter what," Jenna told Vegas Magazine.
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After over a decade together, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck split it 2015 -- but have remained friends through the years. Jennifer says keeping her children at the core of their relationship has been the main factor in why they've been able to stay close.
"The main thing is these kids – and we're completely in line with what we hope for them. Sure, I lost the dream of dancing with my husband at my daughter's wedding. But you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you're going to be friends with that person," Jennifer told Vanity Fair.
6. Mindy Kaling & B.J. Novak
Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak dated both on and off-screen during their time on "The Office" and while there have always been questions about their current relationship status, Mindy maintains that they're just friends.
"I will freely admit: My relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell. He is not my boyfriend, but he is not my best friend. I guess you could describe our relationship as a 'romantically charged camaraderie with loud arguments,' but I don't think Facebook would accept this as a new status," Mindy said in an interview with InStyle.
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7. Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon have remained friends since their split in 2014 — and it all has to do with their children. Nick says that the former couple put any differences aside to benefit their 10-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe. The family even celebrates holidays and special occasions together.
"We got our egos and this selfish behavior [but] when you put your children first, you understand that it's all unconditional love. All that other stuff just falls apart. I always want what's best for my children," Nick told Us Weekly.
8. Jenny Slate & Chris Evans
Jenny Slate first met Chris Evans on the set of "Gifted" and while they only dated for about a year, Chris has nothing but great things to say about his ex. After their split, he actually said that he plans to be in her life forever.
"You know, relationships are tricky, there are lot of moving pieces. But I am endlessly grateful for having met her. She will be in my life always…She's an incredible human being, a very, very special person. We're all lucky she's so driven, she's going to make some amazing art in her life," Chris told USA Today.
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9. Lenny Kravitz & Lisa Bonet
Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet were married from 1987 to 1993, during which they welcomed their daughter Zoë. But after their split, they were able to remain good friends, which Lenny credits to the bond they share with their daughter. And not only are Lenny and Lisa close, but Lenny also became instant friends with Lisa's husband Jason Momoa, with whom she recently split.
"People can't believe how tight Jason and I are, or how tight I still am with Zoë's mom, how we all relate. We just do it because that's what you do. You let love rule, right? I mean, obviously, after a breakup, it's work—it takes some work and time, healing and reflection, et cetera. But as far as Jason and I? Literally the moment we met, we were like, 'Oh, yeah. I love this dude,'" Lenny told Men's Health.
10. Demi Moore & Bruce Willis
Demi Moore and Bruce Willis welcomed three children over the course of their relationship and their daughter Rumer says that her parents always remained friendly for the sake of the family. Even though their children are now adults, they've still remained close, with Demi appearing on Bruce's "Comedy Central Roast" in 2018 and the two even quarantining together during the pandemic.
"I never had to split up vacations or split up birthdays. They always made an effort to do all of the family events still together and made such an effort to still have our family be as one unit, as opposed to two separate things, which I think really made an impact," Rumer said during her stint on "Dancing With The Stars."
11. Kate Beckinsale & Michael Sheen
Kate Beckinsale and Michael Sheen were together for eight years before their split in 2003. Although Kate reflects on their relationship as a small period of time in her life, looking at it in that manner has helped them maintain a successful friendship.
"It's so normal for us. We split up ages ago. We have been not together far longer than we were ever together. But I really love him and like him and we make each other roar with laughter," Kate told Evening Standard Magazine.