7 Celebrity Relationships That Fans Think Were Completely Staged For Publicity

Romance or showmance?

Shawn Mendes, Hailey Bieber, Camila Cabello, The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart Tinseltown / Featureflash Photo Agency / Sky Cinema / lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Nothing keeps the gossip train running quite like two celebrities dating one another.

If you’re a star who wants your name in the press, cuddling up to a fellow celeb is a one-way ticket to the front pages — just ask Pete Davidson!

So while some celebrity couples are the real deal, occasionally one comes along that seems a little bit too good to be true.

Whether it’s to promote an album, a new movie or just to rehabilitate their image, there’s nothing that can come between a celebrity (and a good PR team) and a good old-fashion showmance.


Here are 7 celebrity couples people thought were fake:

1. Shawn Mendes and Hailey Baldwin

lev radin / Shutterstock

Before she became Hailey Bieber, Baldwin was briefly linked to “Lost In Japan” singer Shawn Mendes.

RELATED: The Sweetest Romantic Gestures Between Justin Bieber & Hailey Baldwin


The couple was linked in early 2018 before stepping together at the Met Gala in May of the same year.

At the time, Baldwin was at the center of a media storm thanks to her on-off relationship with future husband Justin Bieber. 

Bieber had just rekindled a romance with ex Selena Gomez a couple of months earlier and fans have long speculated that Baldwin was trying to shake off her association with her ex by dating Mendes.

However, the romance (or showmance) was short-lived as Mendes and Baldwin were not seen together after the Met and Baldwin wound up marrying Bieber a month later – yikes!

Mendes later called their relationship a “zone of limbo.”


He also admitted that he sometimes gets “jealous” of celebrity couples. 

“I had this thought: ‘I have to get paparazzied with someone. Who am I gonna get? I’m not relevant,” he told “Rolling Stone.”

2. The Weeknd and Selena Gomez

Sky Cinema / Shutterstock

Just like Baldwin, fans have occasionally speculated that Gomez has tried to distance herself from Bieber by being linked to other men.


The Weeknd and Gomez were linked for about 10 months before calling it quits in October 2017 – but those months were filled with lots of appearances at the Met Gala, Coachella, and more.

Blind items on celebrity gossip sites speculated that the couple was the work of a “contract.”

The relationship was beneficial to the “Starboy” singer as, by the time his next album was released, there was plenty of buzz about which songs could be about Gomez. He also reunited with his ex Bella Hadid shortly after their split.

RELATED: 7 Controversial Details About The Weeknd’s Past That Often Get Overlooked By Fans

In a 2020 YouTube video with NikkiTutorials, Gomez also claimed she had been single for five years – essentially admitting that she and The Weeknd were never legit.


3. Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello

It’s not easy when your first rumored showmance ends with your fake girlfriend marrying a fellow pop superstar, so it makes sense that Mendes would need to rebound with another equally high-profile relationship – or so people think.

RELATED: Shawn Mendes Spotted Getting Close With Popular YouTuber During A Yoga Ritual In Hawaii

Fans who had been wishing for Mendes and his longtime friend Camila Cabello to date finally had their dreams come true in the summer of 2019 when the couple packed on the PDA with an onstage kiss at the VMAs all while promoting their steamy duet “Señorita” — how convenient. 


The couple kept themselves in the headlines for quite some time after that, remember those weird sleepwalks while the rest of us were in COVID-19 lockdowns?

But the union, real or not, was not built to last and the pair announced their split in November 2021, not long before they both released new music appearing to reference their breakup — also very convenient.

4. Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston

In June 2016, Swift and Hiddleston’s relationship began with viral photos of them kissing on a rock in Rhode Island and ended approximately five minutes (three months) later.


The relationship, as short-lived as it was, has raised more questions than answers.

RELATED: A Complete Breakdown Of Who Taylor Swift's Songs Are (Allegedly) About

When did they start dating considering Swift was with Calvin Harris until weeks before the kiss?


How did the paparazzi know they would be on that rock?

Where did Hiddleston get his infamous “I <3 TS” tank top?

Where can we get one?

Though Hiddleston did flat out tell reporters that the union was “not a publicity stunt,” many have speculated that their relationship deliberately played into the media who so frequently dissect Swift’s dating life.

5. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

Tinseltown / Shutterstock


Until Kimye emerged from the ashes of Kim Kardashian’s love life, there was little the reality TV star could do to shake off criticism about her infamous 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries.

Their year-long romance, extravagant wedding, and super brief marriage were played out for the world to see on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and whatever spin-offs the family was also plugging at the time.

So, needless to say, some speculated that Kardashian, her mom, and whoever else runs their PR orchestrated the whole thing for views.

However, Kardashian has repeatedly denied this, even as Humphries claimed he was “frauded” into marrying her. 


Her sister, Kourtney even famously told David Letterman that if Kim was going to marry someone for the publicity she’d “pick someone that people knew.”

RELATED: 12 Sketchy Secrets The Kardashians Have Tried To Keep Hidden From The Media

Humphries later penned a 2019 essay claiming that the “relationship was 100% real.”


6. Drake and Jennifer Lopez

These two never actually claimed to be dating but, for a brief moment in 2016, Drake and J.Lo certainly wanted us to think they were.


The two posted a couple of cozy-looking Instagrams together all while there were some stories circulating that the two were working on “beautiful music together.”

Needless to say, the romance, or whatever it was, did not last but it made for good promo when Drake released his 2018 track, “Diplomatic Immunity” on which he raps, “I lost a J.Lo.” 

7. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson

Jaguar PS / Shutterstock


When it came to the promotion of “Twilight” movies it certainly didn’t hurt that the two main stars of the saga were in a relationship off-screen.

The coincidence is all too much for some people who now wonder if the couple were the real deal.

Considering the pair dated for around 3 years and even lived together at a point, it doesn’t seem likely that their entire relationship was fake.

However, it is possible the two stretched out their union for longer in order to keep up appearances while promoting their movies.

Fans of the franchise will recall the earth-shattering day in July 2012 when photos emerged of Stewart kissing married director Rupert Sanders while shooting “Snow White And The Huntsman.”


Amid the controversy, Pattinson moved out of the couple’s LA home and fans were holding their breath to see what this would mean for the “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2” press tour.

However, when the movie was released in November 2012, the two were reported to be “working it out” and even walked the red carpet together at the premiere of their movie.

But, once the press tour was all wrapped up, Robsten’s relationship did too with the couple officially breaking up in May 2013.

RELATED: Rihanna, Drake & Nicki Minaj Unfollow Megan Thee Stallion Amid Feud Rumors

Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.