Forget the monkey, the donkey, or the hare! When it comes to celebrities, this was the year of the triangle.
Love triangles - not to mention triangles of suspicion, hate, and remorse - bonded together a whole mess of celebs, bringing with them passion, jealousy, and above all . . . headlines. The affected (infected?) parties include Rihanna, Kristen Stewart, Ashton Kutcher, Kirstie Alley, and Halle Berry.
Rihanna & Chris? Is she mad?
We were all shocked and moved in early '09 when news broke that Rihanna had been assaulted, most brutally, by bf Chris Brown. Heads - and stomachs - turned this year when the ill-omened pair reunited, first to record a tune, "Nobody's Business," then to sing Cupid's song. On Christmas they were seen canoodling and oodling at an L.A. Lakers game.
Yet Chris wasn't exactly all-in. He made moves on R while dating model Karrueche Tran. A classy feller all the way, he tweeted extensively about how he was torn between the ladies.
This punch is for Halle
The Custody Angst Triangle entrapping Halle Berry, ex-beau Gabriel Aubry, and their daughter, Nahla Ariela Aubry, 4, came to a head this year when Halle, 46, announced she and her new fiance, Frenchman Olivier Martinez, planned to move to his homeland with Nahla in tow.
Gabriel, 37, took Halle to court twice, first to secure a tidy $20,000 a month in support, then to block her from taking Nahla.
Tempers flared on Thanksgiving outside Halle's door, ending in a black eye for Gabriel and a sore fist for Olivier.
K-Stew & that other guy
Someday Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's love story will be taught to children in kindergarten.
The Twilight couple's passionate, epochal romance came to a screeching halt in July when news leaked that K-Stew had committed what she later called a "momentary indiscretion" with her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders.
K-Stew and Ro-Pat patched things up, and she spent the rest of the year apologizing over and over and over.
Ashton, Demi & Mila
Ashton Kutcher, who supplanted Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men, gave Demi Moore a cruel Christmas prezzy - divorce papers, a year after their separation. Ash reportedly cheated on Demi with bucketfuls of hotties. This year he returned to monogamy when he connected with former That '70s Show costar Mila Kunis. Are they headed down the aisle?
Kirstie 'n' Travolta
Cheers alum Kirstie Alley, 61, turned up the gawk factor with the appropriately titled memoir The Art of Men, which detailed her passion for her Look Who's Talking costar and man about town, John Travolta. It wasn't consummated, says Kirstie, who at the time was wed to second hub Parker Stevenson. But that didn't stop her from creating that rarity, a love rectangle: She also confesses that while married to Stevenson, she had a fling with Patrick Swayze while he was with Lisa Niemi.
Cruise's love for Cruise
Tom Cruise, 50, burned through his third marriage, returning back to his true love, Tom Cruise, when he gave Katie Holmes a shockingly quick, uncombative - and secret - divorce settlement in July.
LiLo: I love jail!
The most passionate affair of our time, Lindsay Lohan's twisted tango with the courts, continues as we speak. In the latest, LiLo, 26, has had her probation revoked and may be headed back to jail.
A busy, busy girl
We nominate John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal alumna Taylor Swift, 23, as the busiest date of the year. She reeled in a Kennedy, 18-year-old Conor, at one point taking him out of his high school for a getaway, only to drop him for One Direction singer Harry Styles.
Till divorce do them part
Our most sincere, totally unsarcastic, congrats to celebs who took the ultimate leap this year and wed: Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman, Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Anne Hathaway and Adam Schulman, Kate Winslet and Ned Rocknroll (her third), and dancing partners Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied.
Even confirmed bachelor and divorcé Alec Baldwin married again, this time to Hilaria Thomas.
They broke up, we wept
Justin Bieber, 18, proved that breaking up is fun to do by taking remarkable beauty Selena Gomez, 20, for a yo-yo. They broke up and got back together about 18 times.
We bid adieu to lovers who called it quits for real: Seal and Heidi Klum, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, Kimora Lee Simmons and the formidable actor Djimon Hounsou, Sofía Vergara and stockbroker Nick Loeb, Avril Lavigne and Brody Jenner.
Must we mention them?
There's one dread name we haven't mentioned, a name we dearly wish will never be seen again: Kardashian.
Yes, 2012 was a banner year for that indomitable clan: Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick had their second baby, Penelope Scotland Disick, in July. . . . Fresh off her seven-hour marriage, Kim Kardashian embarked on a publicity-rich, egomaniacal romance with Mr. Ego himself, Kanye West.
A Harris Interactive survey of 2,309 U.S. adults last week found that 70 percent of Americans want the entire Kardashian clan "written off" in 2013. Disappear, K-clan. Please, go away.
Contact Tirdad Derakhshani at 215-854-2736 or firstname.lastname@example.org