Pop Culture

9 Celebrities Who Survived Abusive Relationships

One in three women are victims. Here's a few you may not know.

Kim Kardashian, Kelly Rowland

Recently, a woman named Megan Torio has been inspiring women with her story of redemption and perserverance after surviving a horrific near-death experience due to a domestic dispute. Even in our world of insant gratification and desensitization, these stories will always remain dear to us because of its relatability to our everyday lives.

According to the National Coalition Against Domest Violence, "every nine seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, and one in three women (and one in four men) have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime."

Many of us know a few of these women and men intimately. Here's nine known and lesser known cases of celebrities who have overcome physical abuse.

Kim Kardashian

In 2010, it was revealed that Kim Kardashian's ex-husband, Damon Thomas, became abusive just a few months after they wed in 2000. "He punched me in the face and told me I needed liposuction," she said in the court documents. She also claimed that after the split, he threatened to kill her and her family.

Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland shocked the world when she revealed the details of her past relationships in her song "Dirty Laundry" from her album Talk A Good Game. Not only did she discuss being physically abused, but confirmed the speculated rift between her and Beyonce. She's never called her abuser by name, but it's believed to be her ex, Cuda, the former manager of Nelly.

Tamar Braxton

Tamar Braxton opened up about her violent past after a messy blogger accused her now-husband, Vince Herbert, as the culprit. "The only reason why he got away with it then was because I didn't know who I was," she explained. "I could not make the right decisions for myself because I didn't know where to go." 


Everyone should remember how our favorite rebel, Rihanna, weathered the storm. The steamy relationship between herself and ex, Chris Brown, became far too heated one Grammy night 2009. The horrific pictures went viral and changed the course of their careers forever. They've both spoken about it publicly several times, but we're glad to see the firecracker moving forward with venom.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry has spoken about losing 80% of her hearing in one ear after being beaten by an unidentified boyfriend rumored years ago. He was speculated to be David Justice for years, as she's openly discussed his physical abuse in the past (although it's all still up in the air after a series of tweets). In 2009, Berry stated: “I never had to run to a shelter, but I did choose the wrong partners. Not always good men. Luckily, in recent years, I have been smart enough to hit the door when violence even becomes a possibility. That is something I will not tolerate.”

Pamela Anderson 

In 1998, Pamela Anderson's rock star husband, Tommy Lee, was arrested for spousal abuse, spending four months in jail for kicking her while she was holding their son Dylan. Anderson and Tommy Lee went through a series of reconciliations until finally calling it quits.

K. Michelle

The powerhouse singer and never-holding-back songwriter K. Michelle has been vocal about the violence she endured while with her ex since her days on Love & Hip-Hop. Her ex Memphitz has continuously denied the claims while K. Michelle has spoken on the torment it has caused. “I had people send me hate, send me Tweets and do things to me, like I was the one who did it to myself. I think a lot of women don’t tell their story, and men, just because you don’t know what people are going to say to you. And more and more, women are coming forward. And I think, if you go through that, you have to use it to help other people. You have to be strong.”


Back in 1985, Madonna married Sean Penn. A few years into the relationship, the actor was charged with felony domestic assault, and pleaded to a misdemeanor. The two divorced in 1989. 

Mariah Carey

In 2009, Mariah Carey openly discussed the emotional and mental abuse she endured from music legend, Tommy Matola. “I just think you get into a situation and you feel locked in… For me to really get out of it was difficult because there was a connection that was not only a marriage, but a business where the person was in control of my life.” The two were married from 1993 to 1998.  

Read more about: Pop CulturePop Culture Kelly Rowland Kim Kardashian Madonna Mariah Carey Rihanna

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