Divorce and cases of separation in the entertainment industry always make news headlines and trend for a long time on social media.
Some celebrity marriages, which are often staged amidst pomp, tend to crash as fast as they are contracted.
In 2017, it was not any different. While some celebrity marriages have stood the test of time, others were not so lucky in this regard.
PREMIUM TIMES presents the top six celebrity marriage scandals and breakups of 2017 that got people talking all year long.
1. Toke and Maje Ayida
An Igbosere High Court in Lagos finally dissolved the tempestuous marriage of media personality, Toke Makinwa, to her ex-husband, Maje Ayida, in October.
Toke and Maje got married in 2014, but ceased living together from November 8, 2015.
Toke spilt details of her failed marriage in her memoir titled, ‘On Becoming.’
The book also detailed what transpired in the love triangle among herself, her estranged husband and Ms. Solomon, who was alleged to be responsible for the crash of the union.
Ms. Solomon is a lawyer, mediator and Internet business coach. Maje had asked his ex-wife to stop the sale and promotion of her tell-all memoir, which detailed the topsy-turvy relationship between the two of them. But, Toke called his bluff.
2. Mercy Ayigbe and Lanre Gentry
When in April news broke that the marriage of star actress, Mercy Aigbe to Lanre Gentry was about to hit the rocks, even with her pictures showing her battered face all over the blogosphere, many people hoped that it was a publicity stunt.
A fight between the couple allegedly led to her bleeding, a situation which informed Mercy’s decision to storm the office of the Lagos State Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Commissioner, Lola Akande, to report the matter.
Mr. Gentry was subsequently remanded in Kirikiri Prisons in Lagos. The 52-year-old hotelier finally appeared in court after failing to show up twice. He was then remanded in prison until he met the bail demands of N500, 000 and two sureties who reside in Lagos and have landed properties.
He was granted bail after he was arraigned at an Ikeja magistrate court on a three-count charge of domestic violence, assault and threat to life.
The couple were married for seven years and the union produced a son. While it was Mercy’s second marriage, it was Gentry’s third marriage.
The actress who had accused her husband of physical violence, which she said affected her sight, and caused her to bleed internally for over three weeks, disclosed their separation in a tell-it-all interview with BroadwayTV.
3. Tonto Dikeh and Olakunle Churchill
All was going well between Tonto Dikeh and Oladunni Churchill until January 2017, when the marriage hit the rocks.
The actress would eventually share messy details of her marriage.
She also released photos to back her claims. Her husband, however, countered her claims, disclosing that he never abused the actress but was a victim of a woman who was under the influence of drugs.
The duo has continued to slander each other and reveal messy details of themselves on social media.
Theirs is unarguably the messiest Nigerian celebrity breakup of 2017 and in a long while.
While it is Tonto’s first marriage, it is Churchill’s second attempt. He was previously married to a certain Bimbo Coker. Churchill is a nephew of a former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Tonto and Churchill met two and a half years ago at Escape Nightclub in Lagos during the birthday party of the latter’s brother. Tonto got pregnant six months after they met and they staged a glamorous traditional marriage on August 29, 2015 at Tonto’s hometown Rumukani in Rumukwuta, Rivers State.
In February, the Nollywood star confirmed there were cracks in the marriage. She revealed she had moved out of the house with her son.
Churchill in company of his uncle, Bishop Dare, met with Tonto ‘s father, Sunny Dikeh, in Port Harcourt in June to retrieve the bride price.
Churchill made the video of the intimate family event public on Instagram. Meanwhile, Tonto celebrated the final dissolution of her marriage in an Instagram post, which simply read, “The joy was indescribable.”
4. Damilola Adegbite and Chris Attoh
Although the pair has been evasive about the state of their marriage, there have been mild indications that they have separated.
They both have not flaunted their love and family on social media for a while now. Instead, Instagram photo captions indicates that they are embarking on individual journeys right now.
The 36-year-old Ghanaian star proposed to Adegbite on a boat cruise in Manhattan, NYC in August 2014. The pair tied the knot on February 14, at the La Villa Boutique Hotel in Accra in 2015.
After months of speculation and denials, the Ghanaian actor, finally admitted that his marriage was over. He made the disclosure on Bella Naija in September.
5. Muma Gee and Prince Eke
The couple met at a Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG in Omole, Lagos State, and got married a few weeks after. The union produced three children including a set of twins.
The couple that was married for six years finally had their volatile marriage dissolved in 2017.
Muma Gee filed for divorce in February, citing domestic violence and infidelity as the reasons.
Muma Gee revealed the details that led to her divorce on Instagram. She said that she suffered series of domestic violence from her estranged husband.
She also disclosed that he proposed to four different women while they were still married. But Prince Eke countered her claims stating that Muma Gee abandoned him with their four children and ran off with another man.
6. Lilian Esoro and Ubi Franklin
What is really going on in the marriage of record label owner, Ubi Franklin and actress, Lilian Esoro, is the million-dollar question on the lips of many.
Their union had been rocky from the very start. It is believed that Lilian initially did not want to marry Ubi, and she had indeed turned down his marriage proposal at first, before she was pressured to accept.
She had also deleted her account on Instagram and went on hibernation before friends in the industry prevailed on her to accept Ubi. This was amidst unconfirmed rumours that Lilian was in love with a popular married comedian.
They wedded in November 2015 and in less than a year and before their son turned one, they split.
It began with rumours and then Lilian un-followed Ubi on Instagram. She also took an even more drastic measure: she took down his name from her Instagram account.