Monogamy isn’t for everyone.
There are many different kinds of relationships, and monogamy is only one of them (albeit the most accepted and common in modern Western society). From Dolly Parton and Carl Dean to Shirley MacLaine and Steve Parker, several celebrities have talked about their open relationships and how their unique situations work. Here are some celebrity couples who have been reported to be in non-monogamous relationships.
Nico Tortorella & Bethany C. Meyers
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Younger actor Nico Tortorella told Cosmopolitan in a 2016 interview that they were in a “queer polygamous” relationship with spouse Bethany C. Meyers.
“Cheating is bad, right,” said Tortorella. “But I think that an open relationship or a polyamorous relationship or an understanding of sorts is acceptable in this day and age… And I’ve been in those relationships and sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But cheating inherently is a terrible thing. If you’re going behind the other person’s back and if there’s any type of malice, you’re a bad person, end of story.”
Mo’Nique and Sidney Hicks
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When Mo’Nique married her husband, actor and producer Sidney Hicks, in 2006, she
first revealed to Essence that she and her husband are not in a physically monogamous relationship. They started a podcast in 2016 called to discuss their marriage and answer questions about different types of relationships. Open Relationship
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While Scottish actor Alan Cumming and longtime partner Grant Shaffer don’t have an open relationship, Cumming certainly doesn’t believe monogamy is a natural state. The
Good Wife star said in an interview with Piers Morgan, “As a male animal, I don’t think we are meant to be monogamous,” said Cumming. “We think sexual infidelity is the worst betrayal, and there are much worse ways you can betray your partner.”
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
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in an interview with GQ ahead of his impending autobiography, Will Smith discussed how their relationship hasn’t always been based in monogamy:
“Jada never believed in conventional marriage… Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship. So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up. There were significant endless discussions about, what is relational perfection? What is the perfect way to interact as a couple? And for the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose, not thinking of monogamy as the only relational perfection,” said Smith.
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Daughter of star couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith came out as polyamorous on an
episode of while discussing how she finds monogamy “antiquated” with her mother and grandmother: Red Table Talk
“With polyamory, I feel like the main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you and not just step into monogamy because that’s what everyone around you says is the right thing to do. So I was like, how can I structure the way that I approach relationships with that in mind?”
“Practicing monogamy has to be a choice that you make, just like practicing polyamory,” said Smith. “It can’t be because I’m told I’m supposed to do it this way. That, my dear, is deeply antiquated and no longer works.”
Shirley MacLaine and Steve Parker
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MacLaine married Parker, a producer, in 1954. The couple divorced in 1982, but MacLaine revealed in a 2016
People magazine interview that her marriage lasted 28 years because they practiced an open relationship:
“I guess you would say ‘practiced an open marriage’ in 1954, which was another lifetime,” said MacLaine. “No one understood it, we did. He lived in Japan basically, I lived in America working, and this and that. I think that’s the basis for a long-lasting marriage if you really want to do such a thing.”
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Hugh Grant is known for his romantic comedies, but his own idea of partnership doesn’t necessarily involve just one person for the rest of his life. On
Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show, the Notting Hill actor proclaimed, “If you ask me the question, ‘Do I think human beings are meant to be in 40-year-long monogamous, faithful relationships?’ No, no.”
“Whoever said they were?” He also (potentially jokingly, you never know with the poker-faced British) said, “I always admire the French and the Italians who are very devoted to their marriages. They take them extremely seriously, but it is understood that there might be other visitors at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. You just never boast about.”
Margaret Cho and Al Ridenour
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interview on The Real , Margaret Cho talked about her open relationship with her longtime husband, artist Al Ridenour. “I just don’t want to have sex with the same person my whole life. That’s just gross,” said Cho.
“We have a really big house. It’s kind of like if we wanna have that, it’s like, ‘You can stay on your side, or I’ll stay on my side.’ When I see her, I’ll make her dinner. … Oh yeah. I’ve definitely been in the house.”
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Tom Ford and his husband, Richard Buckley, have been together for over three decades, but although they don’t have an open marriage, he doesn’t think monogamy is his natural state. “I think that monogamy is artificial. I do not think it’s something that comes naturally to us,” Ford said
in New York magazine.
Dolly Parton and Carl Dean
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Dolly Parton and Carl Dean married in 1966 after meeting at a laundromat in Nashville when she was 18 and he was 21. In an
interview with Life & Style, Parton discussed her “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationship with her husband.
If one of them cheats, “I don’t want to know it… If I’m cheating on him he wouldn’t want to know it.”
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Akon has always been quite outspoken about his views on monogamy. Coming from a polygamous Senegalese family, where
his father had four wives, the “Smack That” hitmaker told TMZ, “Women aren’t built to mate with more than one party…men are.”
The millionaire pop star and African investor revealed on the
Angie Martinez show in 2006, “I’m a polygamist. I can afford to have as many wives as I can afford to have. All Africans believe in it. My dad has four wives.”
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EGOT winner and entertainment legend Whoopi Goldberg wrote in her 2015 book,
If Somebody Says ‘You Complete Me,’ Run!, that extramarital affairs aren’t necessarily bad.
“Sometimes in a relationship, people can’t always get what they need, and if you have reputable people you can turn to in order to get what you need, I say go for it,” writes Goldberg. “It’s a whole lot better than being frustrated and angry at the person you love.”
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Ethan Hawke allegedly cheated on his wife Uma Thurman with their nanny Ryan Shawhughes, who he then married in 2008 and had two children with. According to a
Huffington Post article, Hawke said, “People have such a childish view of monogamy and fidelity… He’s cheated so he’s bad, she’s cheated so she’s bad,’ as opposed to a recognition that our species is not monogamous.”
“Neither (my wife) nor I know what shape the future will come in,” said Hawke. “Sexual fidelity can’t be the whole thing you hang your relationship on. If you really love somebody you want them to grow, but you don’t get to define how that happens. They do.”
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