At first, Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy seemed like an odd celebrity couple when they began dating in 2005. Eventually, though, everyone fell in love with them just as they fell in love with each other.
That’s why their split in 2010 was so surprising. What could drive one of the world’s strongest couples apart like that?
As it turns out, the real reasons they split up are more complicated than you could imagine.
Many people believe in the mantra that opposites attract. However, the truth is that you’re likelier to stay with someone who is more alike to you than different. Maybe that’s why this comedy legend and former playboy bunny weren’t destined to stay together.
Furthermore, Carrey and McCarthy had personality differences that set them apart. Despite being a famous funnyman, Jim Carrey is very introverted. And of course, Jenny McCarthy is known for being extremely extroverted. This meant that their different emotional extremes could be enough to tear the relationship apart.
History has thousands of books on the subject of love. But love doesn’t have to be complicated. At the end of the day, you’re either having fun with someone or you’re not.
It turns out that McCarthy agrees with this philosophy. Oprah asked her about warning signs in a 2010 interview. “When it’s not fun anymore, you need to start investigating and do an inquiry into the relationship,” McCarthy said. “You usually see fights happening a little bit more frequently.”
While McCarthy kept things polite, she may have been alluding to the dark side of Jim Carrey that few truly understand.
Depression: The Hidden Struggle
For their fans, Carrey and McCarthy’s split was definitely one of the worst celebrity breakups. What could have caused it? Another factor is Jim Carrey’s depression.
Jim Carrey is like Robin Williams and so many other comedians: despite making the whole world laugh, he often suffers from depression. And while he previously tried to keep it at bay with Prozac, he got off the medication to try to deal with the issue on his own.
This is likely the cause (or an exacerbating factor) of Carrey’s legendary mood swings. And those mood swings probably did his relationship no favors after things got rocky.
Child With Autism: A Factor?
Jenny McCarthy became one of the most outspoken celebrity autism advocates in the world. However, that was a double-edged sword because she bought into Andrew Wakefield’s discredited research and spread the irresponsible rumor that vaccines cause autism.
This issue was personal to McCarthy because her son from a previous relationship, Evan, has autism. And while Carrey tried to be a good father figure to Evan, autism may have affected the stability of their relationship.
When raising a child with autism, four out of five parents get a divorce. And the stress of raising the child can cause or enhance depression. Considering Carrey already has depression, this may have made things that much worse.
Marriage: Never in the Cards
Not every couple has to get married to stay together. However, marriage is a powerful signifier to the entire world that you plan to stay together forever.
As it turns out, marriage was never really in the cards for Carrey and McCarthy. In 2007, Carrey told Access Hollywood, “No, we’re never getting married, but we’re never getting divorced, which is fantastic.” Could that signify Carrey anticipated a future split?
Carrey has gone through two divorces, in 1995 and 1997, and broke off an engagement with Renée Zellweger in 2000. Meanwhile, McCarthy divorced her son’s father in September 2005, three months before beginning to date Carrey.
For her part, McCarthy seemed less opposed to the idea of marriage to Jim Carrey. “We say ‘never,’ but I don’t know,” she told US Weekly in February 2010, two months before she and Carrey split. “Maybe for tax purposes, someday, when we are old.”
It seems the “no marriage” edict may have been more from Carrey’s end, as McCarthy later went on to marry actor/singer Donnie Wahlberg in 2014.
The Magic Fades
If you check out various interviews and public appearances, some cause and effect patterns start appearing. For instance, McCarthy notices that the fun is gone. What happens next? The spark that brought them together disappears entirely.
About a month before they broke up, onlookers noticed trouble was brewing. A guest who attended an autism fundraiser they were at told People, “[Jim] was at ease, but Jenny rarely smiled and looked serious. There wasn’t that spark between them. They didn’t seem to be in sync.”
A relationship is a partnership, but it was clear that they were no longer on the same team. At that point, a breakup is inevitable. The two aren’t a couple any more: just friends living physically together and emotionally apart.
A Rocky Split
Their breakup did not have the prolonged drama of, say, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber. But things were decidedly rocky between Carrey and McCarthy after the split.
For example, they publicly sniped at each other over Carrey’s relationship with McCarthy’s then-seven-year-old son Evan. McCarthy claimed that Carrey stopped communicating with the child after the split on The Howard Stern Show in 2012.
In response, Carrey released the following statement to Huffington Post: “I will always do what I believe is in the best interest of Evan’s well being. It’s unfortunate that Evan’s privacy is not being considered. I love Evan very much and will miss him always.”
Nothing is worse than an ugly fight about the kids in public. And it doesn’t get more public than yelling from platforms like Howard Stern and HuffPo!
A Happy Ending
Many fans were hoping for a happy ending where Carrey and McCarthy got back together. While they never became a romantic item again, the two former lovebirds did find peace and friendship with each other.
In 2014, Jim Carrey and Shia LaBeouf got into a Twitter feud after Carrey made a joke at LeBeouf’s expense at the Golden Globes. LaBeouf retailiated by tweeting, “At least I don’t get arrested for indecency on major LA highways! Or abandon love child’s [sic],” attaching a video of Carrey’s daughter from his first marriage.
McCarthy defended Carrey on national television via The View. “Jim and I have become friends now since our breakup. We dated for five years and I got to know his daughter, Jane, who is a lovely, lovely girl. [LaBeouf’s tweet] is completely uncalled for and wrong. Jim is a great father.”
Ultimately, while the couple grew apart, it is clear that they have grown as people and as parents in the years since their split. And when push comes to shove, they still have each other’s backs.