29+ Stars Whose Breakups Required Painful Tattoo Cover-Ups
| LAST UPDATE 11/07/2022
From name tattoos to inside jokes and symbolic matching phrases, these celebrities showed their dedication through the power of the needle. However, when the relationship was over, they were stuck with the permanent ink…
Jolie made it clear who she married! The actress had "Billy Bob" tatted on her left arm, in addition to her existing dragon tattoo, but when the marriage ended in 2003, so did the tattoo.
Shortly after the couple's divorce, Jolie began the tattoo removal process and, in doing so, got rid of all associations with Billy Bob. However, instead of no tatt, the Maleficient star replaced the empty spot with geographical coordinates of all her children's birthplaces and ex-husband's, Brad Pitt.
There's nothing that says "I love you" like having someone's name tattooed in a heart on the arm for the world to see! Well, this was Griffith's way of expressing her love for her ex-husband Antonio Banderas. The two starred in the comedy Two Much back in 1996 and were married that same year.
The couple were together for nearly 20 years but decided to split, claiming "they had fallen out of love" with one another. So naturally, Melanie Griffith decided the best course of action was to erase her ex-husband's name from her life and her arm.
The Big Bang Theory star and ex-husband, Ryan Sweeting tied the knot back in 2013, just after three months of dating; however, the relationship lasted 21 months before the divorce papers were drawn. Regardless, in that time, Cuoco got their wedding date (December 31, 2013) in Roman numerals tatted on her upper back.
Following the divorce, the actress decided to cover up the sentimental tattoo with something new and improved- a large moth. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Cuoco explained, "the [wedding] tattoo was a mistake," and it was time "to cover it." She hilariously chose a moth "because it was big enough to cover the numbers."
Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards might have had one of the most publicized relationships (and breakups) of the early 2000s. The couple was only together for a few years, but it was definitely enough time to get some sentimental tattoos inked onto their bodies!
The actress had her husband's name inked onto her ankle, but following the divorce, she enlisted help from tattoo artist Kat Von D to cover 'Charlie' into a fairy. However, she wasn't the only one with a name tattoo. Sheen had his ex-wife's name tattooed on his wrist until he covered it up with his catchphrase, winning.
Before Eva Longoria was married to businessman José Bastón, the actress was married to former NBA player Tony Parker. The two were together for seven years before calling it quits, and during their long relationship together, the Desperate Housewives star racked up three tattoos dedicated to her former beau.
The Hollywood star had her ex-husband's basketball jersey number "nine" inked behind her neck, the couple's wedding date tattooed on her wrist, and Parker's initials tatted in an unknown spot, not for the public eye! However, following the split, the actress had her tattoos dedicated to her ex removed.
Klum tattooed her ex-husband's name, Seal, on her forearm back in 2008 in honor of their fourth wedding anniversary- a very romantic gesture, some would say. However, the couple broke it off in 2012, and the supermodel was stuck with a large tattoo of her ex-husband on her arm for the world to see.
However, Klum moved on from their marriage when she began to publically date her bodyguard and erase all evidence of her ex-husband's name on her arm! The supermodel started the laser process the year after their split but kept the four stars on her forearm representing her four children.
If one is lucky enough to marry Jennifer Lopez, it only makes sense to get her name tattooed somewhere on the body. No? The superstar might have been engaged six times, but her relationship with her ex-husband, Marc Anthony, lasted for around a decade!
Anthony had his ex-wife's name tatted on his wrist, but after they split up, the singer had her name covered with a whole series of new tattoos, but it didn't stop there. The singer previously had "JLM" (Jennifer Lopez and Marc) tattooed on his ring finger, which is now covered by a black square.
Music producer Jordan Bratman and Christina Aguilera were married for over five years when the couple decided to file for divorce in 2011, claiming they "were both looking for different things" and that they "just weren't right for each other." It happens!
Although the tattoo may be a little challenging to decipher, the arm tat reads "Te Amo Siempre" in red ink, which is Spanish for "I Love You Always," with her ex-husband's Hebrew Initials tattooed in between. The meaningful tattoo still sits on her arm but is slowly fading away until she ultimately gets it removed.
Trust a comedian to make a joke over a permanent tattoo dedicated to an ex. Comedian, Kathy Griffin had a wedding ring tattoo dedicated to her ex-husband Matthew Moline removed in 2006 after the marriage fell apart when she discovered that Moline had stolen over $70,000 from her. Ouch.
"I have one tattoo on my whole body like an a, and it's a f****** wedding ring, and I'm divorced," the comedian hilariously admitted following her divorce. She originally opted for the tattoo instead of a ring but struggled to get it lasered off with over five attempts!
Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa tied the knot back in 2013 after dating for two years and having a baby boy together the same year. However, the hot Hollywood couple divorced in 2016, and Rose was left with a big old tattoo of her ex-husband on her right arm!
Since their split, Rose decided to make it clear she is no longer married to Wiz and instead showed her dedication to another musical legend, Slash. The model replaced her ex-husband's portrait with the rocker's face and since then, has added an arrangement of roses and the Hollywood sign underneath.
The British model and TV personality Katie Price made it clear she was over her ex-husband, Peter Andre, in a way we can all honestly admire. Price and Andre tied the knot back in 2005 and were together for four years, during which the model decided to get "Pete" tatted on her wrist. Uh Oh.
Following their divorce, Katie was stuck with her ex-husband's name tattooed on her wrist, so her natural next step was to get it crossed out! Savage. Eventually, the model got the name covered up with a rose, which now sits atop a large crown and her daughter's name, Princess, below.
He is best known for playing Arnie Thomas on Roseanne, marrying Roseanne herself, and getting a tattoo of Roseanne's face on his chest. The couple were married in the early '90s for four years, with a few rough patches in between, so naturally, Arnold thought the ultimate romantic gesture would turn things around.
"On Valentine's Day that year I said I'm going to save the marriage and got a twelve-hour tattoo of her face on my chest," he admitted. However, that didn't fix their marriage, and instead, he spent 18 months enduring painful laser treatments to get it removed.
Hold tight because one of our favorite SNL alums hits the list more than just once for his infamous tattoo choices. Pete Davidson, the serial dater and tattoo collector, has dated pretty much every celebrity in Hollywood, and his love language is not like most of ours; his is tattoos.
Davidson and Grande dated for only five months back in 2018, but the comedian got a few tats in her honor. The singer famously wore bunny ears on her Dangerous Woman album cover, which prompted Davidson to get bunny ears inked below his left ear. However, the comedian got the ears removed just days before her engagement announcement.
Jhene Aiko and Big Sean have publically dated on and off for the past several years and are currently expecting their first child together. However, before they solidified they were back on, Aiko covered up her massive portrait tattoo in honor of her current baby daddy!
The singer actually got the tattoo covered up while the couple were still dating, despite the intense rumors, which she publically addressed. "I covered ALL my tats w/ a big a** Dragon w/ a Phoenix wing breathing life and light into a new galaxy. NEW ART! NO BEEF!" she wrote. "ALL LOVE!"
Before he was married to one of the most iconic actresses in Hollywood, Keith Urban was dating supermodel Niki Taylor which led to some good old matching tattoos! The couple dated for two years, and during that time, they had the Latin phrase "Omnia Vincit Amor," or love conquers all, tattooed on themselves.
However, when Kidman and Urban tied the knot in 2006, it was time to get rid of all traces of his ex, including that matching wrist tattoo. The country singer transformed the script tattoo into a tribal-style bracelet that reads his wife's initials, "NMK," for Nicole Mary Kidman.
If we learned anything this year, it's that Johnny Depp and Amber Herd were not meant for each other. The infamous couple was married for 15 months after filing for divorce, and Depp found a creative solution to alter his tattoo in honor of his ex-wife.
Depp had the word "SLIM" inked on his knuckles, his nickname for Heard, but following the divorce tweaked the tattoo to read "SCUM." The Pirates of the Caribbean star eventually went a step further and changed the tattoo to read "SCAM" with a large red anarchy symbol for the A. Ouch.
Singer Kelis and rapper Nas were married for nine years in the early 2000s before they decided to call off their marriage, but while they were crazy in love at one point, Nas went the extra step to show it. The rapper had a nude image of his wife across his arm!
However, after a nasty divorce, the rapper decided he wasn't going to cover up the tattoo or remove it right away but had very different plans in mind. Instead, the Get Down rapper replaced his ex-wife's head with a lion's head, which now sits atop her body.
Malin Akerman and her ex-husband Roberto Zincone were together for almost a decade and married six years before they decided to call it quits. The Trophy Wife star and her husband had their first child together, Sebastion, in April 2013, and by November were through.
However, Akerman had a very permanent reminder of her ex etched onto her wrist: a large Z in honor of her exes' last name. However, just a few months following the separation, the actress showed off her new ink, an S which covered the Z, to represent her son's name.
Best known as the twice-former fiance of Bristol Palin and father of their son Tripp, Levi Johnston and her former boo were the talk of the town back in 2008 when the news of their relationship first broke. Although the couple eventually broke up, that didn't stop Johnston from getting his ex-fiances name tattooed on her finger.
Apparently, Johnson got the tattoo after claiming he "lost the ring" given to him by Palin and decided the best way to get "out of a bind" was to get her name permanently tattooed on his ring finger. However, when the couple finalized their split, Levi got his tattoo covered up with what appears to be a backend mess.
The Melrose Place actress dawned her ankle tat for the world to see in the early 2000s after her stint on the hit TV series, Just Shoot Me. The sitcom starred David Spade, who played the lead character, Dennis Finch, hence Locklear's "Finch" tattoo (or at least that was the rumor).
The actress has a red heart with a rose flower design tattoo and the name "Finch" located on her right ankle. The couple dated very publically in 2006 and eventually called off their relationship after several months together, and in doing so, she removed the "finch" portion of her tattoo!
Although she had quite a few tats on her already, rumors spiraled after Cole showed off a shoulder tattoo that covered up ink that was once dedicated to her NBA husband, Daniel Gibson. The singer had "Truly Blessed, D. Gibson" tattooed on her left shoulder but got that covered right on up!
The singer covered the tattoo in honor of her husband with a colorful buttery, which spiked rumors surrounding their divorce. The couple eventually called it quits a few years later, and Cole's butterfly tattoo symbolizes new beginnings and rebirth for the artist.
The bunny ears wasn't the only tattoo the comedian got in honor of his then-girlfriend, Ariana Grande. In September 2018, Davidson got the French phrase "mille tendresse" tattooed on his back, meaning "a thousand tendernesses," a line from Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Of course, fans noticed it was the same expression Grande had tatted on her neck a few years prior, which meant matching tattoos! However, following their breakup, the comedian replaced the beautiful French phrase with the word "cursed," written in large capital letters.
Actor and model Chris Zylka really went from one extreme to another with his tattoo transformation. The actor dated socialite queen Paris Hilton for two years before the couple announced their breakup, but during their relationship, he got a special tattoo to show how much he loved and cared for her...
Zylka decided the best way to show Paris his love was to get her name tattooed on his forearm in massive Disney letters. However, their engagement was called off, and Zylka was left with her name on his body until he covered it up with a giant gorilla. Ouch.
The Baywatch star decided to show her eternal love to the Mötley Crüe drummer by inking his name onto her ring finger right after the two got hitched in 1995. Anderson and Lee were the talk of the 90s in Hollywood, and people were simply in awe over their relationship, so when they called it quits, fans were devastated.
However, when the couple filed for divorce three years later, Pamela was left with a 'Tommy' tattoo on her finger. Lucky for her, she was already a mom of two by that point and changed 'Tommy' to 'Mommy' before she got completely rid of the tat years later.
The Black Widow singer dated A$AP Rocky back in 2010 for a year before either one of them really blew up, but all it took was a year for Iggy to get a tattoo in honor of the rapper. Azalea had the words "Live Love A$AP" tattooed across three of her fingers, but the relationship didn't last all too long…
Once the couple called it quits, the female rapper decided the best move to forget about her ex was by simply crossing out his name with another tattoo. However, once she got engaged to Nick Young, she began laser treatments to fully remove the ink, and by 2015 it was completely gone.
Remember when Khloe Kardashian was married to Lamar Odom? Well, the two got hitched back in 2009 and stayed together for four years, and were officially divorced in 2016, but somewhere along the lines, the duo got matching initial tattoos on their wrists.
Although Khloe is known for her open and loving heart, her separation from Odom didn't stop her from getting the "LO" tat removed from her hand. Khloe wasn't alone in the venture, as the former NBA star was also spotted with a scar on his wrist where the tattoo previously was.
Yes, we are aware that Jay-Z and Beyonce are still very much crazy in love, but how could we not mention the Queen Bey herself? The Renaissance artist and hubby Jay-Z have been married since '08, and when Hov popped the question, Bey got a tattoo on her left finger to represent their eternal love.
Instead of a traditional wedding band, the couple got a matching roman numeral for four on their ring fingers to represent their eternal love for one another. However, members of the Beehive noticed the artist altered the tattoo to three little dots on her left, which represent her three children.
The former One Direction star is no stranger to the needle, so naturally, when the artist got a tattoo in honor of his ex-girlfriend, Pierre Edwards, it was just another one added to his collection. Malik and his former boo began dating in 2011 and were engaged two years later, around the time he tatted Edwards on his arm.
The couple broke up two years following their engagement, but it wasn't until 2016 that fans noticed he had covered up his tatt dedicated to his former fiance. The news broke when Gigi Hadid posted a picture of her ex on her social media, signaling the tattoo dedicated to Edwards has been covered with almost a blackout tat.
Before Davidson began dating Grande, he was in a two-year relationship with Cazzie David, Larry David's daughter. And well, if this has shown us anything, it's that Davidson is loyal to his girlfriends in the tattoo department, so naturally, he once had a tat dedicated to David, which was removed shortly following their breakup.
The SNL star hid all the evidence of his relationship with Cazzie David after the two called it off in 2018. He covered up his forearm tattoo, a self-portrait that David drew when she was five years old, with a design of a forest and a crescent moon.
Before Bieber was married to Hailey, the Peaches singer was in an on and off again relationship with the Disney princess at the time, Selena Gomez. The young "it" couple took Hollywood by a storm during their reign as prince and princess. However, Bieber was left with a Gomez-inspired tat when the couple broke up.
In an uncomfortable GQ video interview, Bieber opened up about many of his tattoos, including his Selena Gomez portrait sitting on his left arm. "So I kinda try to cover her face up with some shading, but people still know," that is his ex-girlfriend. Yes, yes, we do know Bieber.