The following article includes allegations of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
The red carpet is one of the longest standing traditions in the world of celebrities. In that time before a big awards ceremony, movie premiere or gala, the rich and famous converge in front of an army of cameras to show off their designer outfits, which, like clockwork, will be the talk of the town (AKA fashion magazines and gossip sites) the next day. Beyond fashion, the red carpet is also the ideal occasion for couples to publicly declare their love, assure the world that they are in fact still together, and engage in some enthusiastic public displays of affection.
Red carpet PDA can range from super sweet, to kinda raunchy, to downright bizarre. When it comes to putting on a show for the photographers, celeb couples aren’t usually the shy type. Some, however, do more than others. Over the past few years alone, famous couples have taken to the red carpet to lick various body parts, openly grope each other, and otherwise make their private lives a little bit more public — all for our entertainment. Here are 11 times famous folk raised eyebrows with their PDA.
Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly got handsy
Actor Megan Fox and musician Machine Gun Kelly made quite the impression as they stepped out on the 2021 Billboard Music Awards red carpet and delivered what the Mirror called a "very amorous display." They got pretty handsy, as Fox kept her hand right in her boyfriend’s crotch to pose for a photo while their tongues touched — we have to say, it doesn’t look like the most comfortable pose we’ve ever seen. Speaking of tongues, MGK’s was painted black for the occasion, adding a little je ne sais quoi to the whole affair. Fox rocked a very daring cut-out black dress with a sheer skirt, and MGK couldn’t keep his hands off of her.
The couple met while filming the movie "Midnight in the Switchgrass" in March 2020, according to Us Weekly, and have been pretty inseparable ever since. In May 2020, Machine Gun Kelly released his video for "Bloody Valentine," which starred a lip syncing Megan Fox. Referring to a line from the song, the singer later tweeted, "’i’m calling you girlfriend, what the f***’ life imitated art on that one." Since then, they have both featured heavily on each other’s social media. In one Instagram post, Fox called MGK "Achingly Beautiful Boy," adding, "My heart is yours." As for MGK, he offered a creepy — ahem, cryptic — Valentine’s Day post, writing "i wear your blood around my neck" with no further explanation. Okay, then.
Noah Cyrus and Lil Xan struck some unique poses
When it comes to red carpet PDA, there’s the sweet, the sexy, and the downright baffling. Noah Cyrus and Lil Xan’s performance at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards falls decidedly in the third category. In a series of fairly strange photos, Cyrus can be seen alternately hanging onto Lil Xan while leaning away from him, gently pushing him away while he smushed his nose into her face, and holding him as he nuzzled her shoulder. Lil Xan’s facial expressions when posing for the cameras were a sight to behold, too, when they weren’t hidden by all the making out the two were doing. Oh, and let’s not forget the obligatory butt grab.
The singer and the rapper first started dating in July 2018, per People. Unfortunately, it all came crashing down just weeks later when both musicians accused each other of cheating via Instagram Stories (via Elle). In one of these posts, Cyrus wrote, "cheaters like to accuse their partners of cheating to make themselves feel less guilt. this isn’t the first time this has happened to me and now im being forced to deal with crazy accusations when im not even sure where all this came from." Despite the drama, the Daily Mail reported the two were spotted hanging out together in April 2020, so who knows what the future holds?
Kanye West held Kim Kardashian for dear life
The not-so-discreet butt grab seems to be a staple of over-the-top red carpet PDA, as perfectly exemplified by none other than Kanye West. Appearing with then-wife Kim Kardashian at the 2015 Grammys, the musician squeezed her sparkly dress-clad backside with two hands, as if he was about to fall over and Kardashian was the only thing keeping him upright. As E! News described it, "West couldn’t help but grab his wife’s butt while kissing her on the lips." The couple looked seriously in love that night, sharing sweet kisses and laughs. Of course, the former spouses were never strangers to PDA and were often spotted making out during high-profile events such as the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar party (via Getty) and the 2019 WSJ Magazine Innovator Awards.
We won’t be seeing any more of their public displays of affection in the near future, as the Kardashian-Wests called it quits in 2021. According to the AP, they cited irreconcilable differences and have agreed to joint custody of their four kids, North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm. West proposed to Kardashian in 2013 in a splashy display in San Francisco’s Giants Stadium (via HollywoodLife), and the two were married in 2014. As an insider told E! News at the time, they shelled out millions on the wedding — which is but a drop in the bucket for these two. In February 2021, Forbes reported that their combined net worth hovers around the $2.1 billion mark.
Russell Brand and Katy Perry got a little too comfy at a premiere
Russell Brand and Katy Perry’s short marriage wasn’t short on fireworks, that’s for sure. They showed their affection in a particularly big way at the London premiere of "Arthur" as a grinning Brand squeezed then-wife Perry’s butt, as the Daily Mail reported. The songstress looked as surprised as onlookers might have been by the very forward gesture, but smiled through it regardless. The couple was also spotted sharing a sweet smooch during the event, showing off how well their relationship was going at that point.
Things may have been going swimmingly for Brand and Perry in April 2011, but by December of that year, MTV reported that they were officially divorcing after 10 months of marriage. "Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage," Brand told the outlet in a statement. "I will always adore her and I know we’ll remain friends." As of 2021, Perry is happily married to actor Orlando Bloom, with whom she shares a daughter, Daisy Dove. As for Brand, he married his wife Laura Gallacher in 2017 and they have two daughters, according to the Mirror. He has also become an author of self-help and memoir books and YouTube relationship expert, where he draws on his previous mistakes to help viewers avoid repeating those unhelpful patterns. Talk about a re-Brand.
Miley Cyrus loved to lick her ex-husband on the red carpet
Throughout Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth’s tumultuous relationship, the "Hannah Montana" star showed a great fondness for affectionately *checks notes* licking her beau in public. As HollywoodLife noted in their roundup of the couple’s "best PDA moments," Cyrus put her tongue on his cheek on the 2018 Met Gala red carpet and the shoulder of his suit jacket at the "Avengers: Endgame" Los Angeles premiere in 2019. At the latter event, the Daily Mail reported the two got into "a playful lovers’ tiff" after Hemsworth put his hand on his then-wife’s belly. In the pictures, she can be seen pulling faces and playfully pushing her husband away from her stomach.
The sweet "Avengers" red carpet moment happened in April 2019 and seemed to prove that the two were in a successful marriage (despite a decade of ups and downs), but Hemsworth filed for divorce in August 2019. "Liam’s decision to file for divorce is sad, but in the end, it was never going to work," a source told ET at the time. "They are too different. Liam never wanted to share Miley with anyone. He loves her and he is far too traditional. He finally realized he just wants to start fresh."
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend made out at the Golden Globes
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are adorable — that’s just common knowledge. They’re also really, really not shy about putting their love on display, as evidenced by their time on the 2015 Golden Globes red carpet. In a pic shared by HollywoodLife, Legend can be seen pretty much swallowing his wife’s entire mouth as they engage in a passionate smooch. The phrase "a kiss for luck" took on a new meaning that night, as Legend collected the trophy for Best Original Song for "Selma" from the movie "Glory." He shared the honor with rapper Common.
Teigen and Legend have seemingly only gotten stronger since walking down the aisle in 2013. Posting on Instagram in 2020, Legend wrote, "Happy Mother’s Day to my wonderful wife! It’s been a year that tested you in so many ways but you’ve come through stronger, wiser, happier and a better mother than ever. I’m so fortunate to have you as my partner, my inspiration and my best friend." They have two kids together, daughter Luna and son Miles, but sadly lost their baby Jack during pregnancy in 2020. In a powerful Medium essay, Teigen opened up about the tragedy, writing, "Late one night, I was told it would be time to let go in the morning. I cried a little at first, then went into full blown convulsions of snot and tears, my breath not able to catch up with my own incredibly deep sadness."
Gene Simmons channels Kiss when he kisses
Leave it to one of the original members of the band Kiss to bring his own flair to the art of swapping spit. Appearing on the red carpet for the Los Angeles premiere of "Haywire" in 2012, rockstar Gene Simmons stuck his entire tongue out of his mouth, which has been his signature move for years, and pointed it in the general direction of wife Shannon Tweed’s face. In all fairness, Simmons seems to have found his match in Tweed, who stuck her own tongue out to match her husband. Hey, whatever floats your boat.
Awkward PDA aside, Simmons and Tweed seem to have uncovered the secrets to a long-lasting relationship. As The Hollywood Reporter noted, they were together for 28 years before getting married in 2011, and now they have two adult children. In 2021, they decided to sell their gigantic Los Angeles mansion, where they lived together for many years and where their kids grew up. "It’s a big property, and the kids were literally raised here," Simmons shared while giving ET a tour of the property. "They’ve got their own lives, and now we’ve got this big house. And if I want to talk to Shannon, I’ve got to hit an intercom because she’s at the other end of the house." The couple decided to relocate to Nevada, with Simmons telling ET that "it’s time" for them to leave LA.
Travis Mills licked Madelaine Petsch’s hair at the MTV Awards
What is it with celebs licking each other? Musician Travis Mills was pictured putting his tongue in then-girlfriend actor Madelaine Petsch’s hair at the MTV Awards in 2017 and hey, to each their own, but surely that can’t have been pleasant for anyone involved? Despite the strange gesture, Petsch didn’t seem bothered in the slightest, and instead cracked up laughing. The pair made many loved-up red carpet appearances after that, with the Daily Mail noting that she "pack[ed] on the PDA with boyfriend Travis Mills at Beautycon" in 2018.
Unfortunately, the relationship wasn’t meant to last and Petsch and Mills parted ways in 2020 after three years of dating. "While I’m holding back tears I’m excited to see what you do next," Mills wrote on Instagram in February of that year. "I’ll always have your back. Trying to capture the gratitude, love & pain in a few paragraphs, is impossible. I’m not deleting any of our images, I regret nothing." The breakup was hard on Petsch, too. "My mental health was at an all time low," she told Flaunt, describing what it was like going through a breakup and a pandemic at the same time. "Every day was definitely a challenge and therapy was absolutely key for me to keep sane."
Armie Hammer was all over Elizabeth Chambers on the red carpet
For years, Armie Hammer wanted everyone to know how much he loved his wife, starting with how he interacted with her on the red carpet. At a screening for "Final Portrait," the actor fully grabbed Elizabeth Chambers’ chest, in a gesture that could politely be described as "too much" for a public appearance. As the Evening Standard wrote in their coverage of the moment, "Hammer put his hands over his wife’s chest and waist as he laughed flirtatiously for the cameras."And at the "J. Edgar" premiere in 2011, Hammer pretended to lick Chambers’ face while she pulled away (via Zimbio). Casual stuff.
All this red carpet PDA didn’t bode well for the couple’s future, who ended their 10-year marriage in 2020. According to documents obtained by The Blast, Hammer filed for joint custody of their two children, claiming that Chambers was refusing to bring them back from the Cayman Islands where the family spent the pandemic before Hammer, who told British GQ that he felt "close to completely losing my mind," escaped back to the US. As Vanity Fair noted, that’s when a series of scandals began unraveling around Hammer, who was accused by various women of "emotional abuse, manipulation, and violence" and was subsequently dropped by his agency. According to CBS News, Hammer has denied the allegations of abuse and assault.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.
Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose loved showing off some tongue
What is it they say? Sun’s out, tongues out? That’s what Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose heard, anyway. When the rapper and model were together, they loved touching tongues for the cameras. No, not making out, but simply sticking their tongues out and holding the tips together. On more than one occasion, Khalifa and Rose let their tongues lead the way when sharing a smooch at high-profile events and you better believe they got attention. Straight From the A noted the duo’s "excessive use of tongue" on the 2011 BET Awards red carpet, and the pair’s kissing style landed them on PopSugar‘s "PDA at the 2011 MTV VMAS!" list. And after their display of affection at the 2013 BET Awards, HuffPost wrote, "WARNING: TONGUE ALERT."
The pair started dating in 2011 and then got married and had a son in 2013. Though they divorced in 2014, Rose and Khalifa remain on good terms. "Wiz will always be my best friend, forever — we’re best friends," Rose told People. "It’s kind of weird, because it’s like we’re almost better divorced, you know?" Honestly, we love that for them.
Cardi B and Offset like to bring to heat to the red carpet
Cardi B and Offset seemingly borrowed a page from Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose’s playbook when, as HollywoodLife put it, "they stuck their tongues together" at the 2019 Grammys. That’s not the only time they served up some serious PDA in front of a step and repeat. After they hit the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, E! News noted that "she stuck her tongue out at her husband and they licked each other" on the red carpet. A few months before that, ET reported the two went "all out in PDA-filled Jingle Ball performance." And at a pre-Grammys event in 2020, Offset grabbed one of Cardi’s breasts on the red carpet when she was, as ET put it, "within centimeters of a wardrobe malfunction." When Extra asked the duo about the cleavage-bearing look, Cardi said, "Yeah, my boobs… he’s making sure everything is together."
Offset and Cardi B have led a very on-and-off relationship, but it seems to be more on than off these days. They were married in 2017, broke up in 2018, got back together, then Cardi filed for divorce in September 2020, before calling it off (the divorce, that is — try to keep up) in November of that same year. On February 15, 2021, Cardi posted a sweet picture on Instagram of the two of them vacationing by the ocean. "Thank you baby for this amazing trip.You’re right , sometimes I gotta slow down and live a little," she wrote. "I love you @offsetyrn."