Prepare to get a little depressed, because if an ace racecar driver and a highly trained assassin can’t make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us?
5. America’s Pastime’s Most Wanted: Kris Benson and Anna Benson
While Kris was a pitcher for five teams over nine seasons, Anna was featured on national TV before he even threw a big-league pitch. Unfortunately, the program was America’s Most Wanted: the then-stripper and her boyfriend were wanted for murder. While her ex wound up dying in prison, she beat the rap, married Kris in 1999, famously proclaimed she would sleep with all his Mets teammates if Kris cheated on her (even John Franco!) and somehow managed to keep the marriage going until 2012… and even then still kept the magic alive, as she has since been arrested for allegedly demanding money from Kris at gunpoint.
4. Burning Love: Andre “Bad Moon” Rison and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
People magazine summed it up with a sentence: “Andrew Rison still loves rapper Lisa Lopes, even though she’s charged with torching his home.” Yes, this hot couple had a fiery courtship, in the sense it led to her being charged with arson. “Left Eye” of girl group TLC—she was the one with the condom eye-patch—insisted she only intended to burn the Pro Bowl Atlanta Falcon receiver’s sneakers, but the fire had other ideas. She received probation and a fine and their volatile relationship allegedly continued on-and-off until her death in a car crash in 2002.
3. Lady and the Champ: “Iron” Mike Tyson and Robin Givens
Let’s just say it: the former heavyweight titleholder cannot be an easy man to live with, considering his violent mood swings and criminal convictions and numerous personal admissions of doing horrific things to others. Yet watching the notorious Barbara Walters interview with the “happy” couple as Givens talks about an apparently tranquilized Tyson as if he’s not even there, it’s hard not to think, “Even he deserves better than this.” They were only married from 1988 to 1989, but the allegations of physical abuse by him and taking millions of dollars by her have continued for decades.
2. A Family Affair: Mike Kekich and Marilyn Peterson
Never has the cliché “This team is a family!” been more tested. While New York Yankees fans understand the fluid nature of relationships—Billy Martin managed the team on five separate occasions—even they were unprepared for the discovery that pitchers Mike Kekich (right) and Fritz Peterson (left) had swapped wives (and families and even dogs) in 1973. Half the new couplings turned out well, as Fritz Peterson has been married to Susanne Kekich (left) for over 40 years, sired four children with her, and ultimately ended his 11-year career with a record of 133-131 and a 3.30 ERA. Mike, however, quickly saw the end of his flings with Marilyn Peterson (right; they broke up in a few months), the New York Yankees (they traded him to the Cleveland Indians that season), and finally baseball itself, as he played his final game in 1977 at 32, retiring with a record of 39-51 and a 4.59 ERA. Also, Mike is reportedly less than thrilled about “The Trade” movie rumors, as the only thing worse than living through such a trauma is seeing it reenacted by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
1. Zero Dark 41: Kurt “Outlaw” Busch and Patricia Driscoll
Winner of the 2004 Cup Series Championship, this NASCAR driver possesses undeniable talent. His sanity, however, is less certain. He’s known as one of racing’s more “controversial” drivers (in the sense he’s feuded with pretty much every driver besides his brother Kyle… and “Rowdy” probably isn’t crazy about him either). But it still came as a shock when his ex-girlfriend Driscoll alleged he’d physically attacked her and sought a no-contact order, which led to him testifying that she is an assassin who once returned home in a blood-spattered evening gown. Driscoll insists this is untrue—noting she did write a screenplay about a female CIA assassin that Busch read—and that he is an alcoholic who “needs help.” It’s hard to disagree. (Seriously, Kurt, even if she is an actual unstoppable killer, why make her mad?)