Love And Poison

17 February 2016 | 4:06 pm | Brynn Davies

"We take a look at the Montagues and Capulets of the 21st century, the most toxic (and tragic) celebrity relationships."

Bell Shakespeare are bringing to the stage Shakespeare's most tragic love story, Romeo & Juliet. While us normal humans can't relate to having an intimate experience with century-long family feuds, lethal drug overdoses and whirlwind, toxic relationships (well, maybe the last one), plenty of celebrities do. We take a look at the Montagues and Capulets of the 21st century, the most toxic (and tragic) celebrity relationships.

5. Madonna and Sean Penn: The two were married in 1985, with Penn later admitting he was drunk during most of the marriage. Their toxic relationship often made headlines, including one infamous incident when Penn hit Madonna over the head with a baseball bat. She finally ended the relationship after he held her against her will for nine hours after breaking into her Malibu home in '89.

4. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown: The singers' 15-year relationship ended in turmoil in 2007, with Houston telling Oprah that their love nest was plagued by hardcore drug abuse, physical rampages and Brown's weird behaviour, including spray painting "evil eyes" on the walls and carpets of their home and cutting off Houston's head in photographs.

3. Kate Moss and Peter Doherty: The Model + The Rock-Star sounds like the perfect recipe for fabulously ever after, however in this case it was a fatal attraction. During their long-term on-off relationship, Moss endeavoured to control Doherty's heroin abuse. However, her own career was put into jeopardy when a video was released of Moss and the junkie rocker snorting coke and downing shots during an interview. He was dumped in 2007. To top it off, she sent him one of the most badass text messages of all time: "You're in my veins, you fuck." Totally boss.

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2. Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil: Fielder-Civil introduced his young wife to drugs, admitting in an interview, "I made the biggest mistake of my life by taking heroin in front of her. I introduced her to heroin, crack cocaine, and self-harming. I feel more than guilty." That same year, he also allegedly sold nude photos of Winehouse for heroin. She never recovered from the abuse despite stints in rehab, passing away in 2011 at 27 from accidental alcohol poisoning.

1. Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love: Possibly one of the most tragic tales of tortured love, Cobain and Love enabled each other's heroin use throughout their relationship, with Love admitting to using during pregnancy. Cobain, who also struggled with mental health issues, left rehab in late March 1994 and was found just over a week later, on 8 April, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and heroin in his system. In his wallet, which was discovered at the scene, was a handwritten note about his wife, written on Phoenix Hotel stationery. It reads: "Do you Kurt Cobain take Courtney Michelle Love to be your lawful shredded wife even when she's a bitch with zits and siphoning all yr money for doping and whoring..." in stark contrast to the presumed suicide note, which calls Love a "goddess... who sweats ambition and empathy".

For never was there a tale of more woe…

What: Romeo And Juliet

When & Where: To 27 Mar, Playhouse, Sydney Opera House; 1 - 9 Apr, The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre


What: Romeo And Juliet

When & Where: 14 Apr - 1 May, Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre