When Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere told the world on Dec. 1, 1994, they were separating, they surprised almost no one. Their private troubles had become very public months earlier, on May 6, when one of the world's most gossiped-about couples took out a strange ad in The Times of London proclaiming, among other things, ''We are heterosexual and monogamous and...reports of a divorce are totally false.''
Paying tens of thousands of dollars to announce that they were still ''very married'' was a long way from Crawford and Gere's glam-fantasy beginning three years earlier. On Dec. 12, 1991, they had impulsively flown to Las Vegas and exchanged rings of aluminum foil. Almost immediately, there were rumors that both partners were really gay and that the marriage was a sham.
It was a difficult union: The movie star and supermodel were constantly working in different parts of the world and apparently had to check in with secretaries to find out what was going on in each other's lives. By the time they put their $5 million-plus Bel Air mansion on the market, they had reportedly never spent a single night together in the house.
But they do appear to have spent a few nights with other people. Gere was reported to be romancing Uma Thurman. By August of '94, Crawford was telling Vanity Fair that Gere didn't understand her career, and she had been spotted on the town (and photographed in the back of a limousine) with actor John Enos. She had also been seen without her wedding ring. And just days before the announcement, the notoriously jealous Gere was said to have squared off against Sylvester Stallone and accused him of putting the moves on Crawford. (Said Stallone at the time, ''It was the most bizarre thing I've ever experienced.'')
The breakup was announced when Gere finished filming First Knight in London and was back in New York. A joint statement described their decision as ''personal and painful.''
Within a month, the resilient Crawford was spotted moving clothes into the apartment of an old boyfriend, trendy bar proprietor Rande Gerber. In the years since, Gere has been linked with a variety of beautiful women (including former Bond girl Carey Lowell) but has insisted that he has no plans to get married. Crawford, who wed Gerber last May, described her divorce from Gere as ''like saying goodbye to that 22-year-old innocence I had that life was going to be perfect.''
Dec. 1, 1994
At the movies, Star Trek Generations, a transitional Trek featuring the classic series' William Shatner as well as the cast of The Next Generation, opens in first place at the box office. In 1998, Shatner would host the Sci-Fi Channel's series of restored old Trek episodes. Star Trek: Insurrection, the ninth Trek flick, would be scheduled for release Dec. 11. At bookstores, spiritual adventure is all the rage as James Redfield's The Celestine Prophecy sits at No. 2 on the Publishers Weekly fiction best-seller list. Celestine would spawn a New Age mini-industry including 1996's The Tenth Insight and '97's The Celestine Vision. And in the news, supercouple Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley deny rumors of a split. Presley would eventually file for divorce in 1996. Jackson would go on to marry Debbie Rowe, and have two kids.