Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth announced their separation this weekend, apparently ending a 10-year-long romance. The couple has inspired so lovestruck fans over the years, and some find it hard to accept that they are done. In the aftermath, many are revisiting their real-life love story.
Cyrus and Hemsworth were first romantically linked in 2009, exactly a decade ago this year. In that time they have had many ups and downs, moments of triumph and time of hardship as well. In all that time, die-hard fans have hoped for a fairy tale ending.
They seemed to get their wish in December, when Cyrus and Hemsworth tied the knot. After all this time, they ended up saying their vows in a small, intimate ceremony at Cyrus' home in Tennessee. Everything about it implied maturity and true love, so naturally fans swooned over the story.
Sadly, it did not last long. On Saturday, Cyrus was spotted kissing reality star Kaitlynn Carter. A few hours later, her representative issued a statement to E! News confirming that the couple is separated.
"Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time," they said. "Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what's best while they both focus on themselves and careers. They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart. Please respect their process and privacy."
With the marriage apparently behind them, many fans are looking back on the highs and lows. Here is a timeline of Cyrus and Hemsworth's relationship.
Cyrus and Hemsworth were first linked in 2009 when they co-starred in The Last Song. The romantic drama cast the two as star-crossed lovers in a small rural town, finding their common ground through music.
The romance had fans buzzing about the possibility of an off-screen relationship as well, though that did not come until a while later.
In 2010 Cyrus and Hemsworth made their official debut as a couple at a red carpet event for the Oscars. They appeared at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's after-party, to the delight of fans everywhere.
Cyrus and Hemsworth had three happy years together, culminating in a proposal in 2012. Cyrus gushed about their engagement in an interview with PEOPLE at the time.
"I'm so happy to be engaged and look forward to a life of happiness with Liam," she said.
Cyrus and Hemsworth had their first and biggest breakup in 2013, just over a year after their engagement. They split up in the fall, and sources told E! News that there may have been some infidelity involved. They said that the breakup was "Miley's decision, after coming to grips with Liam being what she believed was less than faithful to her."
Cyrus and Hemsworth stayed apart for several years, with little commentary about each other. However, one of Cyrus' 2013 songs, "Wrecking Ball," seemed to address their split. Cyrus all but confirmed that at a 2014 concert in London, when she talked about the person whom the song was about.
"Every time you get in your car, you're going to hear my f—ing song on the f—ing radio, you piece of s—," she said, according to E! News at the time. "That's right."
"I feel really good about myself now," she went on later. "So I'm gonna tell those motherf—ers that broke my heart, particularly one, to suck my fat d— and to enjoy hearing this song for the rest of your life. This song is called 'Wrecking Ball.'"
In spite of the apparent vitriol at that show, Cyrus and Hemsworth did stay close in their years apart. The two dated other people, but remained prominent in each others' lives. In 2015, Cyrus helped Hemsworth adopt a dog, and they appeared on each others' Instagram feeds from time to time.
Cyrus and Hemsworth were triumphantly reunited in 2016. They were first scene together as a couple again in Australia, where they held hands at the Falls Music Festival in Byron Bay. They sent the New Year holiday there, and witnesses reported plenty of PDA between them.
Cyrus and Hemsworth hardly missed a beat together, getting back into their relationship right where they had left off. Cyrus even got matching tattoos with Chris Hemsworth's wife, Elsa Pataky at the time, showing that the whole family was tight. However, there was one major question left between them...
While they were clearly back together again, it was not immediately clear whether Cyrus and Hemsworth were simply dating, or if they were engaged again. Finally, Cyrus put the questions to an end in October, when she appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show with her engagement ring on. Fans were overjoyed, and Cyrus seemed pretty happy herself.
Cyrus and Hemsworth had clearly matured in their time apart, but they did not shy from their silly sides either. The two became an Instagram power couple, with matching outfits and holiday posts. They pranked each other, posted together and Cyrus even released a new love song about Hemsworth called "Malibu."
During this time there were more rumors about a split between the two, but they never amounted to much.
Last year, Hemsworth and Cyrus endured a huge tragedy together as a couple when the Camp and Woolsey fires devastated southern California. Their home in Malibu was burned down, and at the time Cyrus was out of the country filming Black Mirror in Africa.
Luckily, Hemsworth was at home and he was able to rescue all of their pets from the blaze. The tragedy galvanized the couple, and some thought it would give them a fresh start.
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Cyrus and Hemsworth finally tied the knot last December, shortly before Christmas. The ceremony was small and intimate, with friends and family present at Cyrus' Nashville home. A few sparse pictures made it to social media, but other than that Cyrus and Hemsworth kept this happy time to themselves.
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After a few blissful months, Cyrus and Hemsworth announced their separation this weekend. Cyrus was spotted kissing Brody Jenner's ex-wife Kaitlynn Carter while on vacation in Italy, and a few hours later her representatives confirmed that she and Hemsworth are separated. From the sound of it, the two are simply looking for space as their work and lifestyles keep them apart, and at this time there is no word of a true divorce.