Celebrity splits of 2012: Why so many?

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 19: Actors Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise attend the "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" U.S. premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 19, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Andrew H. Walker
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise attend the "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" premiere on Dec. 19, 2011, in New York.

Heartbreak ran throughout Hollywood in 2012, with tales of splits and divorces peppering the year.

There was the surprise split of lovebirds Seal and Heidi Klum. The couple often renewed their vows and were quoted talking about how much they loved each other, so when they announced their separation in January after nearly seven years of marriage, it took some by surprise.

And practically no one could forget the highly-publicized Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes divorce. Holmes filed for divorce in June, and within a couple of weeks the former couple had reached an agreement.

New York-based divorce attorney Raoul Felder told CBSNews.com, "I think he [Cruise] was blindsided and she [Holmes] had all the ducks in order...He was sort of helpless." It also probably didn't hurt that Holmes' father is an attorney.

So, are celebrity marriages more likely to end up in a divorce? For one thing, there's often a lot of pressure on Hollywood powerhouse couples. But Felder sees a few other contributing factors, too.

"They basically think they can do whatever they can do. Normal rules don't apply to them, apparently," said Felder, author of the new memoir "Reflections in a Mirror."

Another problem, Felder says, boils down to the people with whom celebrities surround themselves. Many times stars don't "get good advice," Felder said.

"The average celebrity is surrounded by yes-men or sycophants, and celebrities come up with the most stupid ideas," he added. "And they have this yes-man, saying, 'Great idea, baby.' They have a lot of money to toss around and many of them are people who haven't had a lot of money in the past," he said.

"There's a lot of adulation. They travel away from home a lot," Felder continued. "Women are throwing keys at men in casinos. It's a perfect storm. That's why you see marriages breaking up. Marriages that maybe shouldn't have been. Celebrities get the idea that 'I can get rid of this' -- like throwing away a pack of cigarettes."

And then there are the longtime couples. Tina and Joe Simpson, Jessica Simpson's parents, separated after 34 years together. Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito parted ways after 34 years, though at last check, DeVito said they were "working on it."

Felder, who's been a lawyer in high-profile divorce cases involving Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Tyson, said those types of splits are different.

"I call it the old-fashioned divorce that you don't see as much with celebrities," he said. "They handle it better. There's an appropriate emotion of sorrow and loss. And it's not a celebratory event."

The social media-driven, paparazzi-heavy society we live in oftentimes doesn't help. Just hours after Us Weekly posted photos of Kristen Stewart getting close with director Rupert Sanders this past summer, the "Twilight" star tried to clear things up, issuing a statement about the affair and her love for boyfriend Robert Pattinson.

"It goes around the world in the second," said Felder. "Sometimes it's all made up. After 20 minutes, it's sometimes impossible to know what's real and what's invented."