A perfect formula that can predict which celebrity marriages will end in divorce has apparently been developed by two New York Times journalists.
Science reporter John Tierney and statistician Garth Sundem came up with the equation after spending years analysing celebrity gossip columns and reports, the Daily Mail reported.
Five years ago, Tierney and Sundem set themselves the lofty goal of predicting the success or failure of celebrity marriages - in the name of science.
The duo put their expertise in statistics and science reporting to good use by devising an equation that they argued could work out whether a marriage would work.
Their variables included the relative fame of the husband and wife, their ages, the length of their courtship, their marital history, and the sex-symbol factor, which Tierney and Sundem determined by looking at the woman's attire in her first five Google hits.
Five years later, Tierney and Sundem believe they have collected the empirical evidence to prove the so-called Sundem/Tierney Unified Celebrity Theory.
In his column in the New York Times, Tierney noted their formula predicted breakups from Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock and Britney Spears and Kevin Federline.
It also predicted that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, and Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso would stay married, which is also true.
However, the formula wasn't perfect; for example, the duo predicted the demise of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, a union that is still going strong.
And now, Sundem and Tierney have a new and improved and even simpler formula for predicting celebrity marital success.
The ratio of the number of mentions in the New York Times, divided by National Enquirer mentions.
The new formula reveals that it's the quality, not quantity, of the fame that is the biggest predictor - and having more tabloid fame than Times fame dooms the relationship. However, the duo also realised that it is the wife's fame that really matters.