Back in 2013, Gwyneth Paltrow was given the dubious honor from Star magazine of being the “most hated” celebrity. Perhaps it was her smug assertion of practicing clean eating; perhaps it was the names she gave her children; perhaps it was the fact that she was born into a world of privilege and never seemed to question what that afforded her; perhaps it’s her shameless name-dropping of all her famous and fabulous friends; perhaps it’s that she seems cold and uncool, yet still tries desperately to be the hip mom; or perhaps it was her lifestyle website and brand, Goop, which went to great lengths to show how out of touch with the rest of us she really was.
Whatever the reason, the Oscar-winning actress has earned just as many rivals, enemies, and frenemies as she has friends. Being in the public eye and on the A-list subjects one to quite a lot of scrutiny and criticism, and it seems that Paltrow has gotten a heaped scoop of both.
While there is plenty of reason to dislike Paltrow – rationally or irrationally – there are also the stars that have stood by her, some for decades! In her time in the spotlight, Paltrow has amassed quite a few friends and foes – here are 10 of each.
20 FEUD: Jessica Alba
While Gwyneth may have the monopoly on the celebrity-owned lifestyle website front, Jessica Alba is no slacker when it comes to her own natural brand of wellness products. As the CEO of The Honest Company, the actress’s brand is for the “everywoman” – something Paltrow is apparently not too keen on.
According to New York Daily News, Paltrow hasn’t been happy about comparisons between her business, Goop, and Alba’s, complaining that Alba is a “hypocrite” because “she’s rich but blogs for poor people, whereas Gwyneth is blogging about the things she loves, no matter the cost.” Like that $125k set of gold dumbbells, right?
19 FRIENDS: Christina Applegate
After meeting during filming of the 2003 flop View From the Top, Paltrow became fast friends with costar Christina Applegate. The two even have an ex in common: Brad Pitt! (Paltrow dated the star during the 1990s while Applegate ditched him mid-date back at the 1989 MTV Movie Awards, leaving him for Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach!)
The pair isn’t super tight, but seem to enjoy each other’s company and were photographed together during the early aughts, at parties, events, and during friendly excursions. In 2004, alongside Jack Black (Paltrow’s Shallow Hal costar), Applegate threw a bash in her friend’s honor!
18 FEUD: Dr. Jennifer Gunter
Goop has made its fair share of ridiculous claims in the name of health and wellness, and while most of its advice is taken with a grain of salt and a hefty eye roll, one doctor decided that the misinformation was going too far.
Dr. Jennifer Gunter blasted Paltrow and her lifestyle website back in January 2017 for dispensing “fact-deficient and potentially harmful” information and products aimed at women, as her website revealed. On the Goop site, the actress and/or her editors criticized Gunter, arguing that the doctor was “taking advantage of the attention and issuing attacks to build her personal platform.” The two have continued to strike back at one another, largely via Twitter.
17 FRIENDS: Dakota Johnson
It may surprise you to learn that Paltrow isn’t as cold as she seems when it comes to her ex’s current relationships. Case in point: actress Dakota Johnson. Johnson has been dating Paltrow’s ex-husband and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin for over a year now, and while last year things were still tenuous enough that the Fifty Shades of Grey star didn’t merit an invite to Thanksgiving, this year things were different!
This past November, the stars were all sorts of #modernfamily when they spent the holiday together, along with Paltrow’s new husband and the Paltrow-Martin kids! According to E!, “Gwyneth thinks [Dakota] is lovely. …They’ve spent a good amount of time together and have a very nice friendship.”
16 FEUD: Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow aren’t exactly best buddies.
Back in 2014, Paltrow enraged mothers everywhere when she suggested that mothers who work 9-to-5 jobs have it easier than she does as a working actress. “It’s much harder for me,” she said, as Entertainment Tonight reports.
Jolie had some harsh words for the actress in response, saying, “I’m not a single mom with two jobs trying to get by every day…I’m in a rare position where I don’t have to do job after job,” as E! reports. Her remarks were in direct contrast to Paltrow’s out-of-touch statement.
15 FRIENDS: Tracy Anderson
Celebrity fitness trainer Tracy Anderson has worked with many stars, from Jennifer Lopez to Lena Dunham, but the one she counts as a BFF is Gwyneth Paltrow! The two blondes met after the actress was struggling to lose the last few pounds after giving birth to son Moses, and so enlisted Anderson’s expertise. It was a match made in genetically-blessed and clean-eating heaven, as the women have been friends for the past decade!
Their friendship has extended into business too, as Paltrow told Women’s Day that she’s been a Tracy Anderson “fanatic” as well as an investor in her company.
14 FEUD: Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon may have made a recent appearance at Paltrow’s engagement party in April 2018, but things weren’t always so warm and fuzzy between the two blonde Oscar winners.
In an interview with People, Paltrow insisted that, despite having a lifestyle website like Witherspoon’s Draper James, there is “genuinely no competitive spirit between us.” Things were once different, however, when Paltrow was quoted as saying of Witherspoon, as The Guardian reports,
“Even [with] actresses that you really admire, like Reese Witherspoon, you think, ‘Another romantic comedy?’ You see in her something like Walk the Line and think, ‘God, you’re so great!’ And then you think, ’Why is she doing these stupid romantic comedies?’ But of course, it’s for money and status.”
13 FRIENDS: Robert Downey Jr.
After starring together in seven movies as couple Pepper Potts and Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it shouldn’t be any surprise that Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. grew very close in real life as well. In fact, they’ve known each other for a lot longer – about 20 years!
Paltrow told The Huffington Post that she took an “immediate shine” to the actor after meeting him in the 1990s, during his wild child days. They lost touch for a while, and then came back together in 2008 for the first Iron Man and have stuck together ever since! Cropping up regularly in her IG feed, #Pepperony still lives on, even though Paltrow has retired from the MCU.
12 FEUD: Jennifer Lopez
While Paltrow may be tight with her ex’s current GF Dakota Johnson, she wasn’t nearly so warm to Jennifer Lopez, the ex-fiancée of her former boyfriend Ben Affleck!
All the way back in 1998, Lopez spoke to Movieline and said that she couldn’t recall any film Paltrow had been in! She said, “Some people get hot by association. I heard more about her and Brad Pitt than I ever heard about her work.”
Just a year later, Paltrow won an Academy Award for her role in Shakespeare In Love. The two have never been seen together, and it simply seems to be a case of mutual dislike and ambivalence for each other.
11 FRIENDS: Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney and Paltrow have been besties for quite a while – about two decades! Not only do they always have each other’s backs (Paltrow has called McCartney her “life raft” and “sister”) and come from similar backgrounds, but they’ve transformed their friendship into a creative collaboration on multiple occasions!
The fashion designer has made a capsule collection for Goop (aptly called Stella McCartney x goop) and appeared on a Goop podcast, and Paltrow has regularly been seen donning McCartney’s creations, most notably at the reception of her recent wedding to Glee creator Brad Falchuk!
10 FEUD: Kate Moss
Once upon a time, these two were pretty tight, probably swapping clothes from their luxurious closets! Fast-forward to 2012 and the relationship between Paltrow and model Kate Moss definitely soured.
Back in March 2012 before a birthday party for Sir Philip Green in Mexico, the clean-living actress decided to go for a run before things got crazy. According to The Sun, Moss asked why Paltrow was running, to which the Oscar winner spat back, “So I don’t look like you when I get old.” The model let loose a stream of expletives and threw her bag of chips at Paltrow, telling her to “eat some carbs.”
9 FRIENDS: Anna Wintour
Gwyneth Paltrow may have said not too long ago (in 2013) that she didn’t find the fabulous Met Gala to be that fun, but she’s returned to the pink carpet this year, so we know she never fell out of Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s good graces.
In addition to Paltrow being featured on the cover of the lauded magazine over the years, the two stylish celebs have often been spotted in the front row at fashion shows, and in 2017 began talking about collaborating on a Goop magazine! According to Women’s Wear Daily, the magazine is “conceptualized as a collectible” and “Goop and Condé Nast (the publisher of Vogue) are natural partners.”
8 FEUD: Winona Ryder
Back in the 1990s, Winona Ryder and Paltrow were considered two of Hollywood’s hottest "It" girls. Before they hit the big time, they even shared an apartment together!
Unfortunately, it was professional goals that tore this former friendship apart. On her website in 2009, Paltrow wrote about an unnamed “frenemy” (rumored to by Ryder) who was “venomous, dangerous, and hellbent on taking me down.” The bad blood began when Paltrow spotted the script to Shakespeare In Love among her friend’s things, asked to audition, and won the role from Ryder – and the Oscar that went with it!
7 FRIENDS: Jennifer Aniston
They may have an ex in common – Brad Pitt, of course – but there’s no chill between besties Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston! In fact, both women had once been engaged to Pitt, but it was only Aniston who walked down the aisle.
Recently, long since Pitt has been a part of either woman’s lives, Aniston was spotted celebrating her friend’s engagement to Brad Falchuk. In a 2014 interview with Allure, Aniston addressed her unexpected friendship with the Goop creator, saying, “I’ve known her a long time. That woman has got style to the moon and back. Chic, effortless, gorgeous. This sums her up. She’s always been sweet to me.”
6 FEUD: Madonna
Like Winona Ryder and Kate Moss, Paltrow once counted Madonna among her closest friends, but the times have changed.
Once, these two bonded over having husbands from Britain and a love of music. Once Madge’s marriage went bust, Paltrow was there for her. In fact, the fallout apparently didn’t happen until the Material Girl decided to drop Paltrow BFF Tracy Anderson as her trainer. Combined with a lack of shared interests, the friendship fizzled out, leading to Madonna being “banned” from Paltrow’s inner circle, according to various news reports.
5 FRIENDS: Chris Martin
When it comes to celebrity exes, few have been as cuddly as Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow. While they caught a lot of flack for using the term “conscious uncoupling” to describe their divorce, that’s exactly how their separation has been!
With two kids between them, they have dedicated themselves to co-parenting and have welcomed one another’s new partners into their shared life with open arms. In an IG post, Paltrow even referred to her ex as her “brother” – that’s how platonically close they’ve become! Speaking to the Evening Standard, the actress said, “Chris is a very close friend. I see him every day, I talk to him every day.”
4 FEUD: Joan Rivers
Few people were as capable of inspiring ire in celebrities as the late Joan Rivers, and Paltrow wasn’t immune.
In 2014, the Fashion Police host told Andy Cohen that Paltrow was the biggest critic of her. Once, the star stormed the set of the show after a particularly unflattering critique. According to Rivers, “She came and yelled at us, but she stood up. She can’t sit down ‘cause she’s got a stick [somewhere]!” Earlier, in 2013, Paltrow had told Harper’s Bazaar, “I won’t do Botox again, because I looked crazy. I looked like Joan Rivers!”
Rivers also snapped that Paltrow had been voted “most beautiful” by Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder!
3 FRIENDS: Cameron Diaz
Despite rising to fame at around the same time in the mid-90s, it wasn’t until 2008 that blonde beauties Cameron Diaz and Paltrow became friends, after Paltrow reached out to Diaz following the death of her father. (Paltrow had lost her own father in 2002.)
They bonded over their shared interests in yoga, wellness, and healthy eating, and Diaz even wrote of Paltrow’s book It’s All Easy, “The easiest thing on earth to do is LOVE this woman and her cooking”, calling her “the epitome of a nurturer.”
Paltrow called her BFF her “biggest beauty mentor” in a 2016 interview with Elle. The two are often spotted together and Diaz even helped plan Paltrow’s recent wedding!
2 FEUD: Martha Stewart
The feud between Martha Stewart and Paltrow has become almost legendary, as both women butted heads over their shared interest in cooking and lifestyle empires.
In 2013 in an interview with Bloomberg, Stewart brushed off Paltrow’s Goop website, saying, “I think I started this whole category of lifestyle.” In an interview with Porter magazine in 2014, she was more explicit, saying Paltrow “just needs to be quiet. She’s a movie star. If she were confident in her acting, she wouldn’t be trying to be Martha Stewart.”
Paltrow fought back by sharing a recipe for “Jailbird Cake,” alluding to Stewart’s five-month stint in prison.
1 FRIENDS: Beyoncé
They seem like an unlikely pairing, but Beyoncé and Paltrow have one of the strongest friendships in Hollywood since meeting in 2006!
Paltrow's kids refer to Bey’s husband Jay-Z as “Uncle Jay” and Paltrow says her friendship with the couple has allowed her to “genuinely not [care] what strangers think of me,” she told Harper's Bazaar.
For Beyoncé, Paltrow has proven to be an invaluable source of advice, especially when it comes to raising kids. In 2013, the singer said, “She is incredible…She’s a great friend on every level. I think for us, protecting our daughters is so important.” The love has been mutual, with Paltrow frequently bragging of her A-list association with Queen Bey, as Flare reports.
Sources: E! News, The Guardian, People, The Sun, Allure, Harper's Bazaar