Fire, Poison, And Red Wine: The Worst Breakups Ever

In a July 4 rampage he may well regret for the next ten years, a Texas man set all his girlfriend's clothes on fire. But was this the worst breakup of all time?

Thirty-year-old Albert Briede's performance yesterday — as recounted in the Houston Press's Hair Balls blog — was pretty epic. After getting wasted with his girlfriend and another couple at a Houston-area club, he proceeded to drive home drunk, which took hours. When he finally got there, he broke his apartment's locked door "completely off its frame," and screamed at his sleeping girlfriend (she'd wisely taken a cab home), "Why did you make me do that?" The girlfriend called the cops, whereupon Briede decided to set fire to her shirts, causing their entire closet to go up in flames. Luckily a sprinkler system saved their building from total immolation, but Briede faces up to 10 years in prison and, presumably, the dissolution of his relationship.

But Albert's is not the only love to go up in smoke. Observe:

Medea and Jason
Okay, this is mythology, but the story sets the bar high for breakup crazy. In Euripides's version, Jason left Medea for another woman (for political reasons, because in Greek drama women only care about sex and dudes only care about affairs of state). Medea then presented said lady with a poisoned dress and diadem (like a tiara, basically) that made her skin fall off. Then she killed the kids she had with Jason, and took off in a chariot pulled by dragons. The Greeks were awesome.

Burt and Linda Pugach
Anyone who saw the documentary Crazy Love will be familiar with the story of Burt and Linda Pugach. He pursued her; she was flattered. He proposed; she accepted. He turned out to be already married, with a kid; she broke things off; he paid some guys to throw lye in her face. He went to jail; she remained a virgin until age 37, at which point she married him. Now she says, "I don't know if Burt loved me, I really never thought about it. What he did doesn't sound like love to me; does it to you? I must have forgiven him. I've been with him 34 years. I don't know what people think and I don't care." Adorbs!

Heather Mills and Paul McCartney
This breakup is memorable chiefly for its incredibly acrimonious divorce proceedings, which included Mills pouring water over the head of McCartney's lawyer. Mills, in turn, accused McCartney of pouring red wine on her — as well as pushing her, stabbing her in the arm with broken glass, and forbidding her from breastfeeding ("They are my breasts").

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Andre Rison
In perhaps the most famous story of relationship arson, TLC star Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes torched then-boyfriend Andre Rison's entire mansion while trying to burn his shoes. She also destroyed several cars. The now-deceased Left Eye got off with probation, but the lesson remains: fire is not the way to resolve relationship disputes. Instead, use a poisoned diadem.

Albert Briede: Montrose Man Celebrates July 4th In His Own Peculiar Way [Houston Press Hair Balls Blog]

Image via fuyu liu/Shutterstock.com.