"Fans would talk s**t about Avril to me. I got a lot of negativity and backlash": Sum 41's Deryck Whibley on the unexpected challenges thrown up by his six-and-a-half year relationship with Avril Lavigne

Avril and Deryck
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Us Weekly Magazine)

Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley has spoken about the unexpected side effects of his marriage to, and subsequent divorce from, Avril Lavigne.

The two Canadian pop-punk stars met when Lavigne was 17 - "I made out with him the first day I met him" Lavigne once told Rolling Stone - and began dating two years later. They were married in California on July 15, 2006, but split three years later, with Lavigne citing "irreconcilable differences" in their relationship when filing for divorce in October 2009: their divorce was finalised in November 2010. 

In a new online interview with Q, Whibley admits that the relationship was met with negativity from its earliest days.

"Fans would talk shit about Avril to me. I just got a lot of negativity and backlash for being with a pop star at the time," he says. "Music genres were so sacred to people back then, and it felt like you couldn't coexist together."

In 2022, Whibley described the attention that the couple faced as "overwhelming".

"It became not about the music; it was my private life and gossip," he told Metro. "And it was constant. You can imagine it was overwhelming."

In what may have been one of the most inadvisable decisions he's ever made, in 2012 Whibley chose to attend a Halloween party in Los Angeles with this then-girlfriend Ari Cooper by dressing up as Lavigne (Whibley) and her then partner Chad Kroeger from Nickelback.

“Hey Deryck, loved the costumes!” Kroeger responded via Nickelback’s official Twitter account. “We were going to dress up as you guys this year but all the parties had celebrity themes haha.”


Sum 41's new album Heaven :x: Hell is set for release on March 29.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.