Levine credits his extended family for his success with the opposite sex. "One of my theories on why I'm so capable of understanding women is that after my parents split, my mom moved in with her brother's ex-wife—my aunt—who was also newly single," he says. "So I was living in a house with two jilted women, plus my cousin, who's more like my sister, and my brother, Michael, who we eventually find out is gay. Just the estrogen alone . . . You know when you're 14 and terrified to talk to a girl? I didn't suffer much from that. It seemed very natural to me to talk to girls."

After the band's three-year tour supporting the 2002 album Songs About Jane, Levine triumphantly returned to L.A. and embarked on an epic canoodling binge. Among his rumored partners: Lindsay Lohan, Kirsten Dunst, Maria Sharapova, and Paris Hilton.

"There's two kinds of men," Levine posits. "There are men who are fucking misogynist pigs, and then there are men who just really love women, who think they're the most amazing people in the world. And that's me. Maybe the reason I was promiscuous, and wanted to sleep with a lot of them, is that I love them so much."

•••


Levine is in the Italian restaurant at the InterContinental in San Jose, Costa Rica, nibbling on sushi, which his assistant has arranged to be served from the Japanese eatery next door. Later that night, Levine and his bandmates will perform in front of 20,000 people, many of whom will impatiently chant "Aaa-dum, Aaa-dum" while the Flaming Lips play.

Midway through the meal, Levine pauses to answer his phone. "Hey, baby," he whispers. "Can I call you back? I'm in the middle of an interview . . . Love you." An indiscreet peek at his iPhone's wallpaper reveals a photo of his girlfriend of two years, Vyalitsyna, who is back in Russia. I ask about the difficulties of a long-distance relationship. "Yeah, love is hard when you're never able to love them," he says. "We're in contact constantly. But it's not easy. It's not something you choose . . . it chooses you. These are what I call champagne problems, though." He waves off other questions about their relationship. "Publicizing a relationship is dicey to me," he says. "I don't think any relationship responds well to pressure. We're both under so much pressure to begin with. Why not keep this beautiful island of distraction to ourselves?"

To his credit, Levine maintains that vow of silence the following week, when Vyalitsyna announces, via People magazine, that the pair have split. "Adam and I have decided to separate in an amicable and supportive manner," her statement reads. "We still love and respect each other as friends." The other tabloids scramble to catch up—US Weekly quotes "a Levine pal" that the singer "was blindsided" and "heartbroken." The only public statement Levine offers, to Access Hollywood, is a gentlemanly reply to the actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, who volunteered on Ellen to be his rebound hookup: "It's very flattering and very sweet, and it was lovely to hear."

Blindsided though he may have been, Levine doesn't seem the type to stew over a breakup, and the next months will provide plenty of distraction, anyhow—the culmination of Season 2 of The Voice, his first acting role, on FX's American Horror Story, and the release of the new Maroon 5 album. Levine will be surrounded by producers, directors, assistants, team members, yoga instructors, friends, family, and probably a beautiful new girlfriend or three, and he wouldn't have it any other way. "I love attention," he'd said on the plane. "I can't stand not having it. It just has to be the right kind." He nodded over at his bandmates. "To do what you love, to be with the people you love? That's all I want. That's the 'kwan.'"



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Adam Levine: Behind the Scenes
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