It’s been a little more then a year since Jennie Garth’s 11-year marriage to actor Peter Facinelli ended suddenly, and at his request. While life and career has seemingly moved forward for each, in Hollywood one never has to look far for a sympathetic ear whose been through it as well. She has lots of company among leading ladies who have struggled through divorce and fought their way back to happiness.
Many leading ladies endure and even improve through divorce. There’s perhaps no better living example of this then Sandra Bullock. Her pairing with motorhead Jesse James was the very definition of a crazed, only-in-L.A. matrimony. Her behavior was also a good model of how to handle such a calamitous and instantaneous split- with both grace and calm. She even continued ahead with the adoption of a baby boy that had begun while the two were still wed.
Sandra’s split, of course, was far more public- and embarrassing- and insulting- and unfathomable then any of Jennie’s known ordeals. Just days after she had gushed over their marriage while accepting the Oscar for The Blind Side, her husband’s man-exploits were publicly exposed. The signature accomplishment in her chosen profession was instantly marred by a 5’ 6’’ walking tattoo. Still, the guilt and emptiness both she and Jennie likely shared is almost universal for a maligned partner.
Roseanne Barr certainly knows her way around the industry of marriage. Thrice divorced, she was suddenly reunited with second husband Tom Arnold earlier this month during the taping of the latest Comedy Central Roast. Roseanne is this year’s honored recipient. “We have not been in the same room for 18 years,” Tom explained to the crowd before recapping what he called their “white trash Camelot” with a typical X-rated roast-style set. Since their great divide, Roseanne married her former bodyguard Ben Thomas, with whom she has a son. They split in 2002 and now she seems to have settled back into pseudo-single life. She co-inhabits a nut farm she purchased in Hawaii with boyfriend Johnny Argent. That’s not a punchline, and neither was the short-lived reality show Roseanne’s Gone Nuts. Still, she seems happy and at peace among the nuts.
Heidi Klum is also rebounding fast. This fall she’s set to be the centerpiece of a new ad campaign for Jordache. This just a few months after filing for divorce from musician husband Seal. During the transition she told Elle Magazine, “It’s emotions inside of your body that are a tornado. And then the outside world doing all this craziness—with you wanting it or not wanting it—is another tornado.” She certainly deserves credit for taking the high ground, not dishing her marital grievances to the press. “Every couple goes through things. Unfortunately, we’re in the public, so the highs are out there. But I don’t think it’s necessary—especially for our children—to have the lows being printed in magazines and talked about.”
Luckily for Jennie G, her split has not garnered the bitter headlines of scandal as many- though she’s been quite candid about the experience. “I have no landscape of what my future will look like,” she told People Magazine not long after the papers were filed. The grounds were irreconcilable differences. The couple had met while filming the 1996 TV film An Unfinished Affair, and wed four years later. They now share custody of their three daughters. He’s a semi-regular on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie these days – while she’s headlining her own CMT reality show called Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country. As for getting back in the game, she recently told Fox News, ”I always said I would rather lick a dirty floor than go back to dating. I have training wheels on right now.”
So there is life and hope in Hollywood following a divorce. Some bounce back quickly, some take more time. When the public eye is on both parties, those recoveries can become more complicated. They can also become distorted to outsiders. Garth, who has lost noticeable weight since the announced separation, has been portrayed in the press as both a trimmer, healthier woman – and also a depressed and dangerously thin sad sack. While it’s hard for outsiders to accurately gauge the effect, the sign that both continue to work and care for their children is perhaps the best barometer.
Will King is a television and media critic who splits his time as a stand up comic. He collects conspiracy theories and claims to have invented Teflon. In his spare time he follows presidential politics and all traffic signs. He lives in Charlotte, NC.
Selma: Divorce doesn’t always mean a broken home for the children involved. Jennie Garth is a strong and independent woman… a true role model! I recommend this DiscoveryGame to help all couples who have gone through a divorce that involves children make a strong and stable home!
Giulia: Will Jennie Garth jump back into the dating scene or lay low for awhile? Who knows! One certainty thing is that social media doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. So why not use this as a dating tool?! Platforms may rise and fall in popularity, but this would appear to be the new phone book/nightclub of our times. I recommend this TokiiLab article to see how your social media accounts can actually be a dating playground!