I’ve been reading a little and hearing a lot this week about actor Mel Gibson’s wife Robyn, with whom he has nine(count ’em) kids, filing divorce papers. It is said that it will possibly be one of the most expensive divorces in Hollywood history. I guess so …they’ve been married 28 years….and there was evidently no pre-nup, so she gets half. And, of course, there are the pictures on the beach of the middle-aged Gibson, staring out pensively at the waves, while a young beauty in a bikini waits for him. Aaaahhhhh, it must be fabulous to be Mel.
It made me think of a group of women I met back in the 80s….we were doing a story about the ex-wives of famous men who had been dumped by their hubbies. They had formed a group called L.A.D.I.E.S…..which stood for “life after divorce is eventually sane.” We met Lynn Landon, ex-wife Michael Landon, then a big star from Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven….and a number of others. Even with a nice fat divorce settlement, which not all of them got, life changes in big ways and little ones. You are no longer Mrs. Landon, as in…”oh, we have a wonderful table for you Mrs. Landon”, “I’ll bring the car right around for you Mrs. Landon”. You are now the ex….with all perks revoked. And some of them had to scrape for money. It was interesting to hear their stories, of a life lost, but going on to find new ones, and sometimes, better ones.
Oh, and while I was in this apartment overlooking the Pacific(someone wasn’t doing too badly), I had this horrendous coughing fit. They all thought I was choking, and started holding my arms over my head, but I couldn’t stop coughing long enoughto get out that I really was ok, just give me a minute. I don’t know if the group is still around…it was in 1994 when this article in People Magazine appeared….maybe today made up of new ex-wives who need a support group. Ladies, ladies, ladies…I guess Robyn Gibson could start it afresh, as she finds that indeed, life after divorce is eventually sane.