Hollywood Exes Keep It All in the Family

"Many ex-spouses are in conflict, and this undermines their children's emotional health and happiness. It is great to have celeb exes as role models who put aside their differences in order to come together and provide solid parenting for their children," said psychologist and relationship expert Diana Kirschner, author of "Love in 90 Days Boot Camp."

Russell and Kimora Simmons wed in 1998 and have two young daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki Lee. They split last year but remain friends and continue to work on their clothing businesses, Phat Farm and Baby Phat.

People magazine recently asked Simmons about his estranged wife's relationship with actor Djimon Hounsou.

"I don't know what they're doing, but he's a nice guy. She'd better be happy. He's one of the sweetest guys in the world," he said.

Simmons also told People, "We have our businesses together and our children, and we do everything for our children, no matter what."

The tough schedules and travel that actors must often contend with make celebrity romances difficult. Kirschner said couples who break must really focus to remain good parents after a divorce.

"Initial infatuation dies out, and this means that over time romance always has to be rekindled in a relationship. Many couples start out being in love with each other but then contend with too much time spent apart or other conflicts that stop them from nurturing that love and romance. If they still mesh well as a parental team, as friends and/or as business partners, they may hold on to those aspects of their relationship," Kirschner said.

More kind words came from Penelope Cruz about TomKat and their new baby Suri, less than three years after she and Cruise called it quits.

"I met Suri," said Cruz. "She is really beautiful. She is really special. One of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. And I am extremely happy for them. They are really happy and doing great." Cruz even posed with Katie Holmes at an Armani pre-Oscar event this year.

So what does the real world think of these exes befriending exes?

"If you're with someone for a long time, even if you break up, they become like family. No matter what, you want your family with you. Of course, even in a family situation, if your brother or sister is a jerk, you don't want them around. But I can totally understand why exes would remain friends," said Bettina Hill of Baltimore.

Myrna Taylor, also of Baltimore, isn't so sure about staying too close with the ex. "I don't think I'd want my ex at my wedding, that would be weird. But we have kids together and he's welcome at their parties and events. We'll always have the kids in common," she said.

And Meghann Gibbons of Tampa told ABC News' "Good Morning America": "Who knows if it's really done for true friendship or just for image and public perception. One would hope, though, that it's a good example of a mature relationship, and I would love for more people who aren't celebrities to be happy and not so nasty to their exes and to have harmonious grown-up relationships."

Sansing agreed and said: "It's very good for a celebrity's public image to get along with their exes and that person's new love. People are impressed when the situation is amicable. It's nice when they can set a good example for the rest of the world."

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