Reese Witherspoon’s divorce from Ryan Phillippe brought an end to almost a decade of marriage. Here’s what went wrong.
Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, two American A-List movie actors, were one of the hottest couples in Hollywood during the 90s. The duo first crossed paths in 1997 at Reese Witherspoon’s 21st birthday party. Something sparked between the two, with Witherspoon even telling Phillippe he was her birthday present. Afterward, the lovebirds took their relationship to the next level and started dating.
Even on-screen, their relationship seemed destined for greatness when they were cast in the theatrical film “Cruel Intentions” in 1998. Witherspoon and Phillippe reprised their chemistry perfectly for the movie, and it helped launch them into superstardom. A few weeks after the movie got released, the couple upped the ante when they exchanged vows in a breathtaking romantic wedding at the Old Wide Awake Plantation near the Stono River in South Carolina.
However, Witherspoon was already noticeably pregnant as the couple exchanged vows. At just 23, the actress gave birth to the couple’s first child, Ava Elizabeth. The pair welcomed their daughter just three months after their wedding. Everything looked plain sailing between the couple until 2002 when Phillippe disclosed they were in couples therapy. Although the revelation felt like something had gone wrong, the actor reassured fans they were doing it for the right reasons. According to him:
“The biggest mistake is not doing that, ignoring it, and having the marriage fall apart because of laziness.”
Meanwhile, Witherspoon also touched on their relationship, explaining they didn’t have a picture-perfect family. Instead, the actress disclosed they were just like any other family with normal problems. Still, just a year later, the couple welcomed their second child, a son named Deacon, four years after their daughter. However, their relationship didn’t last very long after that.
Witherspoon and Phillippe Filed for a Divorce
Three years after conceiving their son, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe decide to end their seven-year relationship. The shocking announcement happened in October 2006 and marked the ending of almost a decade of romance and marital bliss. According to court documents, Witherspoon cited irreconcilable differences for wanting a divorce.
Witherspoon asked for physical custody of their two children in the divorce papers submitted to the Los Angeles Superior Court. She also demanded that Philippe be given sole visitation rights without receiving spousal support. At the time, rumors Phillippe had cheated on her with Australian actress Abbie Cornish flew about. However, the actor vehemently denied it saying:
“I’m not a perfect person, but I m not guilty of a lot of the things I have been accused of. My priority is and always has been the health and safety of my family.”
Reese Witherspoon Explained How the Divorce Affected Her
In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, Reese Witherspoon talked openly about her divorce from her ex-husband Ryan Phillippe. The actress discussed how difficult the time was for her and how the whole ordeal almost ruined her career. The mother of two noted:
“Simply put, I was having career trouble. I wasn’t producing stuff I was enthusiastic about. Furthermore, it was abundantly evident that the audience weren’t responding to anything I was saying. When your brain feels like it’s made of scrambled eggs, you can’t really be very creative.”
Witherspoon admitted that for a few years, all she did was an attempt to feel better. The actress also talked about reading a news piece in 2012 where she was listed among actors that were no longer stars. The mother of two explained the story hurt her feelings, and it made her feel like she was reading the profile of another person.
Ryan Phillippe Also Opened Up About the Divorce
Meanwhile, Witherspoon was not alone in her after-divorce struggles. Her ex-husband Phillippe in a W Magazine interview, Ryan Phillippe admitted that going through the divorce was the darkest and saddest time of his life. The actor revealed he could not get out of bed for four to five months afterward. Although it was a difficult process, he managed to survive it, and every day, he felt less depressed about it.
The actor also denied gossip reports that Witherspoon’s success overshadowing his was a contributing factor. Instead, he revealed their separation was caused by something more complicated but les interesting than the rumors.
Phillippe also continued by addressing the claims that an affair with Abbie Cornish caused his divorce. The actor stated that he was already experiencing issues in his marriage long before he even met Cornish; he felt it was unjust for Cornish to be referred to as what she was.
The Couple Have Both Moved On
During an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on the Ellen show, Phillippe touched on co-parenting with Witherspoon. The actor revealed that things were great between them and lauded both their efforts for the children. He said:
“We go to all the school events together, and we’re there for each other. We’ve done a really good job with that, and our kids are happy, healthy, and doing awesome.
Meanwhile, Witherspoon has since remarried after their divorce. At the age of 37, in the spring of 201, in a discreet ceremony at her ranch in Ojai, California, Reese Witherspoon remarried top talent agent Tim Roth. The couple welcomed their son Tennessee James shortly after.