Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wait, He Was HOW Old When They Got Together?

Randy Travis is 51.  Libby Hatcher is 69.  They first met 34 years ago, when Randy won a music contest at Libby’s bar in Charlotte, NC.  Math tells me that she was 35 and he was 17.  They formed a business relationship that after a few years blossomed into a romance and eventually a marriage.

Now it appears that Libby can blame a younger woman for the death of her 19-year marriage.  The divorce of Randy Travis and Elizabeth “Libby” Hatcher was finalized yesterday.  Rumor has it the split was prompted when Libby caught Randy in the clinch with their dentist’s wife, who is herself 51.

One imagines Randy enacting the classic symptoms of a mid-life crisis, marveling at having sex with a woman who isn’t yet finished going through menopause.  Positively decadent!

Libby is staying on as Randy’s manager.  How weird is that going to be?  Given that the couple’s assets will be split between them, now seems a perfect time for Libby to retire and enjoy herself.  But I imagine that to her it feels like retirement would just reinforce her age.  And he probably agreed to retain her out of guilt.  He owes her so much, and it’s bad enough that he’s taking her Mrs. Randy Travis role away from her. He can’t take the role of Randy Travis’s Manager away from her, too.

I suspect that in a few months, they will both conclude that it’s just not working.  At that point, I hope Libby takes her share of their assets and goes for an extended European vacation.  And that she returns from that vacation accompanied by a distinguished gentleman of mature years who is charmed by her wit and bewitched by charm.  Meanwhile, the dentist’s wife will become a fuzzy memory, crowded out by the bevvy of 50-something women parading through Randy’s touring bus as he revels in his new life as a single man. 

Friday, October 29, 2010


Camille Grammer reported to The New York Post that her husband Kelsey convinced her to participate in Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in order to distract her from his affair with an air hostess.  “I was very reluctant because I’m a very private person,” the Playboy model said.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Achy Breaky Breakup

Billy Ray Cyrus.  First he was Mister Achy Breaky Heart, with the swiveling pelvis and in-your-face mullet to prove it.  Then nothing for a little while.  Then Doc Somebody in some obscure series on some obscure channel.  Then he re-fashioned himself as Hannah! Montana’s! Dad!

(Now instead of the mullet, it’s the soul patch.  What is it with this guy and hair fads?  I feel like he’s desperately trying to tell us he’s “not that kind of a country singer/Christian/family man.”  “No man, I’m cool!  I’m cool!”  You’re trying too hard, Billy Ray!  You should have just dropped the middle name when you graduated high school.  Like my cousins Bertha Rae and Lita Sue, who are now Rae and Lita, respectively.  I know changing your name seems like a big deal at the time, but believe me, in the long run it’s a lot easier and cheaper than trying to navigate your Insider/Outsider identity via your hairstyle.)

Emanating from this roller coaster of Billy Ray’s mediocrity has always been a suggestion of wholesomeness that refreshed those in need of refreshing wholesomeness. To the rest of us, it was just a sort of fuzzy blur in our peripheral vision.  In the sense that we wished the man no actual physical harm, in spite of the fact that he seemed to have overstayed his achy breaky welcome.

But there have been signs that all is not what it seems in Wholesomeville.  Remember Miley’s pole dance on top of an ice cream cart?  Miley’s provocative cell phone pics?  Miley’s "topless" Vanity Fair spread?  Sure, the girl still sings crappy pre-teen schlock.  But she’s got breasts, and she’s not afraid to use them.

(In the back of my mind, the Scissor Sisters are singing, “How do you stop a girl like Miley.”)

And then there’s Noah, about whom I can only say

Um . . .

So I think this is what split Tish and Billy Ray.  Tish wants the girls to Make It In The Business (note that Tish is the one out shopping with Miss Bra), and Billy Ray is trying to keep the family in that precarious but safe space between semi-obscure performer and sleazeball masturbation target.  Don’t expect things to get better once the divorce goes through.  Miley will be 18 soon, and is clearly ready to spread her . . . wings.  And Noah’s at that age where she’s certainly not going to listen to her conservative father, no matter what cool hairstyle he’s rocking.  That’s the great thing about divorce.  Nothing else quite matches it for helping an adolescent pit one parent against the other.

Oh, and, confidential to  I don’t know who you are, but here’s a big FUCK YOU to for claiming that

When people think of country music, Billy Ray Cyrus is the first person that usually comes to mind. He is thought to have been the one that made country music as popular as it is today. 

That is utter bullshit, and I hope that Zombie Johnnie Cash invades your house and eats your brains for saying it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Happens When You Marry Your Mistress (and You Exercise Absolute Sovereign Authority)

OK, so I didn’t call that one quite right.  It’s pretty clear I didn’t factor in an important -- if obscure -- variable:  a wandering husband with near absolute sovereign authority.  Beholden to no one, the unfaithful spouse can take his folly to its logical extreme.  He was bewitched by her beauty and sexuality before, so once he’s tired of her, he can accuse her of being an actual witch.  Separating from the first wife turned into a long, tortuous, starter divorce, in which it took forever just to get her to move into her own apartment.  Having lived through the delicate ballet of entertaining his girlfriend while his wife was still making his shirts, a husband knows know how to streamline the effort the next time around.  Divorce simply takes too damn long!  There’s got to be a more expedient way to get out of this marriage. 

The other variable I left out:  powerful friends with a vested interest in the outcome of your relationship.  Everyone has an angle in this world.  Get the king to look on your daughter with favor and ensure the wealth and fame of your entire family.  (Until he changes his mind, of course.)  Get a job playing first fiddle for the second wife, and find yourself receiving an intense height adjustment on the rack.  No accusation is too outrageous:  She did it with a hundred men!  She did it with her brother!  She did it with the third knight on the left who hosted a joust at great personal expense because the king asked him to!

But it’s still a script.  Maybe a less common one, but with its own standard features nonetheless.  Witness the plight of Grace Mugabe, the young wife of old President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.  Grace was Robert’s mistress and bore him two children before his first wife died.  At which time they celebrated “the Wedding of the Century.”  She is now facing public accusations of infidelity, attributed at least in part to tribal competition for the ailing Mugabe’s wealth and power in this time of his dotage and in anticipation of his post-dotage.  The president’s sister informed him of the rumors on her deathbed.  Consequently, a bodyguard was poisoned simply for knowing of these rumors.  Suspected past lovers have also been eliminated.  Various factions in Harare and environs are undoubtedly jockeying for advantage -- or safety -- at this very moment.

Too bad they weren’t keeping up with their sensational British historical dramas.  Or maybe they were . . .

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

That's Mrs. Skeevy Douchebag to You!!!

Jacob Bernstein has a great piece in the Daily Beast about how no one close to Ginni Thomas has any idea why she left a message for Anita Hill last week, inviting her to take back her Congressional testimony of twenty years ago that Clarence Thomas was a skeevy douchebag.

While Bernstein’s journalistic standards won’t allow him to engage in idle speculation on a respected site like the Daily Beast, we here at Breakup Watch are all about the idle speculation!  And here’s mine:  Ginni has long felt insecure about her place in Clarence Thomas’s heart, due to his porn addiction and random other instances of sexual acting out.  Most of the time, she keeps her insecurity underwraps, channeling it into her uber-conservative causes, desperately trying to appeal to Thomas’s interests in legal philosophy and distract him from the exploits of Long Dong Silver.  But something must have happened in the last few weeks that sent Ginni over the edge.  Maybe she heard that Clarence’s ex-girlfriend would be going public about his odd behavior?  Maybe, after a promising period of sobriety, Clarence dove off the sexual addiction wagon?

Ginni is desperate to regain her equilibrium.  Anita Hill’s accusations were the earthquake that caused the first visible fissures in the idyllic life she and Clarence were building together.  Getting Anita to take it all back would be like going back in time, preventing the earthquake, and erasing the cracks.  Ginni forgot for a moment that even when the earth’s not shaking, the fault is still there.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

33 Chilean Miners Break Up

33 Chilean miners took 36-hours to break up yesterday and go back to their wives and/or girlfriends.  Not surprisingly, the miners had worked together in very close quarters and under intense conditions before their 69-day adventure getaway.

Well-wishers around the world are congratulating the men for going back to their families.

[Many thanks to the rescure team that made it all possible.  You are heroes.]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sometimes Dirrty Girls Get the Blues

What a busy week here at Breakup Watch headquarters!  It seems that the Aguilera-Bratmans were standing in line behind the Dern-Harpers and the Cox-Arquettes at the Divorce Store this weekend.  There must have been a Columbus Day Sale.  Thanks for keeping the economy going, guys!

Jordan Bratman is a “music marketer.”  Sounds like a match made in heaven for Christina, who is known for carefully managing and periodically refreshing her brand.  From former Mousketeer pop princess, to Dirrty Xtina, to the Euro Vamp she is today, Christina has always made sure to that what the public sees is only what she wants the public to see.  Cf. Mickey Mouse Show classmate Britney Spears, who is only now starting to get her public persona under control and has so far failed to link that persona to her actual stage performance.

But give it some thought, and you’ll realize the Christina-Jordan union was had very little hope.  Having their personal lives and professional lives so closely linked exaggerates the peaks and valleys in those lives.  If Christina’s not as successful as she expected to be, she can blame Jordan, and Jordan can get defensive.  If Christina’s successful but annoyed with Jordan, she can claim to be be successful in spite of him, and he can claim to be taken for granted.  Commence downward spiral. 

Add to that the fact that Christina started performing at 10 and got married at 25.  Now, in my opinion, people under 30 are not qualified to be married.  If you grow up a performer -- like Christina -- add 7-10 years before you’re ready to form a workable life partnership.  It’s not that I have something against 25-year-olds.  It’s just that, unless you’re a 13th century serf, you’re not fully formed at 25.  You haven’t learned how to hire contractors to work on your house.  You haven’t entered into, endured, and escaped from soul-crushing relationships with jerks.  And it’s those relationships that teach you how to choose your partner in life. 

So, yeah, Christina and Jordan have separated.  The question isn’t “How did this happen?”  The question is “Who didn’t see this coming?

Who's Your Mamma?!?

David Arquette went on Howard Stern’s radio show today and revealed that Courtney Cox is tired of being his mother.

When I first heard this, I was confused.  I imagined Courtney nagging David for leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor and making himself scarce whenever she wanted to slip out for a night with the girls and needed someone to look after Coco.  They have a domestic staff to handle those chores, don’t they?

But then I remembered two people of my acquaintance:  Alex and Lucy.  They’ve been married for many years, and have always had this weird Mean Mommy/Bad Boy dynamic that just creeps me the hell out.  She expresses her disapproval of certain vices and prohibits him from engaging in them.  He sneaks around her to do what he wants and recruits his friends to help him.  Alex acts as if he has no power in this relationship, Lucy is a controling she-devil, and he must sneak behind her back.  But he has all the power in the world to be on his own, or even to choose someone with similar tastes.  He chooses Lucy.  Something deep inside of him needs that disapproving mommy figure, no matter how much he bitches about her to his friends and random strangers.

As creepy as it is to me, Alex and Lucy have a good thing going -- for them!  Surely there are couples for whom the Bad-Boy-Gets-Caught-Being-Naughty-so-Sexy-Mommy-Must-Punish-Him scene is a healthy part of their sexual dynamic.  But for that to work, both spouses must be on board (like Alex and Lucy -- <shudder!>).  According to David, however, Courtney was not on board.  She did not get a thrill from catching him oggling other women/doing blow with Scream extras/obsessively viewing porn/staying up all night playing online poker, and then planning her exquisite punishment.   She wanted an equal partner who gave as much of himself to the family as she did.  She probably assumed that’s what she was getting, or at least that he’d grow into it.  Apparently she’s no longer so sure.  And by sharing all this with Howard Stern, David, it would seem, isn’t so sure either. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Courtney Cox and David Arquette: Called It!

Courtney Cox and David Arquette have separated.  David has been photographed with another woman.

Called it!

Called it long, long before Courtney began talking about being in marriage counseling.

When Courtney and David got married, Courtney changed her name to Courtney Cox Arquette.  They even changed her credit on Friends.  At some point recently, she seems to have dropped the Arquette, but it was too late.

People get married all the time.  Many of them (most of them women) take their partner’s last names.  Actors, however, hardly ever change their professional names when they marry.  Especially when they’ve already established a career under their stage name.  Paul Newman never asked Joanne Woodward to change her name.  Nor did Hugh Cronyn asked Jessica Tandy to change hers.

As far as I can tell, a well-known actress who changes her professional name to her husband’s is guaranteed to divorce.

Roseanne Arnold.

Robin Wright Penn.

Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.

Jada Pinkette Smith (wait for it).

Portia DeGeneres? (I suspect Portia does not intend to use DeGeneres as her professional name, in which case, she and Ellen are safe.  Also, Portia de Rossi DeGeneres?  You’re kidding, right?)

Who have I forgotten?  List them in the comments.
So why do some famous actors change their names?  It’s a red flag of insecurity.  The husband (sorry, Ellen!) feels insecure about marrying a woman whose career is farther along than his.  He worries that he’s being eclipsed.  He tags his new wife with his last name to make sure she goes nowhere without him. 

And don’t forget her insecurity!  She tells herself that changing her established professional name is no big deal.  She’s not willing to risk losing the man over a name.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t understand that the name is symptomatic of something so much larger.  And she doesn’t consider that a man who’d leave over a name most likely has other issues that will stand in the way of a successful marriage.

Catching Up with The Tudors: No Spoilers, Please!

I just finished watching the first season of The Tudors.  Holy cow they had a lot of sex in 16th century England!  I love how a man could earn himself a title and an estate by not causing a stink when his wife bears the king’s love child.  It’s as if the Bill Clinton/Paula Jones/John Edwards/Rielle Hunter fiascos were blended together somehow to create an epic Win Cake.

I also love how the dissolution of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s marriage follows the universal script.  He re-writes history (I never really loved you/your previous marriage to my brother makes our 20-year marriage invalid).  He shows avid interest in hobbies and passtimes he had previously shunned (the musical stylings of Shania Twaine/Protestantism).  He screams irrational vitriol (You won’t be happy until you’ve SUCKED every ounce of LIFE out of me!!!!!/So you were a fucking virgin!  That’s NOT the POINT!!!!!).  Good times.

At the end of Season 1, Henry is still trying to divorce Catherine, and things are getting steamier and steamier with his mistress, Ann Boleyn.  So, assuming the show continues to follow the typical pattern of infidelity, this is what I expect to see in Season 2: 

Henry finally gets his divorce and immediately marries Ann.  This will be the legal follow up to the “spiritual” (i.e., sham) wedding they would have celebrated among close friends and supporters before the divorce was final.  Henry will focus on his “new family” and only see young Mary every other weekend. 

Catherine, if she knows what’s good for her, will start getting out more and being seen around England by mutual friends, who will report back to Henry that she looks really good.  She’s lost weight and she’s wearing her hair differently.  She’ll be seen laughing and smiling, and word will go around court of what a smart, funny lady she is, and how could someone walk away from that? 

Every time Henry and Ann hear a story about how well Catherine is doing, they’ll ratchet up the extravagance of their own relationship until it nears hysteria.  Loud parties, flashy bling, exciting raids on monasteries, and the like.  But behind the scenes, tension is rising.  He feels like her family is always always underfoot.  She thinks he admires her ladies in waiting too much.  For a while, the sex will still be good enough and frequent enough for them to ignore the problems.  But eventually the bloom will fall from that Tudor Rose, and Henry will find it near impossible to be civil in Ann’s presence.  “I left my wife because we had no spiritual common ground,” he’ll shout.  Ann will be surprised to find herself thinking nostalgically of the days when Henry and Catherine were still married, and Ann and Henry were so very much in love.  At some point, she’ll discover that Catherine continues to communicate with Henry about their daughter and various business matters.  Henry chafes at Ann’s questions and finds her insecurity exasperating.  In their ugliest fight, Henry hits her while she’s holding their daughter.  Nobles at court debate whether Henry is truly out of control, or whether Ann provoked it in front of witnesses in order to gain sympathizers. 

After that, Ann moves out and starts complaining that Henry doesn’t provide enough to support his daughter.  Eventually she marries a commoner with a white knight complex.  Henry cycles through a series of short-lived marriages, and enters into frequent rants about being cursed with a long list of crazy exes.  Catherine marries again as well, and this, her third husband, becomes the second great love of her life.  When she thinks of Henry, she can’t help but think of the great man she once knew who now seems lost forever.  But then she turns to her new husband and smiles in gratitude for her own good fortune.

At least that’s what I think will happen.  Don’t spoil it for me!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"We've been separated since January?!?"

Ben Harper has filed for divorce from Laura Dern after five years of marriage.  His plea states that they’ve been separated for months, but her friends say they’ve been together -- including “being together,” if you know what I mean -- that whole time. 

I’ve never even heard of Ben Harper.  Which sort of explains a lot.  He left his first wife after four years of marriage and two kids.  Apparently, a moderately wealthy, moderately well-known, certainly well-networked girlfriend represented a good career move. 

But now he’s leaving her.  And claiming they’ve been separated for six months.  Which was apparently a surprise to her.  But Laura also must be seriously deja vu-ing about the time Billy Bob Thornton broke off their engagement by marrying Angelina Jolie.  Girlfriend can’t catch a break, even when she marries it and gives it two kids!

Divorcing your wife when she doesn’t realize you’re separated and that the sex you had last week was not a conjugal visit is the behavior of a man caught up in an affair.  It’s the sort of sneak attack you make when when the girlfriend you’re infatuated with threatens to break up with you if you don’t leave the wife who’s lost her allure.  Or possibly the coup de grace of a conniver who wanted to finalize certain legal and financial arrangements without arousing suspicion in order to assure every advantage to himself during proceedings.

How does Laura pick these creeps?  Well, that’s probably the problem.  She’s not picking anyone.  She’s had relationships with any number of famous (or famous-ish) men.  She works at getting them to pick her, then tries to nail that down.  Never stopping to ask if she really wants a man who leaves his wife and two kids for a career-enhancing girlfriend or a man who spent more time divorcing his previous three wives than enjoy marriage with them.  I bet that before she married Ben, she frequently complained to her girlfriends that “I can never get them to stay!”  I doubt she ever asked herself “Do I want to keep him?”