"Eat, Pray, Love" Author Elizabeth Gilbert Opens Up About Separation

Twelve years after falling in love with “Felipe” in Bali, bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert is separating from her husband.

By Avital Borisovsky
July 05, 2016
Elizabeth Gilbert discusses separation

After her first divorce from Michael Cooper in 2002, Elizabeth Gilbert took a journey around the world – a journey that led her to write her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia (Riverhead Books, 2006). It was at the end of her travels that she met José Nunes, whom she later married.

Almost 10 years later after tying the knot, Gilbert announced on Friday that she will be splitting from Nunes.

“I am separating from the man whom many of you know as ‘Felipe’ – the man whom I fell in love with at the end of the EAT PRAY LOVE journey,” she shared on Facebook. “He has been my dear companion for over 12 years, and they have been wonderful years. Our split is very amicable. Our reasons are very personal.”

As portrayed in the book, Gilbert’s trip included enjoying the local food of Italy, discovering spirituality in India, and finally, falling in love with Nunes in Bali. What started as a trip to recover from her messy divorce later turned into a second marriage, which took place in 2007. The couple lived in Frenchtown, New Jersey running an Asian import store called Two Buttons. 

Gilbert's story resonated with many readers, selling more than 10 million copies of the New York Times Bestseller worldwide since being published in 2006. Four years later, Gilbert’s travels appeared on the big screen in the film adaptation starring Julia Roberts. In 2008, she was listed in Time 100 as one of the 100 most influential people.

In 2010, Gilbert went on to write a follow-up book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage (Viking, 2010), which picked up where Eat, Pray, Love left off – further detailing her relationship with Nunes.

After announcing the separation, Gilbert asked fans to be considerate of the couple’s privacy.

“At this time of transition, I hope you will respect our privacy,” she wrote. “In my heart, I know that you will do so, because I trust that you understand how this is a story that I am living – not a story that I am telling.”

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July 05, 2016

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