Hollywood stars Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe have (separately) opened up to the press about the emotional effects that their divorce has had on their lives. While Witherspoon said that she had panic attacks for about a month after the breakup, Phillippe reportedly had a breakdown and even considered suicide.
Witherspoon, who won an Academy Award in 2006 for her role as June Carter Cash in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, recently talked about how painful last year’s split had been for her in an interview with Elle. “Right around Christmas,” she told the magazine, “I was sitting in a parking lot, and I felt like I just couldn’t get out of the car. It was like, I can’t get out of the car.
“I thought, ‘Okay, half the parking lot has dealt with this,'” she added. “‘More than half the parking lot with this. Okay, let’s make it a little bigger. Half of this city has dealt with this. Okay, let’s make it a little bigger — half of this country,’ until I finally got out of the car.”
The actor compared this incident to one of her lines from her Oscar-winning performance. “There’s this moment in Walk the Line,” she explained, “where June Carter says, ‘I was never aware of how much I was seen.’ I was very aware of how much I was seen. It was this moment of self-discovery and loss of identity.”
Meanwhile, her former husband was having his own issues. According to Contactmusic.com, Phillippe had a full breakdown after the marriage ended. “After the divorce, I was a physical wreck,” the website quoted the actor as saying. “I wanted to die. I was ready to kill myself.”
The Crash and I Know What You Did Last Summer star added, “I was not taking care of myself at all. I would wake up and cry and vomit.”
Phillippe and Witherspoon married in June 1999 in South Carolina; Witherspoon filed for divorce last November, citing irreconcilable differences. The pair has two children, seven-year-old Ava and three-year-old Deacon.
Divorce is a shattering experience that may make you feel stuck in a self-destructive cycle — as it did for Witherspoon and Phillippe — but you can overcome it and move on with your life. Click here for an article on how to turn the stumbling blocks of divorce into building blocks.
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