Two weeks after announcing their surprising split, Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth are heading for divorce. The Twilight star made it official today, citing “irreconcilable differences” and asking for joint custody of their three daughters as he filed for divorce in LA County Superior Court.
In a new interview with People magazine, Jennie opens up about the end of their 11-year marriage and reveals how they broke the news to their girls Luca, 14, Lola, 9, and Fiona, 5.
Though the break-up came as a shock to many, the former Beverly Hills 90210 star reveals that it was actually a long and painful process, adding that they struggled to keep it from the kids: “It was never the right time. There were birthday celebrations and Christmas and we always thought, ‘Let’s keep it together for the kids.’ We both saw it unravel and it was painful. I tried everything to save our marriage. I was very resistant. I didn’t want it to happen…. I would take the girls to school, then go back and get into bed and not get up again until it was time to pick them up from school, and I had to pretend everything was fine.”
Jennie and Peter eventually turned to therapy for help, taking the girls to family counseling sessions.
“I just held them,” Jennie recalls. “They cried. I cried. It was really hard.”
Though it seems there’s no hope of reconciliation, the actress insists that both she and her ex are united in putting their children first: “We make it very clear to them they don’t have to choose sides.”