How do you spell Hollywood these days? D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Since March, more than a half-dozen highly publicized star pairings have gone-or are rumored to be going-bust. The latest casualty: Paula Abdul, who has filed for a split from Emilio Estevez. Can those who have not yet signed the papers be helped? We asked romance counselor Gary Smalley, Ed.D., purveyor of the video series Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships (available via an infomercial featuring the very together John Tesh and Connie Sellecca), for his expert advice. Smalley, who claims to have helped thousands of couples, believes even some of these relationships can be saved. Here’s what the doctor orders, plus Entertainment Weekly’s own advice to the lovelorn.
Drew Barrymore and Jeremy Thomas
Status: A bad girl gone good, Barrymore, 19, stunned friends when she eloped with bar owner Thomas, 31, after a whirlwind six-week courtship. Yet before the monogrammed towels even arrived, the couple was reportedly living under separate roofs. * What Smalley thinks: ”Like any couple, they’re both looking for someone to meet all of their needs. But Drew, being a Recovering alcoholic, has needs far deeper than he (may) understand.” * How can they reconcile? ”They have to develop a system of having their needs met.” * EW remedy: He shouldn’t mention reviews of Bad Girls during dinner.
Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett
* Status: Eleven months after their surprise nuptials, Roberts, 26, and Lovett, 36, are under siege by the New York tabs who spotted the pretty woman dancing the night away with Ethan Hawke. * What Smalley thinks: ”Julia may still have hidden anger against her mother or father, causing her to sabotage the relationship. Anger blocks us from having relationships. This is pretty consistent among stars-too much unresolved anger.” * How can they reconcile? ”She needs to figure out the cause of her anger. Otherwise, she’ll go from relationship to relationship.” * EW remedy: Cancel subscriptions to the New York Post. Plan to spend June 27 anniversary in the same time zone.
Roseanne and Tom Arnold
* Status: After filing for divorce on April 18 (and changing all the locks of their L.A. home in the process), Roseanne took back her husband of four years, rescinded reports of abuse, and announced they would try to work things out. * What Smalley thinks: ”She is feeling the consequences of unresolved anger against her family.” * How can they reconcile? ”They need to get three or four couples who are committed to them to meet weekly so they have the freedom and safety to share who they are. Roseanne should also take the opportunity to forgive her family. After all, she’s only going to be successful for so long.” * EW remedy: Tom should buy a diamond anniversary band for each of his wife’s 20 personalities and tell them all he’d marry them all over again.
Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel
* Status: After nine years of marriage, the supermodel and the singer issued a statement on April 13 announcing they’ve been living apart since Thanksgiving. She’s since been linked to Los Angeles developer Ricky Taubman. * What Smalley thinks: ”It would have been a shallow relationship if it was going on because of her beauty. Falling in love is easy; staying in love is a lot of work.” * How can they reconcile? ”They can use the conflicts in their relationship to get to a point where they accept each other.” * EW remedy: He should change the topic of conversation when she asks, ”Can I paint your next album cover?”