Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce: When Parents Attack, The Kids Are the Injured Party


Yes, Anne Heche, you can say “lazy ass” on television. The question is, should you?  And the answer is, it’s NEVER appropriate when you are talking about the father of your child, as the actress was about her ex, Coley Laffoon, on Letterman the other night.

I get it that being on Dave’s show is tough, what with his attitude toward women shifting from lascivious to alienated. And with his reputation for keeping his studio as cold as a meat locker, the shivering from cold and nerves must combine to make a person move and speak with all the poise of someone suffering from hypothermia. Still, a mature parent would never blaspheme a co-parent for schtick.

Of all the chat topics she must have considered to charm and entice the icy Letterman, what do you suppose made her choose Coley Laffoon. She’s bitter about her divorce, so who isn’t? Bitterness is rarely high conversation or entertainment, unless you’re comedian Lewis Black.  What seems to stick in Anne’s craw is that as the higher earner in their marriage, she must pay him spousal support and, perhaps, child support. If that is the case, then her jibes might more properly be directed at the California Supreme Court.

But no, she decided to use her bully pulpit to slam the guy who contributed fifty per cent of their son’s DNA. Nice dig! How many times does a parent have to be reminded that attacking one of their child’s parents is like judging him or her to be at least half resented or actively loathed? And if that child happens to still love the blasphemed parent, is the message that their heart is wrong and they should be ashamed of being so misguided or fooled?

Now Coley Buf, er,  Laf-foon, is no paragon of paternal sacrifice either, having accused his estranged wife of  “bizarre and delusional behavior” and “poor parenting” in some national gossip magazine. That leaves their poor little son, Homer (unfortunate name choice, that) with two infantile narcissists for parents. It truly sickens me when I hear people say, “I would do ANYTHING for my child,” when what they neglect to add “as long as it does not interfere with getting my needs met.”

You don’t have to be a celebrity to be this self-involved, although it might contribute to the condition, but I watch divorced parents wound their children with vicious remarks about Mommy or Daddy all the time. It’s a violation of their being, their sense of safety and certainly their self-esteem. Remember, calling someone a “son of a bitch” is generally considered an insult to the son, not the mother.

If there is a mantra to be shared with people going through the agonies of divorce, it should be this: “It’s all about the kids.” They didn’t ask for this divorce, they certainly don’t deserve it either, but they can survive if they know their parents are loving and mature enough to create a united front for them to protect and nurture them. Really, it’s the very LEAST we can do.

One can suggest that Anne Heche was just the unfortunate victim of a brain fart occurring on national television, and if it seemed true I’d pull in my claws. But it seemed to me that the rest of her gadfly chat with Letterman made a case for her misguided but conscious belief that ridiculing her ex-husband made “good TV.”

When Dave asked her something about why Coley still wanted any relationship at all with her after such a nasty split, with a lot of hair-touching she revealed the real reason this subject sparkled like gold during the pre-interview– “Because I’m so fantastic.” Oh yeah, Anne, it’s about YOU.

Vicki Iovine – Girlfriends' Guides