Actor Melanie Griffith on Friday filed for divorce from Spanish actor Antonio Banderas after 18 years of marriage, according to a petition filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. No date of separation was listed.
Griffith, 56, and Banderas, 53, married in 1996 after striking up a romance filming the comedy Two Much and have a 17-year-old daughter, Stella Banderas. The couple has been plagued by split rumours for most of this year.
The 56-year-old actor, who has reportedly hired power attorney Laura Wasser, has cited irreconcilable differences. “We have thoughtfully and consensually decided to finalise our almost 20 years marriage in a loving and friendly manner honouring and respecting each other, our family and friends and the beautiful time we have spent together,” Griffith and Banderas said in a statement issued by their publicist, reported Reuters.
Griffith requested physical custody of Stella, who turns 18 in September, but joint legal custody, with the Desperado star allowed visitation. The actor, who earned an Oscar nomination for her role in the 1988 romantic comedy Working Girl, also requested spousal support from Banderas.
This was the fourth marriage for Griffith and the second for Banderas. Griffith was married to actor Don Johnson twice and also Steven Bauer. Banderas was previously married to Spanish actor Ana Leza.
However, Griffith looked to be in good spirits Thursday evening at the AFI tribute to Jane Fonda, and smiled as she walked the carpet holding hands with Eva Longoria, still wearing her wedding band, reported The Daily Mail.
The couple has always been vocal about the strength of their love, Banderas once revealed that he’s fallen in love with Griffith numerous times. ‘I wouldn’t be able to count, but it’s a lot,’ said the star in an interview with Hello magazine back in 2010. The three-time Golden Globe nominee continued: ‘There were people who literally [gave our marriage] six months! But we love each other and above all we love our family.” Griffith felt the same way and said in the same interview that being with him has taught her a lot about passion for life.
They have also weathered storms together, Griffith has been to rehab thrice for addictions to cocaine, painkillers and alcohol, out of which, two were during her marriage to Banderas. In 2009, Griffith also underwent surgery for skin cancer.
The actor admitted that when she was 10 she would drink wine like a soft drink. “I was medicating myself so I could escape my pain and insecurities,” she said.
The duo recently finished working on the sci-fi thriller Automata and Banderas just directed Griffith in Akil, due for a December release.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2014.