Meg Ryan On Her Divorce: I Didn’t Leave My Marriage For Russell Crowe | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN


– So what happened to you? What happened? You kind of disappeared. Yeah. You were everywhere, and
then you disappeared. That was calculated, right? Well, it was definitely
time to take a break. It was definitely time
for me to take a break and just regroup and
see where I was at. And, you know, I’ve been an
actress and famous person since I’ve been 19 years old. And I just needed to be with
my son and figure out my life and see what I wanted. When you’re that busy
for that long, for me, I felt like I was very reactive
about my life as opposed to being proactive. So I just got still, which was
a very, very necessary and good thing for me. So I know you went
through– we all know you went through a very public divorce. What did you learn from that? Well, so many things, right? But I would mostly– I couldn’t even say mostly. I think there’s a lot of feeling
I wish it wasn’t so public. OPRAH: Yeah. You know, that was a really
hard aspect of the whole thing. I mean, the tabloid aspect of
it was really heartbreaking. And it was, for me, something
I never really wanted to talk about in depth
because I have a little boy and because I feel like you
can never really win in the way a tabloid tells a story. It’s a very black and white,
very overly simplistic moral universe that
certain people’s stories are supposed to fit in. And they don’t. So that was one aspect
of it that was– Well, that is why the
tabloids work, you know? MEG: That’s right. I mean, obviously
I’ve been a part of it for all of my public life. And that’s why it
works, because it’s a little piece of
the truth mixed with somebody
else’s idea of what they think should be happening. And people hold onto that. And people say, oh, yes, yes,
I know it’s true because– and what I think the
greater public never seems to understand– and so
there’s no reason to even try to get people to understand
is what I think at this point– is that when people make up
stories about you, it hurts. Yeah. And when people violate
the truth of you, it hurts. But people think that because
you’re famous, oh, well, then it shouldn’t,
because you’re rich, and you’re famous
and so therefore– And it is a problem that
it’s hard to ask people to relate to honestly,
because it’s not a problem that everybody has. I mean, certainly you can have
a problem with your office building knowing something
about you that’s not true or your extended
family or something. But you know, it’s a very– not highbrow, but kind of
like an abstract problem for this much of the populace. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, but I remember years
ago I was on talking about it. I think it was the
after show, and I was talking about something
one of the tabloids had said. And a woman stood up and
said, Oprah, what do we care? Basically, she said what
do you think we care? Because look at you living
the life that you’re living. And, you know, when
I’m in my office and somebody says something
about me that’s not true, and everybody’s around the
water cooler talking about it, I have no recourse either. So it really is the same
thing, only it’s just bigger. It’s just expanded. OPRAH: Yeah. So let’s talk– when you
were dating Russell Crowe, you took a lot of heat for that. MEG: Yeah.
OPRAH: Yeah. Yeah.
OPRAH: What was true? What wasn’t true? Well, my marriage was a– I think I have to talk
about it in a way that’s most respectful to my son. Yeah. MEG: It was a very
unhealthy marriage, and it was pretty
much not a happening marriage for a very long time. I probably should’ve
left much earlier. And I’m very sad
actually that it all had to come apart in the
way that it seemed to have, you know? It was never about another man. It was only about what– my and Dennis’s relationship
just couldn’t sustain, you know? And I think once
the tabloids get a hold of three celebrity names,
you’re just really in trouble. Your name goes on
that board every week, and there it is, baby.
Yeah. That’s right. Do you think you took a
public bullet for something that wasn’t really your fault?
You do? Yeah. OPRAH: In what Way Well, I think I did. And I think, honestly,
Russell did too, because he wasn’t a home wrecker. He took a lot of heat for that. And he had a lot of grace,
frankly, about not saying– not talking about the
things that he knew were going on in my marriage. And I always– I’ll be
very grateful to him for a long time for that. OPRAH: Really?
– Yeah. Yeah.
And he was around at– you know, divorce
is an impossibly hard transition in your life. And he was there
for a few months. And you know, I didn’t leave
my marriage for Russell Crowe. I left my marriage– OPRAH: Because your
marriage wasn’t working. My marriage was not working. OPRAH: Yeah. And so I think this is really
interesting, because obviously I do this show, so I talk
to women all the time who are in bad relationships. I bet there’s an estimate– I don’t know if anybody’s
ever done this– of when it starts
to go wrong, you know it really
can’t be repaired, how long do you stay after
you know it’s really over? I think you want it
not to be over very much. OPRAH: Yeah. But I hear people– for some
people it’s like seven years. It’s like I knew seven years
ago it wasn’t going to– I knew five years. OPRAH: You knew five years?
– Yeah, easily. – Really?
– Mm-hmm. And people have children,
there’s this whole thing that you need to sustain. There’s a lot of– even if
your marriage isn’t good, and even if you need
to get out, you still feel guilty somehow,
which, you know, maybe that’s a female thing. I don’t know. But it’s crazy how you
have to talk yourself into protecting yourself. And so there are
times in, I think, every woman’s life
where she really does need to get out
and expand and do all those things that make her
the best version of herself. OPRAH: OK. This is so interesting too. I say this to my friends
all the time who seem to– you know, they
buy the magazines. And they love the celebrities. They love the celebrities. And I always say the
red carpet is just that. It is a red carpet. And there are people taking
pictures on the red carpet. And that is all it is, because
you don’t know any more than there are some people
who took some pictures on the red carpet. So photos that you were taking
on the carpet, you and Dennis, during that period
of five years. Well, honestly I
think towards the end, we weren’t even showing up
to the red carpet together. [LAUGHTER] That’s the truth. Yeah.
– Yeah. MEG: A little bit,
but not really. Yeah. And you know, I still don’t
identify myself with celebrity. It’s just such– it’s
so far down on my list. It’s always so odd for me to
talk about that, you know, as if the red
carpet is some kind of achievement or
some place that you’re supposed to want to be. I mean, it’s a way to somewhere. Yeah. And so you never viewed
yourself as a celebrity even in the height of it? I do. Obviously it’s a
part of my life. It’s a condition. Fame, I think of as an
arbitrarily assigned kind of condition in your life
that you do have to cope with. It’s odd. It’s not a normal experience. And it affects your
life in certain ways, like people project on you
a lot about themselves. And so you kind of
wade through that. I find myself
wading through that. I go, oh, that’s right, I’m
famous, and they think this. OK, so I’ve got to
wait like 20 minutes, and then we can have kind
of a normal conversation. Mm-hmm Mm-hmm.
Mm-hmm. – You know?
– Oh yeah. And– yeah, you know. Yeah. [LAUGHTER] Kinda. It’s just– it’s,
you know, bizarre. OK, so that’s interesting,
because, you know, you were at the biggest
box office smash hit. So at the time,
was that something that you could wrap your
head around, or was it just– No, and at the
time, I was very overwhelmed by motherhood,
new motherhood. OPRAH: Jack, yeah. Yeah. Not a good marriage. I think fame is
also very isolating. And so the problems
that I was having with all of those things– OPRAH: I think it’s isolating–
may I beg to differ here? I think it’s isolating
if you allow it to be. MEG: If you allow it to be.
I agree. Yeah. And I definitely
allowed it to be. Because I see people
who are– you know, like, I know a lot of famous people. And there are some who
are like, I can’t go out. I can’t. I can’t go out.
You know? And then– Not so much that,
but more like, jeez, if I say this to someone, is
she going to tell someone else, and is that person going to
talk to “The National Enquirer”? It limits your
ability to be exactly honest with people
who you don’t know as well as you would want to know. You know? There’s all these
strange little moments. And also you feel like– for me, at the time, I
was like, no one else has ever had this experience. And it definitely did
isolate me, I have to say. OPRAH: Really?
– Yeah. Yeah.
– Yeah. It did. Not that I was sitting
alone, because you’re surrounded by so many people. But you can feel like you’re
alone with the experience, that you’re just sort of– Did it make you bitter at all? No, I was mostly confused. I’ve been mostly
confused about it and then kind of was
taken aback quite often.

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Comments

  1. I'm watching this, wondering the same thing I've wondered for decades. What is so special about Ms. Winfrey that she sits there interrupting &, generally not letting her interviewees finish a thought before she jumps in. Her "technique" does not an award-winning reporter make. Money is seen in this world as a reward for excellence. So how, I wonder, did she, as a mediocre player in her field, become a billionaire?? Shall we go back to "collusion with the powers that be" or is it something else…….?

  2. It was very brave of her to clear the air. The tabloids really made her look like a villian and she was classy through it all.

  3. Meg is not eloquent when she keeps saying "I don't know"
    how can she say she does not like the word "celebrity" when she has gotten a face lift and surgery on her lips and her hair looks pasty

  4. Meg is still hot, she aged. Hmmm great hairdo. You guys are just jealous. I think anyone bags her need to look in the mirror.

  5. I love Meg Ryan. And used to really love her when she was making back to back movies. She was such a massive movie star, then like Oprah said kind of disappeared. And she’s never really surfaced. Then had all that face work and people we’re gossiping about it. Well there are no more movie stars anymore anyway. The ones still around are all over 40. The new generations have no real movie stars. That went in the trash with reality tv and social media.

  6. I agree with almost everything Meg said. But what I never understand is why people start a new relationship BEFORE finishing the divorce process. It looks very bad. People: just be patient, complete the divorce and THEN start dating. Simple and correct.

  7. Beautiful interview! I love both of these ladies! Let’s support one another!!! 👍it took me six years, 20 years later we are good friends!

  8. I think she is prettier than ever, here. I think she had a nose job, too. Regardless- she looks stunning here. I think her plastic surgery made her even prettier

  9. she was adorable and I love her and her ex Dennis Quaid , she never needed those lips she was perfect before,I cannot stand Russel Crowe ,yuk

  10. I love her hair color, the color of her eyes are beautiful too! But too much botox🙈🙈🙈 Very discrete, good for her!😀

  11. She seems like such a lovely and down-to-Earth lady and the impression of her treatment over the years to me has been that the media and society at large have been so unfairly harsh towards this woman. It's so not OK. And of course there are even some comments here in this comments string from people who can't help but criticize others so they are being critical of her appearance. Whether she has done some work or not, she still is a very attractive woman who obviously doesn't look like she's overdone anything (at least hasn't over done anything at the time of the filming of this episode at least. However, I can't say if she has or has not lately as I haven't seen any recent footage of her).

  12. Rich people problems. We ALL have these problems. We just dont go home to $50 million homes, personal cooks, drivers, trainers… all while wearing a massive diamond ring, Oprah!

  13. This interview makes some people feel ok about being UN-FAMOUS, UN-CELEBRITY, UN-RICH, thus The MUCK PRESS DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOU AND LEAVE YOU ALONE. I've always liked Meg Ryan, and SHE IS A GREAT ACTRESS. I suppose marriage problems afflict many people in this world, and it is SO TRAGIC WHEN CHILDREN ARE INVOLVED, otherwise it is good and healthy to get out of a DEAD MARRIAGE.

  14. Meg Ryan was my fav. Miss her and her exquisite talent. Meg will always remain one of the most gifted, enjoyable and adorable actors ever.

  15. Meg's reaction to Oprah's comment at 3:06 stood out to me. Why do people feel the need to ask other people, such private questions about their personal life lessons on TV and then basically interject their own opinion which invalidates what the other person just said?

  16. I am watching her bow lips, they used to be so cute in you have got mail and french kiss . Shes still sweet. She was always lost in love i hope she finds it in her life .
    Still love her .

  17. Sometimes I wonder why Oprha bothers inviting a guest since she obviously wants to do all of the talking. She turns everything around and makes it about her. It’s so annoying!

  18. I'm sorry but this IS a problem that even we pions can experience. It's equally as painful when it happens inside a family, business, community or for the public to see. The pain is not any different.

  19. One of my favorite actresses. I miss seeing her in movies. She has the prettiest, sweetest eyes and is so endearing. 🎬❤️

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