The late-Friday news dump is a longstanding celebrity tradition: from Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston to Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, it’s a way to lessen the impact of attention around a breakup. In a 24/7 world, it isn’t that effective anymore but I guess it gives people room to breathe and formulate a strategy. Celebrity publicists deserve long weekends, too!
On Friday Kaley Cuoco announced her separation from husband, equestrian Karl Cook. She also filed for divorce so this is a done deal. Typically, one famous person and one non-famous person splitting up is a bit less attention-grabbing– we typically don’t “know” the civilian and unless it’s a very specific scenario (like John Mulaney and Anna Marie Tendler), there’s less public interest in the marriage. The story will die down pretty quickly. (The other exception is when the civilian spouse is forthcoming on social media or tells their side to a tabloid.)
What’s happening here is a little more intense because Kaley is currently enjoying the biggest success of her career so far. On the Big Bang Theory she made serious money (as in, set for life kind of money) but with The Flight Attendant she leveled up to prestigious television. She was extremely passionate about the project, thrilled about its attention and accolades. Ironically, the show dropped as leisure travel around the world ground to a halt and she is heading into season two now that things are opening back up. But she’s going in single.
There’s also the Pete Davidson factor. Let’s talk about it because even if we don’t believe it (for the record, I don’t). Kaley is filming a movie with him and this will be a gossip story. In early August she posted photos of them holding hands on a ride at an amusement park and I wrote this:
“Pete Davidson and Kaley Cuoco are filming a rom-com together and hung out a Six Flags (presumably with other people). TMZ has a video of them going on the Sling Shot together, holding hands as Kaley freaks out. The report makes it a point to note that these two are working together, Kaley is married, and it looks like a friendly outing and nothing more. I agree with that assessment because there was a big crowd watching them and they knew they were being filmed. To add to that, Kaley posted the video in her stories. If something was up, they would not be holding hands (on a ride) and they would be trying to hide this video. So again, I agree with TMZ’s reporting and they are working together and new friends. But it’s also one of those situations that the more you explain it, the more it sounds like something is up, even though nothing is up.”
My opinion hasn’t changed. I could be wrong (wouldn’t be the first time!) but I don’t know if Pete is the reason. Still, I can’t deny the argument that it looks like SOMETHING is up. In late June, both she and Kyle were posting tributes for their anniversary. Sources told PEOPLE that the split is shocking as the two seemed happy this summer.
She’s filming with Pete and has been pretty open about enjoying that process, it is the simplest explanation. Pete and Phoebe Dynevor recently broke up and we know all about his dickmatizing ways. It’s a very tidy gossip story in that way, but accurate is more important than easy. And this seems too easy?
The divorce could be due to something more mundane… like marriage during a pandemic. For a good chunk of the three-year marriage she was all over the world filming The Flight Attendant. Karl would travel for his equestrian events. Kaley has openly spoken about their living arrangement (they did not move in together until Covid) and that they both quite enjoyed it. Maybe living together did not suit them and they didn’t need more time to figure it out. The joint statement from them read, in part, “Despite a deep love and respect for one another, we have realized that our current paths have taken us in opposite directions.” That’s very specific word, “opposite directions.” There could be multiple things they disagree on, like living arrangements or having children or money or who last cleaned the bathroom. Things couples fight and break up over every single day. Maybe together they realized, “Huh, I do not want to be stuck at home with this person ever again.”
The most complicated thing about this divorce won’t be money (as mentioned above, she made a ton of money and had a prenup) but their animals. Both of them are devoted to their horses, dogs, and assorted pets. This is probably what bonded them for so long and now – how does that work? Who gets custody of Larry?!