Now that Sean and Robin are finally divorced, we take a look at their turbulent love affair.
Sean Penn and Robin Wright's divorce was finalized this week, after almost three years of separation, reconciliation, re-separation and legal wrangling. The couple, who had their first child in 1991 and married in 1996, came to an agreement on dividing their assets and custody of their 17-year-old son, Hopper, yesterday, according to People. So now that the up-and-down love affair of Spicoli and Princess Buttercup has come to the end of the road, we'll take a look back at the way they were.
Sean and Madonna's four-year marriage ended in 1989. The union produced several infamous paparazzi-punching incidents, jail time for Sean, the terrible film Shanghai Surprise and no children. Sean and Robin met while he was married to Madonna, after her first marriage to a soap actor had ended. They met up again making the 1990 film State of Grace and fell in love—he already had a rep as one of the most talented young actors in Hollywood, and her ethereal beauty had already earned her a place in film history with her title role in 1987's The Princess Bride. Their daughter, Dylan, was born the next year. Hopper Jack, named after Sean's bad-boy buddies Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson, followed in 1993. More About Sean And Robin
They briefly split in 1995 and Sean dated folk singer Jewel, which is kind of weird, right? She's so mellowy and hippieish, and he's, well, Sean Screamyface Penn. But Sean and Robin reunited when she needed emergency surgery in the spring of 1996—he skipped the Oscars, where he was nominated for Dead Man Walking, to be with her—and quietly married just weeks later in Santa Monica. But even with a marriage license, the relationship wasn't smooth. Robin and Sean costarred in 1997's She's So Lovely (directed by The Notebook's Nick Cassavetes) and the film version of David Mamet's play Hurlyburly, and their feuding characters often matched their off-screen moods. Without Wife, Penn And Portman Still Together
Sean and Robin continued to raise their kids in northern California, where they moved after Robin was carjacked in L.A. in 1996, and work together as he launched a directing career, first with 1995's The Crossing Guard, then 2001's The Pledge. Sean won his first Academy Award for his role in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River in 2004, and emotionally thanked Robin in his speech. They were together in Cannes later that year (pictured), seeming happy, but the family hit a rough patch when Sean's younger brother, Chris, also an actor, died in January 2006.
Sean and Robin separated again in 2007, then reconciled four months later. Milk, the biopic about San Francisco councilman Harvey Milk that would win Sean his second Oscar, came out in 2008. Shortly after winning the Academy Award and this time failing to thank Robin, Sean filed for legal separation in 2009. That year Robin spoke to More magazine about her conflicting feelings about the relationship. "I hit that crossroad a while ago—for Robin [jabbing her hand at herself], the 'I know what I don't want' was flashing neon lights," she said. "I have no regrets. I, we, have two amazing children we raised together." The Truth About Robin Wright & Sean Penn's Split
This year Sean threw himself into relief work for victims of the January earthquake in Haiti, and reportedly began dating model Jessica White. Sean, who turns 50 this month, told Vanity Fair in July that Robin "is a ghost to me now." Robin is in the midst of a career renaissance, earning good reviews for her part in Rebecca Miller's The Private Life of Pippa Lee last year, and scoring roles in Robert Redford's The Conspirator and David Fincher's Moneyball.
One of our favorite people, Dan Savage, often says that we as a society tend to see a successful relationship as one where someone dies. Call us a bit nuts, but Robin and Sean's 20-year partnership seems to have been a pretty successful one, as neither of their kids grew up to be Tila Tequila, they produced a number of great films together, and they seem to have come out of it with a mutual respect, if not a warm friendship. Still, we're anxious to see who Robin will rebound with, because she seems awesome.
Photo via Bauer-Griffin.