Ashley Judd and Dario Francitti at the Emmy Awards in September 2012. (Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage)Actress (and possible future Senate candidate) Ashley Judd announced that she and Indianapolis 500 winning race-car driver Dario Franchitti are splitting up after 11 years of marriage. But unlike other celebrity couples who have called it quits, they're both taking the high road. That's right: They're calm, collected, and totally amicable about it.
"We have mutually decided to end our marriage," the couple told People magazine in a statement on Tuesday. "We'll always be family and continue to cherish our relationship based on the special love, integrity, and respect we have always enjoyed."
We know, right? Mature, respectful, and not a reality-TV show plot twist in sight.
Judd, 44, and Franchitti, 39, met at "Beverly Hills 90210" star Jason Priestley's wedding in February 1999, where they were set up by mutual friends. At the time, Franchetti had no idea who Judd was, and Judd said she knew nothing about racing. Still, the two fell in love and were engaged by the end of that year. They married in December 2001, in a super-private ceremony in Franchitti's native Scotland.
Since then, Judd told USA Today, she's spent plenty of time at the race track and eventually became "as comfortable in the pits as I am barefoot in my garden." The couple split their time between Scotland and Tennessee.
Of course, Judd has always had more of a serious side than your average Hollywood starlet. She planned to join the Peace Corps after college. Even with hits like "Kiss the Girls," "Dolphin Tale," and "Ruby in Paradise" under her belt, she spent her time working on humanitarian causes. Her blog has posts on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and her Twitter feed is focused on issues like sexual violence, poverty, and eating disorders instead of gossip or self-promotions.
Though Judd battled depression in 2006 ("I needed help," she told Glamour. "I was in so much pain.") she later said that the treatment program made her marriage stronger.
"I was unhappy, and now I'm happy," she told Glamour. "Now, even when I'm having a rough day, it's better than my best day before treatment." In 2010, she told Redbook that she and her husband "do an appreciation every day" to "get some gratitude on board" in their relationship. And just a few months ago, they posed with their arms around one another at the Emmy Awards, smiling brightly.
So their split comes as quite a shock to their fans. But both Judd and Franchitti seem dedicated to a drama-free divorce. Yesterday, as the news spread, Judd tweeted:
"Family forever. @dariofranchitti"
And Franchitti reportedly responded: "@ashleyjudd family forever."
Also on Shine:
Ashley Judd's Response to the Media About Her "Puffy Face"
5 Secrets to a Happy Marriage, Revealed by Divorce
8 Things Never to Say to a Divorcing Friend