When the Coldplay front man and his film star wife announced their “conscious uncoupling” on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop website yesterday, the world went so nuts that the website crashed due to the demand. However, the overriding reaction was less one of surprise at the decision and more one of curiosity. There are now claims surfacing that state Paltrow and Martin split over her obsessive diet and controversial Kabbalah beliefs. Although their marriage had seemed rocky for a while, no-one was quite sure of the reasons behind the couple’s trouble.
Apparently the uptight nature of Paltrow’s parenting techniques, along with her own strict regimens on food and religion, were a source of increasing frustration to her rock star husband. Although she did ease up slightly when the family went out, at home it seems the constrictive and unyielding nature of her house rules were too much for Martin. Sources claim that he felt he had lost the person he married back in 2003, and although he tried everything he could in the end their lifestyles were just no longer compatible. Equally, her belief in the religion Madonna is famous for bringing into public focus, Kabbalah, was another contentious issue for the couple as Martin remained a firm non-believer – a fact which must have made decisions regarding the faith of their children rather difficult.
While Paltrow revealed she only allowed her children one drink of coke a week and did not let them watch television in English, only French or Spanish (neither of which is a native language for the children), Martin took a much more relaxed approach to child-rearing. The actress stated that while she understood the compulsion to consume Oreos and unhealthy foods, she encouraged her children to eat fresh fruit and raw nuts or to snack on carrots and hummus. However her musical husband was often seen treating daughter, Apple, aged nine, and son, Moses, aged seven, to ice cream or other treats, and supposedly would have liked for them to be able to watch television or DVDs as a family.
Further to these domestic issues were also the infidelity rumors which had dogged the couple since last October. In particular, when an email of Paltrow’s was leaked showing her ordering friends not to contribute to the Vanity Fair magazine’s investigation into her private life, speculation was rife that she had something to hide. Despite continued denials on the part of the star, many accused her of conducting an affair with the husband of super-model Elle MacPherson, Jeff Soffer, who also happened to be friends with Martin as well. She was also linked to entertainment editor, Kevin Yorn, although again, she denied any romantic involvement. Not to be outdone by his wife, Martin has his own fair share of dodgy claims to dismiss, having been reported with actress Kate Bosworth in questionable circumstances. Although none of the cheating rumors ever stuck properly, they must surely have cause a strain on the marriage in some respects. If that wasn’t enough, though, there was always Paltrow’s continuing complaints of how difficult and hard marriage was and how much work it took to keep it going, rather telling in comparison to Martin’s effusive praise of his wife when comparing his marriage to winning the lottery.
It remains to be seen how the celebrity couple will divide their extensive assets, custody of their children and horde of showbiz friends. They are rumored to be worth $147 million and are close to various celebrities including Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Further to these issues is also the problem of location. The family moved from London to Los Angeles last year, apparently in a last-ditch attempt to please Paltrow despite reluctance on Martin’s part. There are now claims that the rocker has now told his soon-to-be-ex-wife that he wants to move back to the UK with the children once the school year is over. Given that Martin has apparently not lived with Paltrow for the best part of a year, instead staying with his bandmate Guy Berryman, there is bound to be friction concerning who lives where and especially where and who the children end up with. So despite claims that Paltrow and Martin split over her strict diet and strange Kabbalah beliefs, there do seem to be many other underlying tensions which contributed to the sad ending of a decade of Hollywood marriage.
Commentary by Rhona Scullion