After almost 20 years as a couple, comedian and actor Chris Rock and Malaak Compton-Rock, his wife, have both issued statements that they will be divorcing each other. The couple has been married since 1996 and live in New Jersey with their two daughters, Zahra Savannah and Lola Simone. In a brief statement that was released on Sunday, Compton-Rock said that after much joint discussion and reflection, the couple had decided that it was time to go their separate ways.
Compton-Rock is a philanthropist as well as having founded the nonprofit organization StyleWorks. The nonprofit organization is one that assists women who are transitioning from welfare and into the working world with grooming and image consultations in order to help them portray a professional image. In the statement released by the philanthropist, she has asked that she and her family, in particular her children, are granted privacy at this time as they deal with the changes that will be coming in their lives. She also said that while she may be dealing with these new difficulties at this time, her work in service to others and those who are at their most vulnerable has made her aware of the many blessings that she herself has in her life. Compton-Rock said that while this will be a major adjustment as well as a significant change in her current situation, her children are still the center of her life and that they are her number one priority at this difficult time.
Rock’s own attorney, Robert Cohen, confirmed in a separate statement that the couple were getting divorced. Cohen said that it was Rock himself that had filed for divorce from his wife of 19 years. He also stated that this was a very personal matter for the family and reiterated the request for privacy for the family as they deal with the upheaval they now face.
Both Rock and his soon to be ex-wife are very concerned with their family and their privacy as they start the divorce proceedings. This is not the first time the couple’s relationship has made the news. In the past, there were instances of trouble when in 2010 a news report insisted that the comedian had fathered a child with someone other than his wife. Even in 2007 the couple had to defend against rumors that their marriage was in trouble. At that time, Rock said that as a comedian he may not be the easiest person to be married to.
The sad news comes on the heels of Rock successfully directing and acting in the 2014 movie Top Five. The movie, which is considered a comedy, focuses on a day in the life of a comedian in show business. There were a number of big name cameos in the movie and much discussion was had that this was perhaps one of the best comedy films of the entire year.
Now, instead of celebrating a successful year with a new hit movie on his resume, as well as a triumphant turn as director of that same film, Rock is instead ending the year getting divorced from his wife of nearly 20 years. Although the comedian himself has not issued a personal statement at this time, his attorney and soon to be ex-wife have each made a statement with both asking for respect and privacy.
By Kimberley Spinney
Photo by Whittlz – Flickr License