by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith
How do stars cope with divorce? Outside of having to deal with the difficulty of divvying up fortunes -- the attorneys, the negotiations, the unflattering press -- their coping strategies are often similar to those of everyday people. On the other hand, having a huge bankroll, an armada of stylists and designers, and top publicists to help strategize your response to such an unfortunate situation really helps! Here are some tactics:
DAZZLE: Nicole Kidman, who deserves honors as the star who has best managed to turn a divorce into a success, should write a manual. Who could forget her triumphant post-Tom Cruise-split appearance at the Cannes Film Festival with "Moulin Rouge," her traffic-stopping looks, her black Gaultier dress slashed up high? Instead of deciding to run and hide during such a painful time, it was as if Nicole, as one British paper put it, was "deliberately placing herself in the public gaze, acting cheerful and looking stunning, as if in wordless rebuke to those inspecting her for signs of weakness or despair." (So there, Tom!)
BEAT IT: Leaving town was a balm for Jennifer Garner after her split from Scott Foley. She went to Hawaii for nearly a week with a group of close girlfriends, and after that, she went to visit her parents in West Virginia, "so I had a nice time away," she said.
(Right way) "We are cooperating and have coordinated ourselves in regard to our son...I won't stand for any criticism of Jack's mother." -- Dennis Quaid, after breakup with Meg Ryan
, during her highly-publicized affair with Russell Crowe
(Wrong way) Comparing one's ex to "a bad car. It breaks down, what are you gonna do?" -- Charlie Sheen, after breakup with model Donna Peele.
THE J.LO/JUDD WAY: If you really don't want to deal with the mourning that often accompanies divorce, you might do as diva extraordinaire Jennifer Lopez and go out and get engaged again right away -- to another guy. Just make sure he's wealthier and a bigger star than the last spouse. Or one could take Cris Judd's cue and work through the mourning of a lost love by recalling private and intimate moments while on a reality tv show. Judd obviously dished just enough about himself and Lopez' very short union. He was actually the last one standing on ABC's "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here."
GO WILD: After her split from Tom Green, Drew Barrymore doused the flames of negative emotion by going out clubbing, which included her notorious night at Club AD in a breast-baring make-out session with two women. Meanwhile, Green hit the town, too. He was out enjoying himself, surrounded by lingerie-clad beauties at the launch of a men's adult entertainment internet site.
CALL ON FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Scott Foley and a buddy were reportedly hanging out talking for an hour or so in a Starbuck's parking lot, with Foley looking unhappy and the pal bucking him up, shortly after Foley and Jennifer Garner separated.
Nicole Kidman's TV reporter sister Antonia and her husband rushed to Nicole's side after her split from Tom Cruise, and soon Nicole's gal pals gathered around. Among them: fellow Aussie actress Naomi Watts, who moved into Nicole's house to take care of her after the divorce.
BURY YOURSELF IN WORK: There's no time to be depressed with you're working 14-hour days. Angelina Jolie, whose split from Billy Bob Thornton became public knowledge last summer, has been going from film to film -- to the U.K. to make the sci-fi thriller "World of Tomorrow" with Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, to Quebec to make the crime drama "Taking Lives" with Ethan Hawke and Kiefer Sutherland -- and she'll soon be front and center doing promo for her July 25 release "Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life."
Nicole Kidman also found solace in work. Playing Virginia Woolf in "The Hours" post-divorce, she said, "I've really had to throw myself into this -- which may be no bad thing."
She, of course, wound up with an Oscar -- something Cruise does not have -- for an actor, the best payoff of all.