Kate Winslet threatens legal action over custodial rights advocacy group’s ads

fathers4justice ad

Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes split in March 2010 after a half-dozen years together and one son together, Joe Mendes. Shortly after their split, the UK tabloids began saying that the real reason for the split was Sam’s affair with Rebecca Hall. Those stories were denied for a while, but Sam and Rebecca have been together since 2010, and they even go out as a couple together these days. This is just some minor backstory.

A few months ago, Kate appeared on the cover of Vogue. In her Vogue interview, Kate claimed that her children (Joe and daughter Mia, from Kate’s first marriage) have “always been with me. They don’t go from pillar to post; they’re not flown here and there with nannies. That’s never happened. My kids don’t go back and forth; none of this 50/50 time with the mums and dads – my children live with me; that is it. That is it!” A lot of people (myself included) nit-picked what Kate said, interpreting it as “Kate’s kids rarely spend time with their fathers.” Which is how one fathers’ custodial rights group (Fathers4Justice) interpreted the comments as well, and they targeted Kate in an ad campaign. Kate and her lawyers are now threatening the group with legal action, and Sam Mendes has issued a statement about the situation.

Hollywood director Sam Mendes has criticised a fathers’ rights group after his ex-wife Kate Winslet was targeted in the organisation’s Christmas campaign.

Members of Fathers4Justice, which campaigns for custodial rights for dads, have launched a new poster featuring the Oscar winner’s face alongside the caption, “Kate, every child deserves a father this Christmas.”

The campaign refers to Winslet’s controversial quotes in which she claimed her two eldest children, who have different fathers, live with her full time.

She said, “My kids don’t go back and forth; none of this 50/50 time with the mums and dads – my children live with me, that is it.”

Mendes, who has a nine-year-old son, Joe, with the actress, has now spoken out to defend his ex-wife, telling Britain’s Daily Mirror, “It is inappropriate for this organisation to involve my family and I when they know nothing of our personal circumstances. Whilst I fully support fathers’ rights, I can happily state this has never been a concern for me or my son.”

In response, a statement from the group reads, “We are running this advert as part of a campaign to highlight the sensitive issue of four million children waking up on Christmas Day without their father. It is clear from what Kate says that she does not support ‘shared parenting’.”

Winslet also has a 13-year-old daughter, Mia, from her marriage to Jim Threapleton and she gave birth to a son with her third husband Ned Rocknroll on 7 December (13).

[From Contact Music]

I’m interpreting this several ways. One, Kate has been known to massage the truth of the situation to make herself look like a better person, or to make herself look like the best mother ever. It’s perfectly possible her kids spend a lot of time with their dads and Kate was just lying or equivocating about the custodial arrangements. Two, it’s possible that Joe Mendes doesn’t spend that much time with his dad and Sam really doesn’t give a crap because he’s so busy with his girlfriend. Or it could be both, I guess.

Meanwhile, Fathers4Justice has issued their own statement following Winslet’s legal threats:

“Kate Winslet brought her children/parenting arrangements into the public domain with her comments, not Fathers4Justice. We believe the content of the advert is accurate, balanced and reflective of the comments she made. We do though welcome Mr Mendes comments supporting fathers’ rights and find it regrettable that instead of resolving this dispute as we had agreed, Kate Winslet has sought redress through legal action. I would like to re-iterate that Fathers4Justice has not made any comment in our advert about the personal arrangements of Ms Winslet and the fathers of her children.”

“We do not know what they are and we have clearly stated that we don’t and that those arrangements are not the basis for our advert. What we have referred to in the advert is a direct quote from Ms Winslet herself, a statement she put in the public domain through a lengthy self promotional interview in Octobers Vogue magazine. The final copy of which Ms Winslet would have no doubt seen prior to publication. Ms. Winslet’s comments on shared parenting were then quoted worldwide by numerous newspapers, who also took issue with them. Of course if Ms Winslet is now saying, through her legal team who are threatening Fathers4Justice, that the Vogue article is inaccurate and that Vogue mis-quoted her, then that is something she needs to take up with them and not us.”

[Via The Mail]

Interesting. I’d say that Father4Justice has a legal leg to stand on, but I don’t know much about the UK’s libel laws.



Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.


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110 Responses to “Kate Winslet threatens legal action over custodial rights advocacy group’s ads”

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  1. ANDREA1 says:

    That statement from vogue was overly controversial.. Most times we need to think before we say things that can hurt us in the future.

    • T.C. says:

      She totally shaded Sam Mendes as not being an equal parent and her as the sole custodial parent. I don’t like this group using it but Kate did put it out there for the public to glorify her as being some super mom.

      • LadySlippers says:

        No — she didn’t. Read the full interview.

      • Nope says:

        Actually her case doesn’t follow the pattern: divorced parents living in the same town with one or more children having the same father. In these conditions co-parenting is easier and might not generate a stressful environment for the children involved.
        In her case, instead, each child (different fathers living far from the mother) should regularly fly to a different destination only to spend most of his time with nannies.
        Maybe she and her ex- husbands find that – due to the specific situation and to their particular lifestyle – keeping their children in the same place and having their fathers visiting them is a more feasible and appropriate solution.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I don’t see her saying that she doesn’t fly her children around frequently, or that they live with her, to mean that they never see their father.

        Those are VERY different things.

  2. lisa2 says:

    I don’t think it is fair to judge parents. I have brothers that have either been welcomed in the life of their children, or who have had to endure a mother that uses the children to get what she wants. Kate is in a different situation. It is obvious that maybe the fathers of her children never sought joint custody of the kids. It does sound like what Sam is saying. He is fine with the setup they have. When I first read her comments it seemed a bit arrogant in nature. But that is how I see a lot of the things Kate says. I never understood why she was so forceful in saying that her kids live with her and don’t go back and forth/pillar to post. I don’t think that parents sharing the custody of a child is a bad thing. My niece lived hundreds of miles away from her father. He got her every summer and would travel to see her throughout the years because he lived for a lot of that time overseas.

    I have a bias I guess regarding men and their rights to see and be a part of the lives of their children. There are some dead beat dads. but there are an equal number of men that are being kept from their children because of the mothers. Good men that are great fathers. And when I see women that do that is is disgusting on too many levels.

    I guess Kate was lucky to have been with men that go along with her way of thinking.

  3. Ice Maiden says:

    Libel laws in the UK are among the strictest – if not THE strictest – in the Western world. The ‘victim’ is almost always favoured, and the publication has to actually prove that what they are alleging is true, rather than just that it isn’t false, which is the case in most of the world. That’s how I understand it in any case – a legal expert could give you a more sophisticated analysis. Bearing that in mind, I don’t expect these ads to last long. Also, Fathers4Justice are known to be a very controversial group which use very provocative tactics – scaling Big Ben being just one of them. I reckon they know very well the ads will be removed, but the shock value and free advertisement they will have gained from even a brief exposure will more than offset that.

    • Sarah says:

      its like that in most western european countries. it makes a lot of sense, why would you be able to just say something without proof? that would mean i could say something about you and then you wouldnt only have to deal with the backlash of the lie, no you would also have to prove im lying which can be difficult and why should you do the work just because someone else decided to attack you?

      the burden of proof obviously should always be with the person that makes the claim.

    • ThunderGoddess says:

      Yes, they are the strictest.
      There is a recent case where an MP named children on a public forum, breaching a court order. Despite this, no papers ever published a hint of it (kind of ‘everybody knows yet nobody speaks out’) because they are terrified to be sued for libel (despite the evidence clears up that this politician actually broke the law). Therefore, I have no idea how Father4Justice think they’ll be successful in their claims because Kate’s sentences could have been interpreted in different ways and they didn’t refer to any court order or arrangement.

  4. mzizkrizten says:

    Her words may be public domain but I thought one’s image cannot be used without permission? I do agree with Kate that a child shouldn’t have to go between two homes and wait til its their ‘day’ to have access to a parent. Huge reason why I’d personally endure a lot before I’d ever consider divorce.

  5. merski says:

    More than anything I think this ad is just horribly rude. That’s all.

  6. lucy2 says:

    While I agree she’s the one who made it public (because people kept harping on her), I still think it was inappropriate for them to use her and her family for their ad. Those are real kids they’re talking about, and that group has no idea how much time or involvement the fathers have in their lives. It’s just rude, and cruel to those kids.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I agree. They used her to get publicity, without any thought to the repercussions for her children.

    • Andrea says:

      That was my thought too. For a group that claims to care so much about families they certainly didnt care about throwing those children under the bus. Gross.

    • Skye says:

      Agreed. They’re using her famous face to bring attention to themselves with little – if any – regard for the truth. Look at that headline – it’s not even clear that you’re TALKING about divorced fathers’ custody rights. It looks like it could be an ad for paternity tests. They did the math: famous face + scandalous insinuation = mega publicity. I’m sympathetic to their cause, but this is a SHAMEFUL advancement of it.

      • We Are All Made of Stars says:

        The real oddity is their failure to even consider whether the childrens’ fathers were on their side. Shock value will get you attention over the short-term, but if the takeaway from this twelve months from now is “Sam Mendes thinks these guys are idiots and he has no idea what they’re talking about,” then they lose.

  7. Ice Maiden says:

    I don’t know much about Jim Threapleton, but Sam Mendes certainly is a wealthy and influential man. Surely, if he wanted more access to his son, he has the resources to fight for it through the courts?

  8. Esti says:

    Third possibility: Kate’s Vogue quote just meant that the kids live with her full-time (so that they’re not shuttling to different homes/schools), but their fathers still spend plenty of time with them. Which I think is how most of us interpreted it at the time.

    Fathers’ rights groups sound like a perfectly reasonable thing to have, but the ones that actually exist are frequently raging misogynists who claim that there’s no such thing as domestic abuse (or that the only real abuse is from women turning kids against fathers), fight child support, etc. Fathers 4 Justice has a long history of targeting and harassing judges and child services workers. In a fight between them and just about anyone, I’m with the other side.

    • Ice Maiden says:


      I think Fathers4Justice are rather like PETA in the sense that their provocative tactics and offensive ads alienate people who might otherwise be quite supportive of their cause.

      • Soporificat says:

        Very apt comparison, Ice Maiden. Particularly that when you look closely at PETA, it turns out that they don’t really give a crap about animals and their suffering (there are exposes on this, if you don’t know what I’m referring to.) It’s the same with these “father’s rights group.” They are mostly cover for MRAs, who frankly don’t give a crap about the health and well-being of their kids. They do care about ownership of them, though. All I can say is don’t ever go on to an actual MRA website (where you will see their agenda laid out). You will feel like you have entered a bizarro world full of rage, fantasy, and self pity. It’s truly disturbing.

        Also, everything that Esti said, too!

    • LadySlippers says:

      I agree. A lot of these “fathers’ rights” groups shove their claims down people’s throats and trample on both the mothers’ rights and children’s rights in the process. Plus they forget (or “forget”) the fact many mothers keep their children away from the fathers for safety reasons. It’s not the case in all circumstances — but most good mothers do want their children’s fathers involved.

      Bottomline, the ad was in poor taste all around.

    • L says:

      Yup, the MRA’s (Men’s rights associations) are also quite active in deny most women’s issues. They argue violently that lots of things don’t exist the gender pay gap, rape culture (tell them that if you really want to see them foam at the mouth), all rapists are falsely accused , domestic abuse etc etc. they don’t really care about their ‘rights’ they just want to put women in their proper place.

      One recent example:

    • Cazzee says:

      Spot on. Father’s rights are an important issue, but these MRA people are insane. They do their cause no favors.

    • Myrto says:

      Well I had never heard about Fathers 4 justice before, but I’m so not suprised to learn they’re assholes. I’m immediately suspicious of men’s groups because they always end up whining about “female priviledge” and how feminists are taking over the world and “men are so oppressed”.
      Honestly, I’m all for discussing celebrities lives but when it comes to children, I’m super uncomfortable. It’s none of our business how Kate Winslet and her ex-husbands take care of their children.

    • Venus says:

      Esti said: “Third possibility: Kate’s Vogue quote just meant that the kids live with her full-time (so that they’re not shuttling to different homes/schools), but their fathers still spend plenty of time with them. ”

      I actually read the Vogue interview, and she was responding to people saying that she has three kids by three men and OMG how unstable for those children. Her point was that they have a stable home — with her. This has gotten blown up totally out of context. I would be furious if any group used my personal life as an ad for their own agenda without my explicit permission. Good for her for suing them.

    • msw says:

      Its so sad that its like that, too. Father’s rights are an important issue. Its very unfortunate that the only people making noise can’t do it without being pigs.

  9. Jade says:

    As if things aren’t hard enough for single mothers, to have these disgusting bullies attacking them.
    Kate said her kids live with her and their fathers visit or they visit them, and that’s how it is for pretty much all the separated families I’ve ever known.

  10. Anna says:

    I think it was a bit inappropriate and mean to make that ad, but I was shocked by Kate’s comments a few months ago. I guess if her and the rocknroller ever break up, he won’t be able to see his child either

    • LadySlippers says:

      She never said her children’s fathers aren’t/ weren’t involved — she said they don’t live with them. And that can be a positive thing.

      Many children and teens hate having two homes as it’s very disruptive; other children/ teens don’t mind it. You really need to look at how parenting is best served to the child(ren) involved in order to figure out the most suitible arrangement.

      Two homes often isn’t the best option BUT having two involved and loving parents (however it comes) is always a good thing.

  11. queenfreddiemercury says:

    She has stated that her kids see their dads often but they just live with her. I don’t see the problem. If both parents are okay with it (and I think everyone in this case is) I don’t see the big deal. This fathers rights group needs to remove the ad.

  12. Simmie says:

    My parents split when I was very little and I always lived with my mother. But my father drove me to school in the morning, I had dinner with him at least once a week, and we always had brunch together on the weekends. So Fathers4Justice can shush because they don’t know what personal arrangements Kate has with the fathers of her children. Especially since Sam Mendes is saying that whatever the arrangement is is fine with him.

  13. Merritt says:

    Most of these so-called “father’s rights” groups are just full of misogynists. Many of whom don’t actually have children. They frequently don’t do any actual advocacy outside of insisting that fathers are always slighted in custody cases. Which is not true. Each case is different. And most couples agree on the custody arrangement that is in place. This fathers group just wants publicity.

  14. TG says:

    Kate shouldn’t put it out there if she can’t take the heat that goes with it. Anyway her punishment is to have to wake up to the man-child she married. However, I do agree with others on here that if father’s want rights they shouldn’t alienate the people who support them. I am a huge advocate for father’s and depise Kate for her comments but we don’t know the full story. Her comments might have been true but as others have said the dad’s probably visit the children.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Despise her? Wow. That’s harsh.

      I found her comments blunt but she *was* being honest. ‘One size fits all’ custodial arrangements are a fallacy and all she said is her kids live with her — no shuttling around. And then, to top it all off, people twisted her words into things she didn’t even say. She never once said OR implied her children’s fathers aren’t involved.

  15. mkyarwood says:

    It’s just not at all what she meant. What she was trying to say is, although her children have different fathers, they live stable day-to-day home lives. This advocacy group has some legs to stand on when it comes to antiquated laws, but directly targeting a person who wasn’t talking to you, about you or near you isn’t going to help your cause in showing that fathers should have more legal rights to their kids. Perhaps they should have contacted her to see if she might be interested in giving a statement for their cause.

    • Merritt says:

      Except this so-called advocacy group, likely doesn’t do any actual advocacy. If your advocacy is putting out offensive ads, then you don’t actually have a leg to stand on.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Real advocacy is fantastic. One topic that is not spoken about is getting men to WANT to stay involved in their children’s lives. Serial fatherhood is a much more serious issue than so-called antiquated laws and is widely under reported. Men* need to know they are important to their children and finding a new family and forgetting the old is an actual issue a father’s rights group could address.

      *Men that are healthy and respectful. Abusive men are not good for anyone, especially children.

  16. Marigold says:

    This group is full of dickbags. There’s no easy solution to having children and sharing them on holidays. Short of inviting an ex to sleep over on Christmas Eve, kids of split parents have to wake up without one or the other. It’s just the way it is. And you don’t need to live/sleep half the time at the other parent’s house to have a relationship with them. I think that’s the situation with Kate and Sam. He probably sees his dad plenty but doesn’t live with him or sleep at his house on a regular basis. If everyone is happy with that, it’s no one else’s business, especially perfect strangers with an agenda.

  17. Luca26 says:

    I don’t agree with the ads but she should have thought before she spoke. She put her private life on blast and she should have left it private out if respect for her kids. I know UK laws are strict but if they are critiquing what she said on record in print I’m not clear on how they can lose. Who knows.

    • LadySlippers says:

      The problem with watching what you say is even the most innocuous statement can be twisted. It’s a no win situation when people do that.

    • Some Chick says:

      What about what she didn’t say, and what people ( including F4J) are putting into her mouth? No where did she say her children don’t see their fathers, don’t vacation with them, or won’t get to see them for the holidays. And if the father of one of her children is backing her up in this and saying their claims are false, why are they pressing the issue?

      • Luca26 says:

        Still she chose to talk about her custody arrangements and she is a public figure (fair game to the press) and not to judge but her family isn’t traditional. If she had said something more placid there like ‘we manage’ etc there wouldn’t have been anything to twist. Again I don’t agree with the group but while they are twisting what she said to suit their agenda they aren’t fabricating quotes.

      • Some Chick says:

        Well when exactly did Kate discuss her Christmas plans with her children, and her desire to exclude their fathers from those plans? Because I still don’t see any correlation between what she said about her life and being a mother, and what that has to do with the alleged “4 million” fathers who won’t get to see their children on Christmas.
        And the quote they used is taken completely out of context in order to give the impression that she is going through some sort of tumultuous custody case and she is choosing not to involve the children’s fathers in their lives. Some people who were to read that quote blindly would get the impression that she is making it difficult for her children’s fathers to be in their lives.

  18. Megan says:

    I think this 50/50 trend is disgusting and all about the parents and not at all about the kids. Kids shouldn’t have to constantly move back and forth because parents want it to be fair. Sorry but no its about the kids.

    Now I think fathers are extremely important and should have access to their kids. I like the parents that are mature enough to do the 60/40 with if you want to hang out one afternoon or evening let me know and we can work it out.

    Fathers have rights and those should be honored but I hate the idea of a child having to move every week. Its to much IMO.

    I hope Kate was lying to make what she thought would look better, however, I didn’t think it did, I lost respect for her. The ads are wrong, again because it drags her kids into this mess.

    • Evi says:

      I don’t think the ads are wrong or destructive.
      What about the ads she makes for multinational corporations that are allowed to promote unrealistic/photoshopped imagery to women and sell products that are produced by sweat shops?
      These celebrities that endorse prestige brands don’t stop to think of the damage they contribute to in the wider scale of things. The only ethics they have are those related to their exorbitant salaries.

      • Megan says:

        first of all none of the companies she is tied to use sweat shops, none. And sorry but they are dragging her family into an issue which means they have dragged her kids into it. That is wrong. These father right groups seem to have forgotten that a father is suppose to put his child’s needs and best interest FIRST not theirs.

        Also higher end luxury brands don’t use sweat shop labor at all. And what does this have to do with some group dragging her family into their crap without their permission.

      • Merritt says:

        @ Evi

        The ads are destructive. This so-called advocacy group is deliberately twisting her words. They are using her children as a weapon. Which is their goal. To whine about “horrible” mothers and to make trouble.

      • LadySlippers says:

        I think the ads are very wrong and very destructive.

        This ad uses REAL children as pawns. Not cool in my book.

        There are lots of other ways to promote a father’s involvement in his children’s lives without mud slinging.

      • anon33 says:

        Evi, what the hell do her endorsements have to do with this issue? That’s a straw man argument.

    • LNG says:

      The sad part is that the huge push for 50/50 rights is often done for child support purposes only. If the kids are with each parent rougly 50% of the time, any child support payable is much less. I have seen many many cases where this is the sole purpose for the push for 50/50 parenting. No consideration as to whether the parents are actually capable of making that kind of arrangement work for the children (some are – MANY are not)

  19. Evi says:

    I think taking these dads to court is over the top. What they did is no different to writing a public letter to address an issue that bothered them. For Winslet to get all pouty about it is over the top.
    These men go through enough legal crap and still have difficulties accessing equal custodial rights to see their children. Unlike Winslet, they often don’t have rich friends [like Richard Branson, etc] or the funds to fight for their basis parental rights.
    You know what, I don’t like Winslet at all for considering legal action. It’s not as thought they have ripped her off or anything like that. I wish actors didn’t make stupid political comments. Yes, you may hold whatever opinion you like, but all the research in the world shows that divorce has an adverse effect on children. Then again, you don’t damn well need the research. Anyone who has interacted with children of divorce knows the destruction that divorces unleash. What Kate said is idiotic and unnecessary and why is it that only corporations like luxury goods manufacturers are able to sell overpriced and sweat shop produced crap using celebrities and everyday people cannot criticise these celebrities for the adverse and potentially destructive social commentary they make?

    I think the admission that Kate made indicates a lot about her personality, as well as the personality [i.e. selfishness] of her former husbands [fathers of her various children].
    She is the latest addition on my actor/actress sh$%% list.

    • Marigold says:

      Way to bring irrelevant stuff into the conversation. Say what you will about her advertising campaigns but they have nothing to do with this issue.

      Also, her ex is a world renowned director. He doesn’t need rich friends like Richard Burton to help him have access to his child, which is why this organization using her and the young boy as a prop is dispicable.

      I urge you to spend all of 2 hours in a family and probate court. You’ll see this organization is making a mountain out of what is, in the grand scheme of things, a very underwhelming problem when it comes to custodial issues.

    • Some Chick says:

      There are fathers who have an awful time accessing their children… But that is not the case with Winslet, her children, and their fathers. So what gives this group the right to involve them in an ad campaign (especially her minor children) when there is no relation to her situation and what they believe themselves to be fighting for?
      To make matters worse, this is very much a case where people have taken something someone has said, completely out of context, so that they can have something to be offended about. They have attached claims to her that are not true and which she did not state herself. Never once did she go on a tirade against her children’s fathers or indicate that they are not involved in their lives. And if people would employ logic, rather than looking for reasons to be offended, they would understand that most children of split parents have a primary residence. Add in the very unnatural factor of show business, and it is probably far less problematic for the children to have 1 primary residence, so that they can have the most stable life possible.
      It is not the right of this advocacy group to try and parent her children or create and insert themselves in a custody issue that does not exist.

      • LadySlippers says:

        There ARE fathers who have issues seeing their children. However, it’s grossly overstated problem, as people like you, think it’s a huge issue when it’s really a very loud and small minority speaking.
        And some of those men are also abusive so the mothers are trying to protect their children. I think safety trumps everyone’s rights always.

        Advocate for children, yes. By all means please do. But this ad and others like it place the needs of the ADULT male over the needs of the child(ren). And that is not good for kids and highlights what the men are really after.

        Good mothers want their children’s fathers in their lives as long as it’s healthy for the children.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        I’m agreeing with LadySlippers. My mom has had kids with three different guys–one of which she is married to. I know for a fact that the only guy who would try to have a relationship with ALL of us (if they ever divorced) would be the one she’s married to now. The first time my mom got pregnant w/my older sister, the minute she found out, he started freaking out, saying HE wasn’t ready–when HE’S the one who said that HE wanted to get married and have a baby, so they should start trying now. After she had my older sister, he was around for a little bit, but he bailed. My sperm donor was married w/kids–he lied to my mom about basically everything–and abandoned her when she found out that she was pregnant, and then cussed her out over the phone when she asked for child support when we (my twin and I) were twelve. I’ve never met or spoken to him, and it’s been 19 years.

        I have had a lot of female family members been abandoned by their husbands/boyfriends when kids come into the picture. I’ve actually only heard ONE story where the mom was actively keeping the child away from the dad. Basically they were engaged, had a toddler, but he decided that he didn’t want to marry her for whatever reason, so he broke the engagement off. So she decided that because he wasn’t going to marry her, then he couldn’t see his son. He had to take her to court.

    • LadySlippers says:

      I could not disagree with you more.

      This ad places children back into an incredibly powerless situation by reducing them as pawns in order to advance men’s rights.

      Children are NOT pawns nor should they ever be.

    • Merritt says:

      Typical. You can’t argue your position so you are derailing with talk about sweat shops.

    • LadySlippers says:


      Yes divorce isn’t perfect but sometimes it IS better than staying married. I’m alive and much healthier, as are my children, and that’s because I left my abuser — my children’s father. Luckily, I’m a rarity.

      I know plenty of parents that quite successfully co-parent after a divorce. Many do not split their kids 50/50 because of how many issues that brings with it. The best arrangement I’ve seen as been similar to what Simmie mentioned. The children have stability by living with one parent and the other parent has virtually unlimited access (within reason).

      Stability and love are really key ingredients to successfully navigating childhood — regardless of whether or not divorce is involved. THAT’S what people should be advocating for. Not one parents rights over the rights of others — regardless of the issues each family has.

    • Gretchen says:

      @Evi re: “but all the research in the world shows that divorce has an adverse effect on children. Then again, you don’t damn well need the research. Anyone who has interacted with children of divorce knows the destruction that divorces unleash.”

      You’re spewing a load of crap. Firstly, the organisations and groups that fund research (or publicise certain studies) on divorce and its impact on children are often very biased and cherry picked for impact.

      Secondly, from personal experience, the time my parents and I all lived under the same roof was FAR more damaging to my mental/emotional health than their separation and eventual divorce. So, I have not only interacted with children of divorce, I am a child of divorce, and I can guarantee that just as much destruction can be unleashed by two miserable parents (let alone brining in emotional/physical neglect or abuse) staying together. The only difference is that there has been no substantial attempts to research or quantify the emotional impact of it versus divorce.

      Lastly, Kate didn’t make a “political” statement, she was responding to criticism that had been levied against her. Nowhere did she advocate a particular position in regards to custody arrangements outside of her own.

      I hope I’m not overstepping here, I just wanted to send you my best and say I really commend your courage for leaving your abuser. I really wish people would stop and think before portraying divorce as ‘the worst that can happen’, when in fact, it can be the best case scenario.

  20. JessicaC says:

    “the sensitive issue of four million children waking up on Christmas Day without their father”

    So should those kids wake up Christmas morning without their mothers?

  21. Ginger says:

    In the end custody arrangements are unique to each situation and a highly personal subject. I have endured endless speculation and judgement regarding mine and my ex husbands custody arrangement from people who have absolutely no business commenting on it. I am very blessed that my ex and I can co parent peacefully and that our son handles the situation with grace and strength. We put his needs above our own as it should be! Therefore I find this organizations tactics to be distasteful and out of line. This should ONLY be between Kate and the fathers.

  22. themummy says:

    Um, my sons lived with me and that was that. They also visited their father often and spent holidays with him, as well. That is how I read her comments. She never said they never got to spend time with the fathers–just that they lived with her. That is incredibly libelous, in my opinion. They made their add based on things they assumed, not what she actually said.

  23. bailey says:

    Obviously, I don’t know what arrangments Kate Winslet has with her ex husbands in regards to their custody agreement, so I don’t want to comment much. But I don’t understand why Kate is hoping from one relationship to the next. I think it would be wise for her to give her self a few months before starting a new relantionship after getting out of one and even more time before getting married and having a child. She is not forty yet, but is alraedy been married three times. Is she trying to break Elizabeth Taylor’s record? Whatever the resons for the break-up, evaluating the situation, thinking about the mistakes made by either one or both people is always a good idea in my opinion. Some cooling period can only help to make better decisions. She seems to be one of those needy types of women that can’t live without a man, sort a like Jennifer Lopez, but at least she doesn’t have a child right away with the new hubby.

    • lucy2 says:

      She was married for a few years, very young, just as her career really took off – stressful on many couples.
      2 years after her divorce she married Sam Mendes. Married for 7 years, according to rumor, he cheated on her and they divorced.
      3 years later she married Ned.
      I wouldn’t really call that hopping from guy to guy too quickly.

      • bailey says:

        Sorry, but there were guys between marriages also. What a single woman does with another single person is their business, but as soon as a child or children enter the picture, all bets are off in my book. Kids do not ask to be born and they are often suffering the most for their parents terrible decisions that too many times scar them for life. Ned Rock and Roll looks like trouble to me. Kate should consider what example she is stting for her children. Life is hard enough without carrying your parents baggage around for the rest of your life.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Who cares that she dated? And just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to live the life of a saint. She is allowed to live her life.

  24. St says:

    I love Kate. But I’m on those fathers group side. Remember how we all were rooting for Gabriel to win back the right to see his daughter? If Kate wanted to have kids only for her then she shouldn’t have marry and then divorce so often. And stay with her husband. But when woman wants to divorce she has to accept that fact that she would have to share her kids with their father. Same for men. Some women (like Kate) don’t quiet fully understand that all children need to have father. They will always look at other kids in school and wonder why they can’t have real normal father in their lives. Specially boys.

    I don’t know about this particular case. I feel it too that Sam is one of those Hollywood dads that doesn’t really care about his kid and will see him there and there. And then go to work for months. Then show up, spend some time and leave again. If he would want 50/50 time then he would appeal for it. That other father? We don’t know about him anything at all. But it looks like he doesn’t care too much either. Kate was so proud about not having that 50/50 situation simply because none of her ex-husbands forced her to it. If they would want it then they would demand it.

    And seriously Kate – 3 children from 3 different men? Just made up your mind and pick someone that you will like. This is not simple dating when you can drop them every month. Now you have 2 children without fathers. And then you will divorce that Rock N Roll guy and 3-d will be without dad.

    P.S. I wonder if Guy Ritchie sees Rocco often. Because I don’t remember if we even saw him with his son with Madonna at all lately. Madonna doesn’t have that 50/50 problem either.

    • fruitloops says:

      Regarding number of fathers of her children, does that rule apply to Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen and such, or do only women need to make up their minds and pick someone they like?
      Just asking.

      • Maureen says:

        I can’t answer for St, but I can answer for myself: yes. I think it’s awful, and I know people will think it’s judgey, but I have seen what these split families do to children. I know what it did to me. My father had kids with 3 different women. The worst part is that the oldest two kids are full siblings (same mom and dad) and the two youngest siblings are also full siblings. That leaves me right smack in the middle as the “only child” of my parents’ union. I have a sensitive spot on this subject. It makes me really, really angry when I see men or women with children from multiple partners. Are there some cases where it works out great and everybody’s fine and the children grow up healthy and well-adjusted? Yes, sure. Anything is possible. But it is NOT the norm. These split families wound children really, really badly. My father passed a few years and died never knowing how his choices harmed all of his children. It is so selfish. God, and then there’s Kate Winslet all flippant and arrogant about it. It boils my blood. I’m lucky that I got to grow up with my father in the same house for the later years of my childhood and through my teens, along with my two younger half-sibs. My older half brother and half sister were not so lucky. To this day they are deeply wounded people. Very sad, heart-breaking.

      • fruitloops says:

        I agree with you completely, judgey or not. People shoud understand that they’re not alone in the world and that their actions influence other people too, which is worse when children are involved since children never asked to be born and be brought into such situations.

    • Merritt says:


      “I don’t know about this particular case.”
      Then maybe you shouldn’t be supporting this group without looking into them. This group is not interested in advocacy or father-child relations. They just want attention. Some people are not meant to have custody.

      Sam Mendes is on record that he does not have any problems with the custody arrangement. The fathers of Kate’s children are not denied access.

      The idea that women keep their children away from their fathers is a gross exaggeration.

      Not to mention, your obvious need to become so judgmental about another person’s life, speaks volumes about you. Not Kate.

      • St says:

        The idea that women keep their children away from their fathers is a gross exaggeration? Yeah, tell that to Alec Baldwin and Gabriel Aubry, who had to fight for years for chance to be in life of their children… Aubry was literally beaten for it by his ex new boyfriend….

      • LadySlippers says:

        Alec Baldwin is a domestic abuser and Gabriel Aubrey might be as well. So you’ve invalidated your argument with two high-profile controversial and NOT TYPICAL custody battles. And if the mothers’ were trying to protect their children — I applaud their decision wholeheartedly. I could list way more that are run of the mill and very generic divorces with boring custody issues — even in Hollywood.

        Statically, the bigger problem is keeping men active in their children’s lives. I can name way more instances where the courts and the mothers are chasing down fathers that have simply vanished. In fact, serial fatherhood is something that psychology books address. It’s that much of a problem.

        As for divorce, did you ever think about the possibility that Kate didn’t want to divorce? I mean, we are speculating and have no idea what she did or did not want. Not to mention she accounts for only half a marriage…she did marry another person here. Which is quite fascinating since you ‘support men’ but then conveniently forget that they they are part of the marriage equation.

      • Merritt says:


        Baldwin has a history of extreme anger. Did you forget that time he called his daughter and screamed at her? Oh wait you probably did. Before Halle and Aubry even had their daughter, several of his ex-girlfriends came forward to say he was a shady dude. But conveniently all the Aubry apologists always ignore that. And both Aubry and Martinez were fighting. Stop turning him into a victim.

        In Kate’s case it is widely believed Mendes was cheating on her. Women are not obligated to stay with cheating husbands.

        Amazing how you only fault the women in these situations.

  25. fruitloops says:

    I never understood these 50/50 arrangements for children. For some time now I’ve been working in a different city than my husband, and we travel back and forth every second weekend each, and it gets a bit tiring sometimes, we don’t even unpack our bags any more, there’s always one standing ready to go, not to mention thinking every two weeks whether I’ve turned all the appliances off, have I taken everything I might need, will I need warmer clothes or not, and all that for just two days…
    That’s almost a first world problem, so I don’t complaint really, but I cannot stop wondering how these children handle splitting their time between houses on a weekly basis and even if it’s useful for them. I personally think that Simmie’s parent’s arrangement she described above, if possible, is way better than any 50/50 policy.
    It’s not impossible that Kate Winslet has something similar arranged with fathers of her children, and even if they all live far from each other, luckily we live in a world of technology, comunication is hardly a problem now.

  26. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    My beef with her comments was the “none of this 50/50 time” — as if there is something wrong with people who share 50/50 custody. Whatever works for her family is great, but she doesn’t have a right to criticize how other families handle it than they have a right to criticize her.

    I think it’s wrong for this group to reference her children in their publicity ads. I also think it is wrong for Winslet to talk about her children in her publicity interviews. I sincerely wish her luck in any action against this group, but I also think her kids should be able to bring action against HER for their privacy violation too, since she brought it to the public’s attention in the first place.

  27. Renee says:

    Using her to further their own agenda is wrong period. I do understand fathers’ rights and appreciate that we live in an era where they demand them. I’m raising my stepson with my new husband. His mother tried to take him when she decided to move out of state and my husband fought and won custody. Never would have happened twenty years ago. My daughter went between two homes for a few years. Hard at first but she got used to it. My ex and I love her so much and she knows it.

  28. Naomi says:

    Kate said her children live with her 100% of the time. I never ASSUMED this meant her children did not see their fathers which is what this blogs writer & many others did. Having total physical custody means the children live primarily in one home. Kate merely said her children are not flying off to various locations with nannies. We have no idea about any of her agreements regarding visitation. Her children living with her full time in no way indicates they spend little time with their fathers nor does it indicate that there are any issues which interfere with seeing their fathers. By using Kate’s picture the advert appears to me to be putting a face to to the facts that yes there are children and fathers of divorce who are unfairly deprived of their rights to spend time together. Kate never said any of that. She also spoke in specifics about what works with her family. I believe in the advocacy groups intent but I believe they are in the wrong here and are using her. They can accomplish their goal without misleading the public.

    • LadySlippers says:

      As I’ve mentioned, as have others, these father’s rights groups are very anti-female. They use the term ‘father’s rights’ as a PC term to mask their real agenda.

      The reality is father’s have vacated their children’s lives on their own. Serial fatherhood is a very real problem and there are numerous studies to show their consequences on society. The problem is that this doesn’t sound as good nor does it make for good entertainment. So there’s very little publicity about these issues. That’s partly the reason so many people are unaware of the problem of the voluntary absent father. It’s just that common but not seen/heard/filmed/highlighted in the media.

      Most mother’s groups have long advocated for the father’s involvement but that fact is conveniently ignored by these so called father’s rights groups. Why? Because their real agenda is to shame women. It’s to remind women of their rightful place. Again, I urge you to look at the ad again. This ad uses real children in order to shame Kate. Basically branding her with a Scarlett letter. Exactly how does that really help fathers? It doesn’t. At all. Which highlights the fact that they just use the term father’s rights as a scam.