Peter Facinelli says divorce has made him a better dad: sad or worthy of praise?

Peter Facinelli

I’ll be perfectly honest here and admit that I scoffed a little bit at this story until searching for photos of Peter Facinelli and his three daughters — Lola, Luca, and Fiona — that he shares with former wife Jennie Garth. As you can see, Peter is having quite the time of his life with his daughters in these pictures from last September during a Hawaii vacation. Peter and Jennie officially split last March when he filed for divorce, but by many accounts, it was clear that Peter had checked out of the marriage for quite some time beforehand, and he had some side pieces along the way.

After the divorce, Peter asked Jennie to stop giving interviews because it made him look bad, but now that he’s promoting the fifth season of “Nurse Jackie,” Peter has decided to talk too. Fortunately, he’s not talking about the actual split, but Peter is shilling his family a little bit by saying how wonderful it is that he’s co-parenting with Jennie because now he has the opportunity to spend time with his daughters and bond with them. Like, I guess he didn’t spend much time with his kids when he was busy stepping out on their mother, right? Here’s what Peter had to say to HuffPo:

Peter Facinelli

Twilight actor Peter Facinelli stopped by HuffPost Live on Monday to reflect on his acting career. Also on the agenda? What it’s like to co-parent his three daughters with ex Jennie Garth.

“Co-parenting has been great. I’m able to have the kids every other week and in some ways — a lot of ways — it makes me an even better father,” Facinelli said. “I get to get up and make them breakfast, make them lunches, take them to school and I have the full responsibility of all three girls for the whole entire week, and I bond a lot with them that way.”

Facinelli filed for divorce from Garth in March 2012 after 11 years of marriage. In November 2012, he took his relationship public with “Nurse Jackie” co-star Jaimie Alexander. Garth has been linked to Jeremy Salken, the drummer for the electronica duo Big Gigantic, since the split.

[From HuffPo]

For the ultra curious amongst you, here’s a link to the video interview, which I didn’t embed here because of the autoplay curse. From this interview, I’m receiving strong vibes that when Peter and Jennie started having problems (or when he decided to start sleeping with other chicks), he basically cut out of family life altogether. I guess, in that regard, it makes sense that he’s getting to know his kids much better now that the pressure of a bad marriage has disappeared. It’s still a sad situation, of course.

Here’s Peter with his new girlfriend, Jaime Alexander, while attending the Saving Tails fundraiser in LA on 4/13.

Peter Facinelli

Peter Facinelli

Peter Facinelli

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet

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63 Responses to “Peter Facinelli says divorce has made him a better dad: sad or worthy of praise?”

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  1. brin says:

    Some things are better left unsaid.

  2. serena says:

    What a stupid man, he’s such a douche. He told Jennie to stfu and then, when he’s the one who wanted out of the marriage to bang younger chicks, he’s the one shilling family details.

    And the of course he finds parenting easier and fun since from what I read he takes the kids to do ‘fun stuff’ or on trips occasionally, and does not bother on daily life so much. But I could be wrong here, still he’s such a tool to me.

    • JenD says:

      Yep – talking about his family now to promote his show.

      And his “bonding time” reminds me of Tom Cruise – swoop in for fun stuff, while the other parent does the real parenting.

      • serena says:

        Right, that’s totally Tom style LOL

      • Jenny says:

        Seems to me that is the opposite of what he is saying. I think he is making the point that now that he has the girls for the whole week every other week he is in charge of taking care of their daily lives, as opposed to only spending QT with them on vacations and such and leaving the dirty work to his spouse. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I had the same experience with my dad. Once my parents divorced, my relationship with my dad got so much closer, because when I was with him, it was just us. He had to get me ready for school; he had to prepare my meals; he had to talk to me and keep me entertained. Before the divorce, those had all been my mom’s responsibilities and I think that is sadly still the case with many families.

      • ycnan says:


        That’s how I read it too, and it actually makes perfect sense. I’m not saying he is dad of the year but most times the mom (not all but most) does all of the day to day stuff, even when both work. But when you have equal custody that all changes. It’s actually an honest thing to say and admit. Good for him. He seem to see how great and how close that makes him to his kids.

      • ol cranky says:

        I read it the same was as Jenny does as well. I have a very good friend who always complained about her husband not being a good dad and then becoming a much better father after they got divorced. In their case, and this is coming from me as her friend, I think a lot of the problem in him “not being a good dad” was the fact that she always referred to any time and involvement he had with the children during their marriage as him “babysitting” and she treated him like a baby sitter. I have a feeling that may happen in a lot of marriages

      • Ginger says:

        When my ex-husband and I divorced the same thing happened. He has always been a good father but I have seen his relationship and mine as well with our son become much closer. My son gets the benefit of having two totally different households and different things learned from each parent’s world. I am very pleased that my ex and I have remained friends and can co parent peacefully. It is one blessing that came out of something very difficult. I think Peter is trying to convey this but those who have not gone through this experience may not understand. It’s better for the children when you can put aside the bitterness of the divorce and focus on the kids lives.

  3. Bobbie says:

    What a jerk! Remember the old saying Peter- the best thing a man can do for his children is LOVE their mother. Not cheat on their mother. Jenny seems great. He seems like a total douche. However, it is good that he’s reengaging with his kids.

    • Jenny says:

      I have never heard that saying, but I don’t think I agree. Cheating is always bad, but there is a difference between loving and being respectful of and kind towards. Not all relationships work out, all families are different, and I don’t think that saying is a fair assessment at all.

  4. Jenn says:

    douche… is he trying to justify being a cheat and abandoning his family?

  5. Sisi says:

    An even better father?!? Uhhhh. Wow that’s rather selfserving while at the same time saying that he didn’t do a lot of specific parental tasks before the divorce. Odd. Let’s leave it at that…

  6. Cirque28 says:

    Oh, such a terrible trial it must have been to have a pretty blonde wife who adored him, had her own career, and gave him 3 healthy children.

    Hell on earth, Peter, hell on earth.

  7. lucy2 says:

    He’s on his own more to take care of them, so he feels like a better dad now? Nice for him, not so great for the little kids who had their family upended, and then both parents talking about it publicly.

  8. Dap says:

    Some men don’t do any thing as home (cooking, cleaning, homework, etc…) as long as their wife is there to take care of everything. Then of course, when they are alone, they have no other choice than to do the hard work and sometimes they discover it can be rewarding. To bad they don’t start by that. It could avoid a lot of divorces.

  9. Joanna says:

    so in other words, he prob didn’t do anything like picking up kids, taking kids to school, etc, while he was married. but now that he has them every other week and wifey isnt there to do it for him, he’s doing it and singing his own praises.

  10. YummyMummy says:

    I think this happens a lot! Moms do all the work for the kids and Dads just sit on the couch or get a hottie on the side!

  11. Joiq says:

    I don’t think he meant what he said as mean spirited. But I wouldn’t doubt Jennie was burned by that comment. He’s the one that (not sure if during or after the divorce) scooped some babe up who happened to be a friend first.To me, Jennie is way better off. I think he mentally checked out of the marriage, then was happy to do it legally. So, I guess what I’m saying is that I agree with everyone else. What a douche. But at least he is being a father.

  12. Tessa says:

    You made your kid breakfast? Slow claps for you, Peter. Slow claps…

  13. TG says:

    I agree this tool let the Twilight success go to his head. He got too big for his breeches. I remember back when the movie first came out and they were promoting it I could tell something was of with Jenny and this Douche. She seemed a little desperate and insecure and overcompensating in interviews and red carpet pics. I said the. That these 2 were in trouble. She still seems desperate but she is probably still trying to pick up her self-esteem and get he mojo back. That tends to happen when you lose yourself in a relationship and especially when you are married to a douche bag tool of a man like Peter.

  14. Cody says:

    I have heard that from many divorce fathers. I am a “better father now or parent now.” I can’t decide about that statement. Are they really a better father and they were lousy before or they looking for excuses about the divorce or are they blaming the wife and the marriage for their failures?

    • Jayna says:

      Well, he was away on location for years doing those Twylight movies, so he was going to be a better father anyway now that he’s around more. But I think what divorced fathers mean is when they have the children they do a lot of the things the wife typically does and took for granted and also really focus in on the kids because they feel bad for the pain they went through with the split, so more one on one time when they have them. They just have to step up more in the day-to-day minutae of child-raising and there is a closeness because of that.

  15. Doofus says:

    Chris Rock comes to mind.

    (Men) want credit for sh*t they’re supposed to do.

    “I take care of my kids!”

    • MonicaQ says:

      This right here. That’s like me wanting a gold sticker for getting out of bed this morning and brushing my teeth.

    • Diana says:


    • the original bellaluna says:

      Doofus – PERFECT! Rough translation for Facinelli: “I had a wife who always took care of the kids, so I could basically just phone it in when it came to fatherhood. Now that she left my cheating ass and I have the kids every other week, I have to actually PARENT and take care of MY OWN children! Who knew [I was such a great dad]?”

  16. Cinnamon says:

    i think he’s close to the character he played in cant hardly wait. thinks he’s all big shot in high school then when the football jock years are over and nobody cares about him he’s gonna look back and wished he treated his family better.
    guys like this suck.
    im having to hang out with a homewrecker tonight (hubby’s coworker’s new gf who conveniently moved in a month after the wife left) and this is just putting me in a mood.

  17. beth says:

    What about Jamie, his costar he cheated with. This affair ultimately broke Jenny and Peter up. She is a homewrecker who ruined a family. She is as bad as he is.

  18. The Original Mia says:

    Probably should have kept that sentiment to yourself, Peter. Jerk.

  19. jess says:

    I understand what he’s saying. My dad became more of a dad after my parents divorced. And while I currently don’t like my ex much I think he is a better dad now, post split. Even my friends with very “progressive” husbands agree that, when both parents are around, the mom is ultimately responsible for the kids. Divorce changes that – a lot of dads, for the first time, can’t avoid all parenting responsiblities.

  20. Bijlee says:

    My professor said that it doesn’t matter how much men try to work around the house or help out, the majority of the women in the world will still do the greatest share of work. It doesn’t matter how progressive we get or what, that is never going to stop. Women take care of the house and some even have jobs and I don’t remember everything he said but he convinced me that that is true. Also he didn’t say it in a men suck kind of way. He said it in a we gotta appreciate it and accept it.

    Yes, there are great fathers out there. But most of the ones I’ve seen aren’t picking their kids up and dropping them off and cooking/cleaning/etc. and the single dads (from my experience) are usually forced into doing these things. They never really took a responsibility for them before. men are praised for being single dads more then women are praised for being single moms. the bar honestly seems set so low for dads and it’s really disappointing.

    • anon33 says:

      And to be perfectly honest, ^THIS is one of my many considerations when thinking about having children.
      What you have said is already true in my relationship-even though I am the “breadwinner” and make more $$ than my husband, I still do the bulk of the housework. Even though he is very progressive and he really really REALLY tries (far more than other guys his age I know), my husband is one of those people that “can’t see” dirt. I am constantly having to remind him to pick up his own damn dirty socks off the floor.
      This happened to my mom and dad too-even tho my dad is an awesome dad and did all the dad stuff like picking up/taking, etc., he NEVER helped with cleaning and isn’t even the type of guy that is “handy,” so when it comes to maintaining a home, he is useless. And my mom was constantly frustrated bc she worked, and was on call all the time, and still did all of the cleaning, cooking, and home maintenance.
      I do not think this is right and I never have, and I absolutely refuse to be the one that is primarily responsible for the children along with all of the home maintenance. I believe that there should be equal responsibility, and until that TRULY occurs (which it won’t in my lifetime), I refuse to sacrifice my career and my personhood for this type of bullshit. (Luckily I don’t really want kids anyway.)
      /rant over

      • Joanna says:

        there are men that will take equal responsibility. I had a man that did, I messed up. they are out there, though.

  21. Tulip says:

    On a positive note, what an ideal parenting model-both parents do the daily grind and then get a week off.

  22. eileen says:

    As much as I get this because just gone through divorce and my ex IS 10X the dad now that he was, I think its unnecessary to talk about it.
    Of course he is-he doesn’t have mom doing everything for them because she isn’t around anymore. You do it on your time or it doesn’t get done. Maybe if he was going to boast about that, he should have given a shout out to the person who dedicated her years to doing it all while he messed around on her.

  23. DreamyK says:

    Disneyland Dad. What an asshole. Seriously.

  24. sunnyinseattle says:

    “I have the full responsibility for all 3 girls for the whole entire week….”. How very Father of the Year him! What A douche. 🙁

  25. heidi says:

    That’s the same thing Eddie Cibrian says and there’s not a bit of truth to those empty words

  26. daisy says:

    I kept wondering where i had seen this guy before and why did I think he was such a douchebag.. IMDB to the rescue! he was mike dexter in Cant hardly wait…thats why…thats why

  27. MoxyLady007 says:

    Oh! Well good for you for cheating on your wife and bailing on your marriage. It all worked out.
    Pointy nosed douche.

  28. Mauibound says:

    I think a big part of his douchiness comes from the fact that he will never be more famous than his ex-wife. Even with those god awful twilight films, he will always be a B lister and with good reason, the acting in twilight was awful plus that bleach job he was sporting was frightening

  29. janie says:

    I can’t believe this idiot would verbalize this? What kind of man & father is he? I’m disgusted by him.

  30. janie says:

    I can’t believe this idiot would verbalize this? What kind of man & father is he? I’m disgusted by him. Jennie wins!

  31. Wicked says:

    Too bad being married didn’t make him a better husband!

  32. AustinMJ says:

    I think men tell themselves this to ease their guilt. Wait. Narcissists dont have guilt, do they? Nevermind. douchebag.

  33. Cherylk says:

    He’s scumb for what he did to his wife and young family. She is a disgrace for the going after him and hiding around with him. I hope both of their careers nosedive. I will never indulge in anything they are associated with.

  34. RdyfrmycloseupmrDvlle says:

    I HAD been madly in love with him before he bailed on poor Jennie. He forgot that part of his allure was “Handsome husband/family man.” Now hes just a slimey cad. A cad. An old fashioned expression for a unprincipled man who lacks ethics and integrity and abandons his wife and children. In the end most men that do this to themselves admit it wasnt worth it and never ought to have left to begin with.
    I just cant like or respect him any more. As for his comments……..this is to try and ease his guilt and restore his image…..which will never happen….on both fronts. Good luck with that Peter.