Are Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas on the verge of a split?

Last week we heard that Catherine Zeta-Jones had checked into a psychiatric facility for routine maintenance for her bipolar II disorder. Many people assumed that it was to adjust her medication, which can be difficult and stressful to do at home. The Daily Mail has a long article pointing to Catherine’s floundering career, saying that she’s having problems at home with her marriage, and claiming that things must be horrible for her if she’s checking into treatment. I don’t agree, but I’d like to talk about it. Here are some excerpts, with more at the source:

While the actress’s spokeswoman tried to play down the episode, there are fears that problems in her marriage to Douglas — who was said to have moved out of the couple’s New York home for a time last summer — and a string of film flops may have sparked a relapse in her condition.

It is the second time she has sought treatment: two years ago, she was admitted to the £770-a-day Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut for five days because of the stress of coping with Douglas’s battle with advanced throat cancer.

Once the news broke, Catherine’s Los Angeles-based PR team went into overdrive. Her spokeswoman, Cece Yorke, issued a statement saying: ‘Catherine has proactively checked into a health-care facility. Previously, she has said she is committed to periodic care in order to manage her health in an optimum manner.’

According to her team, her 30-day ‘maintenance’ stay has been arranged so doctors can monitor her drugs and has ‘always been part of the plan’.

It is a claim that has been disputed by mental health professionals.

‘What her spokesman has said makes no sense at all,’ renowned Beverly Hills psychiatrist Dr Carole Lieberman told the Mail this week.

‘If there was nothing wrong and she was coping with life, she wouldn’t need to go into a hospital.

‘The idea that you can have this so-called maintenance programme is just not how it works. You can’t schedule it, like bringing your car in every six months. The reason patients are admitted to a psychiatric unit is because their condition is so serious and acute that they need to be in hospital.’

It isn’t clear exactly what has triggered this suspected relapse, but the Douglases — who are worth £185 million — have had their fair share of problems of late, any one of which could bring about understandable marital tensions…

They spoke out following claims in a U.S. magazine they had undergone a ‘hush-hush trial separation’.

The reports were prompted by claims that Fatal Attraction star Michael, 68, had briefly moved out of the couple’s main home, a stunning Thirties white mansion which they bought for £3.2 million in the upmarket enclave of Bedford, New York.

He was said to be living nearby in a converted barn owned by a multi-millionaire friend. It was claimed the marriage had buckled under the pressure of Michael’s cancer, for which he underwent aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment in 2010…

At around the time of the couple’s alleged split, Catherine’s friend Charlotte Church hinted at tensions in the marriage when she told chat-show host Graham Norton that Douglas had been angry over his wife’s boozy partying with the Welsh singer following a celebrity golf tournament.

‘We were singing and having a great time and Michael was really p***** off. He was fuming and went to bed early,’ she said.

Certainly, the couple’s relationship is far from conventional. As she laughed off the claims of problems, Catherine — who found fame in the Nineties in The Darling Buds Of May — let slip that they give each other ‘space’.

‘That’s why our marriage lasts,’ she insisted. That ‘space’ has involved them spending ‘me time’ apart from each other at their various homes around the world, which include a house on Bermuda overlooking the Atlantic, a rural home in Majorca, a vast apartment with views of Central Park in Manhattan and a mountain retreat near Quebec.

[From The Daily Mail]

I think it’s unfair for some random doctor to claim that she must be in an awful state to check into a facility. That might be true in general for people of average means, in certain countries, but I know people in Germany who have gone to 30 day inpatient treatment centers just to get their medication adjusted. When you run the risk of side effects and problems from discontinuing medication it’s probably best to do it in a monitored environment. She can afford the best of everything, so why not do it under supervision?

As for whether Catherine and Michael are having problems, I bet they are. It sounds like Catherine has been dropping subtle hints. But they’re sticking together for now, and that’s what matters. I really hope that they work it out and that she’s able to get her condition stabilized. They’ve gone through so much with Michael’s cancer and Catherine’s illness. I’m rooting for them.

These photos are from 4-22-13 and 2-24-13. Credit:

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45 Responses to “Are Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas on the verge of a split?”

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  1. Faye says:

    “I think it’s unfair for some random doctor to claim that she must be in an awful state to check into a facility. ”

    Normally, I absolutely hate when doctors give interviews about celebrities they’ve never even met in the media. It makes them seem totally unprofessional and unqualified. In this case, though, I’m inclined to give Dr. Lieberman the benefit of the doubt. There might be people who are not seeking treatment because they think they’d have to do things like go into a mental hospital regularly — I actually had this issue when I had to deal with an employee who turned out to be suffering from bipolar and didn’t want to seek treatment for this very reason. I think it’s important to dispel the myth that you can’t control a disease like bipolar with medication and therapy, and that people with it are going to end up in a mental hospital just for maintenance.

    That being said, if Catherine needs that, of course she should take the time she needs to get better. Wish her all the best.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:


    • lucy2 says:

      I agree with this, except feel that he should have said “I’m not her doctor and don’t know anything about her specific condition, but in general people typically…” rather than talking about her directly. If that’s the message he wanted to get across.

      • 5thHouse says:

        He probably did say that, and it mysteriously didn’t make it into print.

  2. Dedrie says:

    Michael must really gross her out and he’s a repulsive weirdo pest.. Let her get help in seclusion.. Better than a pet bunny boiling ending..

  3. Joanna says:

    I don’t think they’re gonna break up. It’s probably cheaper to keep her. They have so many houses, etc, that they can live separate lives if they want. too bad, though, I thought they seemed like a real solid couple and very much in love to me. hopefully, this story is b.s.

    • rashers says:

      I think the story IS a bunch of BS. Do you need to have “insiders” to know that a bipolar woman has had manic episodes and probably “rip roaring fights” with her husband! And I just cant with the failing career angle, talk about conjecture.

      I dont even know what that writer wants to accomplish, other than kick her while shes down. SO WHAT, if shes not in their for maintainance? Are we supposed to view her with contempt/pity for having a relapse? Are we supposed to be angry because she didnt release her journal entries documenting her break or better still email her medical records to TMZ. That story isnt just intrusive, its offensive.

      I think medical conditions should get the same treatment that sexual orientation gets. That is, only publish that which the subject has disclosed. And think about the potential damage your dumb ass “expose” could do to the patient. God I hate Daily Mail!

    • Zombie Shortcake says:

      I remember reading somewhere that during the early to mid 2000’s, he was “so happy” with their marriage, he tore up their pre-nup agreement. So I hope they work things out too, because it would stay a lot less complicated that way.

  4. brin says:

    I would hate to see them split after all they’ve been through together, hope they weather this too.

  5. PHD gossip says:

    He moved out last summer – they already had a trial separation. She seems completely nuts to me – did you see her on Letterman recently? She seemed completely wacko.

    • pfeiffer87 says:

      perhaps not the most sensitive wording given her condition.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree – she has a legitimate brain chemistry medical condition that can affect her behavior, and is doing her best to manage it, all in the public eye and under a lot of stress.

    • 4vr says:

      I just watched the Letterman clip on YouTube. She didn’t seem “wacko” at all, and even if she did seem to be displaying behavior that was out of the realm of what is generally considered “normal,” it’s a significant shame that people still feel it’s OK to slap labels on people just because they hear they have a mental illness.

      • ya says:

        Ya – completely agree with this. It’s sad because it’s those types of comments that increase the stigma surrounding mental illness.

  6. fabgrrl says:

    Still so lovely. My girl crush forever! Looks like she gained back some much needed weight.

  7. bammer says:

    She’s had so much work on her face she looks like a wax figure. I saw “Broken City” and its like she’s wearing a mask.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      What DID she do to her face? She was supposedly this great beauty – why did she do anything?

      • Jenny says:

        Age! Hard to age naturally and gracefully in Hollywood. I happen to think in more recent years her face has looked more beautiful when she is not quite so thin, as the pictures In the article illustrate.

    • janet says:

      Right?! All I can focus on is her face. It’s like she added 3 inches in length btw cheekbones and lower jaw. I loved her pretty round face.

  8. taxi says:

    “… I know people in Germany who have gone to 30 day inpatient treatment centers just to get their medication adjusted.”

    In Germany, Die Kur is an accepted 30 day in-patient stay, often at a medical spa, for anything deemed necessary, usually stress. Employers pay for this. It’s part of the standard job benefit. 6 weeks paid vacation annually + 30 days for “cure”.

    • Celebitchy says:

      The vacation and health benefits in Germany are so sweet. 6 weeks vacation is just a pipe dream for most Americans until they retire.

      • pzc says:

        The benefits in Germany are pretty sweet, but only if you’re an employee. Self employed? You’re better off unemployed…

  9. Leni says:

    Bipolar 11 is mainly severe depression with bouts of mild-moderate mania and the changes tend to occur with seasonal changes and high levels of stress so both could be possible. Also whenever possible it is always recommended that any medication changes should be overseen in a hospital because the tricky thing with Bipolar is that you cannot always know how the medication changes will work-it requires a fragile balance to get it just right. She can afford to do it the right way.
    For psychiatrists they clearly know little about how complicated Bipolar can be despite it being very treatable.
    Also her being “wacko” sounds like she might be experiencing mania which is why she sought treatment. I do not know her so I am going based on my professional experience with clients.

    • bluhare says:

      I’m Bipolar II and have never been hospitalized for medication issues. Actually, I haven’t been hospitalized at all, but I will concur that it’s depression with anxiety. I tell my doctor I wish I had the mania, at least I’d have some fun part of the time. She says I wouldn’t want it.

  10. Kiddo says:

    I find both of them insufferable.

  11. The real me says:

    I was diagnosed bi polar almost 20 years ago. I am so happy and proud that Catherine talks about her illness and isn’t living in shame and isolation. Those are the two feelings that plague you once you are diagnosed. I can speak from experience. You cannot schedule a stay ahead of time! It takes years of hard work, and self awareness to learn to live with this. Still, your manic times are unpredictable – as are the depressive. You just learn how to control them, never can you predict them. Anyway, I wish her the best. This illness/disease isn’t a life ender, it’s just a life changer. A changer full of hope if you work hard enough.

  12. siobhan says:

    It’s sad she is getting so much scrutiny for getting help for her bipolar disorder. Her mental health should be taken care of the way her doctor and she feel is best for her even if it’s not the route most people go.

  13. Jayna says:

    I feel sad for them. They are both good people, but sometimes a lot hitting you at once can tear people apart, not bring them closer. The stress of Michael’s cancer, Michael’s eldest son being sentenced to prison and then his prison sentence doubled due to his issues, her diagnosis of being bipolar with obviously ups and downs with it since she is being hospitalized.

    She is in midlife now, maybe experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms, which can bring on depression, midlife issues regarding her career, married to a much older man that the age difference seems to start becoming an issue in a marriage when the wife hits her 40s and the husband is heading towards 70. She’s 43 and he’s 68. I wish the best for both of them. They’ve been through a lot in the past couple of years.

  14. Micki says:

    I hope they’ll settle their problems and find new energy to keep the marriage going.
    I don’t know a family without problems and they had indeed their share so what if they’re wavering now? Happens.
    It’s good she’s taking care of herself.I’d rather have a partner doing so than s.o. who’s unpredictable, unmanagable and unreliable due to neglected illness.

  15. Kate says:

    I’ve thought they were over for awhile. Their vibe/body language towards each other was absolutely frigid at the Academy Awards.

  16. Me Three says:

    This is what happens when a woman marries a guy 25 years older, when the guy is at the height of his power in the biz and she’s up and coming.

    He’s been out of “power” in Hollywood for years now and frankly, she was over rated as far as acting so now she’s left with being married to an old man who married her as his trophy and she is getting nothing in return.

    Same thing will happen to Hilaria and Alec and to Bruce Willis and his wife.

    As far as her being bipolar, I have to give her a lot of credit for being so upfront about it. She’s helped people by being so honest about her own struggles.

    • T.Fanty says:

      ^ This. I always thought she was a bit of a blatant gold digger/famewhore, actually, and am always surprised that nobody has called her on it.

      • lucy2 says:

        I thought it for a while, that she was with him for the fame and fortune and to up her profile, but they’ve been together for a long time now.
        They’ve been through a lot in recent years – I don’t know if they’re decent people or not, but I wish them both luck.

      • Jayna says:

        I never got that at all. I mean, they lived in Bermuda for many years and raised their children out of the spotlight, except for her movie roles. A famewhore would in no way be living that far out of the limelight for that many years. They moved to New York a few years ago for the kids to go to school there. She said about marrying a much older man that she always seemed older than her years, the way she dressed, etc., in her twenties,which she did always seem older than her years when younger. She didn’t even go out with him straight away because of his reputation. He really had to court her long distance for quite awhile.

  17. LeeLoo says:

    I 100% believe she checked in because of medication adjustments. I have close friends who have Bipolar Disorder and medication adjustments are HARD. They can make people go crazy and suffer from psychosis. One wrong medication and that person could wind up having suicidal depression. The fact she has kids in her home make me believe she is trying to not have them witness what could be some serious ups and down.

    As far as the state of the marriage, I think between her mental health and Michael’s throat cancer they’ve had a ton of crap thrown at them in the last 3-4 years. It would take a toll on even the best of marriages. I’ve felt her career has been over for a long time though. I think her career started floundering around 2003-2005.

  18. JL says:

    No she’s probably not getting divorced.
    When one admits a problem, deals with a problem and is honest about it then people tend to support that….

    Take a note here Lindsey, Bieber, Rhinanna, LeAnne etc etc….

  19. Rita says:

    I truly admire and respect anyone who honestly and sincerely checks themselves into rehab. They have the best chance to get the help they need.

  20. Jch says:

    The doctor saying that someone has to be in a very bad state to check into a hospital obviously knows nothing about private facilities and how people who privately pay are dealt with. If her doc deems that she needs treatment and there is a bed available for her, she gets in. Not such a big deal. We’re not talking about someone on Medicaid or with a regular HMO (or using the NHS benefits).

  21. april says:

    Hope Catherine feels better soon and that the marriage can survive happily.

    • Lauren says:

      Michael has been thru hell with his cancer, and Catherine should be supporting him. Yes, she is bi-polar which is an illness too, but treatable. Michael comes from Hollywood Royalty (Kirk Douglas), and Catherine would be invisible without him. They have not seemed happy for a long time, their body language seems distant & chilly.

  22. KellyinSeattle says:

    I think they really do love each other. She is such a beautiful woman; personally, I wouldn’t want to get near him, but if that’s what she wants…..
    I hope she gets her bipolar disorder in remission…it’s a terrible condition both my friends and I have experienced over a long haul…I wish her the best.

  23. Lemony says:

    I hope they’re not splitting up. They’ve been through rough times & I hope they can continue to support each other.
    For those who mentioned that she hasn’t had much of a career the last few years, IMO it has much to do with her husband’s illness (If your spouse had cancer & you could afford it, wouldn’t you take an absence from work? I would), figuring out her illness, as well as raising two young children.

  24. Maggie says:

    I thought she was a raging alcoholic.