Chris Rock filed for divorce from his wife of 19 years, Malaak Compton

Chris Rock

Y’all know how I feel about Chris Rock. I think he’s brilliant. His latest movie, Top Five, was brash, romantic, and terribly sweet. He’s very perceptive at grasping the big picture on a lot of issues. Sometimes that doesn’t translate to all areas of life, you know? You gotta see the trees inside the forest is what I’m saying, and some sad news dropped yesterday. Chris and his wife, Malaak Compton, have decided to end their 19-year-marriage. TMZ reported that Chris filed the papers, and Malaak released a confirmation to People:

Chris Rock and his wife are divorcing after nearly 20 years together.

“After much contemplation and 19 years of marriage, Chris and I have decided to go our separate ways,” Malaak Compton-Rock, a philanthropist and founder of the nonprofit styleWorks, said in a statement Sunday. “Being fortunate enough to lead a life of service by working with those most vulnerable makes me well aware of life’s blessings, even when faced with difficulties.

“While recognizing that this is a significant change, my children remain at the center of my life and their well-being is my top priority. It is in this spirit that I sincerely ask that their privacy and the privacy of our family be respected during this transition in our lives.”

Rock’s attorney, Robert S. Cohen, confirmed the couple has split. “Chris Rock has filed for divorce from his wife, Malaak,” Cohen said in a statement. “This is a personal matter and Chris requests privacy as he and Malaak work through this process and focus on their family.”

The Top Five star, 49, wed Compton-Rock, 45, in 1996. They live in Alpine, New Jersey, with their two daughters together, Lola Simone, 12, and Zahra Savannah, 10.

In 2010, they shot down claims that Rock had fathered another child out of wedlock. Three years earlier, the stars defended their “happy” relationship and “beautiful family” amid divorce speculation.

“The best part is just having a partner,” Rock said in 2007 of being married. “There is no real worst part. I’m not going to say there’s a worst part. I mean, I’m a comedian — comedians like to work alone. So maybe I’m not the ideal guy to be married to, in that sense.”

[From People]

This isn’t the first time Chris has drawn up divorce papers. He did so in 2006 but never officially filed them. Last year, Star magazine published a sketchy story about how Chris’ brother was saying divorce was imminent because Malaak was “very controlling and demanding.” The story sounded like weird tabloid fan fiction, but maybe there was a bit of truth. Perhaps Chris and Malaak were having real problems, and Star filled in the blanks. Whatever happened, it’s always sobering to see a two-decade marriage come to an end. I hope these two can successfully co-parent their daughters together. Sad.

Chris Rock

Chris Rock

Photos courtesy of WENN

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52 Responses to “Chris Rock filed for divorce from his wife of 19 years, Malaak Compton”

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  1. cannibell says:

    Sad. Always pulling for the kids in these situations, but they seem like grownups. Hoping for the best for all of them.

  2. Lahdidahbaby says:

    Awww, that’s sad. I always hoped they’d make it.

  3. Jenns says:

    After listening to several Chris Rock interviews on Howard Stern, I am not surprised about this at all.

    • Talie says:

      Same! He never seemed happy.

      • Greyson says:

        Yes, for many years in his stand up routine he railed about marriage and made no-so-nice comments about women. I’m not surprise he’s divorcing, only surprised their separation didn’t happen sooner!

      • QQ says:

        Me Neither. He seems like a happy dad But Bitter abiut Marriage and also wasnt the whole thing with the “Not his kid” shot down via paternity test but AFTER admiting he slept around on Malaak?

    • SpookySpooks says:

      Why? What did he say?

      • Jenns says:

        Well, he discussed the 2006 split and how he was accused of fathering the child of the woman he was sleeping with. But mostly he would make comments about how his wife was just spending all this money and would often ask Howard how he was able to have such an amicable divorce from his wife when they split up.

    • Someonestolemyname says:

      Me either, not surprised at all. He seemed miserable in his marriage for years , he would sometimes talk as if marriage was holding him back from dating he women he was attracted to. There have been rumours of his roving eye for several years but they’ve always been squelched.
      His movie I love my wife was interesting.

      I won’t be surprised to find out he already has another woman.

  4. Esmom says:

    Bummer. Question though, People says they have two daughters but the photo shows three girls. Did they forget the little one or is she not their daughter?

  5. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Been there, and sad for all concerned.

  6. scout says:

    YUP! Blame the wife for EVERYTHING now!! Just get divorced without the blame game, good for kids in that way so they respect and love both parents.

    • delorb says:

      I totally agree. Perhaps she was controlling, or maybe he acted like a child who needed to be told what to do? Either way, sad for the kids. Hopefully they can put their kids needs before their own, but then, if he didn’t do that during the marriage….

  7. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    I love Chris Rock as a comedian but he sounds like a real jerk of a husband when he talks about marriage in his stand-up and in interviews. He seems like a wonderful father but not a good to be married to.

    Ten years ago he almost divorced her and he spoke very publicly about it: he said he wanted to divorce after 9 years of marriage b/c it was right before the 10 year cut off date where she would have gotten half of his money in the settlement.. I thought that was so disrespectful to her and to the whole family. His kids heard that too – ya know?

    • Someonestolemyname says:

      I worked with him years ago on SNL, he was so rude in person when not on stage. Just a jerk, ever since then I have NEVER found him funny. I don’t get him humour he seems angry and harsh. Imo I just don’t find him funny.

      • **sighs** says:

        That’s disappointing.

      • Jenns says:

        Chris has admitted that he was a total a-hole when he worked on SNL. Here is hoping that he changed as he got older.

      • Heather says:

        Gosh, I hate to hear this! I always thought Chris Rock was so funny. Still, it’s sad when people split up, especially when they have kids.

      • littlestar says:

        I have never found his stand up to be particularly funny, and have always thought he was an Adam Sandler type actor (aka not good). But I thought his comments on race and Hollywood to be particularly insightful. All these comments are really eye-opening. So Rock is basically a not so nice guy in real life :(.

      • QQ- Christmas POW says:

        Thanls how I feel About him too littlestar.,… To A T

      • delorb says:

        I love his humor and I find it spot on, in may instances. I also don’t think one can judge his marriage by his stand-up routine. Some old-timers say the most mean things about their wives on stage, but who love them unconditionally off it. I’m also not going to judge him by his attitude on SNL. That was a cut-throat show and if you didn’t have any new material, you might not go on (or you got a bit part in someone else’s skit). What I’m going by is the ‘could’ have fathered a kid with another woman. His excuse being, ‘yeah I slept with her, but its not my kid!’ [to paraphrase of course] I don’t understand men getting married if they still want to play the field. How about NOT getting married, then you can sleep with as many women as you want, without breaking any vows, hearts, families, etc. Cheating on your family is a jerk move. IMO, of course.

      • Bella bella says:

        It’s been my experience that a lot of comedians are entirely different from their stage persona. I worked with Nathan Lane once and he was one of the nastiest people I’ve ever encountered.

      • Someonestolemyname says:

        Sad to hear Nathan Lane is Nasty mean.

        The thing with Chris Rock is he seemed to show anger towards the women on set, say really harsh, crude things. It put me off him as a comedienne.

  8. SpookySpooks says:

    Weren’t there cheating rumours about him?

  9. samanthalous says:

    Good I was at one of his shows in November and he seemed unhappy, lots of marriage and “where can I find a husband, where can I just find someone who pays for sh*t” so yeah glad they both have a chance to be happy.

  10. **sighs** says:

    I’m not saying this is the case here, because I don’t know much about their relationship…but I find that when people say their woman is “demanding and controlling”, it really means that she expects him to actually come home and participate in being a husband and father and not let him party and sleep around.

    • Someonestolemyname says:

      …..And she doesn’t put up with a lot of his excuses or nonsense. Perhaps.

    • BangersandMash says:

      *pushing that ‘like’ button a thousand times* Thank you Sigh.

      Demanding and controlling = Confronting behaviour that’s not helping the relationship function smoothly. Also see, expressing your expectations openly and setting boundaries and standards.

      By those standards, you know who else is controlling and demanding? Jennifer Garner… And (if she was) would you blame her?

    • MrsBPitt says:

      agree 1,000,000,000%….demanding and controlling wife = she won’t let me do whatever I want to do!

    • We Are All Made of Stars says:

      Wow, the stuff people here are saying about him is truly disappointing. And all this from a guy who had standup routines involving jokes like, “Do you know why you have to get married, men? Because you don’t want to be that one guy at the club. You know the guy, he’s not old, he’s just a little too old to be at the club.” I’m paraphrasing unfunnily. Maybe that joke wasn’t the clarion sign of traditionalism and fidelity that I thought it was. Oh well.

      • lrm says:

        Well, you should check out his bit about how it’s okay to hit a woman [in his joking/veiled way]. It’s on you tube, from one of his stand ups years ago on how we are ‘not supposed to hit a woman back’. And how that ‘rule’ just gives the woman an excuse to say anything she wants to him in public places, b/c he won’t retaliate by hitting her. Seriously. It’s jaw dropping from someone who is so insightful about racism in hollywood.
        But his class and gender ‘jokes’ are not that funny.
        Also, I think he’s the comedien who has that bit about ‘cell mates vs. soul mates’. That the woman says ‘do you tihnk we’re soul mates honey?’ and he’s like ‘more like cell mates’.
        That last joke may be kind of funny, but def. paints a picture of how he viewed his marriage. His jokes about women and relationships in general are, to me, pretty mysognist leaning.

      • CH2 says:

        I made a comment before about how I thought Chris Rock was a sexist and I got totally ripped for it. Sexism seems to be a lot more acceptable than racism, I’ve found.

    • CH2 says:


  11. lucy2 says:

    That’s sad for their kids, but if it’s been an unhappy marriage for so long, it probably has felt unstable for their girls as it is. Best of luck to them.

  12. mar says:

    he is dating Rosario Dawson SUPPOSEDLY and him and his wife have been off for 2 years

  13. pnichols says:

    Only they know what happened between them. Its their business. Bless the children that the transition is seamless and keeps them in mind. Very sad all around.

  14. jasmine says:

    what do you expect from a guy who made a movie called “I Think I Love My Wife???” if you have to question it…art imitating life for sure

  15. Meg says:

    I love how your love for chris rock caused to neglect to mention the fact that a past mistress of his, while he was married, threatened to come forward with her story so he hired a private detective to bend the law by threatening her and dig up dirt on her ala bill cosby. but you did choose to mention gossip that his wife was controlling-maybe losing trust in your husband when he cheated contributed to that need for control. but you don’t mention that at all in this post.

  16. Diana says:

    Can anyone in Hollywood stay married/together anymore? I guess it’s easier to divorce — and then on to spouse #2, 3, 4, 5, whatever — than to put in real work maintaining a marriage.

  17. ¡mire usted! says:

    Bedhead – I love your coverage. For me, I just can’t. Too painful. Well, there were rumors. What an awful way to end 2014 – especially for this adorable family. I feel like all the 90s marriages are ending. Chris got married in ’96. I got married in ’98. Our daughters are about the same ages. Ugh. Well, at least we have #TopFive. I think BIG things are coming Chris’ way in 2015 after this critically acclaimed film. I hope he gets more nominations. I hope the film makes more money too. More importantly, I hope their whole family continues to love each other – maybe even get back together. A girl can hope right?