People: Jon Hamm ‘always had demons & needed a mother figure in his life’


My opinion of Jon Hamm has fallen pretty hard over the past year. It’s not just the fraternity stories, although those stories did disturb me. Beyond that, it just feels like Hamm really wasn’t this enlightened, one-of-a-kind celebrity/actor that everyone thought he was. He’s like a bad cliché, if you believe the gossip around him. Maybe he cheated on Jennifer Westfeldt, maybe he dumped her after she stuck by him through alcoholism and rehab, maybe he’s now trying to paint himself as the guy who just wanted fatherhood and his long-time love wouldn’t give him a baby. Now People Magazine is stepping in with their version of what went down with WestHamm:

Though Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt officially announced on Monday that they were ending their relationship after 18 years, rumors of a rift had been circulating for months. A source who worked closely with Hamm, 44, tells PEOPLE that in recent years, Westfeldt had been more like a manager or a mother to the former Mad Men star than a girlfriend.

While the source says Westfeldt, 45, kept a “tight leash” on Hamm, “she would also take care of him and support him” during difficult times – and after hard nights of partying. When Hamm completed rehab for alcohol abuse earlier this year, he credited Westfeldt for her support during his treatment. The source says Hamm is well-liked among those who work with him on set, where he is known for sending Christmas cards to crew members, but that he also can be “a really dark person.”

“He has always had demons and needed a mother figure in his life,” says the source. “It was generally assumed that they would break up once he got sober, because he didn’t need to lean on her to take care of him so much.”

Another Hamm source says that the split happened almost three weeks ago. Their families love them both, but never thought it would last. The source says Hamm is upset but is working through the pain by going out with his guy friends, who are eager to set him up with younger women.

[From People]

Hamm has talked about losing his mom at a very young age, and the Freudian-influenced armchair shrinks (like me) have always believed that he and Jennifer were together for so long because he liked having a solid, live-in relationship with a woman who “took care of him.” So, yeah, I’ll believe that Westfeldt took care of him like a mother. This story doesn’t make either of them sound good, by the way. He sounds like he’s been a profoundly damaged man this whole time and Jennifer sounds like his enabler. But yes, I’m sure that Hamm’s bro friends are already trying to set him up with “younger women.” Because you can still be a damaged guy and be a cliché. Hamm should join Ben Affleck in the Sad Bro Club. They can bang their way through all of the LA nannies and drag race their new hot rods together.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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46 Responses to “People: Jon Hamm ‘always had demons & needed a mother figure in his life’”

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  1. QQ says:

    HAHAH this Piece comes from Her Publi…ermm Friends

    • Hannah says:

      Her? Sounds like his friends. Not exactly flattering to be presented as as the mother figure who he’s with just because he needs someone to take care of him.

    • umok says:

      I find him so unattractive I don’t even get the appeal.

    • Ysohawt1 says:

      I’m losing respect for her by the moment , not just for Jon.
      Why on earth didn’t she get out sooner, he’s been a mess forever from this article!

  2. Dunne says:

    It’s incredibly common for relationships to disintegrate when an addict gets sober. Often, it is actually the partner of the addict who has trouble with the person getting sober. They need to be with someone who is sick for a whole host of reasons. Once a person gets sober and starts taking care of themselves, they do not know how to function in the relationship and will often leave and seek another sick person. It happens a lot and is why programs like AL-ANON are around.

    • AmyB says:

      ^^^This is 100% true…especially when the dysfunctional relationship has been going on for a long time. The two people become co-addicted. The movie “When a Man loves a Woman” is a perfect depiction of this. Meg Ryan’s character got sober and her husband (Andy Garcia) was stuck in the role of always trying to take care of her. The partner becomes just as sick as the addict unfortunately. They lose sight of their own needs and wants and everything revolves around the alcoholic/addict. I should know….I was married to a heroin addict for eight years and it literally almost destroyed me. AL-Anon is just as important to the family/partner as AA is important to the alcoholic/addict.

    • tealily says:

      Beyond “needing to be with someone sick,” it’s also just really hard to navigate a new relationship with someone. You don’t do things you used to do together. What will the person getting sober do to fill the time that used to be spent drinking? How will you socialize with friends if you don’t go to the bar? All sorts of different parts of your life together that you didn’t even realize revolved around alcohol disappear, and it can take some time to figure out what the structure of your life looks like now. I can easily imagine someone deciding that they don’t really want their life to completely change, no matter how much they love the other person or how glad they are he or she got sober.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      My sister is an alcoholic. She has had several failed marriages and too many boyfriends in-between, during and after to count and all of them were enablers. The fact is my sister, although unable to control her alcohol consumption, used to be really pretty. Every man she has ever been with was more than willing to put up with her addiction just to be with her. And she always had them to clean up her messes, stay with her no matter what she did, and take care of her kids while she partied. The few times she’s been sober for any length of time, she left wichever one she was with because when she is clean, she thinks she can do better than them. Every single one of them helped her fall off the wagon b/c they knew her drinking is what kept her with them. I think it’s the same for many many addicts/alcoholic relationships including HammWest. He’s always been arrogant and fancies himself a catch and a player – taking Jennifer for granted and thinking he can do better. I think she stuck around for almost two decades b/c she has issues re her own self-worth and lack of confidence. I hoep she finds someone who really appreciates her and whom she can be an equal partner with rather than a caretaker who seems to forgive in order to maintain something that isn’t even fulfilling. He is a user and she is an enabler. My guess is, he wants out now that he’s sober so he can play the field. If he starts drinking again, he’ll either try to get back with her or find another enable with low self-esteem who will put up with antics just to be with him thinking she can’t do better. GTFO Jennifer and don’t look back. You’re too good for him – you just don’t know it yet.

      • Murphy says:

        That was very insightful, thank you for sharing.

      • LAK says:

        There is also the opposite where some people are addicted to being with hot messes. I’ve come across one or two relationships like that.

        Those people actively seek people who they can take care of and will actively sabotage any attempts made by their needy partners to acquire their own agency even if acquiring said agency doesn’t lead to a break up.

  3. perplexed says:

    Would a younger lady want to take care of him like a mother figure?

    • Azurea says:

      Not unless she’s a people-pleaser, co-dependent toe, or even just an empath. Malignant narcissists like Hamm gravitate to women like that. He’ll have a series of crazy-making relationsships, now, as in he’ll use the women while pretending to care about them, ecentually decaluing them because they can’t fill the yawning hole inside him. Or he might do it with just one woman. I wouldn’t touch him with a 100 ft pole.

    • Ysohawt1 says:

      I don’t think he’ll go for much younger, I think he will go for someone in their 30’s or 40’s who has a similar enabler personality as Westfield.
      I don’t believe he wants kids, he has said so many times.

  4. tealily says:

    Ugh, I hate the “tight leash” language though, as if she was some kind of task master. I’m sure she loved him and (without any judgement on either of them… I don’t really know anything about her) was probably the one holding the household together. That sounds exhausting, but it’s also not something you’re likely to do if you aren’t getting something back from the relationship, you know?

  5. aims says:

    After the stories of his frat days came out my lust went away. I think he has some serious issues.

    • minx says:

      Me, too. I liked him on Mad Men, but it was his comedy work on 30 Rock that really turned me into a fan. But after the frat stories I can’t even look at him.
      Oh, and my husband lost both parents when he was 8 and grew up in a Chicago orphanage in the 1960s-70s. And he didn’t turn into an abusive jerk.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        Yes. I don’t find childhood suffering – even trauma – an excuse to victimize and be a bad person. Alot of people have rough childhoods and it actually makes them better people in the long run – sensitive and compassionate. For those who become a$$hats, it’s because they want to. Once we’re adults and making our own choices, we dont’ get to use our childhood as an excuse.

    • supposedtobeworking says:

      that it seems he is taking care of, maybe.
      I know what he did was horrible. When it came out, there were a lot of comments that people would not forgive him unless he publicly apologized. I don’t think he does owe it to ‘the public’ to discuss it out loud. Hopefully he has been taking steps to right whatever was wrong.

      And while I agree that a crappy childhood isn’t an excuse for poor behaviour, many kids who grow up without a supportive family structure do not have the same coping skills and decision making ability that others who are brought it in intact families who teach their children how to get through tragedy, hardship, etc. So I hope that he was able to start working on some of those during adulthood. I hope that of anyone who needs it.

  6. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    This article would annoy my husband so much. His mother died when he was 14, and his father became depressed and turned to alcohol as a result, so my husband basically raised himself from then on. It annoys him when he reads that this should or would give him mother issues. He’s right – everyone doesn’t react the same way. He’s the most grounded, self-sufficient, loving person I know, and I had enough of the child/husband in my first marriage to ever want that again. I’m not saying it isn’t true that Hamm wanted a mother figure, just that we shouldn’t assume that everyone processes things in the same way.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Agreed. My husband’s father committed suicide when my husband was 12 years old. He came home from school and found him hanging out of the car dead in the garage due to intentional carbon monoxide poisoning. My husband’s mother, who already worked full time and have 9 kids, took on as many extra hours/shifts as possible to make ends meet after that and my husband, at 12 and being the only male child still living at home, became the man of the house for his mother and sisters. It was what he needed – gave him purpose. All of it made him extremely determined, resourceful, and uber sensitive to other people’s feelings. He helps stray kids who don’t seem to have a good home life or are missing a father figure. He is very in-tune with youth who struggle with not having a parent or who are neglected. Obviously, he’s still trying to save his 12-year-old self by helping others like him and attempting to stop any kid from feeling what he did. I love him for it. It makes me angsty to hear of people stick up for or makes excuses for those who treat others badly and are selfish jerks – justifying their behavior or mentality because of soemthing really bad that happened to them. My guess is, Hamm would have been a jerk no matter what. We are who we are. Environment influences, sure, but to blame a grown man’s doucheness on his losing a parent young, is absurd. No child has coping skills to deal with the death of a parent, but they don’t all turn out bad, so what’s left? He was already going to be a jerk.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Your husband sounds truly wonderful, and I agree with all of your comments. I can’t imagine what he must have gone through, but he came out of it with more compassion and love for others. Most people, if not all people, have tragedies and heartache to deal with at some point. It’s not an excuse to be a douche. I’m glad you found such a great guy. We are very lucky, and I count my blessings every day.

    • laura in LA says:

      JenniferJustice and GNAT, also minx above…

      Your husbands sound like wonderful men. 🙂

  7. Pinky says:

    I believe it, but I’d be more inclined to believe that she got sick of being his surrogate mother. ‘Cause I sure would have noped outta that situation 17 years. fifty-one weeks, six days, twenty-three hours, fifty-nine minutes, fifty-nine seconds. and nine-hundred ninety-nine million, nine-hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine-hundred ninety-nine nanoseconds ago.

  8. Jenns says:

    I believe this story over the “he wanted kids and she didn’t” story.

    And yeah, I’m disappointed in the Hamm. But given his past, I am not surprised he has issues.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      I beleive both stories and think they’re intertwined – Who would want to have children with him? He is a very newly recovering alcholic who I suspect cheated on her and treated her badly. She may want kids, just not with him. And the only reason he’d want kids with her now all of a sudden is to keep her around to put up with his selfishness. No way.

      • laura in LA says:

        Maybe she did want children but felt like she was already parenting an overgrown man-child. Aside from being exhausting, it makes one wonder about whether her partner is capable of fathering, or moreso whether raising children is even worthwhile?

        This brings to mind an interview with her in which she sounded wistful about not having children, like she was painfully aware of time passing but had resigned herself to this. I could relate to that ambivalence and the grey area of uncertainty, especially for women over 40. And I felt sorry for her then.

  9. OhDear says:

    I believe this version much more than the wanting children thing (they’re 40-something’s who have been together for nearly two decades – doubt that they would have waited this long to split over that issue). Hamm sounds like he didn’t have to stretch when playing his character on Mad Men, though I hope that he’s conquered his addiction issues for good.

    The friends trying to hook him up with younger women? Gross. Like people were saying in the other post, he probably has a young side-piece waiting in the wings.

  10. Zapp Brannigan says:

    So basically the various media reports are blaming her for both giving him what he wanted (a mother figure/caretaker) and not giving him what he wanted (kids/ random strange) . Well as long as we can agree that she is at fault and the guy with raging issues who sets people on fire is not to blame. Maybe he can join Leo D’s yacht and pu55y posse.

    18 years together and his people are throwing her under the bus, countdown to pregnant 22 year old sidepiece in 5,4,3,2

    • Paleokifaru says:

      ➕ 1000 Generally a relationship doesn’t work because two people aren’t good for each other. Are there times when one person simply isn’t healthy or functional enough for another? Yes. But I get tired of the blame game with these splits. It’s not working for either of them.

  11. re says:

    He sounds like a douche. She takes care of him for 18 years and then he ditches her when he no longer needs her? And now he’s going to be a 45 year old frat boy. Ugh. Maybe he can start hanging with robin thicke.

  12. Lisa says:

    Is that why he participated in that hazing in Texas?

  13. feebee says:

    I totally believe she held him and his shit together for 18 years. Good luck to both of them. Jennifer – big dicks are easy to find. John – stay safe, man.

  14. tracking says:

    Now this I believe. In addition to losing his parents at a young age, this is frequently the dynamic that develops with addicts.

  15. Murphy says:

    He simply has become Don Draper. Or Dick Whitman…I don’t know I mix them up. I think Dick Whitman is the right one.

    • laura in LA says:

      That hazing incident honestly makes me think the character of Don Draper for all his faults was better, more sensitive and self-aware than the man Jon Hamm.

    • Charlotte15 says:

      Omg you are exactly right.
      (ETA: this comment was supposed to be in response to Murphy saying that he is Dick Whitman)

  16. frivolity says:

    This sounds so much like Garner and Affleck, minus the kids …

  17. kimbers says:

    So many men out there like this…they need therepy not a woman.

  18. Sunnyside says:

    What? I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you’re saying because I’m too mesmerized by the awful plastic surgery. Really though, her face is very distracting and alien.

  19. anne says:

    I know those quotes don’t come directly from Hamm, but I can’t help but think he is generally aware of what “sources close to him” are saying to the media, and MY GOD that is an awful way to describe someone you’ve spent years with.

    • Charlotte15 says:

      If he throws her under the bus right now, he will lose the very last shred of appeal that remains for the many people who have despised him since the frat story surfaced.

  20. Andrea says:

    It all depends how you process/spin your childhood. My bf’s mother died at 12 of cancer and father committed suicide at 16, he is now a very accomplished professor. However, I will say he is very difficult to get to emotionally speaking; he only has so much to give me. I think if Hamm is anything like this, it can be very enticing to a woman, but eventually it gets old.

  21. Shiba says:

    Let’s hope she got some kind of equitable “palimony” settlement behind the scenes. It would still be sad for her, if she had wanted kids & was now biologically aged out, but otherwise career-equity fair. (In fact, perhaps she’s been so invisible lately because that’s been being hashed out…?)

  22. MSat says:

    It couldn’t have been that much of an imposition for Jennifer to “take care” of Jon if she did it for that long. There was no marriage, no kids to keep her there so if she stayed for 18 years, she must have accepted that caretaker role. I do agree with the posters above who mentioned the dynamic of the caretaker and the addict. Once the addict is clean, and doesn’t need so much care, the caretaker can feel empty. Some caretakers are really more like enablers. I’m not saying that’s what happened here, but to be the caretaker for that long, you have to wonder.

    I’d say that Jennifer got quite a lot out of the relationship even if there wasn’t a ring or kids. While her career as a writer was already successful before the Hamm, being his significant other gave her access to better quality projects and she even cast his famous friends in her movie “Friends With Kids.” I doubt there will be any alimony-type payoff.