Rebecca Gayheart: ‘You need to be able to take care of yourself & never depend on a man’

Rebecca, Eric and their girls in June, 2017
US Magazine has a new interview with Rebecca Gayheart, who filed for divorce from Eric Dane earlier this year after 14 years of marriage. Rebecca easily could have dragged Eric, but both of them have been incredibly classy. We haven’t heard much about their split at all. You could chalk that up to their level of fame but consider all the press reality stars get for being messy. US asked Rebecca about coparenting with Eric, with whom she has two daughters: Billie, 8, and Georgia, who turns 7 in December. She was honest and said it’s not easy. She didn’t get into details but I like how candid she was along with the fact that she strives to teach her daughters not to depend on a man. Her thoughts on fairy tales are similar to the lessons that Kristen Bell and Keira Knightley strive to teach their daughters – to have self agency. (Note that Rebecca told US last month that coparenting wasn’t easy, but this appears to be a new interview.)

On coparenting with Eric
“We’re doing our best. It isn’t easy,” the actress told Us Weekly at the Baby Ball in Los Angeles. “But we are trying and we are committed.” When asked about the most difficult aspect of coparenting, Gayheart replied, “There are so many things.”

Gayheart, 47, and the Grey’s Anatomy alum, 45, were married for 14 years. She requested both legal and joint custody of their girls in her February 2017 divorce filing. [sic: it was 2018]

On the problems in Disney movies
“I think that as a female you need to be able too always take care of of yourself and never depend on a man,” [sic] Gayheart told Us. “I’m going back to work and I think it’s partly because I want my daughters to see me work. I took some time off to have my kids.”

The former model added that she finds some of the messages in Disney movies to be problematic. “A lot of little girls watch and they start fantasizing about Prince Charming [saving them],” she explained. “I think that’s a message that’s very old fashioned.”

[From US Magazine]

I like that celebrities are bringing up the glaring issues in Disney movies and fairy tales. The damsel in distress trope is so common in literature, films and television that it can be easy to overlook. We don’t want our kids to internalize those messages so it’s important to use them as talking points and to set an example, as Rebecca mentioned. I also appreciate that she isn’t blowing smoke about her coparenting relationship. She so easily could have said “it’s going great and we’re on the same page” or given some meaningless platitudes. Instead she admitted that it’s hard for a lot of reasons and that they’re working on it. That describes so much of life and relationships.

Also, she looks weird with this color blonde below, right? I’m trying to think of who she reminds me of, but it’s just such a common look. This is the latest photo I can find of her, from October 19th.
Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

On October 9th, with darker hair with highlights:

In 2017 with Eric:

photos credit: WENN and Getty

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62 Responses to “Rebecca Gayheart: ‘You need to be able to take care of yourself & never depend on a man’”

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  1. chrissyms says:

    Divorce is so hard. Being 47 and single after being married for so long must be a real trip. It takes some self love and self evaluation. She has always had such a unique look. Her hair looks better darker. Remember when it was so curly on 90210. She should bring that back. Best of luck to her and her family.

  2. SilverUnicorn says:

    I don’t know who this lady is (or her ex-husband for that matter) but she is so right!

    • Millenial says:

      She was big in the 90’s (Jawbreaker, Urban Legend) and he was McSteamy on Grey’s Anatomy. Classic case of she was more famous then him and then he got more famous than her.

      • Annie says:

        She was the driver in a tragic car accident that killed a young boy. It wasn’t so much that he was more famous, but as her career had been sidelined (before they married) by what happened.

      • Millenial says:

        Oooh, I didn’t hear about that. How sad for everyone involved.

      • BabyJane says:

        She swerved around a line of cars that had stopped to let a cyclist cross the road and hit him. It’s not sad for everyone. She was impatient and entitled.

    • Ann says:

      She was also Dylan McKay’s first wife Toni Marchette who was tragically killed by a hit man sent by her father, Anthony Marchette, that was meant for Dylan. Dylan falsely believed Anthony Marchette killed his father, Jack McKay, who was later reveled to have faked his own death, which means poor Toni died for nothing!

      Gotta give some credit to her most important roll on the incomparable Beverly Hill, 90210.

  3. Muffy says:

    She looks like Portia deRossi with the blond hair

  4. Tania says:

    Blake Lively. That’s the vibe she’s giving me with the top pic.

  5. RedTop says:

    She looks like Kylie Minogue.

  6. Nikki says:

    My mother stressed this again and again to her 3 daughters, way back in the 1960’s, and I’m grateful she did!! (Also, an education is the only thing that can never be taken away from you!)

    • Bettyrose says:

      Same. My mom wouldn’t let me watch Disney movies without a stern lecture in the 1980s. How are we still fighting this battle in 2018?

    • Christin says:

      Same here. My parents stressed for me to get an education, and be able to take care of myself (plus help carry the load if married). Fairy tales were just that – made up and not reality. I’m glad they helped make that clear for me very early in life.

      I’m a firm believer in “be your own best friend”, too.

    • LWT00 says:

      Yup, I fully believe in this too. To the point where I tell all my younger cousins and girlfriends that if they get married, they ALWAYS need to have a separate bank account. Let your spouse know about it and talk about it, but have it. Always have your own money and be able to provide for yourself.

    • Carrie says:

      My Dad did with me but Mom agreed. They were both hard line enforcing that full education was a must and have our own careers.

      Dad specifically said I was not to marry unless I wanted to but ensure I had a career so I could leave if I were ever unsafe. This was early 70s. I never met another girl who’d been told any of these things. Must have talked 10 girls in high school into going to post secondary schools and not to marry right away.

  7. VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

    Why would she drag Eric? From what I’ve seen of them (not that it’s been a lot)……they both have had issues. Neither are squeaky clean.

  8. Sherry Greengrass says:

    Um, I would have thought that the first wave of feminism in the 1970’s would have taken care of the “dependency on a man issue”, but apparently girls born during and after that time weren’t taught that. The fairy tale comments are crazy – many of us read them as children, and certainly didn’t interpret them as a way to live our lives. Also, it’s always amazed me that people take seriously anything celebrities say – while you and I were in school, they were out auditioning for commercials, people.

    • Annie says:

      Right. This whole wave strikes me as very rich people saying “don’t be dependent on men” when they have paychecks that enable them to make these statements. I also wonder if they’d say “don’t be dependent on another woman”? The neighboring town down in the valley is poor beyond your wildest imagining. The men and women and children remaining there cling to one another; they deeply depend upon one another. It’s certainly messed up in a lot of ways, but this atomistic individualism is really toxic. We live in community and depend upon one another; what matters is making our mutual interdependence as gentle as possible.

    • Bettyrose says:

      60s/70s were considered the 2nd wave of feminism (we’d already had to fight for voting rights), but no the job wasn’t done. Bizarrely, in 2016 enough women voted for a sexual predator to get him elected. We’re not done here. Let the celebrities speak if they have something worth saying.

      • ATLMathMom says:

        Absolutely right, Bettyrose! I was completely dumbfounded a year or so ago when my high school aged daughter came home and disgustedly told me that a girl in one of her classes (in a class discussion) said that girls just weren’t as smart as boys. We are definitely not done here.

    • Colleen says:

      Not everyone was a part of or influenced by the 1970s movement. My mom was busy raising kids, I came along later, but it just wasn’t on her radar at all. They wanted me to do well at school, but absolutely no emphasis on being independent, just being polite and respecting you’re elders.

  9. ValiantlyVarnished says:

    I had no idea they had split up. I’ve always liked both of them. I know both have had issues in the past. I stopped watching Grey’s after he and Lexi left the show. Wish them both the best

  10. Boston Green Eyes says:

    I tend not to read the fairy tale/Disney comments regarding women’s relationship with men as having to do with finances, as many people (especially men) do, but rather with identity. It seems that some women’s identities are totally wrapped up in being with a man. I had a friend like that who I recently dropped. I supported her during her terrible divorce, then with her fear of breaking up with her verbally/emotionally abusive/lying/cheating boyfriend, then with the breakup of said relationship. A few weeks ago I went to visit family and when I returned I paid the friend a visit. She said that she had cried all weekend because she missed the D-Bag. I was quite angry with her – I thought that she had gotten over him and was beginning to move on. I told her that if she got back with him that I was through with supporting her through all of these dramas and just count me out of our friendship (and I’m not the only friend who has left her over this relationship).

    Well, lo and behold, she’s back with the D-Bag. What is it with some people that they would prefer being with an out-and-out loser than being on their own? It really comes down to co-dependence and the inability to establish an identity of one’s own. And unfortunately, society tells women that they are useless without being in a relationship.


    • Nacho_friend says:

      Wow that’s a harsh thing to do to a “friend”. Do you think in 5 or 10 years any of this will matter more than your friendship? Just a thought 💐

  11. Lala11_7 says:

    That’s truly the best advice that you can give…AND LIVE…

  12. K says:

    I always remember her as the noxema girl!

  13. Joanne says:

    Portia de Rossi

  14. Biting Panda says:

    Thumbnail had me thinking, “Damn, Cat Deeley is looking rough these days.”

  15. Elaine says:

    She looks like Natalie Zee with the blond hair

  16. Jess says:

    She’s giving me Rachel Zoe vibes with that blonde hair, she looks much better with the darker, blonde washes her out.

    It made me sad when she filed for divorce, Eric has always talked highly of her and fished over her on social media, they seemed solid to me but clearly we never know what really goes on!

  17. Murphy says:

    No matter who you are, how old, what gender–you have to be prepared at all times–to be alone.

  18. EG says:

    Yep, we are totally anti-Disney over here in Berkeley, CA. Disney-branded merchandise isn’t even allowed at our kids’ preschool.

    I’m so grateful for the absence of Disney in our lives—my 3 year old daughter has no idea what a princess even is. She’s going to be a dinosaur for Halloween. 🦖

    I’ll read some Grimm’s fairytales to my kids when they get older—I love the archetypal aspect (love Greek myths too)—but they can also learn about strong trailblazing women role models. I’m less anti-fairytale and more anti-Disney.

    • CairinaCat says:

      Ha this isn’t true, I live in the same area and there are going to be a ton of little princesses in my son’s class this year for Halloween. And they have movie nights on Friday at his school and yup, Disney movies.

  19. Kristen says:

    She is drop dead gorgeous.
    Will always be the Noxema model.
    She has the most stunning curly hair, like crazy curls.
    Noxema commercial here:

  20. Misty says:

    Piping in to say I remember her from her start on the half-hour ABC soap, Loving. And she was the Noxema girl. Also was in the video for “Meet Virginia” which was Train’s first big song.

  21. geekychick says:

    Meh. I had Disney cartoons, folk fairytales, russian fairytales, Grimm stories and greek mythology as a little girl. In a communist/ country ravaged by war.
    And I still grew up feminist and without any kind of notion that a girl should strive to be, at least, capable of being financially independent.
    It all comes down to parenting and how much time and effort you put into raising your kids. I had access to all that, but my parents talked, asked, discussed, listened.

    • Nancy says:

      I came on to say basically what you did. I’m from the US, but have the same theory. Disney, the movies are fantasy. What our children learn about life comes from us, their parents. That Kristen Bell drives me up a wall, the pin worm exposer. If she is so worried her daughter will be some damsel in distress waiting for Prince Charming, she doesn’t talk to her kid/s about fantasy and reality or truly is as dumb as she comes across. I do like Rebecca. Only her strength could have gotten her through that car accident. *I just looked it up, and she was charged with manslaughter for hitting the little boy as he was jaywalking across the street, and died. She didn’t do jail time, but tons of probation and community service.*

    • Luciana says:


      I watched all the old Disney princess movies when I was little and grew up reading fairytales and other books where women were “saved by men”. However, I was raised by a fierce, independent single mother who taught me the difference between fact and fiction. Both my sister and I are proud feminists who never had to be rescued…nor did we expect to be.

  22. Rice says:

    Is this the same couple with a threesome thing or whatever on a sex tape?

  23. raincoaster says:

    I don’t know that somebody filmed smoking (was it crack or meth? Can’t remember) hard drugs is looking after herself as well as she could be.

  24. Yes Doubtful says:

    I miss him on Grey’s Anatomy. He was so hot!!

  25. Other Renee says:

    Meh. My daughter (now 24) watched every Disney movie and I had no discussions with her about them along the lines of “Don’t be like her, you don’t need to be rescued by a man.” I had general discussions with her about being able to earn a living and the like. She seems to have survived the Disney movies and enjoyed them for what they were: entertainment. She’s independent and self-reliant. Couldn’t ask for more.

  26. Mrs. Smith says:

    @Raincoaster—yep, I think it was crack. By the early 2000s, her career was in the toilet. She and Eric were into very hard drugs, among other things, and one of their friends taped her smoking from a crack pipe. She had been such a cute, girl-next-door type (noxema!), so it was a total surprise to learn she was a junkie. It seems like she’s gotten her act together since that time. But her skin looks like that of a former crack addict.

    • Patty says:

      I think she looks fine for a woman who’s almost 50. If I hadn’t known about the drug incident; I wouldn’t assume by looking at these pictures that she battled drug addiction at some point. Actually, was she actually addicted? Or just a recreational user? The latter do exist.

  27. Slacker says:

    I see Natalie Zea

  28. Danka says:

    Reminds me of Jane Seymour