Michelle Williams & Phil Elverum separated after less than a year of marriage

New York Premiere for FX's 'Fosse/Verdon' - Arrivals

Last summer, Michelle Williams covered an issue of Vanity Fair and she revealed a stunning piece of information: unbeknownst to everyone, she had quietly been in a serious relationship with Phil Elverum and they had low-key eloped a few months earlier in 2018. Elverum is an indie rocker and widower who lost his first wife in 2016. Elverum has a very young daughter, and Michelle and Heath Ledger’s daughter Matilda is 13 years old. Since we only knew about the elopement through Michelle’s interview, most of us were like “wow, way to keep it quiet, good for you!” It felt like it meant something very special that Michelle was able to keep it so private and she spoke about their love in a very moving way. Well, it’s over. It’s over in less than a year of marriage.

It’s over. Michelle Williams and husband Phil Elverum have called it quits after less than one year of marriage, Us Weekly can confirm.

The Dawson’s Creek alum, 38, shocked fans in July 2018 when she told Vanity Fair that she had secretly tied the knot in the Adirondacks in front of a small group of friends and their respective children. Williams is the mother of 13-year-old daughter Matilda, whom she shared with the late Heath Ledger. Elverum, for his part, has a daughter with his late wife, Geneviéve Castrée, who passed away in July 2016 from pancreatic cancer.

“Obviously I’ve never once in my life talked about a relationship, but Phil isn’t anyone else. And that’s worth something,” Williams told Vanity Fair at the time. “Ultimately the way he loves me is the way I want to live my life on the whole. I work to be free inside of the moment. I parent to let Matilda feel free to be herself, and I am finally loved by someone who makes me feel free.”

[From Us Weekly]

People Magazine later confirmed the separation, with a “source close to the situation” saying: “Michelle and Phil separated at the beginning of the year. It was an amicable split and they remain friends.” So… the beginning of the year. They were married for like six months before they separated? That’s rough. And it seems uncharacteristic of Michelle too – while she’s had short relationships in the past decade, she’s never been the type to go all-in with someone she’s isn’t sure about. She just seems extremely cautious about who she opens up to, which is why we thought this guy must be the real deal. And to have it end after less than a year of marriage… it feels like something happened.

I mean, I have some theories. I’ve been watching Fosse/Verdon and my lord, Michelle and Sam Rockwell have some extreme chemistry with each other. I know Sam is with Leslie Bibb and everything but…I’ve got some theories.

Fosse/Verdon Premiere -  Arrivals.

Fosse/Verdon Premiere -  Arrivals.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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46 Responses to “Michelle Williams & Phil Elverum separated after less than a year of marriage”

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  1. Lucy2 says:

    That’s really sad for the two kids.

    • Esmom says:

      That was my first thought, too. How sad and probably confusing and bewildering.

    • Annie says:

      I feel so much for Mathilda. She’s at an age where she’s understanding things more and analyzing things for the first time. 13 is such a defining time and such a delicate time for girls. It’s really not the time to witness your mom marry some random and divorce him 6 months later. That’s some Lily Van der Woodsen shit. I hope Michelle understands that you can’t just involve anyone in your child’s life. They become invested in your relationships too. It’s not right to get swept off your feet and make big decisions during the honeymoon phase. You have to get to know this person first. Mathilda has been through so much.

  2. Alissa says:

    my theory is simply that he got married way too soon after the death of his first wife and once they settled into a domestic routine and got out of the honeymoon phase it didn’t work out so great.

    • sunny says:

      This! Probably way too soon and who knows where he is in the grieving process?

      On another note, her chemistry with Sam Rockwell is everything in Fosse/Verdon. They are great together on-screen.

      • Ctgirl says:

        Sam Rockwell would have chemistry with a turnip. He’s funny, hot and a wee bit naughty. Yum.

    • Jess says:

      This. I helped a friend who had lost his wife to breast cancer. He thought – just months after she died – that he had already been through the worst of the grieving process but it actually got harder over the course of the next two years. My impression from helping him and others and doing some reading is that the western approach to death and grief is very unrealistic – we expect a short grieving period and then everyone should move on, which isn’t how grief often works.

    • Arpeggi says:

      Very likely. He released a 2nd record about the aftermath of Geneviève’s death last year… It’s too much too soon and also, he’s more of a West Coast hermit than a Brooklyn guy. I’m not sure that they really thought about how much were their lifestyles compatible before getting married

  3. Ramona Q. says:

    I liked her with the Forgetting Sarah Marshall guy.

    • Esmom says:

      Ooh, eek, I remember feeling the opposite. But who knows what makes a relationship work? I sure don’t, lol.

      • NicoleInSavannah says:

        Jason Segel is actually very changed. His base is here in Savannah now because he lives here with his girlfriend. He sobered up and keeps this as his home base. He is a local now.

  4. minx says:

    I have some theories, too lol.

  5. starryfish29 says:

    I hope she ends up happy one day, I have a soft spot for her.

  6. Jegede says:

    The word is Phil’s a BIG TIME c-h-e-a-t-er.

    • Enn says:

      That’s so sad for her if it’s true.

      I thought she and Jason Segel had a really good thing for a long time and was bummed when they split.

      • Mia4s says:

        Jason has some addiction issues, so post-Heath Ledger I imagine that was…fraught. A shame because they did seem an unusual but happy match for a while there.

      • Jegede says:


        Apparently there are a few, but its open secret there’s one particular woman’s apartment he’s constantly seen in & out of.🙁🙁

  7. anniefannie says:

    This really shocked me (and I can be a cynical broad)
    She seems so cautious when I comes to romance. After all of the trauma she’s experienced I was hopeful for a “ happily ever after “ for her and Matilda.
    But I’ve been watching Fosse/ Verdon too and their chemistry is off the hook.

    • Jellybean says:

      Then I really hope that Sam Rockwell is the decent guy I have always believed him to be. He, Leslie and Sadie the dog seem to be very happy and have been together a long time.

    • lalalachristina says:

      Sam Rockwell is sex on a stick and probably would have chemistry with a potted plant but love them in Fosse/Verdon too, they are killing it

  8. Millenial says:

    I feel like she’s tends to pick guys who are “fixer uppers” and that leads to a low-key messy personal life.

  9. Tanya says:

    Didn’t he move from a small town in Washington to Brooklyn to be with her? It’s a tough transition, and they dated during an emotionally intense time in his life.

  10. meh says:

    damn. today is a bummer for relationships.

  11. Bananas says:

    It all happened so quickly! In Jan 2018 she was dating and possibly engaged to Andrew Youmans whom she was with for at least seven months before that. By late July 2018 she was newly married… to Phil Elverum. It’s sad though, she did say he was very special, they had a spiritual connection, and that she hadn’t felt so free in love since Heath 🙁

    But it does make me lol that PR agents tried to bury all their breakups in the middle of the Great Muller Report Easter Weekend.

  12. SJR says:

    Off topic, I like the white dress.

  13. Fanny says:

    I don’t know this guy from Adam, but I think the implication that he must have done something wrong is unfair. Michelle married someone she didn’t know after a couple of months of dating. They never even lived in the same state. He moved from rural Washington State to Brooklyn in order to be with her at the same time that they got married. *Huge* leap for him and his daughter to take.

    The “something” that happened is most likely that they lived together for 5 minutes and realized they were totally incompatible and never should have gotten married.

    They were both total dumbasses for marrying someone they didn’t know. People obviously feel protective of Michelle and want to find ways for her not to bear any responsibility for this, but she’s got no excuses for this massive act of stupidity. And it was a very irresponsible thing to do with two children involved.

    • tealily says:

      I think you’re right, but the implication here seems to be that she’s the one who stepped out, not him.

      • Fanny says:

        I didn’t mean to imply that either of them stepped out. In the absence of any other information, the obvious explanation to me is that they didn’t know one another at all and once the initial rush wore off, they both realized the marriage was a mistake.

        What cracks me up is that Michelle was asked what was different about this relationship and she said “radical acceptance”. Yeah, it’s very easy to accept everything about someone you just fell in love with a couple of months ago and barely know. Once they moved in together, I bet both of them found a lot of things they couldn’t “radically accept” about each other.

  14. Case says:

    I was shocked by this. Michelle seemed very careful to not let her romantic life impact her daughter unless it was really serious. Clearly she was serious if they got married, but wow. It seems like her ex-husband just moved on too quickly after his wife’s death and didn’t realize it was too much too soon until it was too late.

  15. Snowslow says:

    Michelle always seems like a deer caught in the headlights. I can’t even imagine her anywhere else than in a cloud staring pensively at the earth let alone in a normal, functional relationship.

    • SM says:

      Spot on. She deos seem like a human deer in the forest who may get scared and run away at any given moment. Also she did lose a person she loved and a father of her child but her and Heath were separated when he passed. I think she may have thought she found someone she can relate to but as I understand this guy lost his partner the moment his kid also lost a mother. There may be a world of difference there.
      Also, I don’t want to believe all these theories. Sam better not go there. I love him with Leslie Bibb.

    • jules says:

      Lol…yea I’m not surprised by this, I thought she sounded like a dingbat in the interview talking about their marriage. It was all about her and what he did for her. Very one-sided. Regardless, I feel for the kids.

    • Case says:

      You’re right. She has always struck me as quite odd and painfully shy.

  16. sassafras says:

    I’m starting to feel like we’ve all had this one impression of sweet, innocent young widow Michelle Williams, former teen star and single mom, and maybe the truth is a tad more complicated and messy.

  17. sassbr says:

    I like how they still call her ‘the Dawson’s Creek alum’ even though she is probably one of the greatest actresses of our age right now with a massively hyped project airing. Why not the ‘Fosse/Verdon’ star, or the ‘Blue Valentine’ star or the ‘All the Money in the World’ star etc. or the ‘4-time Oscar nom’ or the ‘film and Broadway actress’, etc?

  18. Clay says:

    I don’t know about “theories”, all I know is that when the news of her wedding came out I thought that bonding over grief is not a good foundation for any relationship, even less a sudden marriage. I also think that Rockwell and his partner had been together for a longtime no ring no children, and of course that’s nobody’s business but at some point relationships have to go somewhere… and then there’s that infamous Oscar’s curse right? I see him a bit changed since he won, like more arrogant and unpleasant and I used to liked Leslie Bibb until Rockwell campaigned hard for Oscar and they were everywhere and my god she’s unbearable.

  19. prettypersuasion says:

    I live in one of Phil’s very small former hometowns and we have many mutual friends. I’m working on getting the hot tea and then I will anonymously share it with the internet, promise.

  20. JRenee says:

    This has to difficult for the kids as well.
    I wish her well.

  21. Aubrey says:

    He’s cute