Don Johnson: It’s foolish to have animosity with your children’s mother

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Melanie Griffith has great relationships with her exes and two out of three of her exes are great people. She was married to Don Johnson twice, for a brief time in 1976 (she was quite young when they got together), then again from 1989 to 1996. Everyone knows about her relationship with hottie Antonio Banderas, who still gushes about her to the press and whom she divorced in 2015 after nine years of marriage. She was with Steven Bauer before she got back with Don, that guy is shady but Melanie says she has a good friendship with him as well. Melanie has since said that there’s no need for marriage (which may be true if you’re wealthy, but it definitely benefits people tax and insurance-wise), which is understandable after her three marriages. Closer Magazine has details about a new interview Don did (it’s behind a paywall) in which he explained his reasoning for getting along with Melanie, and I think with the mother of another one of his children. Given how close Melanie is with all her exes, I think she made it easy for him too. Don has five children from three different women: three with his current partner of 20 years, Kelley Phleger, actor Jesse Johnson, 36, with ex girlfriend Patti D’Arbanville, and of course daughter Dakota Johnson, 30, with Melanie.

Here are those quotes and Closer also has details from older interviews with Melanie and Antonio that I wanted to include.

“It’s pretty simple: when you love your children and want to share your life with them, it’s foolish to denigrate or have any animosity with their mother,” [Don Johnson], 69, explained to Stellar magazine. “Children model you more than they listen to you.”

Melanie has also been open about the good relationship she has with all of her spouses. “All of my husbands, my three husbands — I love them all so much, and we’re all very close,” she once gushed to InStyle. during an interview. Having a good bond seems to be a running theme in this family, because even [Antonio Banderas], 59, has nothing but good [things to say] about his ex-wife.

“Melanie is not my wife anymore, but I think she is my best friend,” Antonio once told People. “I love her and will love her until the day I die. She’s my family.” While the former couple had daughter Stella together, [Antonio] also helped raised Dakota and Melanie’s other child, Alexander.

[From Closer]

This is sound reasoning. Antonio is nicer about it, he seems to be a more feeling person in general, while Don is kind of practical. It also takes two people who are mature, thoughtful and willing to work on their relationship as coparents. You can have all the good intentions but if one party is holding a grudge or doesn’t want to talk to the other one it won’t work. As for Don’s quotes, imagine if Brad Pitt took this attitude toward Angelina Jolie. We wouldn’t be getting all these BS sniping stories about her in the press and I’m sure he would have saved hundreds of thousands in legal fees.

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26 Responses to “Don Johnson: It’s foolish to have animosity with your children’s mother”

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  1. jenner says:

    Always nice to see adults in Hollywood being mature.

  2. Lucy says:

    This is really nice.

  3. Rhea says:

    I am forever grateful to my parents who divorced in the mid 1980s and focused on my and my sister’s wellbeing. Mom had custody and Dad had visitation and weekend visits. They never spoke poorly of each other in front of my sister and even though it was a painful divorce. This was hard for them but they loved us more than they hated each other.

    • ShazBot says:

      Same. I’m so grateful that my mom was so mature and able to put my dad’s fuck ups (which I realized later as an adult) aside, and peacefully co-parent throughout our childhoods. Credit to my dad too for taking that olive branch and running with it.

    • Lara says:

      Same! My parents were so young when they got married and then divorced but acted in a more mature way then many people I know. I was never more grateful than last year when I got married and my mum, dad and stepdad were all sat there together at the top table.

    • Jadedone says:

      I know a few people in bad marriages who are staying together for the kids, I wish they could read what you both have wrote here and work towards a happy future for everyone involved.

    • Christina says:

      Rhea and Shazbot, your story gives me hope for the world along with this one about MG, DJ, and AB. Best to you, your families, and your wonderful parents!

  4. Lala11_7 says:

    Let me just say this…I have ADORED Don Johnson since I was a WEE LASS…and the fact that he’s NOT turned out to be a creep…and is aging like the FINEST OF THE FINEST OF WINES…does my heart…SO GOOD! I agree with Don and Melanie regarding this stance…relationships have reasons and seasons…and just because the season of the physical “intimacy” ends…that shouldn’t be a reason why the emotional/psychological “intimacy” ends…ESPECIALLY when you have children….no one can escape the tragedies of life…and you need…ALL THE SUPPORT YOU CAN GET regarding that…

    I have two ex’s that I spent YEARS of my life with…it would break my HEART if I couldn’t call them my friend…those two witnessed my youth…

    • lucy2 says:

      I’m going to ruin your day a bit.
      Don and Melanie got together when he was 22, and she was…14.

      It is nice they all get along now, but the start of the relationship was disgusting.

      • Lala11_7 says:

        You didn’t ruin my day with that…I’ve know that since the early 80s….even her Mama co-signed on it…LAWD….Then I saw that Don didn’t make it a habit of choosing much younger women…but yea…NAW….

      • Jerusha says:

        MG and DJ original start up is pretty common knowledge. I wouldn’t have been as understanding as Tippi Hedren, but everyone seems to be fine in the long run.

    • minx says:

      I just LOVE Don Johnson, always have and always will. He looks great!

    • Christina says:

      All of your comments are so awesome, Lala!! I love the stuff you share!

  5. InVain says:

    Good on him.

    Also, he’s such a fox.

  6. Lisa says:

    Good for them. It may not be practical for everyone but if it can be done that is great.

  7. Sequinedheart says:

    This warms the cockles of my cold heart.
    When it comes to family, more and more we are choosing and including people not necessarily family by law or blood and I think it’s beautiful to have these relations between exes. How bloody awful to be bitter and not be in the same room as one another. I know plenty (mostly older divorced examples) who are still that way – distanced and only be in the same room for their kids once or twice a year.
    No. The more love, the better.

  8. sassafras says:

    I wish I could send this article to a friend of mine who’s screwing up his divorce with his nasty attitude. I have friends who have done divorce right and put co-parenting first and you definitely see the difference in the kids.

    Edited to say: I know there are reasons why this ^^^ can’t always happen. Former family attorney here, I am well aware of abusive relationships, etc. But if there’s not abuse or psych disorders, for goodness’ sake, get along with your children’s parents!

    • Christina says:

      It’s true. My girl suffered so much. I tried, but he’s a diagnosed sociopath, so I had to fight. She wants nothing to do with him now that she’s an adult, and she had major attitude issues. She is doing well now, but it took years of therapy for both of us. I had therapists helping me parent my child and telling me how to talk to a child survivor of abuse, because that is what she was. She wasn’t just my baby anymore. She was an abuse survivor, and that’s a WHOLE other ballgame…

      • dj says:

        I am so sorry Christina. Yikes. As a mental health clinician. I can ONLY imagine the trauma the two of you have endured. Thank heaven you had therapists. I commend you!!

  9. paddyjr says:

    My parents divorced when I was young and my father had custody, which was the right choice even if he was a rarity in the early 80s. His philosophy was that, since he was going to have to still interact with my mother at family events, birthdays, etc., they might as well be as friendly as possible. My relatives and their friends appreciated this outlook because they didn’t feel like they had to take sides. I’ve tried to carry this on with my husband’s first wife; we may not be BFFs, but we are civil to each other and sometimes even joke around. It just makes life more pleasant and gives the kids a sense of security.

    And yes, Don Johnson is still a good-looking man! I like that he seems to have aged mostly naturally and has kept that “weathered handsomeness” look.

  10. Other Renee says:

    My ex is now a dear friend. We were both determined to co-parent and not be mean to each other for the sake of our daughter. When she was playing sports, we didn’t want her to look up at us in the stands and see us sitting separately. We didn’t want her to choose who to celebrate her birthday and other important events with so we were always together. It broke my heart to see other parents force their kids to choose sides, like who to sit with at a sports team banquet. The kid always suffered.

  11. Meg says:

    What if Kate gosselin took this approach to co-parenting? I don’t think she is capable unfortunately
    Superficial note-Don Johnson is aging well

  12. Granger says:

    This is really nice to hear. My parents had a very acrimonious divorce and my mother couldn’t let go of her bitterness for many, many years. She bad-mouthed my father to me and my brother ALL the time — even 20 years later, she would ask me in her sweetest voice how he was doing, then turn around and say something awful about him.

    My brother and I were too young when our parents separated to know/understand what went down between them. Instead of shielding us, my mother went out of her way to try and make us hate my dad. It had the opposite effect, of course. He loved us and was good to us, so the nastier she was, the more we “sided” with him. When I found out years later that he’d cheated on her, I felt angry and bewildered, but he and I talked about it a lot, and it made our relationship even stronger. The funny (stupid?) thing is, if my mom had taken the high road and kept her anger to herself, I probably would have had so much more sympathy for her when I finally found out what happened. Maybe that sounds screwed up, but because she was so bitter and angry for so many years, I found myself unable to sympathize. :-/

  13. holly hobby says:

    Oh yeah Don Johnson looks great for his age. I noticed him in that movie Book Club. He looks better than he did in the Miami Vice days (young Don was a bit too greasy for me).

  14. Renee says:

    Good Lord this man looks fabulous! He is still sexy as hell!!!!