Dominic West’s wife Catherine debates whether to ‘walk away’ from the marriage

Celebrities at the RTE studios for 'The The Late Late Show'

It’s not like I *want* to root for people to break up, I just put myself in various celebrities’ shoes and think about whether I could live with the situation. It seemed clear, given Dominic West’s affair with Lily James and his subsequent photocall with his wife a day later, that the West marriage was in a very strange moment. Dominic’s wife Catherine FitzGerald is an Irish aristocrat with a family castle, Glin Castle. Catherine quickly decamped to Glin Castle several days after the affair photos came out, and she’s been there ever since. She’ll likely be there for a while – Ireland has basically entered another lockdown with the pandemic. So, it’s a temporary – perhaps even a trial – separation for Dominic and Catherine. And I’m rooting for a divorce! Because I would not be able to put up with Dominic’s horsesh-t.

Dominic West’s wife Catherine FitzGerald has reportedly held crisis talks with her family over the future of her marriage. Catherine, 49, was said to have been left devastated when photos emerged of her husband, 51, cannoodling with his The Pursuit of Love co-star Lily James, 31, during a romantic weekend in Rome, Italy.

As the snaps – taken on Sunday 11 October – stunned fans around the world, two days later, the actor was seen to put on a defiant display of unity in a smug photo opportunity with Catherine outside their Wiltshire home. Despite their defiant display, insiders claim Catherine, who shares Dora, 13, Senan, 12, Francis, 11, and Christabel, seven, with the actor, is now at her family home in County Limerick, Ireland where she is deciding the future of her marriage.

Just days later, the couple put on their bizarrely defiant display and insisted all was well, however, Catherine is now said to be seeking advice from her sisters Nesta, an illustrator, and Honor, an actress, in regards to her marital future.

A source told The Sun: ‘She’s holed up in her family’s ancestral home, Glin Castle in County Limerick, thinking everything over. Catherine has called on Nesta and Honor to help her as she’s been struggling to come to a decision about whether she and Dominic can go back to how they were. Nesta has told friends that it felt like a family crisis meeting. Both she and Honor are fiercely protective of their older sister and want only what’s best for her, even if that means Catherine walking away.’

The insider added to the publication that Catherine has been left feeling humiliated over her husband’s recent actions.

[From The Daily Mail]

This says, to me, that the bizarre photocall – what the Mail refers to as the “defiant display” – was probably the result of Dominic lying to his wife. He probably had Lily (his mistress) and his agent (his co-conspirator) speak to Catherine and lie to her. Catherine believed him in that moment and agreed to the photocall. Then she regretted that sh-t as more information came out about the extent of Dominic and Lily’s Roman holiday. So yeah, it’s not just the affair, it’s the lies. LEAVE HIM!

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80 Responses to “Dominic West’s wife Catherine debates whether to ‘walk away’ from the marriage”

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  1. Merricat says:

    She can do better than this clown.

    • Jess says:

      Amen. She’s beautiful, rich and has a freaking castle! If I were her, I’d just send him on his way.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Very true – he has more to loose, that aristocratic lifestyle that he loves so much for a start.

      • Gobo says:

        Given that he bought the castle with her (from her family) she might lose it/have to sell it in a divorce. That’s a lot of family history to walk away from. I hope she values herself more but you never know.

    • minx says:

      So much better!

    • Nikki says:

      She sure can! And being alone would be better than staying with a lying selfish snake. She will never be able to trust him, you know it’s true.

    • Myra says:

      Even being single is better than being with this guy

      • Dee Kay says:

        @Myra I wouldn’t even say “even”!! Being single is much much better than being stuck in a marriage with someone who has shown himself to be such a lying a–hole.

    • The Recluse says:


  2. Other Renee says:

    Didn’t we have a poster here a couple of weeks ago write that she knows the family and it’s common knowledge in their town that he’s an alcoholic cheater, especially with local college girls and that Catherine just accepts it? The only difference now is that she’s been publicly humiliated. If she’s one of those women who sadly accepts that cheating is just a part of marriage, all this talk about maybe leaving him is just that: talk. Maybe she’s just trying to scare him into staying faithful, which of course will never happen. Too much ego on this pathetic excuse of a husband.

    • Maxime duCamp says:

      @OtherRenee, but you’ve hit on the main difference – she’s been publicly humiliated. There have been other posts about aristo cheating and the line seems to be that cheating is accepted–or at least tolerated–as long as the adulterer is discreet. Dominic’s fling with Lily was the opposite of discreet and that is probably the final straw and deciding factor for Catherine. But who knows what will happen? I tend to think that she will divorce him, hard is it might be for her, esp. with four children but time will tell.

    • windyriver says:

      @Other Renee – yes, I saw those comments also. That his alcoholism has gotten worse, combined with a mid life crisis. But Catherine knows he cheats, he always has, and it’s not liked but accepted in their circles, with discretion. She wouldn’t necessarily leave him (the family will close ranks and force him into rehab), but might, after things die down.

      Someone else commented though that he’s the one with the money and connections, via his family and old school ties, and that’s why her family was able to hang on to the castle. So, she may be between a rock and a hard place about what to do, and that’s why she’s in Ireland talking to her family.

      • Sass says:

        I actually was curious about the castle. Not only is it her ancestral home, it’s literally where she grew up. When her father died they tried to auction it but it didn’t sell, so she, Dominic, and her sisters bought it together and run it as a hotel and events center. Basically they need to buy him out and then she needs to divorce him. Either that or put it in the divorce agreement that he gives up his share to her.

  3. Astrid says:

    I couldn’t/wouldn’t forgive him. Team Divorce

    • lisa says:

      Does anyone know Irish divorce laws … is it a “no fault” area or can adultery come into play with the judgement? What about child support / alimony? The country has less women’s rights than the US so I wonder if she is stuck.

      • Purpeller says:

        They’d probably divorce in the UK, where they maintain a home and they have quicker laws. A couple has to be legally separated for 2 years (down from 4 only last year) before they can divorce in Ireland.

      • Ohlala says:

        omg please do not go into Irish divorce law. It is a mess. The messiest mess in Europe. I can’t divorce 6 years!!!!

      • Ohlala says:

        Sorry just re read “the country has less women right than US” made me laugh so much I spit my wine. Oh girl… why Americans are so self centred? Lol still laughing. Please understand that US still will not reach even close to any European country at its worst… omg seriously….

      • B says:

        You have to separate first and then wait a few years to get a divorce. There used to be a 4 yr waiting period, now it’s down to 2 yrs.

        I don’t think US women have amazing rights though- very patchy access to abortion, second highest rate of social inequality in the world after Russia..nothing I would boast about. Women don’t even have paid maternity leave in USA which is just astounding.

  4. Katie says:

    my advice – girl, don’t be thinking anything over right now, just focus on you and your priorities and do the stuff you want to do. your husband can take a break and wait until you feel emotionally level enough to deal with this. thinking in such a vulnerable state would be a mistake. it’s really likely she’ll either just justify his behavior and go back to him right away or regret leaving him “on a whim” and go back to him later (esp. if he baits her with ‘moving on with somebody else’). but yeah, in a nutshell, of course he’s a lousy husband and there’s no point keeping him lol it’s just that she’s been putting up with him for so long, not sure she’ll be able to just leave and be content with that decision and not go back on it and tear herself apart emotionally. just my two cents. might not be the right reading of this though as I’m just judging from the media coverage lol

    • Heylee says:

      @Katie – if we were all so lucky to have a friend like you <3 I love how thoughtful your comment is. Come over and fix *my* life!

    • Cee says:

      I’ve saved your message because it is a very wise one. My sister acted impulsively, threw her marriage into the wind only to come to her senses 3 weeks later. It was chaotic. I wish someone like you had been around.

    • Yup, Me says:

      All of this. People are often so quick to rush to a decision and action. It’s okay to just be still sometimes. Take your time and be clear.

    • Nire says:

      Spot on. When I was contemplating leaving my marriage, someone advised me not to project too far into the future, because there was no way I could know what the future would hold. Instead, give myself an emotional check in, either every few months, or even year, and if I still kept coming back to the same emotional state of wanting to end it, then I should. My ex husband also cheated, and wasn’t discreet. It took a good 3 years of yearly emotional check ins for me to finally leave. Our children were really young. It was hard, but it’s been two years and I have never once regretted leaving.

    • mayaly says:

      Absolute best advice. My mantra has always been ‘In a crisis, do nothing’.

  5. Redder says:

    How is cheating not a hard stop for people? Especially since she has money of her own to be independent and is with someone who has had previous cheating rumors. Yes, you have kids together and it’ll be messy and complicated, but being miserable and having low self esteem from staying with a cheating husband is not healthy for them. I will not feel bad for her if she stays. He’ll do it again and again.

    • LawyaGal says:

      I agree! But I will note it was not a hard stop for my mom. For 28 years my dad cheated on her and gaslighted her and blamed her for his cheating. She never left – but thought about it many times – due to financial pressure and criminally low self esteem. He eventually divorced her to marry one of his mistresses – who he then cheated on. Being abused by a selfish narcissist cheater took a huge toll and she still doesn’t trust herself to make decisions to this day. Ten years and lots of therapy later she is slowly healing. My heart breaks for Catherine and these children – there is probably more going on than cheating.

    • Case says:

      It’s hard to understand how cheating isn’t a dealbreaker. I’m not a particularly forgiving person when it comes to stuff of that nature. I have a friend whose boyfriend just dumped her and now she learned he was cheating. She still desperately wants him to love her again, and while I’m sorry she’s going through this, it’s hard for me to stomach her wanting to be with someone who doesn’t give a crap about her.

    • minx says:

      Also setting a bad example for children.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      It is the Sunk Cost Fallacy, seen in everything from financial investments to marriages. You spend so long loving and caring for someone that in the moment it seems impossible that your person could do this to you, so you invest more love in them and then they do it again and you feel foolish in front of the world and your mother for loving this person and feel you cannot confide to others what is happening, isolating yourself from the support that could get you through leaving because of the shame of what someone else did.

      I say that she needs a moment to let her heart catch up to her head, she needs the love and care of her family, for the message that she is worth so much more to sink in, and for her to believe that, then she will disconnect from him and eventually leave.

      • so_annoyed says:

        Oh my gosh, @Zapp, you hit the nail on the head. I have been through this, and the embarrassment is almost too much to bear. I stayed because I loved him. I stayed because I am mortified and embarrassed and thought people would either look at me for doing something wrong or pity me. I stayed because I didn’t want to lose my 4 children on weekends and holidays because he was the asshole who only cared about himself and couldn’t keep it in his pants. I never told anyone, and my family believes he is an amazing guy, and I am lucky to have him. We are okay now, and he never fully admitted to everything but did apologize and say if he could go back and change things, he would. I am not entirely sure that this is true. I think if the opportunity presented itself to cheat, he would do it again, but I have to live with that, and it is a horrible feeling.

      • Zapp Brannigan says:

        @so_annoyed I am sorry to read that, I have been there too, and it is soul destroying and one of those things that you can never fully understand until one day you find yourself living it. I hope life improves for you and that you continue to heal.

    • Jordana says:

      I think it takes some women longer to come to the conclusion, or they just need time for all the anger to fester and truth to come out.

      I know of women who are successful, and put up with an unbelievable amount of BS and cheating. For some reason the women think they are “strong” for being so “forgiving”, but the sad truth is, all they’ve done is let their husbands know that he can cheat and there is little or no consequence. Guaranteeing they will cheat again.

      Ugh, i just know way too many women doing this. I don’t get it. Is being married to this loser such a prize? Is it worth the price of turning yourself into the “marriage police” and questioning where he is every unaccounted minute of the day? And checking his phone constantly? (He will have a 2nd phone at that point anyway!). That is not a life or a marriage.

    • Cee says:

      A lot of people dont want to be alone and start over (in regards to relationships). Both my bf and I are very against cheating so I know were I to cheat on him, he would most likely walk away. Trust is very important and we both believe it is almost impossible to get it back once it’s been broken.

    • lucy2 says:

      It is for me, but I’m also financially independent, have no kids, and am just fine being single, so it’s easier for me to just say nope and be outta there.
      I hope Catherine takes her time to figure it all out, but I wouldn’t even consider taking him back. If this was a common thing for him, it shows so much continued disrespect for her as a person, as his wife, and for their whole family. And this particular incident is so public, I don’t know how anyone could move past that. Especially in the middle of a pandemic, when his actions could risk the health of her and their kids.

    • Amber says:

      there are a variety of reasons why people stay. I used to tolerate that kind of stuff because I had low self-esteem and because my parents’ marriage was toxic, so as a child I only had the example of a bad marriage. I thought that being in a relationship meant being miserable. I thought that love was only love if you were prepared to suffer for it. I couldn’t understand how my friends managed to find boyfriends who were actually faithful to them. It took years of therapy for me to get out of that way of thinking. There are also many tactics abusers and cheaters use, most significantly gaslighting and questioning the woman’s sanity. This is effective, and people will start to believe they’re crazy or that they can’t trust their own judgment. I’ve lived through that for years. Women as a group are already gaslit by society all the time, even the most privileged women (as is evidenced in the MeToo movement including many famous and wealthy actresses as survivors of abuse and harassment). There is also the sunken cost fallacy which is why people stay in unhappy marriages especially when there are kids involved. I’m not going to judge this lady if she stays with him. We have no idea what their marriage is like behind the scenes. It may seem simple to us on the outside, but leaving a marriage is complicated, especially with kids and property involved. I mean, really, it should be Dominic who does the hard thing and leaves the marriage, since in essence he already has. But obviously he won’t take responsibility or live in the reality of the decisions he’s already made, so it falls to her to make a decision, and that’s unfair.

    • I'm Square says:

      I don’t think she’s rich – that might be the key. They might own a castle but I’ve heard of a lot of European castle being absolute money pits that require so much maintenance and upkeep that they’re cash-flow negative properties and can only attract, as buyers, wealthy East Asian billionaires who want a vanity project to take over.

  6. Kateeee says:

    He is a cad who got caught in public with a fling, then doubled down on embarrassing her by convincing her to do those photos. Love yourself, lady! There is nothing here worth salvaging.

  7. Sofia says:

    I’d dump him if I were her. She’s pretty, aristocratic, was a Viscountess through marriage and has a castle but the young kids probably make the situation more complicated

  8. Lila says:

    Oh honey. Of course it’s okay to walk away. Call a press conference, pin a handwritten note to the shrubbery that says “I quit” and then take a blowtorch to the whole thing if it makes you feel better.

  9. Lirko says:

    Four children. FOUR. It’s hardly original, but nonetheless true-he also “cheated” on those children-putting the whims of his peen before his wife and children. And sadly, he’s not likely to change, so…

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Yeah, I feel bad for her and the kids. Armie Hammer’s ex, not so much, if the rumors about her being a conservative are true.

  10. Mignionette says:

    If she’s still debating, then she ain’t going anywhere soon.

  11. Gobo says:

    I don’t think Lily was his first incident of adultery and I’d bet Catherine was at least aware of his wandering dong. I think she put up with a certain amount but this humiliation may have been a step too far. I wonder if their finances are complicated? That might explain why she puts up with him. They had to buy the family castle to keep it going and run it as a guest house to cover upkeep.

    • Farfromreality says:

      The public nature of the infidelity, and especially the fact that her “friends” lied to her about it, would be the final straw for me. If I were her part of my “taking time” would be consulting a lawyer about how much filthy lucre I would get in a divorce.

  12. Jelly says:

    @Redder… kids make a difference in whether ppl stay together plus she might really love him and not want it to be over, despite the pain and humiliation.

    I would probably kick his cheating ass to the curb but it’s important not to judge other women’s choices…

  13. Snowslow says:

    The cheating must be awful, awful. The public humiliation too. But she must be kicking herself for allowing for that photo op to have happened. It was the most cringe worthy thing I’ve seen in ages. If I was in her shoes, I’d be re-playing that morning over and over again in my mind. And plotting ways to turn him into a eunuch in his sleep.

    • LillyfromLilooet says:

      Reading this, it strikes me that this ask of her will likely be the thing she will never get over, even if she wants to try to repair the relationship.

    • Oh-Dear says:

      it reminded me of every republican official and their wife and Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin holding press conference after infidelity.

  14. smee says:

    He showed nothing but contempt for his wife, gave zero effs about humiliating her in public and the stunt of showing up in the same clothes he was wearing during his lost weekend for the loved-up photo shoot with her to make it all “better” – totally insulting.

    His wife should set a good example for their kids by have self esteem and divorcing him. Then continue with the good example and co-parent in a kind way with this cad….

  15. Vava says:

    I’m surprised her older three children are all just one year apart. That’s one long pregnancy story, with little time between each baby to let your body recover!

  16. Mamasan says:

    Let the door hit him on the ass!!!!

  17. Sof says:

    This is why I refrained from commenting the other day, several people said Lily was being victim of slut shaming because it was all the husband’s fault, he was the one who made vows, etc.
    But if we believe there was an affair, we have to believe that Lily indeed called Catherine to deny everything. And that is not nice, I’m sorry.
    I’m all for women supporting eachother, but in this case the one that has my sympathies is Catherine. Whatever she decides to do will be ok.

  18. NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

    If you’re going to cheat with a married man and he gets caught, don’t try to “help” him with his wife.

    With all the dalliances with married men lately, I can’t help but wonder if Lily was trying to help him or herself. This story along with the others is a career killing reputation.

  19. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Leave em Catherine! And take all your money with you!

  20. LeonsMomma says:

    I once worked for a company owned by my bosses’ wife’s family. She was — and still is —one of the nicest people I know.

    He had cheated on her years before I started and the family reminded him who paid the bills — plus they had young children. By the time I got there, he was already cheating on her again, but was more discreet (but not enough that some employees didnt know what was going on.)

    Until one day he wasnt discreet. And she divorced him. Let me tell you, past and at that time present employees were cheering for her.

    So, If Catherine hasnt filed divorce papers yet, she is still thinking of staying with him. She hasnt reached that point/the bottom.

    • HeatherC says:

      Not necessarily, it depends who has the most money. When my cad of an uncle cheated on my aunt for the last time, she spent more time in the accountant’s office than the lawyer’s office before filing to untangle the finances. She came into the marriage with money, he didn’t, but it all got tangled after near 20 twenty years. Some slightly shady transfers later, she filed for divorce and took most of the money with her.

      DW is part owner of the castle and presumably the business that goes along with it (hotel and venue).

  21. My3cents says:

    Don’t walk away from him. Run.

  22. Larry says:

    Catherine quickly decamped to Gin Castle.

    There you go, fixed the typo for you.

  23. Darla says:

    From what I’ve seen, this guy has been cheating all along, and has been pretty open about it in interviews. But James, who likely believed he has an open marriage, will take the fall if this marriage ends. It’s ridiculous.

  24. RedWeatherTiger says:

    If he HAS been cheating all along, and Catherine has known but accepted it as long as it was discreet, then…do we call that an open marriage? Or is there another name for that kind of marriage (ROYAL springs to mind)?

    Cathy should leave him and take every cent she can from him. And Lily should issue some sort of public apology about her unwitting role in their family’s breakdown, and move the hell on. I suspect Lily is going to just keep being messy though…which is a shame.

  25. Ariel says:

    The cheating- everyone has to decide if that is a dealbreaker for them.
    I *think* i could forgive, but luckily haven’t been in that position.
    It is the publicness of that humiliation, and more than that- the photocall.
    That she was made to be a prop in his rehabilitation of his image.
    while she was probably dying inside. That manipulation to me is unforgivable.

  26. HK9 says:

    This is the weird thing to me. He cheats, he humiliates her publicly, but now she has to do something about it. If she stays, she seems weak (not that I think that) and if she leaves, it’s almost like she’s doing it in reaction to the publicity, and not when she’s ready. His being messy and making this very public makes this so much worse. I only wish her the best-she and her family deserve better.

  27. Klee says:

    Honey, don’t walk. Run

  28. Lotta says:

    To make things even more complicated is that Dominic, Catherine, and her sister, apparently each own one third of the castle.
    Being born upper class doesn’t necessarily mean that your rich. They tried to sell the castle after Catherine’s father died but no one wanted to buy it, and then they came up with the other arrangement.

    About the upper class and fidelity; I think that this have changed. Before status was more important then love, but that isn’t the case anymore.

  29. Jodi says:

    Art imitating life. His character did exactly this on The Affair.

  30. Andrea says:

    I think the public humiliation was the last straw.

    I think we need to understand some people have arrangements (look at Will and Jada Pink Smith and Will and Kate), who have open relationships or turn a blind eye to cheating. Some people have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy. But I think the over the top Rome photos was a bit much. I worry Lily is taking the fall for something that is truly Dominic’s problem. Lily I doubt is into being wife #2. I could be wrong though.

  31. Mina_Esq says:

    Life’s too short to put up with the sadness and disappointment that a cheating husband brings. I hope she leaves him too. She deserves better. Every woman does.

  32. I'm Square says:

    This woman seems like a sensible, grounded person (despite marrying this creep) and I wish her and her kids the very best, but what’s with the kudos-for-being-aristocratic thing from posters? Any class system is horrible; no one should get merit just for their birth name.

  33. L4frimaire says:

    She should kick his ass to the curb and figure out custody and alimony. He’s a real cad.

  34. Awkward symphony says:

    I wont tell another women how to run her house but if it was me I wouldn’t have allowed him back into our houses let alone agree to do awkward little stunt. I bet she’s regretting it and they’ll divorce quietly in 1-2 years

    • Bobbie says:

      “I wont tell another women how to run her house …”
      Exactly. If she stays, that’s her choice, Maybe she doesn’t’ want to blow up her marriage and the lives of her children over some woman whose name her husband probably doesn’t even remember.

  35. Kelsea says:

    A few years back aka 7-8 he stayed at a hotel I was employed at, having always been attracted to drunken a holes, I of course looked to see his status. I read he was married with kids and thought it was awesome he and his wife were still having getaways sans kids. Needless to say I recently found out that was not in fact his wife. She was a strikingly gorgeous, more age appropriate woman of color, how I know for sure it wasn’t her.

  36. what's inside says:

    I would not want to be in her shoes.

  37. Isabella says:

    So I am confused. Where are the kids? She bolted to Ireland without them? Dominic has them?

  38. KinChicago says:

    My parents divorced. It was the best thing for all of us. I know that many say couples shouldn’t divorce, that it is against god and church or that it is traumatic for the kids…

    Their marriage was traumatic, the awful twisted arguments, the financial misery, the fights- always the hateful fights.
    It was terrible trapped in the house, dreading to wake up and face another day with the Inevitable cycle brutal cruelty. I wish they had divorced many years earlier, it would have been kinder, more civil.
    The divorce was a welcome relief. They were better people apart.

  39. AuntieStef says:

    E! New reported that a friend close to Lily said she was shocked he came out and said his marriage was “fine”. I doubt she called the wife. She’s supposedly sickened by it, as she should be. There are rumors about her and Armie and it seems like Armie wife came out to media stating he had sexy texts from someone with an odd name – the name that lily went by on set. Lily is either a s*x addict or is very messy, probably both. I always wondered about her and Matthew Goode too.