Jennie Garth Reunites with Peter Facinelli 12 Years After Divorce


Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli are opening up about their marriage over 12 years after filing for divorce.

On the latest episode of the 90210MG podcast, the actress, 52, sat down with her ex-husband, 50. In the emotional episode, the pair talk about their decision to separate — something which Facinelli said had been a very difficult decision to make.

“There was there’s part of me, and I was very conflicted. There was part of me that was, like, ‘Do I stay in this?’ ” The Twilight actor recalled thinking before he filed for divorce. “I also felt gutted to break up family apart… It wasn’t an easy decision by any means.”

However, Facinelli — who had been only 21 years old when he and Garth welcomed their first child — noted that “looking back” it had been the “right decision” to split at the time because he ended up getting “in touch with” who he was. He said he didn’t want to “stay in a relationship” and just let his life go by without trying to make things better.

Peter Facinelli (left) and Jennie Garth (right).

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Garth agreed, noting that their separation had ultimately strengthened not only them as individuals, but their three daughters, Luca, 26, Lola, 21, and Fiona, 17, as well.

“It’s almost like, on one hand, they missed out on that idyllic family my parents are still married kind of thing,” the 90210 actress said. “But on the other hand, they gained so much more emotional depth and so much more strength, I think, and so many other things from experiencing the way it happened with us.”

The pair also discussed the obstacles with co-parenting, noting that it wasn’t always easy since they both each wanted more time with the girls, despite agreeing to split custody 50/50, and it was tough communicating early on in the divorce.

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“When you break up with someone and then you still have this immense, tremendous responsibility with them. It’s you have to put everything aside to work together. And there’s still a lot of pain there in the relationship not working out,” Facinelli shared.

Garth admitted that sometimes her “best wasn’t the best” when it came to that. However, Facinelli said that they ultimately worked through it to present a “unified” front to their children.

“[I felt] if you and I could work together, and they saw that there was still love there, you know, and even though we weren’t in this relationship, they could walk away going you know, with the story of mom and dad are still in each in our corners,” he said. “Maybe they’re not together, but they’re in our corners, and then they would grow from a more positive experience out of it instead of its bad.”

Jennie Garth (left) and Peter Facinelli (right).

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Garth and Facinelli got married in 2001, five years after meeting on the set of Unfinished Affair in 1996. In March 2012, Facinelli filed for divorce just three months after the couple separated. At the time, Garth reacted to Facinelli’s decision to end their marriage.

“You get the rug pulled from under you,” the Beverly Hills, 90210 actress told PEOPLE at the time. “I have no landscape of what my future will look like, where before I had something that I can count on.”

Years later, in 2017, the Nurse Jackie actor offered insight into the aftermath of the divorce, saying, “People come into your life for a reason and relationships can change and just because we aren’t living together, doesn’t mean you can’t love each other. I think once, there was a time where we had to learn that we had to be able to move forward with love and respect.”

Facinelli previously said that he and Garth co-parent well, because their happiness makes their kids happy. He also said they spend time together, including Garth’s husband Dave Abrams and Facinelli’s fiancée actress Lily Anne Harrison — with whom the Twilight star has a 1-year-old son — into family activities.

“I get the kids one week on and one week off so we share the kids 50/50, but if they have games and events we are both there,” Facinelli said. “We talk all the time about co-parenting and the kids. I really like her husband and I think he’s a great guy.”

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