Feeling sorry for the ex

I haven’t given much thought to Anthony La Paglia since he yelled and yelled at me when I was editor of Woman’s Day.

But he was top of mind yesterday when my sister texted to let me know he’d married his 29-year-old girlfriend Alexandra. Anthony is 59. I did some Googling and discovered the pair have been dating for three years, since a couple of months after he left his wife of 17 years, Gia Carides.

Well, that’s his timeline on it. In March 2015, Anthony filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences”. A month earlier he was allegedly spotted holding hands with then-26-year-old Alexandra while filming A Month Of Sundays in Adelaide.

However, he told the Herald Sun: “My attitude is that if I don’t know someone — and it’s no disrespect to anyone out there — then I don’t care what their opinion is because they’re not me, they’re not in my life and they can have all the opinions they like — they don’t know what went on.

“Outsiders are relatively unimportant to me, as long as the people involved know what went on.”

My sister is not cool with middle-aged men ditching their wives for newer models. She feels really sorry for the exes.

Oh … just in case you don’t remember Anthony LaPaglia, he’s the Aussie actor who made it big in the US with a starring role in the TV series Without A Trace. His brother Jonathan hosts Australian Suvivor.

When I was editor of Woman’s Day, I bought a set of photos of Anthony playing a friendly game of soccer in the suburbs with some mates. He was taking his shirt off in one of them and … let’s just say he looked like he’d been over-indulging in the spaghetti carbonara.

One of the sub-editors at Woman’s Day thought it would be a lark to call him Anthony LaPudgier in the caption accompanying the pic. And I didn’t notice when I was checking the page proofs.

But someone did: Anthony’s mum.

Anthony’s mum was totally mortified – she couldn’t hold her head up in her home town of Adelaide because of the shame we’d brought on her family. She rang Anthony in Los Angeles (he’d returned home by then) and said his name had been besmirched in her favourite magazine.

So Anthony rang me to have a go. My assistant spent 45 minutes trying to appease him, but he was intent on tearing strips off me. Eventually she put him through and he proceeded to shout at me for 45 minutes while I repeatedly apologised. In the background I could hear Gia loudly screeching her displeasure, offering creative suggestions on new ways he should castigate me.

At one point, without bothering to put his hand over the receiver, he told Gia to SHUT UP AND LET ME FINISH. Slice of life, let me tell you.

Google says the LA house he and Gia yelled at me from was sold as part of their divorce settlement for $11million. It looks very noice in the real estate pics.

But there was nothing noice about that phone call. Eventually, he asked to be put through to my boss so he could have a go at some fresh meat higher up the food chain. Ninety minutes of displeasure had not cooled his ire in the slightest.

Another 45 minutes of yelling at her followed …

I hate to think what his phone bill looked like. Overseas calls on landlines cost a motza back then.

I still can’t quite believe a grown man could be bothered yelling for that long at three women because aspersions had been cast on his manly girth.

These days he’s looking very trim and living happily ever after with his young bride.

“People say ‘it’s failed’,” Anthony explains of his first marriage. “My attitude is that it didn’t. Twenty years is a long time for any relationship and so many positive and great things came out of it — my daughter being one of them … It’s an emotionally tough thing to go through but it happens and it’s about adjusting to the fact that people change, life changes.

“With each age bracket you hit, whether you realise it or not, you’re evolving into who you are. And sometimes in a relationship they line up and sometimes they go in opposite directions. It really comes down to: At what point is the relationship no longer a happy or joyous thing to be in?

“It’s always a 50/50 proposition … and they don’t go wrong for any one reason, there’s a million reasons they’ve gone wrong and they’re all so small and incremental along the way you don’t notice them, and then the file builds and you reach this crossroads.”

I know that feeling – its pretty wretched when your relationship loses its joy. And falling in love again later in life is such a rush.

I didn’t hook up with a 26-year-old though. I can’t imagine having enough in common with a 26-year-old to marry them. I set my RSVP preferences for someone around my age or older. Blokes don’t have the same parameters, they seem fine with dating women the same age as – or younger than – their daughters …

Producer David Foster (68) just got engaged to actress Katharine McPhee (34) and appears entirely unperturbed that three of his daughters are older than his new fiancee.

The daughters are having bulk fun trolling his engagement pics on Instagram though … https://dailym.ai/2NngiAZ

But back to Alexandra, who posted a pic on her Instagram account captioned: “The day I married the love of my life.” So she’s obviously ga-ga for him … which I don’t get either. She’ll end up being his carer rather than his lover when she’s still a young ‘un.

The pair tied the knot in Maui, Hawaii in April and have kept it secret until now. They are currently honeymooning in the South of France.

I’m quite envious of that bit, sounds fabulous as I shiver in Sydney.

As for how Gia is feeling about the child bride wedding/stepmother situation, who knows? I think it’s invariably confronting, no matter how you feel about your ex.

I’m hoping Gia is getting on with her life and rediscovering her own joy, sans Mr Don’t-Call-Me-La-Pudgier.

I don’t know whether it’s better to be replaced by a ravishing young thing you can make eye-rolling, mid-life crisis cracks about or the Camilla scenario that leaves you eternally wondering “Huh? Why her?”

Probably neither. But we don’t live in a neither world. Odds are your ex will hook up with someone … the best you can hope for is they do it after you’ve separated. And that their new partner is nice to your kids.

Song of the day: Stevie Wonder “I wish” (DD tells me THAT’S the song they played at Mamasan, I said “Part-time Lover” much more appropriate at the moment …)


6 thoughts on “Feeling sorry for the ex

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  1. I have never got why much older men seem to be attractive to way younger women. There is a generational issue that comes into play and also life span problem that can be problematic especially when children are involved.

  2. Would he have yelled for that long if one of you had been male? I suspect not. As for “the Camilla scenario”, they had been in love for a very long time and were prevented from marrying in the first place because she’s Catholic, and you can’t have Catholics on the throne of England, not since James II anyway. Diana was chosen by Charles’ grandmother as a suitable match. Archaic and bound to end in the disaster it was. Why Camilla? Because they still loved each other. If you think it’s weird, then you are putting value judgements on her based on appearance, age and sexist gossip. Why not ask, why him? He’s no spring chicken either. I’m not a royal fan (was as a kid, but I’ve come to my senses). Their presence preserves a great art and architecture collection but beyond that they have not much use. But the denigration of Camilla is sexist, age-ist and just plan mean.

    1. You misunderstand me Megan – I was wondering whether it is easier to understand being left for the younger model than someone who isn’t much different to you.

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