The real reason Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies split

Although fans always tend to be surprised — and maybe even a little heartbroken — when their favorite celeb couples split, the news stings more the longer the pair was together. Case in point: when She’s All That star Rachael Leigh Cook and Vampire Diaries alum Daniel Gillies announced their separation after nearly 15 years of marriage via matching Instagram posts in mid-June 2019, it caught everyone a little off-guard.

“With deep gratitude for every year we have spent together and the thousands of beautiful memories shared, we have mutually decided to separate as a couple,” the pair said. Cue the sad trombone. “This decision isn’t one we have come to easily or lightly. We love and respect each other as parents, people and artists and look forward to maintaining the best parts of our relationship for many years to come.” Keep reading to learn more about why exactly these two called it quits.

Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies said the decision was mutual

Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies said they had “mutually decided to separate as a couple,” while maintaining the positive elements of their relationship. So what were the negative factors that fueled the separation?

“They both unfortunately fell out of what made them love each other in the first place and instead dived into routine rather than embracing the struggles and ups and downs marriages often sometimes take,” an insider told Hollywood Life. “They didn’t do anything for their relationship to improve it. Every moment of their attention was either devoted for their kids or themselves and their careers. They really lost track of being a couple.” The supposed insider noted, “There was never any infidelity and they both are very happy that they are mature enough to get to this conclusion because they will always have respect for each other but the romance is gone.” 

While that may not be the salacious explanation that gossip-hungry fans crave, it’s a very matter-of-fact and understandable reason for Cook and Gillie’s long-term marriage to come to an end.

Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies are putting their kids first

Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies are committed to putting their kids first. Their Instagram announcement made that clear: “Your discretion in this matter is kindly requested for the sake of our children during this time of transition. Thank you to those of you who are already aware; for your tremendous compassion and understanding.” 

In July 2019, Cook talked to Entertainment Tonight about that delicate period of transition. She said Gillies was filming in New Zealand when they made the news public, but they wanted to explain everything to their two young children (Charlotte and Theodore) when he returned to the States. “As long as the kids will be okay, I’ll be okay. You know what I mean?” she said at the time. “That’s the end-all. One day at a time.”

Cook has been tactful but candid about the challenges of the big breakup. “It feels uncertain and nobody warns you how hard adulting is going to be,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “And I’m learning. Never bored and I’m very grateful.” She added, “I don’t know what I’m doing, so if anybody has any advice, seriously tag me online. I’m all ears.” 

They know they'll always be in each other's lives

Is there any chance these two will reconcile down the road? Rachael Leigh Cook masterfully swerved a question about potentially getting back together with Daniel Gillies during a 2019 interview with Entertainment Tonight. “The analogy I like to use is the characters stay the same, but this chapter is ending. We move forward,” she said. Though the parameters of their relationship are certainly changing, Cook made it clear that Gillies is still a central figure in her life. “We’re going to get through this together. He’s an amazing person. I still consider him my very best friend. We’ll make it one way or another” she said, noting that she still “love[s] him to death.” 

As they shift from romantic partners to platonic co-parents, we’re happy to report that there’s no bad blood between these famous exes — just a whole bunch of love and respect.

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