What Jodie Foster Can Teach Us About Honoring Your Exby Lilit Marcus on January 15, 2013
This week at the Golden Globes, a highlight was Jodie Foster‘s acceptance speech for her Lifetime Achievement Award. The 50-year-old actress has been quietly out of the closet for quite some time, and in her speech she made a stir by stating that she already considered herself to be “out,” even if she didn’t have “a fragrance and a prime-time reality show” to show for it. But beyond the discussion of her sexuality, the star made a point of acknowledging her ex-partner and co-parent, Cydney Bernard:
There is no way I could ever stand here without acknowledging one of the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life, my confessor, ski buddy, consigliere, most beloved BFF of 20 years, Cydney Bernard. Thank you, Cyd.
Such public and effusive praise of your ex is rare in Hollywood, let alone society at large. While it’s not completely unheard of for Hollywood stars to stay on decent terms with exes (remember those Bruce/Demi/Ashton family photos?), the concept of affinity post-breakup is scarce enough to make Foster’s speech incredible. Try to think of a single other example of a star saying something so loving about an ex in public–chances are, you can’t. Considering how much trash Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries managed to talk about each other after being married for a whopping 72 days, Foster’s graciousness stands out all the more.
The fact that Foster’s children are nowhere near as recognizable as, say, Suri Cruise and the Jolie-Pitt brood likely means their parents have played a joint role in protecting them from the spotlight, and “normalizing” their childhood. What was so incredible about Foster’s speech was that she acknowledged that just because you stop being with someone doesn’t mean that you stop caring for them, or that you stop working together as a team to raise your family. Having two moms who unite to raise them, even if they don’t live in the same house anymore, gives Charlie and Kit a model of a positive relationship that will no doubt set them up for happy relationships of their own. Take that, Jon and Kate.