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On, October 20, 2009, Isabel Gillies appeared on The Joy Behar Show to discuss infidelity along with Marla Maples (ex wife of Donald Trump), Mary Jo Eustace (ex wife of Dean McDermott), Dina Matos (ex-wife of former New Jersey Governor, Jim McGreevey), Kristen Armstrong (ex wife of Lance Armstrong), Raoul Felder (Celebrity Divorce lawyer), M. Gary Neuman (Psychotherapist and author of "The Truth About Cheating"), and Debbie Nigro (founding partner and Chief Executive Girlfriend of First Wife`s World)

*edit for Isabel Gillies only

Joy Behar: Tonight, a special show about the ugly and the unpleasant side of love. And I`m not talking about Mark Sanford`s e-mail poetry. I`m talking about divorce. It`s all the rage these days from Christie Brinkley to Mel Gibson to the Gosselins. Celebrity split ups on making news and making divorce attorneys rich.
But this private hell isn`t always played out on the public stage. Two and a half million Americans have divorced in the past year and half of marriages in the U.S. end in splitsville. I tell you, divorce must be fabulous because everybody is doing it.
So join me and my panel of sadder but wiser ex-wives as we share tales of love and betrayal and everything in between. Whether you`re a man, a woman, married, divorced or just planning ahead, you don`t want to miss this special presentation.
My guests tonight have something in common and no, it`s not just that they`re fabulous, which they are. It`s that they`ve all had private divorces play out in the public eye.

JB: But first former "Law & Order" Isabel Gillies shares a story next. My next guest left a promising career as an actress on "Law and Order" to follow her husband to Ohio. Joining me now is Isabel Gillies, actress and author of "Happens Every Day: An all too true story." Welcome to the show.
Isabel Gillies: Thank you.
JB: We recognize you from the show. Tell us what happened to you.
IG: I was married. My ex-husband is a professor. He was at Harvard when I met him. We got married. We had one baby. We decided that -- I`m an actress. I was on "Law and Order" and I had had a pretty successful career thus far but I wasn`t Meryl Streep so the life of a professor and the world you can create on campus and you can go to an interesting town and have a happy life with children in a very much less expensive house than living in New York. So we thought that would be a smart idea. I thought it would be a great idea.
JB: What happened when you got there?
IG: We got there...
JB: It`s interesting you would think that would be a more interesting life than showbiz. Most people don`t see it that way.
IG: I wanted a family. He`s a very, very good professor. I just thought it was a better thing to bank on his career than mine as an actress which was shaky and doesn`t have any stability in some cases, and I wanted to be a mother.
JB: What happened when you got there?
IG: So we got there. I started living there and I actually started teaching acting at the college. We had this wonderful house and a very bucolic, ideal life. And then he left me for a colleague of his who is a friend of mine. But I actually -- he left me quite suddenly. I ended up going back to New York and living with my parents and our children; our little boys.
JB: Oh, my goodness. I could never come back to live with my parents. They`re dead. I know that would be really creepy to live with them now. But it`s very 1960s what you did. I did that also. I went to Rhode Island with my professor husband when I was in the middle of -- I had a job. I didn`t have a career. It`s a very, very 1960s, 1950s thing to do.
IG: Did you have children?
JB: I didn`t have them at the time. I followed him any way. What was I thinking? If you have children, you have an excuse.
IG: Except you know truthfully though, I don`t think that there`s anything to regret ever in life. I mean, I had a wonderful time teaching. I would have never done that. I would have never lived in that part of the country. I`m from New York. I knew nothing about the Midwest. I had beautiful children and they got to grow up in a little...
JB: Sure.
IG: And then I came back and pulled my socks up and said, ok, let`s start again. And actually I was getting divorced on "Law and Order" when I was in Ohio and then I came back and saved that marriage.
JB: And the end of the story is you got your job back on "Law and Order" right?
IG: I did. I got that job back. When I got to New York and living with my very wise father and mother, one day I was filling out applications for a school that was just enormously too expensive for me to send my children to but I was filling them out anyway...
JB: We`re running out of time in this segment. Just before we go, what does your husband teach, your ex?
IG: Poetry.
JB: Poetry. Ok, watch those poets. Isabel, stay there. Much more of our special presentation in just a minute. I`m sorry I had to cut you off, dear.
IG: We`re talking about divorce with some women that have firsthand experience. Back with my lovely panel, Marla Maples, Dina Matos, and Mary Joe Eustace, and Isabel Gillies.
 

JB: Isabel, come back to me, Isabel. She`s still there. So aren`t you glad your husband was just a poet?
IG: But it does bring up the issue that everybody is so complex. And if you have children, eventually you have to sort of take every complexity and everything that was done wrong and done right and sort of move forward especially for your children because they love their father, you know, just as much as they did when you were married.
JB: Yes! I think that it`s a big mistake. My own experience to get the kids involved in the divorce and use them as a punching bag. I think it`s the worst thing you can do. That`s a terrible thing. I`m sure that none of you did that…

 

JB: Can you see divorce as a growth experience in some way? Absolutely.
EUSTACE: I mean especially in "Divorce Sucks." it kicks your ass. You feel dehumanized. Horrible. With lawyers and fighting and feeling unloved and unlovable. And the media thrown into it. At that point if you don`t become an advocate for yourself, there`s nobody. I mean you really have to take care of yourself to take care of your kids. And it really can be life affirming. It can be a wonderful second opportunity in your life. So it can be actually, I think it can be a very positive. The thing on the other side if you work at it -- you have to work at it.
IG: But yea it`s hard so when you talk to women, you know and they`re in the middle of it you just have to know that they have to let this pass through them and accept the pain and grieving period and it will be a period of time but on the other side you say, okay, now that this has come I`m ready to see what`s coming next in my life.
JB: Yea we got some -- do I have time for e-mails? Just hand them to me, do you have them? We had e-mails that people sent in. And one girl just said something like my husband was so annoying I wish he had gone out with Tori Spelling. 
 
JB: Just don`t concentrate on stupid things. Focus, this is my advice. Concentrate on what you have to do next rather than all of the distractions. Going after his money unless he has Donald Trump money, I wouldn`t bother it.
IG: Yea well. I chose the child instead.
JB: I know you didn`t get a lot of money. I know that whole story. Thank you, ladies. Next, the lawyers weigh in. You know what that will be. Expensive. Don`t go away.

JB: Thanks very much. Thanks to all of my fantastic guests for joining me tonight and thank you all for watching. Good night, everybody.

 

Backstage at the Joy Behar Show, the guests offered advice for divorcing women

Isabel Gillies: "Summon up all your strength, because you're going to need it...stay positive, and light a candle instead of cursing the darkness."

Transcribed by CNN.com; to read the full interview, click here
Backstage at the Joy Behar Show was transcribed by Cindybin. Youtube link