As a celebrity news site, we hardly ever come across a Hollywood divorce that isn’t making headlines as the former couple take digs at each other in the media and in court. So, it was refreshing when E!Online reported earlier this month that “Saved by the Bell” icon and new star of TNT’s “Franklin & Bash,” Mark-Paul Gosselaar, was generating positive headlines about his current divorce proceedings with his wife of close to 14 years, actress Lisa Ann Russell.
“That’s always the concern,” Gosselaar tells Zap2it about the divorce. “Are you doing any harm to the kids? The truth is if two people are unhappy in an environment together and the kids are a part of that environment, you need to make a change.”
“I’m a believer that if the parents are happy, the kids will be happy,” he continues. “So, we had to make a change and it’s unfortunate that it had to end in a divorce. But, overall the kids are in a better place.”
According to court records, Russell filed a request for joint custody and spousal support in April — both of which Gosselaar had already requested for her when he filed for divorce after they separated last June.
“I think it’s very important that both children should have contact with both parents equally,” he tells us. “Unless one is a complete mess and there’s certainly cases like that when one side of the equation shouldn’t be around the kids as much. But, I have nothing but nice things to say about my ex-wife and the years that we spent together and I think it’s very important that the kids are around us both equally.”
Part of the reason why the star’s divorce is so uncharacteristically Hollywood in the way the couple is behaving may be that up until recently he hadn’t even lived in Los Angeles County and he tells us he’s way past that point in his life when he’s hanging at Hollywood hotpots.
“I don’t have too many friends in the industry,” he says. “And I certainly don’t have any friends who are going through what I’m going through. I have seen in the past that it gets ugly out there. Whether that’s a product of what the press is conceiving or whether that’s going on in the relationship, I don’t know. But, all I know is from both of our standpoints, we have always done things for the betterment of our children. And they are the most important.”
“We had a relationship to create these beautiful children,” he continues. “Whatever I can do and I’m sure my ex-wife feels the same, whatever we can do to continue in the positive direction that we’ve established for the children these last seven years – my son is seven, my daughter’s five – we’re going to make that effort.”
Isn’t Gosselaar and his ex-wife’s take on the divorce refreshing to hear?