Interview: Mary Jo Eustace

Divorce Sucks—Especially When it’s Fodder for Gossip Mags

Imagine going through the break up of your marriage in front of the entire world? Horrifying right? Well, that is exactly what happened to Canadian celebrity chef, actor, author and Mom Mary Jo Eustace.

If you read the trashy magazines you know the story: Former husband Dean McDermott left the marriage after meeting 90210 star Tori Spelling on the set of a movie the two were shooting. The split was tabloid fodder, making headlines across North America. McDermott and Spelling are now married with two children and star in their own reality show. Eustace is now a single Mom to her two children, the couple's 11 year old son Jack and her 4 year old daughter Lola.

Mary Jo and her children recently returned to the States and are now living in California. Eustace says it was the most difficult time of her life. And now she has penned her own book about her experience with divorce called “Divorce Sucks - My Husband left me for Tori Spelling and You Thought Your Divorce Sucked!. Who could resist a book with title like that!

I had the chance to chat with Mary Jo about the very public split with McDermott, her life post divorce, her family and writing her new book.

Eustace says this book was just the right fit at the right time. She says she has been offered several reality T.V shows and books but passed until now.

“When the opportunity came along to write this book it was the perfect combination for me. It could be funny because the book is funny. It could be informative and I could share my personal story on my terms. It was a great combination’, says Eustace.

In writing the book, Eustace has come to grips with the loss of her marriage and allowed her to consider the possibilities of her future. It's also enabled her to share her story with other women, with a great mix of seriousness and humour.

“Really when you go through something like this, whether it's public like mine was or not, it is a life altering experience, especially if you are blindsided by divorce. Even if you choose it, it’s a long tough road. After going through it I really felt like I had something to share with other women and I had huge empathy for people who have experienced this. Especially in Canada, I am stopped by women all the time.  They’ll cry, they’ll laugh, they’ll give me money.... Seriously, they are so into it.” 

Of course, the challenges for her today are different from when she was married. Now she is a single mom to two great kids. Life is busy but she says she has a strong support system around her, great friends, a terrific nanny and family. Eustace says family, especially her Mother, are a big part of it all. In fact, her book is dedicated to her two kids and mom.

Life is busy for Eustace these days. She's looking forward to shooting a pilot in Toronto this year for a new show. Over the next while she will be doing a whole pile of press for the book. While she says it’s great to do Good Morning America and the Dr. Phil show, at the end of the day it doesn’t really mean anything. “My kids don’t care. I have no pull in my house.”

Eustace is now embracing technology of sorts looking to connect with women.  She is on Facebook, she twitters and blogs . I love the blogging because I am starting to get lots of woman who respond. I am staring to get people writing in.”

She says it’s all about realizing divorce is not a death sentence. "The second act of your life can be better and happier. It’s all in how you handle it."

Christy Laverty is a Mother of two wild and crazy girls and wife to a talented artist. Playing Mom and wife keep her busy by day, and in the evenings Christy is a editor for a Toronto all news radio station. Christy has spent about a decade in the news business, both in television and radio. She also finds time for a little freelance writing for several parenting magazines.

You can also check out Christy on her blog, where she updates the trials, tribulations, and fun of being Mother of two beautiful girls.