Ted Danson's divorce from Casey Coates ended up being one of the most expensive divorces in Hollywood.
Mistakes are part of the human experience. That's how we learn. However, sometimes the mistakes are so big that they end up hurting the people in our lives. They might break relationships and make them unrepairable. There might be no going back from those hurtful actions.
Ted Danson, 72, has been happily married to Mary Steenburgen for the last 25 years but it's not his first marriage. He made a grave mistake when he was with his second wife, Casey Coates, who used to be a producer, and it broke many hearts. Coates and he were married from 1977 to 1993, but it just wasn't meant to be. There were many factors that led to their separation.
Danson's first marriage ended in 1975 and when he met Coates, he was thrilled. He was quoted by Her Moments as saying, "The idea of having more relationships boggles my mind." It was "love at first sight" for him, he told Closer Weekly.
They were a happy couple and when Coates became pregnant, the couple was over the moon. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when she was giving birth to their child. She had a stroke during childbirth in 1979. It left her paralyzed on the left side and the actor even paused his acting career to take care of her, as per Amomama.
"For the first month, I did nothing but cry," said Coates, according to Closer Weekly. "I gave Ted permission to leave me. I thought I was going to be a wipeout the rest of my life," she added.
However, he was by her side through this dark time. Initially, "it was horrifying," said the Cheers star. "But after you get over the shock, you roll up your sleeves and work at getting things better."
As she learned to walk again with his help, they adopted another daughter, Alexis. Unfortunately, the trauma created "a huge rift between us — a massive lack of trust. We were adjusting to the fact that we weren’t the same people we were before it happened," he said.
Meanwhile, his star was rising as he received an Emmy nomination for every single season of the show Cheers, which was first aired in 1980. It became the best period for his career. "I’m forever grateful — it was an amazing 11 years of my life," he said. "I walk around and people smile at me because they’re remembering something funny that I was part of on Cheers."
Unfortunately, the straw that broke their relationship's back was when Danson had an affair with Whoopi Goldberg. They were co-stars in 1993’s flop Made in America. Eventually, his relationship with Goldberg also ended after he appeared in blackface at a Friars Club roast.
"It was real painful, and it was very public," said Goldberg of the end of their relationship. "And the loss of his friendship hurts a great deal. We can never go and have a soda, anywhere, I’m friends with almost every man I’ve gone out with, except this man," she said.
This caused a rift so big between Danson and Coates that they never recovered. In 1993, they went through a $30 million divorce, which was one of the most expensive Hollywood divorces. After this debacle, he wasn't looking to get married again but he met Steenburgen.
"We found each other when I was 45 and she was 40,” Ted said. He added that they became friends over their past failed marriages. She was married to Malcolm McDowell from 1980 to 1990. "We had lived a bit. Both of us stared down some demons within ourselves, and it was lucky that we met then," said The Good Place actor.
After 25 years together, they are still happy. "I’m still madly in love with Mary. She’s a remarkable human being, so I’m just incredibly blessed. It feels like Heaven on Earth," he added.