Who Is Jennifer Esposito, 'NCIS' Actor and Bradley Cooper's Ex-Wife?

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The saga borne from Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's undeniable chemistry at the Oscars took another twist Monday, with Bradley Cooper's ex-wife, actor Jennifer Esposito, appearing to weigh in via Instagram. Although Esposito later tweeted that her comment had been blown out of proportion, it seemed like a telling comment: When fellow actor David Spade posted a photo of Gaga and Cooper with the caption, "Is there any chance these 2 aren't f******?", Esposito responded with: "Ha."

Esposito clarified via Twitter Tuesday morning that the comment she made Wasn't. A. Thing. and expressed her surprise about it: "so confused. I get off a flight to see a comment I made of “HA” to a joke from @DavidSpade has gone wild!?. Has everyone gone mad? Somehow I’m insulting an X by laughing at a joke someone else made? Pls take your insanity elsewhere."

And yes, it might be insanity—the whole internet has gone crazy over Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga since the pair's epic Oscars performance Sunday night, with the conspiracy/shipping theories at a peak—but it's kind of an odd joke to make about speculation that your ex has romantic feelings for someone that isn't his partner? But maybe a "Ha" is just a plain old not meant to be read into "Ha." Still, it certainly got people talking!


Here's what we know about Esposito, and her brief marriage to Cooper.

You probably recognize her.

Esposito is much more than just Cooper's ex-wife. She hasn't reached the level of blockbuster fame of Cooper and Gaga, but you'll still likely recognize her—she's been in Crash, Blue Bloods, Jennifer Who?, The Affair, Mistresses, Don't Say a Word, and more. She's a TV regular who was most recently cast in NCIS, where she played Alex Quinn for a season, and was on a couple of episodes of Blindspot last year, too.

Here she is in Mistresses.

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And guest-starring in Law and Order this past season:

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She married Cooper before either of them were very famous.

Back in late 2006, Cooper and Esposito quietly got married. It wasn't clear how long they'd been together at the time, per People, because they'd been so quiet about their relationship—in January of 2006, they were seen kissing in public, but until then nobody even knew they were dating. In early 2007, they announced that they'd gotten married in late December.

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At the time, the two were about the same level of famous-ish—Cooper had recently starred in Wedding Crashers, and Esposito in Crash.

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But in late April of 2007, Esposito filed for divorce from Cooper, per TMZ, meaning they'd only been married for four months. (At the time, TMZ said they'd been dating for about a year before getting married.) The two stayed quiet about it—well, Esposito did, with her rep saying, "Jennifer asks that you respect her privacy at this time," and Cooper's rep being a little more forthcoming: "Actually, they've been separated for quite a while."

Both Esposito and Cooper remained mum about the reasons behind their split, but in 2014, Esposito released a memoir that hinted that she'd been in a relationship with a "master manipulator"—which readers took to be Cooper, per Us Weekly. In her book Jennifer's Way, she writes:

I should have noticed the red flags from the beginning—actually, they were more like an entire marching band squad of red flags—but I ignored them because, honestly, I didn't think the relationship was really going to go anywhere...He was funny, smart, cocky, arrogant, and a master manipulator. I didn't necessarily find him that attractive, but I figured that I could enjoy his sense of humor and nonsense for a while.
We had fun, but he also had a mean, cold side. His personality could flip on a dime, but that kind of behavior was familiar to me. I'd spent plenty of time walking on eggshells in my childhood home as well as on certain sets, so I quickly learned my role in the relationship and went forward accordingly. But the relationship was about him and what he needed, and nothing else…It wasn't all bad all the time, so I figured this was just my lot, and I took the good with the bad, even though the bad was extremely bad.

It's worth pointing out here that Esposito has had a handful of relatively high-profile relationship, so there's no evidence that she's talking about Cooper (but everyone kind of assumed she was). In 2011, also per Us Weekly, Cooper commented for the first time about the relationship, saying to Howard Stern: ""It was just something that happened. The good thing is, we both realized it...Sometimes you just realize it."

She's now a spokesperson for clean eating, and continues to act.

In 2012, she was diagnosed with celiac disease, which limited her ability to take on high-pressure acting rules. She opened a gluten-free bakery in New York the next year, also called Jennifer's Way, and published her memoir a year after that. Esposito was also tapped as brand ambassador for the Eclair Naturals line in 2015.

After a stint on NCIS, Esposito took on roles in Blindspot and Law & Order: SVU, as mentioned. The actor and ambassador still commands a dedicated following, which brings me back to this:

Answers. I need answers!


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