Drew Barrymore Describes the Moment She Overcame the “Shame Around Divorce”

“I’m like totally liberated.”

Drew Barrymore is seen on February 20, 2024 in New York City.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Drew Barrymore is opening up about the moment she realized she no longer had to feel ashamed about the end of a marriage.

On Wednesday, The Drew Barrymore Show host sat down with Marie Osmond to discuss Jennifer Lopez's new "Can't Get Enough" music video, in which the singer pokes some gentle fun at herself for being a bride four times over.

"I had so much shame around divorce and, for some reason, something happened, and I said, 'I'm no longer willing to feel this way.' And it just lifted from me," Barrymore said of her own experience, adding that she believes the ability to end a marriage safeguards "the precious commodity we have on this planet, which is only our time."

"When you're truly in a situation that isn't functioning the way that, optimally, it hopes and wishes to be, we accept that, and we improve our quality of life by moving forward," she added. "Divorce now, to me, I don't have shame around it. I'm like totally liberated."

Drew Barrymore with guest Christina Aguilera, from Voltaire Bell de Nuit at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Drew Barrymore, on the set of her show from Voltaire Bell de Nuit at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The beloved 50 First Dates actress has been married and divorced three times.

In 1994, when Barrymore was 19, she married 31-year-old bar owner Jeremy Thomas after meeting him a year prior. "Usually people live together first and then get married," the star told People shortly after getting hitched. "I guess we're doing it the old-fashioned way. Kind of."

Just 19 days later, the couple split and their divorced was finalized a year later, in 1995. In an interview with Rolling Stone  at the time, Barrymore referred to her ex as "the devil."

In July 2001, Barrymore married comedian and actor Tom Green. By December of the same year, Green filed for divorce, People reported at the time. "Drew is a wonderful woman," Green said in a statement. "I love her very much. I wish our marriage could have worked out. I wish her much happiness."

Nearly 10 years later, in 2012, Barrymore married Will Kopelman. In September of the same year, the pair welcomed their first child, Olive Barrymore Kopelman, to the fold. Two years later, their daughter, Frankie Barrymore Kopelman, arrived. In 2016, the couple announced their divorce.

Drew Barrymore is seen on February 20, 2024 in New York City.

Drew Barrymore is seen on February 20, 2024 in New York City

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In a 2022 interview with People, Barrymore discussed her most recent split, telling the publication that "there was no scandal."

"Nothing went wrong, which is cleaner but makes it harder and more confusing because there isn't the thing to point to," she said at the time. "We tried so hard to make it work. (A friend) said to me, 'Divorce is the death of a dream.' That's exactly what it feels like, something so final you can't get it back."

After discussing Lopez's music video with guest Osmond, Barrymore addressed JLo personally.

"JLo, I love you," she said to the camera. "I really appreciate, again, you bringing empowerment to where most people go to shame. We've all been in it. So go JLo."

Danielle Campoamor

Danielle Campoamor is an award-winning freelance writer covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mental health, politics, and feminist issues. She has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, and more.