Melissa Gilbert's Husband Caught Off Guard by Split Announcement?
By Rob Shuter Posted Mar 3rd 2011 11:17AM
'Little House on the Prairie' star Melissa Gilbert shocked everyone, including her husband, when she announced this week that she was separating from Bruce Boxleitner, her partner for the past 16 years.
"Bruce wasn't ready to announce to the world that they had separated," a friend of the couple's tells me. "And was surprised when he saw that her people had confirmed what he considered to be a very private and personal matter."
The couple said "I do" back in 1995 and have one child together, a 15-year-old son named after her 'Prairie' co-star Michael Landon. Melissa also has another son, Dakota, 21, from a previous marriage and two stepsons, ages 30 and 25, from Bruce's previous marriage to actress Kathryn Ogilvy.
"We have loved each other for a very long time and we share four incredible sons together," Gilbert said through her spokesperson. "On behalf of our family we ask to be allowed our privacy during this very difficult time."
Which is exactly what Bruce wanted from the moment they separated. A friend of Bruce's tells me he only wishes she hadn't released the statement, while at the same time asking for privacy.
"Any chance of them getting back together is over," my source says. "After 16 years together the two of them just see the world and handle situations in very different ways."
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