- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 16, 2006

It may or may not have been another Year of the Woman in politics, but it sure looks like one outside the Beltway. The rash of celebrity split-ups in recent months has one thing common: The woman was more successful than her hubby. Broken marriages never are something to celebrate, but we can hear the roar nevertheless.

Bobby Brown — You could almost hear a collective “Hallelujah” from anyone and everyone who has ever cared about the physical well-being and career of Whitney Houston, who last month filed for divorce from bad, bad Mr. Brown.

Kevin Federline — Just in time to re-up her membership in the Pop Princess club, Britney Spears ditched K-Fed after two years of marriage. It’s not clear if prenuptial financial arrangements were about to cost Miss Spears big bucks. What is clear is that, after the debacle that was Mr. Federline’s debut album, “Playing With Fire,” the guy had no prayer of making an honest living through his own talent.

David Gest — Hey, not every guy has moves like Steven Seagal. But if you claim physical abuse at the hands of your fiftysomething ex-wife (Liza Minnelli, now 60), well, then you deserve to have your $10 million lawsuit laughed out of court, as Mr. Gest learned the hard way in September.

Ryan Phillippe — Off-the-charts handsome, but only marginally talented, Mr. Phillippe ain’t no Reese Witherspoon. His marriage to the latter was dogged by tabloid doomsaying for some while, despite a long stretch of against-the-odds normalcy. The bewitching seventh year proved to be the couple’s last, however. And though he finds steady acting work, including a small, well-received role in last year’s “Crash,” Mr. Phillippe has never carried a big hit — “Flags of Our Fathers” being his most recent flop.

Chad Lowe — Hilary Swank’s absent-minded omission of her husband during her Oscar acceptance speech in 2000 probably was innocent. It was Mr. Lowe’s cocaine abuse, apparently, that she couldn’t forget.

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