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Peter Facinelli Opens Up About ‘Arranged Marriage’ to Jennie Garth 12 Years After Their Divorce

The exes share thoughts on their marriage, divorce and co-parenting their three children


Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth got everything out in the open when they sat down publicly for the first time since their split in 2012. The pair was married for 12 years and in the latest episode of the actress’s podcast I Choose Me with Jennie Garth, they leave it all on the table. The episode, which was released on June 5, was part 1 of the conversation where they dive into how they navigated the divorce, became co-parents to three children and reflected on their time together. Keep reading to see what was said during the podcast and how the actors are feeling about it now. 

Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth’s open conversation

In the episode titled, I Choose…Co-Parenting with Peter Facinelli Pt. 1, the two actors reunited publicly for the first time since their split. While they co-parent three girls, the pair has never talked about what their marriage and that point of their lives were like. 

Facinelli dives right in. He was only 21 when they had their first child and wasn’t thinking about life. Described as a whirlwind, he recalled that the pair had their first child together, moved in, got married and had a second kid. “I was in this marriage, and it felt to me a little bit like an arranged marriage,” said Facinelli.

At the time of their marriage, Garth was well into the start of her career while Facinelli was still trying to figure himself and his life out. There wasn’t a lack of love on Facinelli’s end though, and he added, “I loved you, and we had this beautiful family, from the outside, but I just hadn’t developed who I was, so how could you love me? I don’t even know how you could love me because I didn’t know me.”

Listen to the podcast here

Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth’s relationship timeline 

The Twilight actor and Beverly Hills, 90210 star met on the set of An Unfinished Affair in 1996 and tied the knot five years later in January of 2001. They split in March of 2012 and their divorce was finalized in 2013.  

Related: ‘Twilight’ Cast: Catch Up With the Stars of the Ultimate Angsty Vampire Movies

During those 12 years, they welcomed their three girls. Luca Bella was born in 1997 before they were married, Lola Ray was next in 2002 and Fiona was born in 2006. Ultimately, Facinelli was the one to file for divorce. 

He mentioned in the podcast that the kids were part of the reason they ended up lasting as long as they did. “We had three kids, and it broke my heart to break up a family. It was one of those decisions where you never know if you’re making the right decision,” said Facinelli. 

The two did agree to share custody right from the start and, in 2016, Garth celebrated Halloween with her husband, Dave Abrams, at her ex’s home with their girls. 

The pair still co-parent and enjoy their ‘blended family’

Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth and their three girls
Handout / Handout/ Getty

While Facinelli hasn’t remarried, Garth married actor Abrams in 2015. Both of them struggled with co-parenting at times, but believe they did the best they could for their girls.

I have a lot of gratitude knowing that you were a full-time dad and were always there for the girls,” said Garth to Facinelli during the podcast. She continued, ”You are always there for the girls, and you’re always there for me if I call you and I need some help with something or I’m struggling.”

The actors will continue their conversation in the next episode of the podcast. 

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