Lisa Whelchel Discusses Divorce And Turning Down 'Friends' Role

Jennifer Deutschmann

Lisa Whelchel divorced her husband of 24 years in March 2012. Although couple ended their marriage, the 50-year-old actress said she and Steve Cauble are still close. She said the divorce was ultimately caused by something "pretty drastic." Although she did not go into detail, she said they eventually overcame their differences and remain "really great friends."

The former Facts of Life star said she, Caubel, and their three children still spend time together as a family. In addition to holidays and birthday parties, they often "go out to dinner and movies." In a recent episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now, Whelchel said she and her ex-husband still "love each other very much." However, they "just couldn't be married."

During the interview, the actress also discussed the reason walked away from a significant role. As reported by Huffington Post, the actress read for the part of Rachel Green in the popular sitcom Friends. Whelchel said the pilot episode was "the funniest script [she had] ever read" and she knew it was going to be a hit.

However, as a devout Christian, she was uncomfortable with the sexual content and innuendos. While appearing in The Facts of Life, Whelchel faced a similar dilemma. Her character "Blair Warner" was set to lose her virginity in a special episode, but the actress refused to participate.

Lisa Whelchel said her divorce and marriage were also strongly related to her religious beliefs. She said she was hesitant to marry Cauble but she thought it was what God wanted. She ultimately decided she "would rather trust God over her heart." Throughout her marriage, she said she eventually "had to shut her heart off more and more in order to stay."

Radar Online reports the actress finally realized God would "speak to [her] through [her] heart" and she could trust her own decisions. Although she has regrets, she has learned to deal with her past and focus on her future.

In addition to acting, Whelchel is also a talented singer. Her album All Because of You reached number 17 on Billboard's Contemporary Christian chart and the title song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance.

The actress is also a published author. She wrote several books about homeschooling, Christianity, and inspirational advice. She occasionally appears in churches and at conferences as a motivational speaker.

Lisa Whelchel's divorce was difficult. However, she and Cauble have managed to remain friends. Although she admits some regrets, she said overall her life has been blessed.

[Image via Facebook]