Add another couple to the list of 2015 celebrity divorces: Iron Chef Cat Cora and her wife of two years — and partner for 17 — Jennifer.
Details about Cora’s divorce are scant, but the rumor mill has it that a bitter custody battle is likely brewing, TMZ reported. That’s because Jennifer wants full custody and Cat is seeking joint custody, according to the divorce filing. But so far, no sources have come forward with juicy details about the pending battle.
Cat Cora, 48, revealed the news to People exclusively on Monday. Cora’s official statement hinted at a fairly amiable separation.
“It is with great sadness, that after 17 years, a tremendous amount work, careful consideration and heavy hearts, my wife and I have mutually decided to no longer remain married. In love, there is a season, a reason and a lifetime.”
The women are parents to four boys — Zoran, 11, Caje, 8, Nash, 6, and Thatcher, 6. All of them were born via in vitro fertilization, and both Cat and her wife, 44, took turns carrying the children.
Cat Cora previously explained the arrangement. Cat carried Nash, but the eggs were Jennifer’s. Jennifer carried the other children, but the eggs were Cat’s. And because they were a same-sex couple, Mrs. and Mrs. Cora both had to adopt their own kids, Cat explained.
“We had to go back and legally adopt them. Even though Nash was her biological son, Jennifer had to adopt him. Same with me and Caje.”
As the couple goes forward with the divorce, Cora said the kids are their top priority.
“We will always have four incredible reasons to celebrate our years together: our sons. We are forever parents to our boys and are jointly committed to raising them in a peaceful, nurturing and healthy environment.”
But clearly, something turned sour in the happy family. According to the New York Daily News, court records in Santa Barbara, California, hint at a contentious end to the Cora marriage. Jennifer filed for divorce first, on October 28, and Cat filed a day later. Both listed the other as petitioner, E! News added.
In other details that have the potential to turn nasty, Jennifer wants full physical custody and Cat wants joint physical custody. And Jennifer is seeking spousal support.
Cat has a pretty successful career. Cora was the first female American Iron Chef, was recently a judge on the Food Network Show Cutthroat Kitchen, owns four restaurants, and just wrote a memoir called Cooking as Fast as I Can.
TMZ predicted that the Cora’s divorce would turn nasty as the former couple begins to negotiate over custody; the gossip site called the divorce documents “grueling.” They also pointed out some ongoing, and public, problems between Mrs. And Mrs. Cora, most notably Cat’s DUI arrest a couple years ago.
In 2012, the Inquisitr reported that Cat Cora had hit another vehicle at a stoplight in Santa Barbara. Believing Cat was drunk, the driver filmed the ensuing exchange, which revealed a fairly-miffed Cora insulting him and his friend, whom she called “two nerds.”
Later, Cora was found to have a 0.19 blood-alcohol content, which is double the legal limit, though she claimed she only drank three beers the day of the accident. Following her arrest, Cat was taken to a “sobering center.”
According to Us Weekly, Cora released a statement as well, saying, “I deeply regret my decision to drive that evening after my designated driver became unavailable.”
Of course, Cat Cora’s is just one of numerous high profile divorces this year — from the amiable (Guy Pierce) to the down-right nasty (we’re looking at you Halle Berry) to the sad and suspicious (sorry, Kaley Cuoco).
[Photo By Valerie Macon / Getty Images]