Debra Messing opens up about the end of her 10 year marriage.

Debra Messing plays Broadway lyricist Julia Houston in NBC’s Smash. Before entering her new role on the series in December, including a move from the west coast to NYC, she separated from her husband Daniel Zelman after more than ten years of marriage.

Now, for the first time, Debra is opening up about the “trauma” of the break up in the June issue of Ladies Home Journal.


‘Twenty years.  It’s a very long time,’ she tells the June issue of Ladies Home Journal. ‘I think the institute of marriage is a noble thing. The idea of a partner for life is incredibly romantic.  But now we’re living to 100.  A hundred years ago people were dying at age 37. Til death do us part was a much different deal.’

What made the ordeal more difficult was the fact that Debra was embarking on a move to New York and a new TV role in musical drama series Smash at the same time.

‘When I say the move to New York was traumatic, it was traumatic because every aspect of my life was going through a huge change,’ says the Will & Grace star, who has an eight-year-old son Roman with her ex.  

Every thought is dictated by what’s best for our son.  We are completely on the same page in that regard.  We are dear friends,’ she adds. 

‘And I am at peace with the journey we’ve had.  I feel like the 20 years we had together has been a huge success.  And despite the fact that everything is changing, I think everyone is thriving.

‘It’s a new chapter in my personal life.  I’m walking a path I’ve never walked before.  But I’m optimistic.’

There is clearly cause for positivity for the 43-year-old star, who says the split has increased her level of self awareness.

‘I know myself better than I ever have before,’ she says. ‘I feel more attractive now than I have in a long time.  I feel healthier and stronger.

‘It’s hard to go through a change in your personal life as big as this anyway.  But to do it when Smash is premiering, when I’m back at work after almost two years, is not ideal.’


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