General News

Bob Dylan's secret marriage, divorce

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Dec 31, 1899 | 7:00pm EST

Contrary to the fairy tales children read, or Hollywood's rosy depiction of love and marriage, some couples do not live happily ever after.

Case in point: Carol Dennis, a former backup singer for Bob Dylan, broke her silence this week by saying that she secretly wed the musician in 1986. The marriage ended in 1992, she said.

The Gospel-rock vocalist also said that she has a daughter, Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, now 15, with Dylan.

British author Howard Sounes revealed the failed marriage in his unauthorized biography, Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan.

"Bob and I made a choice to keep our marriage a private matter for a simple reason - to give our daughter a normal childhood," Dennis said in a statement released by her publicist.

Columbia Records, Dylan's record label, refused to comment.

This is not the first secret celebrity wedding to end in divorce. The first the public learned about Janet Jackson's marriage to Rene Elizondo was last year when they filed for divorce.

Such a secret marriage is not unusual for celebrities, Sonia Regina Rosendo, a Miami marriage and family therapist, said Thursday.

"Famous celebrities have high sums of money and have a lot of pressure to succeed,"she said "Some people take advantage of that fact."

Both parties are at fault and will get hurt from a situation like this one, Rosendo said. The celebrity's ego rises because of the fame they have achieved and sometimes they believe they can achieve anything they want by using their power, she said.

The other party involved will take advantage of their status and fame and incidents like this will occur, she said.

Jackson married Elizondo in 1991, but they kept the wedding secret until both filed for divorce. According to MTV Asia, the singer had agreed to pay her husband $11 million to get him to leave her, but he threatened to write a tell-all book unless the singer increased her payment.

"Privacy is very important for celebrities, and everyone," said Rosendo.

Secrecy might be exactly what the rich and the famous might be seeking, she said.

Such celebrities as Drew Barrymore, Melanie Griffith and Brooke Shields have recently wed in secret, but they eventually went public.

"Celebrities want their limits," Rosendo said. "How are they [celebrities] going to have privacy if they don't put limits on their lives to the press?"

In a Daily Telegraph interview last month, Sounes said he did not think his book painted Dylan in an unfavorable light.

"He's an exceptionally good father, knows his daughter and pays toward both Desiree and Carolyn's upkeep," Sounes said. Desiree said that to portray "Bob as 'hiding his daughter' is just malicious and ridiculous. That is something he would never do. Bob has been a wonderful, active father to Desiree."

Regardless, the family system would be harmed in such cases as the Dylan secret marriage, Rosendo said.

"The rest of the family, those who are not the 'protagonist,' will be affected emotionally, publicly and personally," she said.

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