39 and 36
Cypher, a filmmaker, was married to actor Lou Diamond Phillips
until they divorced in 1991.
Etheridge and Cypher met in 1998 on the video shoot for Etheridge's song "Bring Me Some Water." The then-married Cypher was working as an assistant director and was surprised by her attraction to the popular rocker, who would acknowledge her lesbianism to the world at President Clinton's 1993 inauguration. Cypher told Phillips
she was leaving him for a woman in 1990, moved in with Etheridge, and has since given birth to the couple's two children, Bailey, now 4, and Beckett, now 2, whose biological father was later revealed to be folk rocker David Crosby.
What went wrong?:
No one's saying. Less than a month after the shocking DeGeneres
breakup, the pair surprisingly announced in a statement Sept. 19 that "with the utmost of love and respect for one another, we have decided to separate." Etheridge and Cypher add, "As committed parents, our top priority continues to be what is in the best interest of our children …Though elements of our lives will change, our family will always remain intact." True to their word, the couple bought houses next door to each other and sharing a common backyard, so they can continue sharing custody of their children.
What they've said:
"I don't think there is an actual 'happy ever after' in any relationship," Etheridge told The Advocate last year. "My relationship is one of communication, compromise and hard work." A close friend of the couple, Kathy Najimy
("Veronica's Closet") adds that "They really do love each other dearly. It's a separation. It's not forever."