Two years after Gina Neely announced her divorce from her husband and “Down Home With the Neelys” co-star Pat, the Food Network star is opening up about her difficult decision to walk away from her marriage.
In a clip from this week’s upcoming “Where Are They Now?” Neely revealed she knew her 20-year marriage had begun to crumble back in 2008, when the pair partnered up for their very first cooking show. Oddly enough, it was that very show, that famously showed the pair being constantly affectionate — that garnered the couple a huge fan base.
“Pat is not a bad guy, he’s just not for me,” she said. “I didn’t want to divorce my husband but it became necessary to do it in order for me to be my best self.” Meanwhile, the 51-year-old, who shares a daughter with Pat, 52, and has another daughter from a previous marriage, admitted that when it all boiled down, the couple had different expectations. “He felt like we didn’t spend enough time together. I felt like we did and we needed a little space.”
Though, news of the Neelys’ marital trouble shocked fans, Gina went on to reveal that her decision was not a rash one. In fact, Gina argued that the pair, who met in high school and married in 1994, attempted to save their marriage. “We went to therapy 12 times. I tried to leave five times and I just didn’t have the strength but the fifth time, I held on to that. It became necessary for me to find my path,” she explained.
“I knew I wasn’t happy and I said I’m definitely not going to take 50 and not be happy,” said Neely, who began shedding weight just before the couple parted ways for good. “So at 46 I started changing my life, I started changing my body. I realized I liked that better.” According to the television personality, she’s dropped 34 pounds in total.
As previously reported, in a brief statement to The Root, the exes announced their split was due to “irreconcilable differences.” The pair issued a statement at the time, “This was a tough decision, but we believe it is the best decision for us. As parents of two beautiful adult daughters that we love dearly, we will continue to be involved in each other’s lives as parents and friends.
“Together we have built a strong brand as ‘The Neelys.’ Moving forward our focus will be on our individual brands and we are optimistic about our respective futures. We ask for your prayers as we go through this transition and honor our request for privacy at this time.”
Watch Neely’s interview on “Where Are They Now?” Saturday at 10 p.m. EST on OWN. Will you be watching? Sound off in the comment section below.