It was painful to look at her: disheveled, red-faced, and swollen from crying, with smeared mascara. The girl was calling someone on the phone and crying:
“I deeply regret it, and I hope you’ll forgive my escape, my betrayal…”
Just a few weeks ago, Meg Ryan couldn’t have imagined herself making such a call to the husband she had left on the other side of the world with their 9-year-old son. She was sure that Dennis Quaid would never forgive and take back a wife who had abandoned him. But after a long silence, Dennis asked:
“Where are you?”
“At Sydney Airport.”
There was still time before her flight, so Meg headed to a bar. Ordering a Bacardi with cola, she calmed down a bit, relaxed, and began to reflect on what had led her to this life.
Meeting the Future Husband
Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid met in 1987. They were co-stars in the sci-fi movie “Innerspace.” The 33-year-old actor immediately started showing interest in his 26-year-old co-star, even though he was married to actress PJ Soles.
Meg Ryan was not free either. She had been living with actor Anthony Edwards for a year. Anthony was her college friend, her first love, and he introduced her to the world of cinema.
Initially, Meg resisted his advances; she didn’t want a relationship with a married colleague. But Dennis had a great sense of humor, sang well, and composed music. All the girls on the set were impressed! And one day, he composed a song for Meg, and she gave in.
Their short but intense affair ended with the completion of filming. The actors went their separate ways, and Meg didn’t leave any contact information for her lover. She didn’t understand what could happen next since both of them were not free. Meanwhile, Dennis, upon returning home, suffered greatly from the separation and endlessly wrote poems dedicated to Meg. One day, his wife discovered these poems, becoming the last straw. She had long struggled with her husband’s alcoholism, and now there was evidence of his infidelity. With a loud scandal, Pamela packed her things and left.
Dennis’s Little Secret
Once Dennis became single, he started looking for Meg. But before taking the first steps, he seriously pondered. Short meetings connected him with Meg, during which he always appeared cheerful and happy. Meg didn’t know that Dennis had been struggling with alcoholism for several years, sometimes even indulging in cocaine. After much contemplation, he finally mustered the courage to call her.
When Meg answered, Dennis made her a proposal. In response, Meg just laughed, saying it was crazy since they didn’t really know each other. For their date, Dennis showed up with his belongings. By that time, Meg Ryan had already separated from Anthony.
Meg and Dennis lived together for 4 years before getting married. Their relationship was happy and carefree, except for one circumstance. Sometimes Dennis would visit relatives or friends and disappear for several days. He always returned looking disheveled, rumpled, and swollen.
When Meg’s suspicions grew strong, she initiated an investigation. She discovered that her beloved man was an alcoholic! Meg was shocked. Yes, during their time together, they often separated due to film shoots and business trips, but how did he manage to hide everything so that she wouldn’t suspect!
With the wedding approaching, Meg gave Dennis an ultimatum: he had to check into a clinic for alcoholics. After that, she moved in with her brother. Just three days later, Dennis called her from the clinic: he had fulfilled his beloved’s condition.
While Quaid was in the hospital, Meg thought a lot about what had happened to him. After talking with his relatives and having long conversations with him, she realized that his emotional well-being was not in order.
The clinic helped Dennis overcome drug and alcohol addiction. The couple got married, and they had a son. However, Meg had more luck in her career. She starred in films that became known worldwide, earning millions. Meanwhile, Quaid appeared in fewer films, dedicating more time to domestic affairs and raising their son. In Hollywood, he even began to be called Mr. Ryan.
In 2000, Meg Ryan flew to Warsaw for the filming of the action movie “Proof of Life.” There, the actress met her co-star, actor Russell Crowe. At that time, he was already a popular actor, having won an Oscar for his role in “Gladiator.” Moreover, his name was surrounded by stories of romantic intrigues, including rumored relationships with Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster, and Cher. There was something primitive and wild about him. Despite his sternness and roughness, Meg enjoyed talking to him; she was irresistibly drawn to him. Meg even admitted that she would like to have a second child with such a man.
A romance sparked between them, and Meg forgot about her husband and child. The news quickly spread in Hollywood; Quaid learned about his wife’s infidelity. In a phone call, when Dennis asked Meg if it was true, she didn’t hide anything. Thus, their relationship ended, and Dennis filed for divorce.
Meg rushed to Russell’s homeland – Australia. He proposed to her, and without hesitation, she agreed. However, at the actor’s home, on the cattle farm, Meg was not warmly welcomed. Nevertheless, she felt like she was starting a new life, working alongside everyone on the farm. She saw a different side of Russell. The Oscar-winning actor easily took care of the livestock and shoveled manure.
Seemingly, everything was fine in their relationship. But one day, while flipping through one of the glamour magazines, Meg came across an interview with Russell. He said he had not yet met the woman of his dreams. In another article, she found a hint of Russell’s relationship with Nicole Kidman.
Meanwhile, Meg Ryan’s career took a hit. The public couldn’t forgive the actress, who had abandoned her child on the other side of the world. Directors and producers approached her selectively. Her role as a romantic girl was destroyed. There were fewer and fewer roles. Meanwhile, Russell Crowe did not lose popularity.
Life of the Ex Husband
After Meg Ryan’s departure, Dennis Quaid started drinking again. Journalists constantly wrote about his drunken escapades – the actor dancing drunk in his underwear on a bar counter. In one interview, Dennis admitted that he knew what real pain was. The love that once existed was now dead. The family was destroyed. Quaid found solace in his pilgrimages to India, conversations with sages, and meditation.
Meg also learned about his affair with “Miss USA” Shanna Moakler, whom Dennis appeared with everywhere. It was evident that Quaid deliberately showcased these relationships.
Over time, Meg considered herself guilty, although she, too, could be understood. A husband who had survived alcohol and drug addiction but couldn’t handle the fame of his famous wife. Rumors of Dennis’s infidelities had reached her before. But while society might have forgiven a romance on the side and infidelity, a deserted child – never. In April, Meg and Dennis told journalists how much they loved each other, and just two months later, the actress was deeply involved in a romance with Russell Crowe.
All Troubles from Childhood
The actress understood this, so she blamed herself more than ever. Memories from childhood resurfaced, and Meg became increasingly convinced that she resembled her own mother.
Meg grew up in a large family in a town in Connecticut. When she was 15, her mother ran away, abandoning the family to pursue Hollywood dreams. The responsibility of earning money now fell on the head of the family – a high school math teacher. Meg was now tasked with housekeeping and taking care of the younger siblings. After high school, Meg enrolled in the journalism faculty in New York. She dreamed of a successful career, a strong family, and children. As a result, she shattered her own family. And, by the way, the film that started it all — “Proof of Life” — flopped at the box office. Meg’s career collapsed, even though before these ill-fated shootings, the actress could compete with none other than Julia Roberts.
How the relationship between Meg and Russell ended is still unknown. They never detailed their relationship. The romance that flared up so brightly burned out in just a few months. Some tabloids wrote that Meg dumped Russell because she realized her mistake. Other sources told stories that Russell bet during the filming that he would seduce Meg, and it took him only three days. By the end of their relationship, the actor was involved in intrigue with another actress, Courtney Love.
Throughout the long journey from Australia to America, Meg Ryan wondered if she could reunite her family. How would her son Jack greet her? She dreamed that, as in the good old days, her son would open the door for her, and her husband would run a bath…