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Courteney Cox opens up about 'brutal' split from Johnny McDaid

Published 23/08/2016

Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid
Courteney Cox and Johnny McDaid

The star reveals she and ex-husband David Arquette became more friends than lovers during their 11-year marriage.

Actress Courteney Cox struggled to deal with her broken engagement to rocker Johnny McDaid last year (15), branding the break-up "brutal".

The former Friends star initially split from her fiance in November (15), after 18 months together, but they reconciled in March (16) and have been working on rebuilding their relationship ever since.

Courteney has been largely quiet about the reason behind the break-up, but during a candid chat with TV adventurer Bear Grylls, she admitted the separation was linked to the couple's differing approaches to love, and suggested her "co-dependency" had been part of the problem.

"We were engaged for over a year and then we broke up," she recalled as she showed off her survival skills in a remote part of McDaid's native Ireland on the latest episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls, which aired in the U.S. on Monday night (22Aug16).

"He's from Ireland. And the way he regards love is precious. We have to treat it in a different way," she explained. "It's more special. You coddle it. So, I didn't know how to regard love the way he does. And I definitely made a lot of mistakes that I see, whether it's co-dependency or people-pleasing. I didn't know how to bring it in. It was always external."

Courteney admits the split was tough to handle, but she and their relationship are both stronger because of it.

"I definitely have learned a lot, and no matter what, I will be a better person from that break-up, even though it was so brutal.

"Everything's new. And we have both really worked on ourselves on the parts that needed the most attention. And it feels really different."

Courteney also touched on the reason behind her divorce from her first husband David Arquette, the father of her 12-year-old daughter Coco.

Asked why the Scream stars split in 2011, she replied, "I think that we were such good friends. We found ourselves leading separate lives and just coexisting and being great friends, but not having the intimacy that... is so important in a relationship."

"I think you really need to work in a relationship, and I think that we tried," she continued. "We're just really different, too. I'm the polar opposite of him. That can be great for a lot of things, but I need this kind of real, one-on-one connection..."

Despite their divorce, Courteney insists her relationship with David is better than ever: "It wasn't a dramatic ending... I mean, as divorces go, I would say it's one of the better ones. For sure. We're good co-parents together."

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