“It would be great for me, it’d be really great for me. But that wouldn’t be fair to them,” the CBS This Morning co-host explained to Drew Barrymore on the debut episode of the actress’s new digital series The Art of the Interview.
The two were discussing their early dreams of having a nuclear family and their subsequent disappointment when they both ended up separating from their respective husbands and the fathers of their children. “It was as if I was letting them down,” Barrymore revealed of her feelings when separating from Will Kopelman back in 2016. King, who Barrymore refers to as her “parenting icon,” explained just how she learned that she couldn’t focus keeping the family intact, but instead about keeping her children happy no matter what — even when Oprah offered King her show.
“[Oprah] was talking about giving the show up because she wanted to go into acting. She wanted go to into acting, she wanted to act full-time because she loved acting. So her plan was, you move to Chicago and we’ll incorporate you in the show, so at the end of the year, I can sort of pass the baton,” King explained. “And I was really…imagine a huge opportunity. I was really excited about that. And the kids were, you know, we were divorced so they were still young and then I realized that that wouldn’t be fair to them.”
King shares her now-grown daughter, Kirby, and son, William Jr., with her ex-husband William Bumpus. At the time that the opportunity came about, King was still focused on raising them to “feel loved and secure,” and worried that moving for work wouldn’t be the best for them.
“So in the end, I just decided to not take her up on that offer. But favorite daughter, Kirby, favorite son, Will, their wellbeing to me was more important than whatever career opportunity I could have had at the time,” King said. “And I don’t regret that.”
Barrymore went on to explain the sacrifice that she made for her and Kopelman’s daughters, Frankie and Olive, when she decided to move from California to New York so that the children would be “10 blocks from their dad and not across the country.”
The actress called the divorce the “hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life.” However, she said that staying close to Kopelman for the sake of her children allowed her to move forward from her guilt. “Ultimately, I ended up finding my way, tremendous happiness, a wonderful group of friends, a life that was conducive,” Barrymore said.
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