“‘I was crushed, I had no idea that this was coming, it hurt yeah. I was totally blindsided,” Shawn, 59, told DailyMailTV through tears.
The former CNN host, 85, filed for divorce from Shawn, his seventh wife, on Aug. 20, citing irreconcilable differences and listing the date of separation as June 6, 2019.
“He’s going through a lot right now … his health issues, that can really shake you to your core, it shook me to my core to see him so vulnerable and he doesn’t remember two solid weeks of time. It’s life, it’s real, it’s not fun,” said Shawn, who shares sons Chance, 20, and Cannon, 19, with Larry.
In April, Larry suffered angina and underwent an angioplasty. He also had stents inserted to reopen the previous bypass from a heart attack he suffered in 1987.
“I’m sad, I never expected to be at this place in my life, in our lives and have this happen in such a public way,” she said of the pending divorce. “I don’t think, again I’m not in Larry’s head, I refuse to believe that he intended to humiliate me. It’s strange, I can’t quite wrap my head around it, but it is what it is … it hurts.”
Added Shawn: “Larry has a very strong personality, Larry does what Larry wants, that doesn’t mean that I can’t disagree with him because I have and I do and will continue for as long as we are on this earth.”
Shawn said she learned Larry had filed for divorce several days after he submitted the paperwork, when she was at a football game with her brother.
“We were on the sidelines and I saw all these families around us and there was a moment when I thought that my heart was going to physically burst out of my chest,” Shawn explained. “I saw all these happy families and I was thinking about our happy family and I was thinking about Larry and everything he had been through and I was pissed and confused and it wasn’t easy.”
However, Shawn is not looking to disparage her husband of 22 years.
“Larry’s been through a lot,” said Shawn. “Am I upset? Am I sad? Yes, but I’m not here to diss Larry at all, what’s most important to me is our boys and that they don’t get hurt any more.”
The actress also denied reports that their two sons urged Larry to file for divorce: “No, but they could be lying to me,” she said.
“They’ve been raised in the entertainment business, in the public eye, so they’ve been around it, but they’ve never been the subject of the headlines,” she added. “And it was very upsetting to them to have things attributed to them that were not true and so much so that they went to their social media platforms and set the record straight, but initially it was really hard on them.”
Shawn said she is still unsure of the reasoning behind his decision: “He must have thought it was a good idea at the time, I don’t know.”
Said Shawn, “We’re a very passionate couple, neither one of us are quiet, we’re horrible at divorce, we tried but we didn’t ever quite get there, but you know, we’ll see what happens. It has been weeks and I haven’t been served.”
The Kings’ marriage was a rocky one: Sources told PEOPLE in 2016 that the broadcast icon was distraught about a yearlong affair his wife had allegedly been having.
“Larry is completely embarrassed and anguished by all of this,” one source close to the situation told PEOPLE of the alleged infidelity. “He doesn’t know what to do.”
Another insider claimed to PEOPLE that Shawn told her alleged lover that her marriage to Larry was over.
But Larry and Shawn denied any reports of cheating in an interview with Home & Family in August 2016.
“You said an interesting word, ‘rumor.’ I’ve been in the business — next May, it’ll be 60 years — and I’ve dealt with rumors a long time,” he said. “Interviewed people involved with rumors. Rumors are what they are — they’re rumors. And I tell you the truth, I don’t pay any attention to them.”
Added Shawn: “Last week, there was a rumor going around about Larry and a speech he made in Kiev. This week, I’m the latest pinup girl. You just have to develop a shell around yourself and not get hard on the inside, and stick together.”
Larry originally filed for divorce in 2010 following reports that Shawn had an affair with one of their sons’ baseball coaches. The coach admitted to the affair, but the couple decided to stay together and Larry retracted the paperwork.
Larry has been married seven times (to six other women), while Shawn was married once before.