A top Hollywood divorce lawyer – who is currently shepherding Jennifer Garner and Gwen Stefani through their splits – warns that more high-profile divorces are coming now that awards season has finally drawn to a close.
Laura Wasser told Bloomberg Businessweek that she is working with several clients who plan to file for divorce this month, now that the Oscars are over.
But she isn't naming names. Some stars don't want to walk the red carpet alone in January and February, she explains, and those months are also high season for divorce attorneys because the holidays end and people feel better about dropping the facade of the happy couple.
Wasser, 47, has represented some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Maria Shriver (in her divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger), Denise Richards (in her divorce from Charlie Sheen), Kim Kardashian (in her divorce from Kris Humphries) and Nick Lachey (in his divorce from Jessica Simpson).
She's known for her blunt, no-nonsense approach – something stars and their team often appreciate. For instance, she recounts that Britney Spears' management team connected the singer with her just after her marriage to Kevin Federline, when divorce was the last thing on the singer's mind.
"A lot of times what will happen, particularly with young women, is they don't want a prenup. They're in love," she explains. "This is fantasy time – 'We're never going to get divorced, and I don't want anybody, certainly not some old guy in a suit, telling me how it's going to work out.' So they bring me in. We have the conversation."
As a celebrity divorce veteran, Wasser has also learned how to hold off the press – at least for a little while.
For one, she encourages clients to hammer out an agreement privately before filing documents, a strategy that worked for client Melanie Griffith in her split from Antonio Banderas.
"I think we worked on it a good year – no, a year and a half – before it came out," Griffith tells Bloomberg Business. "And when we did file it, there were some personal things that were agreed upon by Antonio and myself that we had removed from the official papers so they wouldn't get out."
Wasser also attempts to file high-profile cases at the same time, so media attention is split.
"I'll tell my clients, 'I have someone else, I can't say who, but you should really wait and file at the same time,' " she said.
Wasser herself was married briefly, and now has two sons with two former boyfriends. But that doesn't mean she's down on marriage as an institution.
"I don't want you to think I'm anti-love, because I'm not," she says. "I know plenty of people with wonderful, lifelong marriages."