Hilary: Chad Lowe's 'Substance-Abuse Problem' Hurt

Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe

NEW YORK (July 5, 2006) — Hilary Swank, who is divorcing actor-husband Chad Lowe, says Lowe’s “substance-abuse problem” was partly responsible for the breakup of their marriage, in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine.

“I knew something was happening, but I didn’t know what,” the Oscar-winning actress tells the magazine in its August issue. “When I found out, it was such a shock because I never thought he’d keep something from me. And yet, on another level, it was a confirmation of something I was feeling that was keeping us from being completely solid.”

Swank, 31, says Lowe is “sober now.”

“It’s an enormous obstacle to overcome, and he’s doing it. He’s living a sober life. I know how difficult it is, and I’m really proud of his sobriety,” she tells the magazine.

A call by The Associated Press to Lowe’s agent, David Rose, was not immediately returned Wednesday.

In May, an attorney for the couple confirmed to the AP that Swank and Lowe would divorce after eight years of marriage. The couple had announced their separation in January.

Swank tells Vanity Fair that Lowe’s problem did not directly cause their split. “Would I say that his substance-abuse problem helped us? Absolutely not. … I would say we grew apart.”

Swank and Lowe, 38, who have no children, were married in 1997.

She famously forgot to thank a tearful Lowe while accepting her best actress Oscar in 2000 for “Boys Don’t Cry.” Last year, she won again for “Million Dollar Baby” — this time, thanking Lowe.

Lowe, who is the brother of actor Rob Lowe, won an Emmy Award in 1993 for his portrayal of AIDS patient Jesse McKenna on the TV series “Life Goes On.”

Swank says she initiated the divorce, but “it ended up being mutual.”

“It takes two to make something work or not work,” she says. “I make mistakes; I’m not some squeaky-clean person here.”

Swank says she’s not ready to start dating again.

“The thought of it — of that whole world — I can’t imagine it! That is not a world I’ve even thought about entering. I can’t imagine going out right now and trying to find someone else to be with. It seems like a scary place. I’ve been with Chad since I was 18 years old.”

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