February 28, 2020

Kim Delaney Lost Custody of Her Only Son 15 Years Ago — Meet Jack Cortese

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Former “NYPD Blue” star Kim Delaney’s struggles with alcoholism over a decade ago made her lost the custody of her only son, Jack Cortese, who is now a grown-up man. Despite their difficulties in the past, mother and son have a wonderful relationship these days.

Kim Delaney is known for bringing tough female characters to life on T.V. She has appeared in series like “Law & Order,” “CSI: Miami,” and “Army Wives,” but her most famous character is that of Detective Diane Russell on “NYPD Blue.”

Kim Delaney attends the 2018 DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert at NOMADIC LIVE! at The Armory on February 3, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota | Photo: GettyImages


However, in a “life imitates art” type of situation, Delaney shared one particular flaw with Detective Russell: despite being a skillful woman in many ways, her struggles with alcohol caused troubles with her family and other emotional issues.


Delaney, who made her acting debut as a child in “All of My Children,” was first busted by the police on January 26, 2002.

Delaney looked disheveled as she fumbled through her speech, which she seemed to have been reading off a teleprompter and delivering as her character in “Army Wives.”

Kim Delaney at the 36th Annual Gracie Awards Gala, 2011 | Photo: GettyImages


At the time, Delaney had been written out of “NYPD Blue” so she could take the leading role in a new series, “Philly,” where she also gave life to a detective.

The day in question, a witness that was driving behind Delany on the Pacific Coast Highway noticed that her car was weaving on the road and putting others at risk, so they called the police to report her.

The witness followed Delaney to her home in Malibu, and when the police arrived, she was confused by their presence. “She was obviously intoxicated and confused—you could smell alcohol on her breath,” Sargent Mo Angel told People magazine at the time.

Kim Delaney during The Hollywood Reporter's 15th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast Sponsored by Lifetime Television at Beverly Hills Hotel , December 5, 2006 | Photo: GettyImages


Delaney refused to take a breath test and an alcohol blood test, which led to her arrest. She was booked under suspicion of driving under the influence.

The actress pleaded no contest and was fined, sentenced to two years of probation, and ordered to take a safe-driving class.

In 2003, Delaney claimed that” due to a stressful year,” she would check herself into a rehab program at Sierra Tucson, an Arizona alcohol rehab clinic.



Delaney has been married twice. She wed actor Charles Grant in 1984 and divorced him in 1988. Then in 1989, she tied the knot with actor Joseph Cortese, with whom she welcomed her only child, son Jack Cortese, before their divorce in 1994.

Delaney was also engaged to producer Alan Barnette from 1997 to 2006.

In 2005, Delaney’s alcoholism led her to court to fight for the custody of then 15-year-old Jack. But sadly, the teenage boy had grown so tired and frustrated with his mother’s antics, that he testified against her.


Jack claimed that Delaney had picked him up while drunk driving on more than one occasion. He also mentioned that he tried to stop her, but she was stubborn and wouldn’t listen to him.

He recalled one occasion when Delaney arrived at his friends’ house intoxicated saying:

“I attempted to keep her from driving her car, but she was very demanding. My mother demanded that my friend goes with us. He refused to drive with her because she was drunk. Unfortunately, this is not the only incident in which I have seen my mother drunk.”


Jack’s testimony was enough for Delaney to lose his custody, and the boy made it clear that he didn’t want to be near his mom unless she accepted help.

“I do not want to be with her until she has completed rehab and is sober,” Jack stated. “I am very concerned for my safety when I am with her.”

Following the ruling, Delaney entered the Promises rehab center in Malibu.



Delaney continued making appearances on T.V after that. She had a recurring role in “The O.C” and appeared in an episode of “Nightmares and Dreamscapes” and then brought Claudia Joy Holden to life during six seasons of “Army Wives.”

In 2011, Delaney made headlines once again after she took the stage at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center to deliver a speech to honor Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Delaney looked disheveled as she fumbled through her speech, which she seemed to have been reading off a teleprompter and delivering as her character in “Army Wives.”


At some point, Delaney was interrupted by a voice on the speakers, and a staff member came on stage to collect her.


These days, Delaney seems to have a good relationship with her now 30-year-old son, and they’re constantly spending time together, especially on the holidays and other special occasions like birthdays.


Delaney constantly refers to Jack as her angel, the joy of her life, and her favorite boy, among other endearing terms.

Last year Delaney reprised her role as Diane Russell in the pilot for a revival of “NYPD Blue” that wasn’t picked up for a complete run in the end.


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