February 10, 2021
Actor James Caan has lived through four marriages in his lifetime. Although short-lived, his four marriages yielded five adorable children, who remain part of his life despite their parents' split.
In 2017, James Caan, the actor, called it quits with his longtime wife, Linda Stokes, after two decades together. Their split added to the long list of the 80-year-old's divorces, which comprises three other women.
His third marriage and subsequent divorce to Linda Stokes caused the most stir due to the circumstances surrounding the split and the messy custody battle that followed. Little wonder, the star never saw fit to tie the knot again, nearly half a decade later.
CAAN'S EX-WIFE AND FAILED MARRIAGES
"The Godfather" star married four different women at various points of his life. First, he tied the knot with Dee Jay Mathis in 1961. Their union yielded a daughter, Tara, who became part of their lives in 1964.
[James Caan] insisted the mandate forced him to keep taking movie roles which he would have otherwise rejected.
Sadly, their marriage hit rock bottom barely two years after welcoming Tara, with the duo divorcing in 1966. Next, James Caan welcomed another spouse, Sheila Marie Ryan, in 1976.
That same year, the pair's marriage was blessed with a son, Scott Caan. His second marriage, too, was short-lived as James and Ryan divorced in 1977.
Following his second divorce, the legend took a long hiatus from marriage, which lasted for over a decade. In September 1990, the actor became a husband for the third time, following his marriage to Ingrid Hajek.
The two lived in marital bliss for the next four years before their split in 1994. Their marriage yielded a son, Alexander James Caan, in 1991.
A year after splitting from Hajek, the icon's eyes caught another love interest, Linda Stokes, a costume designer, with whom he exchanged vows on October 7, 1995.
In 2015, after two decades together, the actor filed for divorce from his fourth wife, citing irreconcilable differences. They finalized the divorce in 2017. They welcomed two sons, James Arthur and Jacob Nicholas, during their 20 years together.
JAMES'S COMPLICATED FOURTH MARRIAGE
While it appears the legend and Stokes enjoyed marital bliss for the longest time before their breakup, that may not be the case. In fact, their marriage's longevity could have been due to conscious efforts by the couple to stay together.
Reports show that before their 2017 divorce, James attempted to divorce Stokes at least two times. He filed for divorce first in 2005, then in 2009.
However, the split never pulled through, as the court filings were dismissed on those two prior occasions. Pulling the plug a third time in 2015 seemed like a lucky shot that eventually saw the light of day.
STOKES AND JAMES'S CUSTODY BATTLE
Since their divorce, James and his fourth wife have been at loggerheads over the custody of their youngest son, Jacob. The messy custody battle resulted from Linda Stokes' desire to have full legal and physical custody of the then-16-year-old child.
James, however, wanted joint custody. Their feud was also more complicated due to the absence of a prenup agreement, and James was unwilling to grant the costume designer rights to his finances.
In return, Stokes demanded spousal support from the actor. Following a heated back-and-forth in the legal feud, the court ordered the actor to pay his estranged ex $3,124 per month as child support until Jacob completes high school.
The court also ordered the payment of $5,000 as spousal support until Stokes remarried or one of them passed away. In addition, the legend was expected to offer $400,000 in back payment to his wife.
The resulting implication on the star's finances was ugly. The 80-year-old, who claimed to be paying about $13,000 a month to Stokes, insisted the mandate forced him to keep taking movie roles which he would have otherwise rejected.
According to him, some of these roles did not conform with his Hollywood reputation. Court documents also revealed James's claims that his wife's demands forced him to keep working amid his prevailing medical conditions when he should already retire.
JAMES CAAN'S CHILDREN
James Caan is a father to five children from his four ex-wives. His kids, Tara Caan, Scott Caan, Alexander Caan, James, and Jacob Caan, have grown into adulthood and set a path for themselves.
The icon's oldest son, Scott Caan, followed in his father's footstep, becoming an actor. Today, he is famous for starring in shows such as "Hawaii Five-0," and "Entourage."