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Robin Wright Made the Decision to Stop Her Career to Be a Full-Time Mom & Has 'No Regrets' Now

Edduin Carvajal
Mar 23, 2022
01:20 A.M.
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Robin Wright and Sean Penn's relationship was out of the ordinary. Although Wright made a life-changing decision to favor her family, Penn's 2009 Oscar speech hinted at their divorce.

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Hollywood stars Robin Wright and Sean Penn fell in love after divorcing other celebrities: Wright was briefly married to actor Dane Witherspoon, and Penn spent four years with pop star Madonna.

Wright and Penn's paths crossed on the set of the 1990's film "State of Grace." The couple seemingly got along great and were determined to make their marriage work. Unfortunately, things were complicated from the get-go.

Robin Wright and her daughter Dylan on April 15, 1997 in California [left] Wright, Dylan, and Hopper on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California [right] | Source: Getty Images

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BAD TIMING

It is impossible to determine how different Penn and Wright's relationship could have been if they had met at another time, mainly because they had just divorced their previous partners.

In Wright's case, she met Witherspoon on the set of "Santa Barbara," married him in 1986, and divorced him in 1988. Witherspoon passed away in March 2014 at the age of 56. 

Robin Wright and Sean Penn in September 1990 | Source: Getty Images

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Penn's highly-publicized marriage to Madonna showed everybody his dangerous dark side. They couldn't handle the media scrutiny, and Penn spent 33 days in prison for assaulting a photographer.

The "At Close Range" star was allegedly violent toward Madonna, too. The pop icon filed for divorce and shortly after withdrew her petition. She served divorce papers again, and they officially parted ways in 1989.  

After divorcing Madonna, Penn and Wright started their romance while filming "State of Grace." Things moved fast, and they began living together shortly after. 

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The former couple welcomed their first child, daughter Dylan, in 1991. Penn and Wright enlarged their family when their son, Hopper, was born in 1993. About their time together, Wright said

"I grew up very fast as a young girl, but I grew slowly into my womanhood. We were learning as we were going along."

Sean Penn, Robin Wright, and their daughter Dylan in Malibu, California in December 1990 | Source: Getty Images

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ISSUES BEFORE MARRIAGE

After Penn and Wright welcomed their two children, people couldn't stop wondering when they would tie the knot. However, they had to face a tough challenge before finally marrying.

In 1995, Penn directed "Crossing Guard" and cast Wright as the main star. They seemingly worked great together, but their real-life relationship was on shaky grounds. During (or shortly after) wrapping up the film, Penn and Wright parted ways.

Hopper had a life-threatening skateboard accident and needed emergency brain surgery.

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The actor even had a brief relationship with musician Jewel and asked her to record a song for "Crossing Guard." In 1996, Wright and Penn reconciled and tied the knot later that year. About marriage, Penn said

"Marriage ain't (sic) easy, but it's great most of the time. I love Robin. I've always loved her."

Robin Wright and her husband Sean Penn on May 18, 1997 in Cannes, France | Source: Getty Images

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LIFE-CHANGING DECISION

Wright also knew that relationships were not easy. Even before tying the knot, she and Penn agreed that they would not work at the same time so their kids would never be alone

Since Penn was earning more money than Wright, the actress decided to slow down her career and stay home with the kids. She never wanted fame, which probably made that choice easier. 

Robin Wright and her kids Dylan and Hopper Penn in Los Angeles on November 3, 1997 | Source: Getty Images

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Wright also admitted she didn't want to work on four films a year, be on every magazine cover, and spend six months away from home due to her busy schedule. 

She even turned down a Vanity Fair magazine cover when she was still married to Penn because she was sure all they wanted was to learn everything about him.

Wright said that many Hollywood actresses get "burned out" by appearing in every movie, TV show, or beauty campaign. Although turning down Vanity Fair affected her career, taking time off to stay with her kids was "a gift."

Robin Wright and Sean Penn on September 18, 2007 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

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MULTIPLE SPLITS AND RECONCILIATIONS

Penn and Wright's marriage was far from perfect, and they seemingly had enough of each other in late 2007 when Penn filed for divorce on December 7. Less than two weeks later, the petition was dismissed. 

On December 21, 2007, Wright filed for divorce. They cited "irreconcilable differences" and asked for joint custody of their children. The former couple reconciled shortly after, though.

In February 2009, Penn and Wright sparked breakup rumors again after he didn't mention his wife during his powerful Oscar victory speech (which even got a standing ovation). 

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Robin Wright in Los Angeles, California on October 22, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

However, Penn and Wright later explained they had previously discussed it. They were sure the actor would not have enough time to mention his wife, so he left her out.

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It is essential to point out that Penn won his first Oscar in 2003 and didn't forget to mention Wright. He credited her for being an "undying emotional inspiration" in his life. 

Two months after Penn's controversial Oscar speech, he filed for legal separation. It seemingly confirmed that their marriage had been on the rocks for a while. However, he asked the court to dismiss his petition on May 21, 2009. They finally divorced in 2010. 

Robin Wright, Dylan, and Hopper Penn on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

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Divorces are devastating, but things get more complicated when children are involved. Wright credited her kids for keeping her and Penn together for so long and explained

"One of the reasons why we got back together and broke up so much was trying to keep the family together. If you've got kids, it's a family, and you try again."

Shortly after parting ways, Hopper had a life-threatening skateboard accident and needed emergency brain surgery to survive. Penn confessed dealing with the divorce and Hopper's condition was "tough." 

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CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE EXES

Although it's been over a decade since Penn and Wright divorced, their relationship has never stopped making headlines. In 2018, the actor revealed he was not in contact with Wright due to opposing "ethical views on parenting." 

Fortunately, Hopper and Dylan have kept a healthy relationship with both parents and are working hard to make a name in the modeling and acting industry.

Things turned out okay for Wright, too. She might have chosen to slow down her career in the 1990s, but she has never regretted it and wouldn't do it any other way. 

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Robin Wright and Clement Giraudet on March 6, 2018 in Paris, France | Source: Getty Images

Nowadays, Wright is married to Saint Laurent's International VIP Relations Manager Clement Giraudet. They tied the knot in 2018 and have been together ever since.

When their kids became adults, Wright resumed her acting career and shot to stardom after playing Claire Underwood in "House of Cards." Way to go!

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