by Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses
Chris Rock and his wife Malaak Compton-Rock are calling it quits after nearly two decades of marriage.
Chris Rock has been in the media a lot lately and has garnered a lot of praise because he has had the courage to tackle some very difficult conversations, especially now that there is a lot of tension with regards to the murders of young Black men and police brutality.
It is however his wife, philanthropist and founder of the nonprofit StyleWorks, Malaak, who has released a statement about their decision to go their separate ways. Her statement read, in part:
“After much contemplation and 19 years of marriage, Chris and I have decided to go our separate ways. Being fortunate enough to lead a life of service by working with those most vulnerable makes me well aware of life’s blessings, even when faced with difficulties…While recognizing that this is a significant change, my children remain at the center of my life and their well-being is my top priority. It is in this spirit that I sincerely ask that their privacy and the privacy of our family be respected during this transition in our lives.”
Chris Rock’s attorney, Robert S. Cohen, also confirmed that the couple are indeed getting a divorce. In a statement, he emphasized that the divorce is a personal matter between the couple and their family. He also asked for privacy on Chris’ behalf while the couple works through the difficult process and focuses on their family.
The 49 year old comedian and film maker married 45 year old Compton-Rock in 1996 and they had two daughters who are now aged 12 and 10. The older daughter is Lola Simone and the younger one is Zahra Savannah. The family currently lives in Alpine, New Jersey.
The couple did not cite a reason for the split but there had been speculation that they were going their separate ways back in 2010 when rumors were making their rounds accusing Rock of having a child with another woman. The couple shut the rumors down and said they were “happy” with their “beautiful family”.
Rock has always spoken highly of his wife and their marriage, “The best part is just having a partner” he said.
I was a little surprised at how sad I was about this couple going their separate ways but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense to me. Black people as a collective are exposed to so many negative images of themselves that it is always so refreshing to see a Black couple that has accomplished a lot and has also managed to sustain a family in spite of being in Hollywood.
When a lot of people see couples such as the Rocks and others like Will and Jada Smith and Denzel and Pauletta Washington, it gives them hope that there is another side to the mostly one sided narrative of Black lives. We know that many homes are broken but we also need to see that some couples are maintaining healthy and happy homes and raising children in a stable environment. When a couple such as the Rocks breaks up, it is one less couple that we have as evidence that Black love and Black marriages can and do work.
Nomalanga is a Life Balance Expert. Her speaking and coaching programs help busy women who struggle to balance Marriage, Motherhood and Money-Making™. Nomalanga is an experienced instructor, author and avid blogger.