Not all celebrity breakups are designed to capture the headlines, and it seems that superstar actress Scarlett Johansson and her now ex-husband Romain Dauriac were as obsessed with privacy in their divorce as they have been in their life together.
Fans were surprised in 2013 when news emerged that Scarlett and Romain had become engaged.
They had been a couple for less than a year, but little was known about the then-31-year-old French journalist and editor, and the two had been careful to keep their relationship quiet.
They reportedly went to great lengths to maintain their privacy, only leaving for social events after dark and diligently avoiding photographers.
When they were out, they tended to play it casual, with Scarlett often donning a ball cap to help hide her face. Neither maintains a social media presence, and they apparently bonded over their shared love of art.
In an interview with Elle UK magazine earlier in 2013, Scarlett expressed an unusual opinion on marriage, saying, “I never think about marriage… It’s really not important to me. It has no relevance to me right now. I’m in a nice relationship, I’m working a lot… To me, being in a functioning relationship doesn’t mean you have to be married.”
She certainly wasn’t tied to traditional notions when it came to the birth of the couple’s daughter, Rose, in September of 2014, when they were unmarried.
The baby was with them when they headed to Philipsburg, Montana, to spend a week at The Ranch At Rock Creek, a luxury resort, relaxing and enjoy family time.
Romain and Scarlett went horseback riding and took hikes to scenic views there, and also visited the county clerk’s office in town, where they got a marriage license.
They capped the trip with an ultra-private wedding ceremony on the grounds of the lodge on October 1.
It’s telling that it was nearly two months before the press caught wind that Scarlett Johansson had gotten married.
It was her second marriage. Her first, to actor Ryan Reynolds, lasted just over two years and their divorce was finalized in 2011.
Romain had never walked down the aisle before, but the couple seemed quite happy.
They split their time between New York and Paris, and Scarlett shared the story of the start of their relationship in a 2015 interview with Parade magazine.
“We met through friends in Paris,” she said. “It was very romantic. And we became friends. When I’d come back to Paris I would see him. We started dating. He tells me that he learned English in only one night. ‘I barely spoke English when we met,’ he said. I don’t remember that at all. I felt like we were talking the same language. Maybe it was the language of love.”
It may have been, but like the title of one of her breakout films, something got lost in translation.
Though they were frequently photographed on red carpets at events, and even opened a popcorn shop in Paris together, over time their differing lifestyles and her career became a sore spot between them.
In the Parade interview, she addressed the issue, saying, “My husband’s not at all involved in the entertainment industry, so I imagine that parts of my job are probably very overwhelming. And it’s a very strange kind of job. It feels like home to me, but [for someone else] even walking onto a film set is extremely intimidating, not to mention seeing somebody’s face plastered all over the media. What? That’s not a problem? It’s got to be.”
Apparently, it was.
By the summer of 2016, the couple had stopped living together.
In true Scarlett fashion, their break-up was kept under wraps for months, but by January, celebrity gossip outlets were reporting that they were a couple no more.
They worked out an informal custody arrangement that had Rose spending alternating weeks with each parent, but it seems that this became a stress for both as Scarlett’s filming schedule required last minute switches.
By March, she formally filed for divorce in Manhattan, with each parent seeking primary custody of Rose.
Romain’s attorney explained to Page Six that “He would like to move to France with his daughter and Ms. Johansson does a lot of traveling.”
Indeed, while filming “Ghost in the Shell” in New Zealand, she temporarily moved to the country and brought Rose with her.
Eventually she wanted to change the terms so that she would have her daughter for three days and then Romain would take her for two days.
A person close to the couple said, “The kid was bouncing back and forth. It can’t work because [Scarlett] travels so much.”
Romain himself began to feel that his life was beholden to his estranged wife’s schedule, though he was reportedly surprised when he was served with divorce papers.
According to a statement made public through his lawyer, Romain said, “It is indeed unfortunate, especially for our daughter, that Scarlett filed in Court and made our personal differences so public. I would implore her to withdraw her action promptly and go back, as uncomfortable as it might be, to the negotiating table.”
For her own part, Scarlett appears to have put strong guardrails in place when it came to talking about her husband and her divorce.
She released a statement in March in which she said, “I will never, ever be commenting on the dissolution of my marriage,” and cited her “complete awareness that my daughter will one day be old enough to read the news about herself.”
Credit where it’s due – despite the issues between them, the parents seem to have taken their daughter’s current and future well being seriously enough to stick to their silence, and in September, it was reported that the couple submitted a sealed divorce settlement in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The details of their agreement, unsurprisingly, were not made public, and the parties’ lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.
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