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How Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz told their children they were divorcing

After being together for 20 years, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz divorced in 1960. At that time, they had two children: Lucy and Desi Jr. In 2016, Lucy Arnaz discussed her parents’ “rough” divorce in an interview with the Academy Foundation TV.

Lucille Ball and the family at the airport
Lucille Ball, Desi Jr., Lucie and Desi Arnaz J. Wilds / Keystone / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz tell their children that they are divorcing

Although Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz told Lucy and her brother that they were divorcing a few decades ago, Ball’s daughter still remembers the conversation they had as a family.

“Well, like any child whose parents are divorcing, you definitely don’t want that to happen,” she told the Television Academy Foundation. “It was horrible. I hear Cher singing in my head right now, because that’s exactly what happened: “You better sit down, kids.” You know, and those words are a lot, I think, what every child goes through when their parents say they already does not work. “

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Lucy says that at the time, some of her understood why her parents were divorcing. They had fought a lot. But that didn’t make things any easier. Arnaz did not want to say goodbye to his father.

“It was difficult. It was very difficult,” she said. “And I didn’t want my father to leave the house. It was enough outside the house. I didn’t want him to go any further.”

Lucille Ball remarried Gary Morton

After divorcing Desi, Ball remarried a comedian named Gary Morton. Initially, Lucy had difficulty moving forward with her mother.

“When my mother wanted to remarry, I mean it was like a knife to the heart. It’s just, “You’re kidding, aren’t you?” It’s only been a year, not even, “So it was a difficult time. For all of us, “she said.

But Lucy came to Morton.

“[He] he was a nice man. He was a funny guy, a comedian, Gary. Comedian from Catskills. Tall and somehow beautiful, Lucy said of her father. “Manufactured [Lucille Ball] laugh and don’t disturb her, you know, in any way. He didn’t drink much, didn’t smile, and giggled with the ladies. I don’t know if they had a passionate marriage. I hope. I really don’t know, we haven’t talked about such things. “

Gary Morton and Lucille Ball
Gary Morton and Lucille Ball CBS via Getty Images

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Overall, Lucy says Morton “was a good father.”

“It took him a while to learn how to do it, just as it took me a while to learn how to be a good stepmother, which I had to become later in life. It was good, you know, and I think he was content with just what he was, she said.

Despite their “rough” divorce, Lucy says her mother and father eventually became “good friends.”

“My father and mother remained good friends after the divorce,” she said. “It took a few years for them to calm down, but they remained good friends until the end, and that was good for the children.”

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