Guess the Oscar speech omission wasn't to blame after all. Though the snub heard round the world probably didn't help matters.

After months of keeping mum, Hilary Swank has opened up about her divorce from her husband of nearly nine years, Chad Lowe, telling Vanity Fair that the actor's "substance-abuse" problem contributed to their marital woes.

The two-time Oscar winner claims her ex's addiction problems played a part in their seemingly abrupt separation in January and official divorce filing in May.

"I knew something was happening but I didn't know what," she says in the August issue, on newsstands Wednesday.

"When I found out, it was such a shock because I never thought he'd keep something from me. And yet, on another level, it was a confirmation of something I was feeling that was keeping us from being completely solid.

"I don't want to make it seem like that's the sole reason; there were other factors. But that just kind of blew it open. It made me look at things a lot deeper. That's when you realize it's not going to work."

There was no initial comment from Lowe on Swank's remarks.

The 31-year-old actress did not disclose what Lowe's substance of choice was, though she did say he has been clean for more than three years.

"He's sober now," she said, adding, "When I found out, I wanted to be there. I knew it was the most important time of his life. That's when he needed me the most.

"It's an enormous obstacle to overcome, and he's doing it. He's living a sober life. I know how difficult it is, and I'm really proud of his sobriety."

For those doing the math, Swank's sobriety timeline pegs Lowe's clean-up act as taking place in 2003, two years before her Oscar-winning turn in Million Dollar Baby and three years after her infamous Oscar slight, wherein the Hollywood darling forgot to namecheck her other half during her Best Actress acceptance speech for Boys Don't Cry, a faux pas punctuated by numerous close-ups of her tearful hubby.

The rumor mill began circulating reports of trouble in paradise, blaming Swank's red-hot career on possible marriage problems.

The actress denied as much Vanity Fair.

"Chad is very supportive of my career. He is, I think, genuinely happy for my success...I think that any frustration for him stemmed from the lack of opportunities in his own career."

Lowe's career has played out in the shadows of not only Swank but also of brother Rob, having mostly stalled with starring roles in low-key TV movies and bit parts in forgettable big-screen ventures since his 1993 Emmy win for Life Goes On.

Swank, meanwhile, says she assumes some measure of responsibility for the breakup.

"It takes two make something work or not work," she said. "I'm a person with my own faults and troubles. In the end, it just didn't work, but I would never look back on this relationship as failed. I look at it as 13 1/2 years of success."

Swank first met Lowe, 38, in 1992 at a party at the Hollywood Athletic Club. She later described the meeting as "love at first sight."

She told the magazine that it wasn't a feeling she intended on having again any time soon.

"I thought of it--of that whole world--I can't imagine it! I can't imagine going out right now and trying to find someone else to be with."

Despite the disintegration of her marriage, Swank says she's living the good life.

"When I told you I'm the happiest I've ever been, it's not because I'm getting a divorce," she says in Vanity Fair. "It's because I'm living in truth now. My happiness has stemmed from being brutally honest with myself, facing the truth every single day, no matter what."

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share