Courteney Cox Gets Candid About Her Divorce From David Arquette and "Brutal" Breakup With Johnny McDaid

Actress appears on Running Wild With Bear Grylls

By Zach Johnson Aug 23, 2016 2:06 PMTags

Courteney Cox has returned from an emotional—and physical—journey.

The 52-year-old TV star trekked through the Irish Highlands on Monday's episode of NBC's Running Wild With Bear Grylls. During her expedition with Bear Grylls, Courteney spoke candidly about fame and family. Early on, Bear asked Courteney how it feels to have lived in the limelight for so long. "I feel lucky. I don't feel burdened by it," the actress said. "I mean, people can be pretty mean, though, now that there's all this social media. The comments...if I ever want to feel really bad about myself, I just click on one of those Daily Mail comment sections."

Many of the comments are related to Courteney's appearance, something she herself has been critical of in the past. "I think there's a pressure to maintain [your looks], not just because of fame, but just, you know, being a woman in this business. Getting older has not been...I don't think it's the easiest thing. But I have learned lessons," she said. "You know, I think I was trying to keep up with getting older, trying to chase know, it's something you can't keep up with. So, the more you relax into it and the less I try...'cause sometimes you find yourself trying and then you look at a picture of yourself and go, 'Oh, God.' Like, you look horrible. I have done things that I regret, and luckily they're things that dissolve and go away. So, um, that's good, because it's not always been my best look. So, now I just have a new motto: 'Just let it be.'"

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Ben Simms/NBC

In response, Bear offered a few words of encouragement, telling Courteney, "One of the things I love about these journeys is that you see, really, people as they are. And for what it's worth, the natural you is just amazing and gorgeous. There's light in your eyes, and that's priceless."

The actress was appreciative, saying, "There are certain parts about getting older that are fantastic. Just watching my daughter [Coco Arquette, 12] go through, you know, the game of life...I see so much of myself in her, and I'm glad that...I've been through it, and learned enough now to actually help her go through things that are hard...I just have a great time with her."

Later, Courteney opened up about the loss of her father, Richard Cox. "He died in 2001 before I had Coco...He died of this really rare cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma...He just didn't want to go. So, it wasn't like a surrender. I'm one of these people that if you say, 'Courteney, get me well'—which is kind of what he said—I will find every...I mean, I sent the guy to Switzerland to do some radioactive treatment that no one had ever heard of. It kind of put me on a mission. He was supposed to live six months, and he ended up living a year and a half. Throughout that year and a half, even though he was doing chemo and all this stuff, he really had a great time."

David Arquette Praises Ex Courteney Cox
Ben Simms/NBC

The actress was "really close" with her late father, particularly because she is the youngest of four children. "He would love Coco. Of course he would! She's funny. She's sweet. She's very sensitive," she said. "She's really a combination between me and [David Arquette], for sure."

Speaking of David, Bear couldn't help but ask why Courteney and her husband split in 2011. "I think that we were such good friends," she explained. "We found ourselves leading separate lives and just coexisting and being great friends, but not having the intimacy so important in a relationship. I think you really need to work in a relationship, and I think that we tried. We're just really different, too. I'm the polar opposite of him. That can be great for a lot of things, but I need this kind of real, one-on-one connection. And I don't know. I don't know."

"It wasn't a dramatic ending. It was more of a...just, I don't know. I've really been...No one's ever asked me in this way, so I haven't really thought about it like this," she said. "I mean, as divorces go, I would say it's one of the better ones. For sure. We're good co-parents together."

Johnny McDaid Talks Reconciliation with Courteney Cox: ''I’ve Always Loved Her''
Ben Simms/NBC

Courteney is engaged to Snow Patrol musician Johnny McDaid, but they haven't been without their ups and downs. In fact, the couple called it quits last year before getting back together. "We were engaged for over a year and then we broke up. There's something know, he's from Ireland. And the way he regards love is precious. We have to treat it in a different way. It's more special," she said. "You coddle it. So, I didn't know how to regard love the way he does. And it definitely made a lot of mistakes that I see, whether it's co-dependency or people-pleasing. I didn't know how to bring it in. It was always external. I definitely have learned a lot, and no matter what, I will be a better person from that breakup, even though it was so brutal."

The actress confirmed that she and McDaid are back together, but added that their relationship is in a "new context" now. "It's just...everything's new," she told Bear. "And we have both really worked on ourselves on the parts that needed the most attention. And it feels really different."

(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

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