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Whoopi Goldberg Reveals Why She Was Happy to Get Divorced Three Times

She said she was "dancing and prancing around" after ending her three marriages.

Over the years, Whoopi Goldberg has made her feelings about staying single known. But that wasn't always her attitude. The actor and The View co-host has been married three times, each ending in divorce. On a recent episode of the talk show, her fellow panelists Joy Behar and Alyssa Farah Griffin expressed how hard divorce can be, whether you're going through it yourself or as a child of divorcing parents. Goldberg didn't agree on a personal level, explaining that she was "was dancing and prancing around" as she got divorced from her husbands. Read on to find out more about her past partners and why she was so happy to leave her marriages behind.

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The panel discussed a recent Real Housewives split.

On the Aug. 1 episode of The View, the hosts discussed the public and very contentious divorce of Real Housewives of Miami stars Lisa and Lenny Hochstein. Lenny recently announced that he is already engaged to someone else despite still being legally married to Lisa.

"As somebody who's been divorced, I want to just say, there's a special type of rage involved when you get divorced," Behar said during the conversation. "You're murderous. You're homicidal."

Meanwhile, Griffin talked about divorce from the perspective of a child of divorced parents. She told Behar of the anger, "The problem is, it doesn't go away quickly—at least in my experience. And you can't let that fester and dwell or it can take you from moving on."

Goldberg said her divorces were a joyous occasion.

Whoopi Goldberg on the Aug. 1, 2023 episode of "The View"
The View / YouTube

Goldberg shared that she had a different view of her three divorces.

"I was dancing and prancing around, I was so glad to get out of there," she said. "Every time. Because I always thought, 'You didn't want to do this from the giddy-up. And you knew you didn't want to do it and you did it anyway, so shut up and move on.'"

Behar asked why she "did it anyway," and Goldberg responded, "I thought I could make a round hole go into a square peg. I thought that was what was for me. I was never meant to be married. I know that and I knew that then, and I kept trying to do what everybody said I was supposed to do. And then it was like, 'You know what, this is getting expensive and boring.'"

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Goldberg's last marriage ended in the mid-'90s.

Whoopi Goldberg and David Claessen in 1986
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Goldberg was married three times during the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Her first husband was Alvin Martin, a drug counselor. They were married from 1973 to 1979 and welcomed a daughter, Alexandrea Martin. Then, from 1986 to 1988, Goldberg was married to cinematographer David Claessen (pictured above). Goldberg's last husband was actor and union organizer Lyle Trachtenberg to whom she was married for a year from 1994 to 1995.

Goldberg had relationships that never resulted in marriage, including with actors Ted Danson and Frank Langella.

She's said she didn't love her husbands.

During a 2011 interview with Piers Morgan Tonight, Goldberg said that she wasn't in love with any of her three husbands.

"I suppose that, you know, you have to actually be in love with the person that you marry," the EGOT recipient said. "You have to really be committed to them. And I'm just—I don't have that commitment. I'm committed to my family, you know, and so—hence, for that relationship has lasted, you know, the longest."

She continued, "[I]t seemed to me that if I was married, I'd have a much normal—more normal life. But clearly, that's not the case. There's not a good reason to get married. You have to actually want a life with someone through ups and downs. And I—I just discovered that wasn't for me."

Goldberg did say that she was in love once remained friends with that ex. When Piers Morgan asked if it was someone people would know about, she said no.

RELATED: Former The View Co-Host Says Her Cardiologist Told Her to Quit the Show

She's content to be single.

Whoopi Goldberg at the 2021 ACE Awards
Ron Adar / Shutterstock

Goldberg has not only been open about her feelings on marriage, but also about how much she would rather be single. In 2016, the host shared what would become a famous quote on the topic during an interview with The New York Times.

Asked if she has a "higher bar than other people" when it comes to finding love, she said, "No, I think I'm not that interested. I'm much happier on my own. I can spend as much time with somebody as I want to spend, but I'm not looking to be with somebody forever or live with someone. I don't want somebody in my house."

Similarly, during a 2019 appearance on Tamron Hall, Goldberg said (via People), "People keep saying, 'Well, you'll find somebody.' I'm not looking for anyone. I am very happy. I don't want to live with anybody."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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