The last word. In 2003, Billy Crudup left his then-pregnant girlfriend of eight years, Mary-Louise Parker, for actress Claire Danes — but it's Parker who has the final say in her new memoir, Dear Mr. You.
In the book, Parker writes 34 separate letters to men she's encountered throughout her life, including "Dear Risk Teacher," "Dear NASA," and "Dear Mr. You."
Among the dozens of letters, none appear to directly mention Crudup, with whom Parker shares an 11-year-old son named William. However, the Weeds actress, now 51, alludes to the devastating aftermath of Crudup leaving her — while she was seven months pregnant — to pursue a romance with Danes, his costar in the 2005 film Stage Beauty.
The poetic letter (excerpted by Jezebel on Tuesday, Nov. 10) entitled "Dear Mr. Cabdriver" doesn't mention the Almost Famous actor, 47, by name. Instead, it details Parker's fragile emotional state in the wake of her split in the form of a confrontation with a NYC cabbie. This is what happened when the driver got lost en route to Parker's doctor's appointment:
"S–t, goddamn. I mean, why, I mean why the hell-NO!" Parker writes in the tome. "Where are you going now? This is still wrong."
The driver then asks Parker to refrain from swearing at him, but she continued shouting until she was kicked out of the taxi. "I don't want you anymore," the driver told the then-pregnant star.
Parker details the following heartbreaking exchange.
"No one does
My voice was shot and I barely got out
Look at me
You turned at looked, I think for the first time…
My life is worse than yours in this moment.
I am alone. Look, see? I am pregnant and alone. It hurts to even breathe.
Your hand slowly went to your mouth
I’m trying to get through it but I’m by myself every night and every morning and no one, nothing helps. I’m sorry I yelled. I can’t get my shoes on anymore. Please, I know I am awful, it’s been made clear but look at me please
Look at me."
Despite her terrible circumstances at the time, Parker still felt apologetic towards that driver.
"I don’t know what you thought, if you had a daughter or a wife or if my little drama was a hangnail compared to your life," she writes. "What I wish I could tell you is that I know it may have been. I don’t know what happened to you that morning, or that year, or when you were six. I didn’t know your tragedy or hardship and it was grossly unfair of me to compare my life to yours. I am aware of my good fortune. What I don’t have to struggle for that makes my life easier than most. I have thought of you and know you wouldn’t remember me but I am sorry . . . I realize now that whatever I was walking through was part of my life, one piece of a bigger story that is mostly beautiful."
For her part, Homeland actress Danes addressed the situation during a recent interview with Howard Stern. "I was just in love with [Crudup]," Danes, 36, reflected last month to the SiriusXM host of their romance. "And needed to explore that and I was 24… I didn’t quite know what those consequences would be."
Listen to Danes' interview with Stern above
The two lasted for four years until she moved on to be with her future husband, Hugh Dancy. Danes and Dancy are now parents to their 2-year-old son Cyrus. The actress, though admittedly careless at the time, told Stern that she was at peace with the situation. "But it’s okay," she mused. "I went through it.”
Parker's memoir, Dear Mr. You, was released on Nov. 10.
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