Who's counting? Sean Penn may have been married twice, but if he ties the knot with Charlize Theron — and that's where things are trending — he'll consider her his first real bride.
"You say I've been married twice before but I've been married under circumstances where I was less informed than I am today," the 54-year-old actor, who was hitched to Madonna (1985 to 1989) and Robin Wright (1996 to 2010), said in the March issue of U.K. Esquire. "So I wouldn't even consider it a third marriage, I'd consider it a first marriage on its own terms if I got married again."
Things with Theron, 39, whom he started dating over a year ago after a long friendship, are serious. He tells the magazine that, sorry Madge and Robin, it's the first relationship he's ever been happy in.
"Yeah, I'm surprised to be in love," Penn said. "I'm self-proclaimed bad at mathematics but I can do two plus two: 53 years old plus finally beginning to figure out why you haven't been happy in a single relationship? It could seem too late. But to run into somebody now who you care about is a much more passionate, deeper, truer and — God! — a much happier feeling. It's a lot more romantic and a lot more fulfilling to be in a relationship and to think you're a good person within it."
He also speaks about Theron's son Jackson, 3, whom he is in the process of adopting, as if he's already his own offspring.
"I'm in love with my children, they're here," Penn, who has a daughter Dylan, 23, and son Hopper, 21, with Wright, said about residing in L.A., with which he has a complicated relationship due to paparazzo attention. "Jackson's very committed here with schools and all that. Charlize has friends and family here."
As for his first two wives, he says that he's on good terms with Madonna. The House of Cards star? Not so much. "I'm very friendly with my first ex-wife," Penn offered. "I would say that I'm on extremely good terms with the children I share with my second ex-wife."
Not that he blames Wright for the animosity. "Initially, in a divorce, you kick and bite about the other person. But finally you're looking at your failures to that person, to a marriage, to a friendship, to yourself during that time as well," said the two-time Academy Award winner. "Because no matter what the other person was or wasn't, for better and for worse, it really has so little to do with the growth you need to find better circumstances. Almost exclusively it has to do with your own stuff."
Wright, 48, has done her own growing — and moving on. After briefly breaking off her engagement, she and Ben Foster, 34, were together this week at Paris Fashion Week. At the Giorgio Armani Prive show, they sat in the front row holding hands. On one of those hands was her engagement ring — back on after a brief hiatus. The couple previously attended the Golden Globes together earlier this month.
Whether or not she had already heard her ex's comments about their marriage not counting in his eyes, she didn't seem bothered. At all.
Also in Paris for the fashion festivities? Penn and Wright's daughter, budding model Dylan. She took in the Chanel show, posing for photos with the notoriously smiley Karl Lagerfeld. She also partied with Kristen Stewart in the City of Light. Dylan reportedly had a dalliance with the Twilight actress's one-time boyfriend, Robert Pattinson, so the women being party pals once again seems to show there is water under the bridge.
So all of the Wright/Penns seem to be happy and making peace in their personal lives. At least for the minute.
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