Sean Penn talks about co-parenting with Robin Wright: 'We're always going to have conflicting ethics'

Taryn Ryder
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

In an era where conscious uncoupling seems to be all the rage, don’t forget that not all celebrity divorces end with a happy modern family. Case in point: Sean Penn and Robin Wright. The pair ended their tumultuous marriage for good in 2010 and  “don’t have a lot of conversation” these days, according to Penn.

“Um, we don’t not get along,” he said on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast. “We have very separate relationships with our kids at this point, and it seems to work out better that way. They are making their own decisions, and as it turned out, she and I did not share the same ethical thoughts or views on parenting, including the continuing parenting of adult children.”

Robin Wright and Sean Penn at the 81st Annual Academy Awards, in February 2009. (Photo: Getty Images)

Penn, 57, and Wright, 51, share two kids: daughter Dylan, 26, and son Hopper, 24.

Penn continued, “It was better for her to be entirely whatever she is and available to them and they love their mother and they have that relationship and for me to be entirely available, but also … we’re always going to have conflicting ethics.”

When asked what he meant by that, Penn avoided the question. “That would be getting too much into my kids’ personal life,” he said.

Dylan, Sean, and Hopper Penn attend the 6th Annual Sean Penn & Friends HAITI RISING Gala Benefiting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in January 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)

However, the actor-turned-author said both of his children are doing “great.”

“They’re amazing people,” he said. “They’re both acting and modeling in an industry that I’m not very interested in, but they seem to have fun with it.”

Penn recently published his first novel, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, and has been vocal about his disinterest in acting, saying he’s not in love with it anymore. Still, he’s behind his kids’ Hollywood endeavors.

“I’m supportive of whatever my kids do that keeps them happy and healthy, period,” he said.

The House of Cards actress and Oscar winner wed in 1996. They filed for divorce in 2007 but reconciled shortly after. In April 2009, Penn filed for legal separation only to withdraw papers a month later; Wright filed for divorce in August of that year, and it was finalized in 2010.

“As I look back over my life in romance, I don’t feel I’ve ever had that,” Penn told Esquire years later. “I have been the only one that was unaware of the fraud in a few of these circumstances blindly. When you get divorced, all the truths that come out, you sit there and you go, What the f*** was I doing? What was I doing believing that this person was invested in this way? Which is a fantastically strong humiliation in the best sense. It can make somebody very bitter and very hard and closed off, but I find it does the opposite to me.”

Penn has a similar view on love today. “I’m never going to take a position that I’m closed off to love,” he told Maron. “People falling in love with each other is a great, great thing.”

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