As Hollywood divorce battles go, it’s like the saying on London buses. Nothing happens for years and then you get three at a time.
For now, after Depp/Heard and Pitt/Jolie’s noxious marital fight, comes an equally tumultuous UK version – and close to its own nadir.
At the center of it are actress Alice Evans, who memorably described the end of her marriage as “every woman’s nightmare”, and her husband Ioan Gruffudd, who abandoned her for a much younger woman. after nearly 15 years – and two children – together.
Now, 15 months after the actor filed for divorce, the wreckage of their separation has grown even more toxic.
Ioan Gruffudd pictured with his new girlfriend Bianca Wallace. It is believed that Gruffudd called on two groups of Los Angeles lawyers and hired Brad Pitt’s divorce lawyer, Anne Kiley
In a bid to close the cases, Mr Gruffudd, who reportedly went through two groups of Los Angeles lawyers, hired Brad Pitt’s divorce attorney, Anne Kiley.
It can also be revealed that he is seeking the continuation of a restraining order against Evans, 53.
He took out a temporary restraining order against her in February, citing a series of abusive messages she sent him as she agreed to him dating.
This was extended a month later and is due in court next week, when Gruffudd is expected to ask for it to continue for at least a year.
The order demands that she not contact or harass Gruffudd or his girlfriend.
Meanwhile, friends say Evans is “crying every day” and fear losing the Los Angeles home she shares with their two young daughters.
She asked the court to decide what should happen to her. Sources familiar with the proceedings say Gruffudd says he will have to be sold as he has no more savings.
Both racked up huge legal fees. However, despite fortunes being spent on both sides, little progress has been made.
The acrimony between the couple is such that friends of Evans told me this week that during an argument, Gruffudd said, “I’d rather be dead than live with you!”
The Mail has reached out to representatives for Gruffudd for comment.
In return, she called her new love, aspiring actress Bianca Wallace, whom Gruffudd met on the Australian set of a TV drama, a “psycho”.
Sources told the Mail this week that Gruffudd’s betrayal was a bombshell. A week before he returned from Australia to tell Evans he no longer loved her, he sent her a bouquet of flowers for her birthday.
The inscription read: “You are the kindest, sweetest and most beautiful person ever, happy birthday my angel.”
Estranged wife Alice Evans, 53, was given a restraining order by her husband in February. He cited a series of abusive messages she sent him as she agreed to him dating
Fantastic Four and Hornblower star Gruffudd now lives with Ms Wallace in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, it is understood he has not seen his two daughters – Ella, 12 and Elsie, eight – for over a year.
A source said: ‘They have agreed that Alice should have primary and physical custody of the girls and Ioan should have visitation rights.
However, in January this year, Evans wrote on Instagram: “In 18 months my daughters and I have seen my warm and loving Ioan change from a man of principle, who had decided to start a family and was determined to take care of them, to a person who apparently doesn’t care about anyone at all.
‘I’m totally confused. He hasn’t seen his children for 8 months and yet it doesn’t seem to bother him.
The saga began when Evans and Gruffudd were cast in the 2000 Disney film 102 Dalmatians.
Evans was engaged to producer Olivier Picasso, the painter‘s grandson. But that romance ended and she moved into a flat in London with Gruffudd. They married in 2007.
After fertility and IVF issues, they welcomed daughter Ella in 2009, followed by Elsie after eight more rounds of treatment.
Now the family lived in sunny Los Angeles, but there were problems in paradise. Evans had sacrificed his career to raise the children and Gruffudd had a career slump.
He overcame it with a role in the television drama Liar, which was followed by the series Harrow.
But that wasn’t enough to save their relationship and in January 2021, Evans wrote on Twitter: ‘Sad news. My beloved husband/soulmate of 20 years Ioan Gruffudd has announced he will be leaving his family starting next week.
“Me and our young girls are very confused and sad. We weren’t given a reason other than that he “no longer loves me”.
In March 2021, Gruffudd filed for divorce. In October, he went “Instagram official” with Bianca Wallace, posting a photo of them with the words, “Thanks for making me smile again.”
Evans, 53, reacted furiously. “So it turns out that my husband, after two years of telling me that I’m a bad person and that I’m not exciting, and he doesn’t want to have sex with me anymore.” . . been in a relationship for three years behind my back,” she told her 38,000 followers.
Asked: ‘Who is Bianca?’ Evans said: “Bianca Wallace seems like the person he’s had a relationship with for three years while blaming me for our struggles. I just found out tonight. I feel like killing myself. (I won’t) .’
Gruffudd filed for a restraining order in February 2022, offering up to 113 pages of Evans’ abusive text messages, emails and social media posts.
In his court filing, he said she had stalked him since August 2020, with hundreds of text messages, abusive emails and social media posts.
A message read: “You should know what you got yourself into. . . I will dedicate the rest of my life to publicizing what you have done.
She went on to allege that he told her about times when fellow castmates bought cocaine and he never gave her sexual pleasure. One text read, “I have no idea why the hell I fell in love with you.”
Yet at other times she appears to apologize, writing, “I’m sorry I texted wildly last night, I’ll really try not to do that again.” But the messages quickly become abusive again.
In a written statement filed in court, Gruffudd said Evans verbally threatened to tell the media that he abused her and to do “what Amber Heard did to Johnny Depp.”
“Alice threatened to tell people that I abused her and our daughters; she threatened to call the police on me if I didn’t obey her demands; she threatened to tell people I’m a drug addict and put me in jail; she threatened to write a fake diary that reflected an abused victim and have the diary published; and threatened to destroy my mother. Alice told me she would win and everyone would believe her.
In her response to the court, Evans said she had “never threatened” Gruffudd with defamatory statements or harassed him.
Friends say all the negative comments she made happened after the marriage ended when she was heartbroken – and he “ghosted” her.
Whatever the truth, one thing remains clear: When it comes to Hollywood’s divorce carousel, there are no winners.