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Why Did Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan Divorce? They ‘Fought’ For a ‘Really Long Time’ Before Splitting

The 'Magic Mike' actor said that the process was 'scary' and 'terrifying.'
Channing Tatum Jenna Dewan
Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Five years after their split announcement, many Step Up fans would like to know: why did Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan divorce? 

The stars of the dancing film met on the set of their own movie in 2006. In a Step Up press conference, Channing gushed about his co-star at the time: “Jenna’s very, she’s obviously beautiful, but she really, really is as beautiful inside as she is out. She’s really real. She loves to teach people how to not come from a place of insecurity, just, you know, come from a place of love, I guess. She’s a big fairy, flower child. [She’s] a beautiful soul, a beautiful soul.”

Channing proposed to Jenna in 2008 in Hawaii after dating for two years. The couple eventually got married the next year in Malibu, California. Nine years after their wedding, the former couple announced that they would be splitting. “We have lovingly chosen to separate as a couple,” the Step Up costars said in a joint statement at the time. “We fell deeply in love so many years ago and have had a magical journey together. Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now. There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision — just two best friends realizing it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible. We are still a family and will always be loving dedicated parents to Everly.”

Read below to see why the Step Up couple split.

Why did Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan divorce?

Channing Tatum Jenna Dewan
Image: Mark Davis/Getty Images

Why did Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan divorce? After announcing their split, the Superman & Lois star officially filed for divorce later that year citing “irreconcilable differences.” The divorce was finalized in November 2019. The couple has one daughter together, Everly, born in 2013.

A source told Us Weekly at the time that Channing and Jenna’s relationship “had turned more into a friendship,” adding that “they were constantly traveling for work” and “there wasn’t any crazy drama or fighting.” A second insider revealed that she “gave him all the space he wanted” but “it became clear that he enjoyed being away,” which was not “good for their marriage.”

In an interview with People in 2019, Jenna revealed how “difficult” her divorce from Tatum truly was. “I was just gutted. was so difficult for me. It was the loss of an idealistic future for myself and my life. What does that now look like for me? Where do I begin? I met him when I was 24, I didn’t know life without Chan.”

The actress went on to note, however, that their split was amicable. “People grow and they change and sometimes they don’t grow and change together. So it wasn’t an overnight thing that happened,” she started. “There was no one event. I think it was just a slow realization that we wanted different things.”

“You would never expect your life to take a turn the way it does,” she continued at the time. “But embracing it and starting fresh and figuring out what you want in life and what means a lot to you and what’s meaningful, what is going to make you happy. “I’m grateful that I now am at a place where I understand myself and what I want and I’m happy about this new chapter. I’m in a place of joy.”

The Step Up star began dating actor Steve Kazee, 45, soon after separating from Tatum. By 2019, the pair announced they were expecting their first child together. Dewan and Kazee went on to get engaged in February 2020 and welcomed their son, Callum Michael Rebel, the following month. Channing later moved on with musician Jessie J in 2018 before splitting in 2020. The Magic Mike actor is currently with Pussy Island director Zoë Kravitz after they starred in the film together in 2021.

Channing Tatum Jenna Dewan
Image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Channing opened up about the divorce in an interview with Vanity Fair on January 13, 2023. “We fought for it for a really long time, even though we both sort of knew that we had sort of grown apart. I think we told ourselves a story when we were young [about our opposites-attract romance that started while filming Step Up], and we just kept telling ourselves that story, no matter how blatantly life was telling us that we were so different.”

He continued, “But when you’re actually parents, you really understand differences between the two of you. Because it is screaming at you all day long. How you parent differently, how you look at the world, how you go through the world.”

The split wasn’t easy at first, Tatum added: “In the beginning, it was super scary and terrifying. Your life just turns on its axis. This whole plan that you had literally just turns into sand and goes through your fingers and you’re just like, ‘Oh, shit. What now?’”

Though he added that the split made his relationship with his daughter stronger. “It was probably exactly what I needed,” he said. “I don’t think I would’ve ever done the work, I think, on myself in the way that I had to do the work on myself to really try to figure out what’s next. And really, it just started with my daughter. I just dropped everything and just focused on her. And it was truly the best possible thing that I ever could have done. Because in the alone time that I have with just me and her, we’ve become best friends.” Channing also released a children’s picture book inspired by his daughter called The One and Only Sparkella. He wrote about the inspiration in an Instagram post, “Guys, I don’t know about you but things got a little weird for me in quarantine. I ended up accidentally locking myself in my 7-year-old daughter’s room. And I ended up finding my inner child. So this is what I created for my little girl. From what is, I guess, the little girl in me. Thanks for reading.”

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