‘Little House on the Prairie’ Star Melissa Gilbert Says She Lost Her Mind After Divorce From Bruce Boxleitner

by Taylor Cunningham
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(Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

During a recent interview, Little House on the Prairie alum Melissa Gilbert admitted that she took her divorce from Bruce Boxleitner so hard that she temporarily “lost [her] mind.”

Gilbert and Boxleitner married in 1995 and had one child together, Michael—whom she named after her classic TV co-star Michael Landon. But in 2011, Gilbert filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences as the cause, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Despite the fact that she had been the one to call it quits, Gilbert was not over the marriage. And what resulted was a brief lifestyle bender.

As she said during an interview with Page Six, once the couple finalized the divorce, the actress went out and bought a Mustang convertible, got Botox and fillers, and then landed herself a younger French boyfriend.

“It was like, I lost my mind,” she admitted. “One of my friends says, ‘You know, every once in a while we all have to go to the zoo. And you went and now you’re back.’”

Melissa Gilbert’s self-destructive ways died down a year later, right around the time that she met her now-husband, Timothy Busfield, at a bar. But she still reflects on her post-divorce spiral from time to time.

However, the 58-year-old doesn’t regret anything.

“Tim says it to me all the time, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if one thing had gone differently,” Gilbert shared.“It’s kind of hard to look back and want to have changed anything.”

Gilbert did admit that sometimes she feels ashamed of the example she set for her two sons, who were 22 and 16 at the time. But she’s optimistic that her downfall ended up helping them grow as well.

“Hopefully, you know, they’re seeing this growth and it’s inspiring them, too,” she said.

Over a Decade After Her Divorce, Melissa Gilbert is Now Living a Quiet Life in the Catskills

Now that she’s on the other side of “the zoo,” Melissa Gilbert has completely revamped her lifestyle and is enjoying a simpler existence in New York’s Catskill Mountains.

Recently, the actress has publically shared her desire to embrace aging by letting go of strict beauty regimes, Botox, and plastic surgery. And now she’s hiding away from the stress of Hollywood in a remote cottage.

While she does miss her friends and family in California, Melissa Gilbert loves being away from the noise, traffic, and pollution that comes with city life. And she’s enjoying time with Busfield and the peace of “not chasing after some elusive thing.”  

“I’m so blessed that it’s my happy ending,” Gilbert said. “I hope it inspires other people to find their happy endings.”

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