Chris Rock finally seemed to be getting something right. After an ugly divorce, in which Rock denied that a child he and his wife had brought over from Africa for adoption was actually his, the comedian has acknowledged that he really screwed up. In fact, he didn’t just apologize for cheating on his wife of 18 years; he explained why he had thought it was okay for him to cheat and how he came to the realization that is actually wasn’t. According to a recent article in Rolling Stone:
Rock mentions in his act that he thought he could get away with bad behavior in his marriage because he was the famous breadwinner. He now knows the opposite is true. That’s bullshit,” he says, rolling his eyes. “That actually goes the other way. My faults are magnified. Your significant other, if they really love you, has a high opinion of you. And you let them down.”
Rock admits that he has toned down the marriage part [of his act] to keep the peace and not be a dick. “It’s not fair,” he says. “I have a mic, she doesn’t. God forbid people are bugging her in the supermarket. That’s not cool.
It is usually the famous person in a couple who cheats, in part because he (usually it’s the guy) has the opportunity. (As Rock crudely notes in his routine, “Men, it’s a lot easier to be faithful when no one wants to f–k you.”) But that is why it is even more incumbent on the person who is richer, more famous, and more powerful to behave themselves. Because the other person in the relationship is helpless to fight back.
Rock also seems to have a handle on the importance of his role as a father. He has spoken before of the messages he is trying to give his daughters, and helping them sell Girl Scout cookies at the Oscars didn’t hurt. Though he explains that many of his friends expected him to move back into the city after the divorce, he actually bought a house around the corner from his wife.
But Chris Rock still hasn’t figured out how to be kind to his wife and protect his daughters. The Rolling Stone interview also included this lovely snippet:
For the first time, Rock makes reference to Megalyn Echikunwoke, his girlfriend. Echikunwoke is an actress who has starred on CSI: Miami and Arrow. The two have been seen canoodling at Knicks games. “Actually I’m dating a girl now,” he says. “She’s got her own dough, it’s amazing.”
Oh, come on. Was it necessary to offer this dig at your ex? Did you want her to work more instead of caring for your children? Would you have respected her more if she did?
But perhaps the worst part of the article is that he continues to talk about his marriage and his divorce publicly (both onstage and with reporters). He even notes how many women he cheated with—three—and that one of them was a celebrity—later revealed to be Kerry Washington. For comedians everything is material (“Take my wife… please.”) and Rock has joked that this is his “alimony tour.” But if he really wanted to make amends for the way he treated his wife and family, he might try to stay off Page Six just a little bit longer.