Last week, though, the once-happy pair had turned into starcross'd lovers. MacDowell, 41, announced that after 13 years of marriage she had separated from Qualley, 41, a contractor she met in 1985 when both were Gap models. MacDowell and Qualley, who now live apart in Asheville, N.C., will each continue to be central to the lives of their son Justin, 12, and daughters Rainey, 10, and Sarah Margaret, 4. MacDowell is mulling over divorce, says her publicist Jennifer Glaisek, but for the moment the couple "are simply taking a break."
Just what triggered the break wasn't clear; Glaisek denied that any third parties are involved. But the Four Weddings and a Funeral star told Movieline in 1996, "We've had tensions.... the roles that I would have liked to have done that are very sexual give him the willies." For now, MacDowell is busy: She plans to promote her upcoming films The Muse and Town & Country. But she has long made her priorities clear. Says The Muse producer Herb Nanas: "She is addicted to her children."
In Missoula, Mont., where Rosalie Anderson MacDowell spent eight years with her husband, Paul Qualley—and where she preferred to be called Rose Qualley instead of Andie MacDowell—everyone thought theirs a classic love story. One Halloween, recalls neighbor and friend Huntley Holland, "she and Paul came as Romeo and Juliet. They bounded into the living room reciting the death scene from [the play], and everyone was just in hysterics."