People Exclusive

Lisa Whelchel Is Divorced

09/20/2012 at 01:30 PM EDT

Lisa Whelchel Is Divorced - Facts of Life, Survivor: Philippines
Lisa Whelchel
Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup
As she left her Texas home to compete on Survivor: Philippines, Lisa Whelchel was hiding a secret that only her close friends knew: Her 24-year marriage to Steve Cauble was ending.

"The divorce was final on March 1, and [I] went out to be on Survivor on March 10," Whelchel tells PEOPLE exclusively. "Going out to Survivor was helpful for me, to divert my attention and not just dwell on the loss."

"I just never thought it would happen to me," says Whelchel, who has worked in Christian ministry with Cauble since The Facts of Life ended in 1988. "It was painful to realize that it wasn't going to work out."





Whelchel, 49, and Cauble, 61, have three grown children. Despite the divorce, they remain close – even watching the premiere of the show together with their kids.

"We will always be friends," Whechel says. "And we will always be family, too."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Chelsea Clinton is Pregnant!
  • Exclusive Royal Tour Diary

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters