Monday September 09, 2013 06:00 PM EDT
Clint Eastwood & Dina Eastwood's Marriage Drama
by Oliver JonesFor years, Dina and Clint Eastwood lived far from the glare of Hollywood. The former TV anchor and the Oscar-winning screen legend, married since 1996, were fixtures in the seaside hamlet of Carmel, Calif., ferrying their daughter Morgan to school, or walking the aisles of the Whole Foods.
"They were a great couple," says a source close to the family. "Theirs was not only a marriage, but also a close, loving friendship. Everyone enjoyed being around them."
Now that union has exploded in hurt feelings on both sides in a highly publicized split that has Dina and the infamously private Clint now respectively dating former spouses Scott and Erica Fisher.
Reality ShowAccording to multiple sources, the marriage began to fissure when Dina, 48, did the Mrs. Eastwood and Company. The show, which averaged around 1 million viewers per episode, featured Dina, daughters Morgan and Francesca Eastwood (Clint's daughter with actress Frances Fisher), and Overtone, the a capella group that Dina managed.
Clint Eastwood, 83, was an occasional guest star, appearing uncomfortable.
"Clint was furious about the show," says a source who has worked with Clint. "It went against everything he stands for: he's incredibly private, and she put his kids on TV." Adds the source, "It was not a happy time for them."
Dimitrios Kambouris / E! Entertainment
Old FriendBy the end of 2012, according to those sources, confirming published reports, Dina was leaning on Scott Fisher, a friend from her high school days in Fremont, Calif., who had gone on to star in the Australian basketball league.
Just as Eastwood's marriage was crumbling, Fisher, who had left Perth for a job as assistant coach at the University of Hawaii, was finalizing his divorce from Erica Fisher, his wife of 10 years, according to court papers.
That's when things took a twist. Concerned by her ex-husband's relationship with Dina – which Dina maintained was still platonic – Erica Fisher started reaching out to Clint in early 2013. He eventually returned her calls, and the two sparked to each other. By March, they were dating.
Dina learned about Clint's relationship with Erica shortly after Alison Eastwood's March wedding.
"She was in total shock," says the family source. "She couldn't put one foot in front of the other. Dina went into a tailspin."
Rehab StintSoon after learning about the relationship, she checked herself into rehab in Arizona. At the time, the reported cause was stress, but, according to sources close to the situation, the real reason was her shock over Clint's relationship with Erica.
In the months that followed, Dina grew closer to Scott Fisher. Now the old friends are seeing each other romantically, though, according to one source, things between them have been proceeding slowly.
"Who else could understand the pain and shock of this but Scott?" says the family source. "As far as their relationship turning into more, there are so many layers of grief that she still needs to process."
Neither Scott Fisher nor Erica Fisher has replied to requests for comment, nor has a rep for Dina Eastwood. (She spoke out on Twitter, saying, "I don't like reading negative things about Clint. He is a wonderful, good-natured, brilliant person. No matter what, I attest to that." Clint Eastwood's longtime manager, Leonard Hirshan, says he has no knowledge of his client's personal life.
Back to WorkFor his part, Clint has continued to date Erica Fisher ("It's the real deal," says another source) who has split time between his place in L.A., Vancouver, Wash., and her native Australia. He has also thrown himself to his work in L.A, where he is directing his adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys.
As for Clint and Dina, they don't even speak to each other, according to sources.
"Right now, their family is not what it was, not by any means," says the family friend. "There is so much shock, so much pain – it's going to take a lot to ever repair this."