Antonio and Melanie “have had as many problems as anybody,” the actor admits, and they include her stint in rehab from two years ago.
“We’ve never hidden it. We’ve been open about addictions, in the case of Melanie,” Antonio tells the November issue of AARP The Magazine.
The couple is also open with their children about the problems and their kids participated in the therapy. Banderas and Griffith are the parents of Stella, who celebrates her 15th birthday this week. The actress has two children from previous relationships: Alexander, 26, and Dakota, 21.
“The pretending is the worst, because kids are so smart,” the actors says. “They can see through all of those things, and if you don’t talk openly about problems, it creates a very dark place. They carry that through the rest of their lives, to their marriages, to their kids.”
In an separate interview with AARP The Magazine, Griffith also opens up about her demons.
“I’m sorry to say, that’s in his mind. … I started on pain pills when I hurt my knee skiing and just kept taking them. The kids knew; Dakota and Stella called me on it. Antonio was in London at the time. I went away to rehab for three months; it took 10 days just to detox. We had two family weeks there, but we didn’t follow throug.”
She adds, “Antonio was supportive to the extent that he can be, but if you’re not an alcoholic or drug addict, and you find out that your wife is a bad one, it’s hard to deal with. … I wish he would go to a meeting with me or to Al-Anon, but it’s very foreign to him. Addiction runs in my family but not in his.”
“I don’t mean that against him. I would like him to do more, but it’s a difficult thing to have happen in any family, and in that way he has been totally by my side. He really is the greatest guy.”
The pair first met in 1995 on the set of the movie Two Much while still married to other people.
“I saw this sweet, vulnerable soul, funny, also very smart and generous,” Antonio recounts. “I saw her with her kids, and she was so beautiful as a mom.”
Melanie shares her memory of the moment too: “The first thing he asked me was my age. I said, ‘That’s the rudest thing anyone has asked me first.’ But there was something about him. Still is. I just love him.”