This is why Howard Stern got divorced

For the first leg of Howard Stern’s incredible career, there was one constant: his loving marriage to psychoanalyst and current ex-wife Alison Berns. Yes, though we know Stern for his foul mouth on-air antics, he was steadily married to his college sweetheart since 1978. Stern and Berns had three daughters, Emily, Ashley, and Debra together, according to New York Post. But they called it quits in 1999 and finalized the divorce two years later, per The Washington Post. Berns remarried in 2001 with a nest egg of $50 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. So that certainly softens the blow. 

But Berns was there for many of Stern’s milestones: his decision to pursue radio full-time, per Money, his seemingly endless toils at local radio stations, and his landing of a major afternoon slot on New York City’s WNBC. This led to his longtime run at the city’s WXRK and the beginning of The Howard Stern Show. She was there for it all: his glory days in the 1990s, including a set at a sold-out Nassau Coliseum, per Rolling Stone. Her character even played a huge role in Howard Stern’s book-turned-biopic Private Parts, with Stern professing she was the love of his life throughout. 

When they split, Stern was far from the success he is today. He’s Forbes’ 8th highest-paid celebrity of 2020. But she was certainly there for him. So what caused the disheartening split of Howard Stern and Alison Berns? Here’s what happened. 

As Stern got mega-famous he and his first wife drifted

What went down with Howard Stern and Alison Berns’ marriage? As Stern became an even bigger star, fame, and his “unique” career, caused too much strain on the pair. “Divorce was so theoretical to me because no one in my family had really been divorced,” Stern confessed to Rolling Stone in 2011. “I was with my ex-wife since college, so it felt like such a failure…I was upset that I failed and let down my family, my kids, my ex-wife. It was all very painful.” He added, “I think there were a lot of stressors, especially with what I did for a living.” This is not a shock, given Stern’s penchant for interviewing porn stars and doing pretty insane on-stage stunts like “Fart Man” at the VMAs. 

Stern told the outlet that going to therapy helped ease the pain. “I was totally neurotic and sort of consumed with work. I took work as the most important thing and the only thing,” he said, explaining that he felt like a “detached robot” before therapy. “I said, ‘Gee, where am I going to get some answers?’ I had never been a guy to turn to religion but then as my marriage was coming to an end, I needed help to explain it to my children and make sense of it all…”

Stern remarried, but tried the single life first

Howard Stern rebounded pretty quickly. He met his current wife, model Beth Ostrosky, in 2000, less than a year after his split from his ex-wife Alison, per MTV. Though the two instantly hit it off and got hitched in 2008, Stern didn’t first take a stab at the “playboy” lifestyle. 

“After my divorce, I realized, ‘Oh wow, I can go have sex,'” he told Rolling Stone. “And I was running around, picking up women. Then all of a sudden, it dawned on me that I really didn’t need that much sex. I just wanted somebody with me every minute. I was using women as a surrogate mother. When I tapped into that, it suddenly became very childish behavior.”

Well, he soon curbed that behavior upon meeting Ostrosky, 18 years his junior, and the two have been together since. Though it may not be the romantic story we know from Private Parts, it’s good Stern found a new relationship that works for him. So…all’s well that ends well! 

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