The sad reason Jimmy Kimmel’s first marriage crumbled

Many of the celebs who we’re used to seeing on our television screens sacrifice a lot to get there, and Jimmy Kimmel is no different. When his last episode (for a while at least) of Jimmy Kimmel Live! aired in June 2020, the host announced that he would be taking off for the summer to invest more of his time with his loved ones.

“Tonight is my last new show for the summer,” Kimmel said at the time (via TooFab). “I’m taking the summer off to take even more time with my family.” He explained that he had been doing the job for almost 18 years, which amounts to 3,130 episodes. Seems like it was time for him to take a break!

“There’s nothing wrong, I’m healthy, my family’s healthy, I just need a couple of months off,” Kimmel said. In his place, guest hosts will be running the show until his return. While Kimmel is taking a break for now, he has a long history of working hard. And it’s sometimes even gotten in the way of her personal and family life — including his first marriage. Let’s take a closer look at why that relationship fell apart.

Jimmy Kimmel was 'very young' when he first tied the knot

Jimmy Kimmel — who’s now on his second marriage — met his first wife (and now ex) Gina Maddy while they both attended Arizona State University. Maddy was supposedly Kimmel’s first girlfriend and he was quick to make it official, according to a 2012 HuffPost profile. “We were both very young,” Kimmel, who was 20 when he tied the knot in 1988, told the publication. “My mom was 19 when she got married, so it didn’t seem unusual to me. It seemed unusual to all my friends, but not to me.”

Just a few years later, the two had their first baby in 1991, followed by another in 1993. After just over a decade, Maddy and Kimmel decided to part ways, and by 2003, they divorced. The marriage crumbled, in part, due to Kimmel’s “workaholic” attitude, which he admitted to. Considering the early years of his career were marked by significant job-hopping, financial stress and the repeated moving around also contributed to the marriage’s eventual disintegration. 

Not only that, but Kimmel was rarely home once his career started picking up. After the divorce, not much changed immediately. Rather, he poured himself in his work to deal with the anxiety of his failed marriage — obsessing over the small details of the show and improving significantly as a TV personality. Perhaps in an attempt to stop the past from repeating itself, we won’t be seeing Kimmel around for a while — and that’s a good thing! 

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