The Real Reason Courteney Cox And David Arquette Got Divorced

In a case of life imitating art, Scream's David Arquette and Courteney Cox began dating shortly after the super-meta horror's 1996 release. Within three years the unlikely pair tied the knot at a star-studded ceremony, and within another five, they'd become parents to a daughter, Coco. Sadly, by the time the belated fourth installment of the Wes Craven franchise hit cinemas in 2011, the couple's relationship was fast becoming a nightmare itself.

Yes, the actors occasionally known as dopey deputy Dewey Riley and ruthless reporter Gale Weathers had just announced their separation at the time. And although Arquette held out hope that they could patch up their many, many differences, a reunion never materialized. Indeed, by 2013 the Hollywood stars had finalized their divorce. Luckily, for those of us who take a keen interest in the machinations of the celebrity romance, Arquette and Cox haven't exactly been averse to dishing the dirt about their split.

It wasn't exactly love at first sight for Courteney Cox

Back in 1996 Courteney Cox was the glamorous star of the world's biggest sitcom. David Arquette's most notable credit at the time was dorky vampire Benny Jacks in the flop movie Buffy the Vampier Slayer. Cupid sure had to work his magic a little bit harder on this duo, that's for sure. Indeed, although Arquette was understandably smitten from the moment they met, Cox took some time in coming round to his quirky charms.

In fact, Arquette freely admits that he had to trick Cox into giving him a chance, telling Bang Media (via Digital Spy), "We met at a pre-party before we started filming Scream. I was being a little cocky and Courteney was like, 'Ah, I've heard of you,' and we just kept flirting for a while. She's just so gorgeous and she jokes around so much."

Arquette's cockiness eventually paid off though and two years later the Friends star agreed to become Mrs. Courteney Cox Arquette. But while their relationship initially proved that opposites do attract, their differences eventually tore them apart.

A little kookiness went a long way for David Arquette

David Arquette has never been the shy and retiring kind. Over the course of his career, he's been the frontman of what Deviant Art deemed "the worst rap metal band ever," a burlesque nightclub owner and perhaps most bizarrely, the WCW World Champion. But the quirks that initially attracted Cox soon became tiresome, and the Friends star started to feel more like Arquette's mother than his wife.

In 2010, shortly after the couple announced a separation, an emotional Arquette openly discussed the problems with an unlikely marriage counselor, Howard Stern. And during their candid chat on the shock jock's radio show, Arquette admitted that maturity wasn't one of his strong points.

He also revealed that Cox's choice of 11th wedding anniversary present was a clear sign that she didn't want to 'nag' him anymore, a term we're sure that his then-estranged wife greatly appreciated. Cox gifted Arquette with the one thing he'd previously been banned by her from having, a motorcycle. Arquette explained (via Us Weekly), "She said to me, 'I don't want to be your mother anymore. And I appreciated that about her ... She didn't want to tell me, 'Don't do that.'"

David Arquette went a little 'bananas'

David Arquette also expanded on the significance of Courteney Cox buying him a motorcycle in a 2018 interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, joking, "I was like: 'OK, this is kind of a gift that says: Why don't you go kill yourself?'" But the actor did far more than live out his Easy Rider fantasies once Cox seemingly gave him free rein.

He added, "Then I just sort of started off where I left off in Scream 2 and I was like: 'I'm my own man.' Then I just went bananas. There were little people involved. Circuses. I started nightclubs and just blew up, so it got crazy for a while."

The mind boggles as to exactly what Arquette got up to during what would be the first of what he categorized as "several midlife crises." Indeed, Arquette acknowledged that he's gone through such a turbulent period on several occasions since his split with Cox. Although we're not sure whether circuses and little people have always been involved.

Did Courteney Cox mix business with pleasure?

Despite gaining a reputation as something of a playboy following his separation from Courteney Cox, David Arquette insists that he always kept it in his pants when the pair was together. In the first of many conversations with Howard Stern (via Us Weekly), the actor revealed that he'd only jumped into bed with Jasmine Waltz, a cocktail waitress from Los Angeles, in the wake of their split. And in another chat just a few days later, he admitted that this encounter left him tearful.

Arquette told the shock jock (via the New York Post), "After the first girl I slept with ... a few days later ... I was, like, crying. It was the end of all the intimacy I shared with my wife. It was like a new thing. It was like ... putting that away." But was Cox as faithful while they were still very much an item?

Well, although rumors had previously surfaced linking her with Cougar Town co-star Brian Van Holt (above), Arquette doubts that his wife ever strayed — on a physical level anyway. He told Stern that he'd asked Cox directly about all the gossip and was left satisfied by her answer. "I do believe her ... I truly don't think she ever had an affair." However, the actor did acknowledge that Cox and Van Holt could well have shared an "emotional" connection.

David Arquette shared a little too much information

Perhaps unsurprisingly, David Arquette's blabbermouth didn't exactly help matters when it came to saving his struggling marriage. According to Page Six, Cox was left "furious" after discovering that her husband aired all of their dirty laundry in public, and on The Howard Stern Show of all places.

And you can't exactly blame her. Arquette also told listeners that he and Cox hadn't been intimate with each other for five months and that he'd essentially been given a hall pass to sleep with other women. He charmingly explained (via the New York Post), "She knows she's not f***ing me and she's like, 'Listen I want you to be able to do whatever you have to do.' Essentially I'm free to see people."

Just a day after the interview, Arquette took to Twitter with his tail between his legs to offer an apology for indulging in a little TMI. He told his followers (via Page Six), "I went on Howard Stern yesterday to provide clarity and honesty about what I'm experiencing but ... shared too much ... It's alright for me to be honest about my own feelings but ... some of the information I provided involved others and for that I am sorry and humbled."

David Arquette was just too much of a horndog

So it appears as though Courteney Cox is very much a "do as a I say, not as I do" kind of gal. Just one year after allegedly getting irate with David Arquette over his lack of discretion on The Howard Stern Show, the actress headed into the shock jock's studio for a spot of oversharing herself.

Cox also brought Arquette, who was still legally her husband at that point for a little while longer, with her for what essentially amounted to a public marriage therapy session. And she had no qualms about disclosing even more details about their sex life, including Arquette's constant horndog state, in particular. She told Stern (via Us Weekly), "Whenever I would need consoling from David, he could not literally put his arm around me for one second without completely getting [aroused]."

To his credit, however, Arquette did show restraint in certain circumstances, as the Cougar Town star acknowledged via a rather crude anecdote relating to her father's passing from cancer in 2001. "[He] was never like, 'Oh, I'm so sorry your dad is dying, can we f**k?,'" Cox bluntly stated, which even Arquette felt was a bit much.

There was an incident at Disney World

Disney World certainly wasn't the most magical place on earth when the couple paid the theme park a visit with their daughter in tow. In their aforementioned shared interview with Stern, the pair both alluded to an incident in which Cox rebuffed Arquette's advances while staying in the Magic Kingdom resort. And it still appeared to be a sore point for both parties.

Cox explained (via Cosmopolitan) that she wasn't in the mood for some hanky panky at the time. But Arquette seemed to interpret this as concrete evidence that she was no longer interested in him sexually. "I think you're over it, baby," he told Cox as the situation became even more awkward, adding, "You just need to admit it and we just need to figure out next steps."

However, Cox didn't accept Arquette's version of events. She said, "You can't count [Disney World] as the place where you know I'm not into you. I had just woken up. I don't think [sexual attraction] is the issue." She did concede, however, "The truth of the matter is that we love each other so much. We have such affection for each other but we are very different."

Getting 'real' wasn't a strong point for Courteney Cox and David Arquette

Courteney Cox and David Arquette might not have been lovers by the time they unexpectedly walked into The Howard Stern Show together, but they weren't fighters either. No, shouting matches weren't a regular feature of the Cox-Arquette household, but bottling things up also didn't appear to have done the couple much good.

In another candid confession, Cox told Stern (via Us Weekly), "We probably don't get as real as we needed to as we do now. There are a lot of things that David likes to do completely the opposite things I do. I'm a homebody. David ... doesn't drink anymore, he's completely sober, but he likes to go out and dance."

The pair hadn't filed for divorce at the time, but Cox seemed resigned to the fact that they'd simply grown apart. She added, "I don't want to inhibit him in his life. He really is a very gregarious guy, he's very outgoing. I'm much more of an introvert."

They entered the friend zone (no pun intended)

Sadly for David Arquette and his sex drive akin to that of a hormonal teenager, the couple never managed to recapture its initial physical spark. And once again, Courteney Cox was all too happy to spill the beans about their lack of bedroom action in a very public way. Only this time, she got frank while tackling the Irish Highlands with TV's most enthusiastic survivalist.

Yes, in 2016, Cox became the latest celebrity to brave the outdoors on Running Wild with Bear Grylls. And in between battling the elements and eating maggot-filled sheep scrotums, the actress somehow found the energy to discuss her failed marriage and how her connection to Arquette gradually changed over the years.

Cox revealed to the reality TV adventurer that her split from Arquette "wasn't a dramatic ending." She elaborated, "We found ourselves living separate lives — just coexisting and being great friends, but not having the intimacy that is so important in a relationship ... We're just really different, too. I'm the polar opposite of him. And that can be great for a lot of things, but I need this kind of real, one-on-one connection."

Courteney Cox and David Arquette both found new loves

"As divorces go, this is the best one we could provide," Courteney Cox told More magazine (via ABC News) in 2014. Yes, in a refreshing change from the war of words that typically occurs in the wake of a Hollywood break-up, Cox and Arquette have remained as civil as possible for the sake of their daughter, Coco.

The star also admitted that she still had regrets about how things ended with Arquette but acknowledged that after 14 years together they'd at least given things a good go. And she harbored no ill feelings towards the father of her only child, adding, "When you love someone, you want them to be happy, even if it's not with you."

And things seem to have worked out for the pair in the long run. Arquette married Christina McLarty, a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight, in 2015 and the pair now have two sons together. Meanwhile, Cox began dating Snow Patrol guitarist Johnny McDaid shortly after her divorce from Arquette was finalized. Things appeared to turn sour for the pair in 2014 when their engagement was mysteriously called off, however, several years later, and as of this writing, Cox and McDaid are very much still a thing.