Tom Hanks recalls guilt at 'abandoning' kids after walking out on first marriage


Tom Hanks has spoken about his feeling of guilt when he divorced his first wife, Samantha Lewes.

The 64-year-old Hollywood actor was married to Samantha from 1978 to 1987 and he had two children with her, daughter Elizabeth and son Colin.

In a forthcoming edition of In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Tom has shared his worry that he thought his children might think he was ‘abandoning’ them when he walked out on the marriage.

The Forrest Gump star said that he felt that way when his parents divorced and didn’t want to ‘burden’ his children with the same feeling.

Speaking on the show, host Graham Bensinger said: “At the time you were in I think therapy three times a week.

“You said, ‘I was sad, confused, emotionally crippled. I guess the house of cards has to fall in before you start to figure things out.’ How so?”

Tom has opened up about divorce from his first marriage

Tom replied: “Well, I felt like I was a complete, abject, total failure and everything I thought was working was actually not working.

“It’s a place that everybody comes to in their life for one reason or another.”

Tom went on to explain how he worked through that period of his life.

He continued: “I’d go off and talk to somebody and say, ‘What… What have I done wrong?’ And they would say, ‘Well, what do you think you’ve done wrong?’ ‘Why am I so unhappy?’ ‘Well, tell me about your unhappiness.’

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“And you work through that till you figure out that, you know, number one, you have been an idiot, but number two, you’re no longer an idiot.”

Tom Hanks and Samantha Lewes

Tom also spoke his parents’ divorce, which happened when he was five.

He was separated from some of his siblings at the time and ended up being moved from school to school as his father tried to find somewhere to settle permanently.

While Tom’s siblings didn’t enjoy the constant new starts, Tom said that he started to thrive on the situation.

Tom revealed: “I loved it. I kind of dug it. I like going into a new circumstance. I think I learned skills of, you know, sort of like seducing a room.

“I never walked into a new social circumstance and felt clumsy or odd or, or shy.

“I came in kind of like looking, bopping around, looking for action…”

Tom Hanks is now married to Rita Wilson

Tom said it wasn’t all fun though: “There was sometimes, maybe there was a degree of loneliness because I kind of fell through the cracks and didn’t really have a- adults per se that were taking care of me…

“So I actually, it actually was probably the perfect, you know, background for a guy whose job it is to put on clothes that are not his and pretend to be somebody that he’s not.”

*The full interview can be found on ‘In Depth with Graham Bensinger’

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