Melissa Gilbert 'Lost Her Mind' After Bruce Boxleitner Divorce But Wouldn't Change Anything

Melissa Gilbert 'Lost Her Mind' After Bruce Boxleitner Divorce But Wouldn't Change Anything


  • Melissa Gilbert said she "sometimes wants to smack herself" over her actions following her 2011 divorce
  • The "Little House on the Prairie" star hopes her children would be inspired by her growth
  • Gilbert said she doesn't regret any of her decisions, believing they made her the woman she is today

Melissa Gilbert is looking back at her actions and choices in the aftermath of her 2011 split from ex-husband Bruce Boxleitner.

Following her divorce, the "Little House on the Prairie" star got Botox and fillers, purchased a Mustang Convertible and dated a younger French boyfriend, who notably wore a T-shirt that read "Snatch" during a visit to her mother's house.

"It was like, I lost my mind," the 58-year-old actress told Page Six. "One of my friends says, 'You know, every once in a while we all have to go to the zoo. And you went and now you’re back.'"

In August 2011, five months after they announced their split, Gilbert filed for divorce from Boxleitner to officially end their 16-year marriage. She cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the divorce, ABC News reported.

Gilbert and Boxleitner share son Michael Boxleitner, 26. She also shares daughter Dakota, 33, with her ex-husband Bo Brinkman. Boxleitner has two sons, Sam, 41, and Lee, 37, from his previous marriage to actress Kathryn Ogilvy.

She admitted that she wasn't proud of what she did following her divorce from Boxleitner and that she "sometimes wants to smack [herself] in the head" over the kind of image she was portraying for her two sons.

However, Gilbert said that she doesn't regret any of it and hopes that her children are "seeing this growth and it's inspiring them too."

"Tim says it to me all the time, I wouldn't be the woman I am today if one thing had gone differently. It's kind of hard to look back and want to have changed anything," she said, referring to her husband Timothy Busfield, whom she met in a bar a year after her divorce.

The "Miracle Worker" actress recently released her new book "Back to the Prairie," which detailed her life with Busfield and moving part-time to the Catskills in New York during the pandemic.

Gilbert shared that while she does miss her family and friends, she doesn't miss Los Angeles because it's "such a difficult place to live," citing the traffic and pollution.

"I finally found a place in my life where I can actually be still and love. I don't feel like I have to be doing something all the time," she said of her current residence. 

"I've really embraced this lovely stillness in my existence. And I am not chasing after some elusive thing, whether it's a success or a job or money or things. I'm really just enjoying the sweet simplicity of my life," she shared.

Gilbert added that she considers herself "so blessed" that she's found her "happy ending" with Busfield.

"I hope it inspires other people to find their happy endings," she told the outlet.

"Back to the Prairie" hit shelves on May 10.

MELISSA GILBERT AND BRUCE BOXLIGHTNER AT GOLDEN BOOT AWARDS. Actress Melissa Gilbert and her husband Bruce Boxlightner pose as they arrive at the Golden Boot Awards in Berverly Hills on August 5, 2000. Gilbert was awarded a Golden Boot later in the evening. Photo: Reuters