THEIR marriage was once a showbiz fairytale come true — now Ioan Gruffudd and Alice Evans’s romance has turned into a horror story.

Since telling the world her “beloved soulmate of 20 years” was leaving the family, Alice has accused her husband of “gaslighting” her and made a dig about his fake posing in a selfie.

Now, in the latest instalment, she says Ioan is “winding the s*** up me” in their separation negotiations.

Yesterday, in a video posted on Instagram, 49-year-old Alice said they were working on a “collaborative” divorce, which she describes as a cross between a “kind way of doing” it and a “phenomenal scam.”

She told her 59,000 followers: “My husband’s winding the s* up me saying what he says is the law.

“If I want my daughter to stay one more night, the court hasn’t said anything, so I can do it.”

For a couple who were seen to have one of the strongest marriages in Hollywood and led a quiet life in LA, her revelation in January that Fantastic Four star Ioan was leaving was shocking.

But worse was to come. She accused him of deleting her tweet and “mentally torturing” her. Since then she has worn her broken heart on her sleeve, regularly updating the world on her grief.

In showbiz, this sort of public unravelling of a marriage is almost unheard of.

But Alice, a British actress who was born in the US state of New Jersey, seems to have nowhere else to go.


Explaining her actions, she said: “I don’t have a mum, or a dad. I don’t have any close friends in LA. I’ve looked after my kids for half their lives alone.”

The pair fell in love on the set of the movie 102 Dalmatians in 2000.

Alice said at the time she had met “my decent man, who did, unbelievably, turn out to love me as much as I loved him.”

They dated for seven years before she told him: Marry me or lose me.

Ioan, 47, whose most recent British TV appearance was in ITV’s gripping date rape drama Liar, finally popped the question on New Year’s Eve, 2006.

He said afterwards: “Alice has been very patient with my procrastinating.

“She did give me somewhat of an ultimatum — a gentle nudge — which was the best thing she could do.”

He then proved himself worthy of the name Mr Fantastic — his Marvel films’ character — by saying he was “heavily involved” in the wedding planning.

The Welsh hunk and Alice married in Los Cabos, Mexico, in 2007, both of them in Armani.

Despite never intending to live in LA, Ioan found himself in demand.

After a small part as Fifth Officer Lowe in Titanic, he began his rise to fame with the lead role in ITV’s historical naval series Hornblower, which aired from 1998 to 2003.

He went on to appear in movies King Arthur, the Fantastic Four franchise and 2008 family drama Fireflies In The Garden with Ryan Reynolds.

Alice worked mainly in US TV, with roles in Lost, The Mentalist and Brothers And Sisters. Most recently, she has played villainous Esther Mikaelson in The Vampire Diaries.

They were often kept apart by filming schedules which delayed their plans to start a family.

In a newspaper article charting her journey to becoming a parent, Alice wrote: “Acting jobs are like buses — none come and then three arrive all at the same time, usually shooting on opposite sides of the world.

“There’s never a right time to breathe that long sigh of relief that says: ‘I think I’m ready now.’”

And when they were ready, plans didn’t go as smoothly as they hoped.

Alice wrote: “The whole of my 38th year was spent reading studies about fertility, taking my morning temperature, planning ovulation graphs, standing on my head after sex, and fastidiously avoiding tea, coffee, alcohol, pineapple pizza and anything else I’d read about that might possibly prevent pregnancy.”

They considered adoption but went for IVF, spending £7,000 on a 20 per cent chance of having a baby. It worked first time.

When Ella Betsi, now 11, arrived, Alice realised: “It was as close to being in heaven as I’d ever get.”

And Ioan was equally delighted, saying: “Life couldn’t be better.”

It took another eight IVF cycles to produce their second daughter, Elsie Marigold, now seven.

Alice, never one for keeping tight-lipped, did what she could for the #MeToo movement when Harvey Weinstein faced accusations of sexual assault.

In an article about meeting the Hollywood bigwig at a party, she said he had found it “sinister” when he asked her to go to the bathroom with him.

Alice claimed Weinstein made a comment about Ioan’s career, having just auditioned him for a role. Neither he nor Alice were ever considered for one of Weinstein’s films again.

Ioan said afterwards: “I was very proud of Alice. Women were not being believed so she wanted to help bolster the case.”

Ioan’s career has taken him away from the family home, filming Liar in the UK between 2017 and 2020, and three spells spent Down Under shooting Aussie TV series Harrow.

Last year he said: “I think we’ve struggled the past four years making time for each other because physically we’re apart.”

Meanwhile, Alice has been at home, bringing up the girls.

She wrote in one of her recent Instagram posts: “I’ve looked after my kids for half their lives alone. My husband knows that.”

Announcing the news of their split at the end of January, she wrote on social media: “Me and our young daughters are very confused and sad. We haven’t been given a reason except that he ‘no longer loves me.’”

Divorce papers now show they had separated on New Year’s Day. After that initial post vanished, Alice told the world her husband had deleted it, accusing him of “gaslighting” her.

She wrote: “I didn’t delete the tweet from a few hours ago about him leaving. He did. From my account.”

“And hell yes, when I am being gaslit and mentally tortured then hell yes I will wash my linen in public.”


That tweet was then also deleted. The following day, the pair issued a joint statement which asked for privacy at this “difficult” time.

Some jumped to the conclusion Ioan may have become close to another woman.

A source told The Sun: “Within the industry there are a lot of raised eyebrows about whether things might be to do with his time working away in Australia.”

He had previously gushed about bonding with his co-star Ella Newton, 30, who plays his daughter in the series, saying: “You can’t take your eyes off her when she’s on screen.”

Ella, who has a boyfriend, used to play Delaney ­Renshaw — a Lolita character who tried to seduce an older man — in ­Aussie soap Neighbours.

There is no suggestion Ioan was unfaithful.

Last month Alice posted a picture of a broken heart and wrote that the “pain is excruciating but I am stronger than an ox.”

Two days later came another lengthy post, accompanied by a picture of the couple from happier times.

She told her critics: “You just want a reason to put me down. Please — go ahead. I’m impenetrable.”

The pair have held some crisis talks, which have progressed from intense and heated to “playful”.

A source said: “Obviously, it has been very frosty for some time especially with her Twitter posts.

“Alice’s statements made it really clear how tough they have found things over the last few months but their friends all hope they can find a way through this somehow.”


At the start of this month, Alice reposted a news piece confirming Ioan has filed for divorce and captioned it: “Oh. Ok. Thanks for letting me know. I guess?”

Two days later, a throwback black and white selfie appeared on her social media of Alice leaning in as if about to kiss Ioan’s cheek while he appears to turn away and look at the camera.

Alice says in her post that he sighed and rolled his eyes before she took the photo — and taking it was a “bad move. Really bad move. Possibly even divorce move.”

This week, Ioan was spotted strolling around Hollywood without his wedding ring.

Where their marriage is concerned, it looks very much like a season finale.

Whether Alice has called it a wrap on social media, we wait and see.

But her latest message feels very much like a cliffhanger, with more revelations to come.

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