Date: 27th October 2000
Movie star DENNIS QUAID has called New York gossip queen LIZ SMITH to defend his estranged wife MEG RYAN's mothering qualities.
The couple, who have a son JACK, are currently going through divorce proceedings following Ryan's summer affair with PROOF OF LIFE co-star RUSSELL CROWE, but Quaid is determined to remain supportive of his wife in the light of tabloid reports questioning her qualities as a mum.
Speaking to NEW YORK TIMES columnist Smith, the actor said, "I won't stand for any criticism of Jack's mother. "The reasons for our breakup are private and complicated - just like anybody else's. This is not a daytime soap, it's real life, and Meg and I are real people. "My family has always been the most important thing to me. This has been a very difficult time, but Meg and I are on good terms. We are co-operating and have co-ordinated ourselves in regard to our son. She's a great mom - loving, caring, nurturing. Anything else is a malicious lie."
And Quaid admits he has never heard of the so-called friends who are making comments about his life with Ryan in the press. He adds, "I'm amused, in a frustrated kind of way, at people who contribute to stories about us, claiming to be best friends. Neither Meg nor I have ever heard of these people."