EDIT: I don't know why the cut is not working! I have fixed it multiple times, I am so sorry!
British author Neil Gaiman and indie musician Amanda Palmer recently broke up amidst a bunch of drama. Need to catch up? Need to reminisce about their wild relationship? It involves top hats, goths, fake suicides, mermaids, polyamory, and more.
Let's start at the very beginning: a very good place to start.
- 1985: Gaiman, 25, marries his first wife, Mary McGrath, after she gives birth to their son. They met while she was studying Scientology at a house that his father owned. The couple would have two more daughters.
- 1985: Amanda Palmer, 9, is 9.
- Mid 1990s?: Palmer is dating a young man who is addicted to heroin. She fakes her own suicide and gets him to "discover" her body. She claims that this is performance art and that it was a way to get him to understand the pain that he was causing her due to his addiction.
- 2008: Gaiman and McGrath divorce. The estrangement/separation was apparently three years long, and Gaiman is no longer involved in Scientology.
- 2008: Palmer and Gaiman meet through Amanda's band mate, Jason Webley. Palmer and Webley have a band called Evelyn Evelyn in which they pretend to be conjoined twins.
- 2008: Palmer asks Gaiman to write for her book, "Who Killed Amanda Palmer," in which Palmer poses as a murder victim in various death positions and Gaiman writes accompanying stories imagining her death in various scenarios.
The pair begins dating soon after Gaiman ends his 20-year marriage. Gaiman at first thought that Palmer was unattractive because she looked "pudgy and mannish."
According to Palmer:
"He fell in love with me first, and then he planted himself firmly in a chair... telling me that he was perfectly happy to wait years and years and years to date me.
Because of their hectic schedules, many of their dates involve two- to three-day meetups, which apparently involved a lot of adult activity, which Palmer blogged about.
- January 1, 2010: Palmer announces their engagement on ONTD and on Twitter.
The ONTD post is still up.
new years was all that and more. might have told @neilhimself i'd marry him but also might have been drunk. heading to breakfast.— Amanda Palmer (@amandapalmer) January 1, 2010
Gaiman says he chose to marry Palmer “because I couldn’t ever imagine being bored”.
November 10, 2010: Palmer hosts a surprise flash mob wedding in New Orleans for Gaiman's 50th birthday. Palmer painted her face entirely white and pretended to be a statue during the ceremony. This is based on her busking performance art piece called The Eight Foot Bride, in which she dressed as a statue/bride and stood perfectly still in Harvard Square. Frances Bean Cobain was apparently a bridesmaid.
Their wedding album is still online. Both blogged about the wedding, but Palmer has deleted her post. Gaiman's is still up.
January 2, 2011: They are legally married in the home of the (also insufferable) writers Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman.
- 2011: The couple moves into a house in Cambridge, England, together. They also have a place in New York and a mansion in Minnesota. They do not have an easy time cohabitating. Palmer said:
"The cohabitating has not been easy.... I've never had to actually share my space. Neil has gotten used to a totally different kind of family style where he lives in a household with kids running around. Colliding our two lifestyles is hilarious and so fantastic because we just take such totally different approaches.
I think a lot of it has to do with psychic artistry and workspace. We're two artists who work at home.... You've got Amanda and Neil running offices, Amanda and Neil needing to make art, and Amanda and Neil needing to be clothed, fed, and sheltered. Figuring out how to place and puzzle piece together all those myriad ingredients isn't easy."
According to both of them, some of their communication would be via text or publicly online on their Twitters, Facebooks or blogs. Also:
"We've found the best way for us to connect with each other is just to have a lot of sex.
- 2011 - present: The couple is involved in various shenanigans, hijinks, and misadventures. These include:
Palmer strips off her clothes in the Degas museum so that Gaiman can sketch her in the nude.
Palmer strips off her clothes on the Golden Globes red carpet next to Gaiman.
Gaiman and Palmer perform goth songs together.
Gaiman and Palmer lead the New York City Mermaid Parade
2013: Palmer publishes a poem romanticizing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who killed 3 people by bombing the Boston Marathon. Gawker declares it "The Worst Poem Of All Time." And yes, it is still on her blog.
[The full poem]
you don’t know how it felt to be in the womb but it must have been at least a little warmer than this.
you don’t know how intimately they’re recording your every move on closed-circuit cameras until you see your face reflected back at you through through the pulp.
you don’t know how to stop picking at your fingers.
you don’t know how little you’ve been paying attention until you look down at your legs again.
you don’t know how many times you can say you’re coming until they just stop believing you.
you don’t know how orgasmic the act of taking in a lungful of oxygen is until they hold your head under the water.
you don’t know how many vietnamese soft rolls to order.
you don’t know how convinced your parents were that having children would be, absolutely, without question, the correct thing to do.
you don’t know how precious your iphone battery time was until you’re hiding in the bottom of the boat.
you don’t know how to get away from your fucking parents.
you don’t know how it’s possible to feel total compassion in one moment and total disconnection in the next moment.
you don’t know how things could change so incredibly fast.
you don’t know how to make something, but the instructions are on the internet.
you don’t know how to make sense of this massive parade.
you don’t know how to believe anyone anymore.
you don’t know how to tell the girl in the chair next to you that you’ve been peeking at her dissertation draft and there’s a grammatical typo in the actual file name.
you don’t know how to explain yourself.
you don’t want two percent but it’s all they have.
you don’t know how claustrophobic your house is until you can’t leave it.
you don’t know why you let that guy go without shooting him dead and stuffing him in some bushes between cambridge and watertown.
you don’t know where your friends went.
you don’t know how to dance but you give it a shot anyway.
you don’t know how your life managed to move twenty six miles forward and twenty eight miles back.
you don’t know how to pay your debts.
you don’t know how to separate from this partnership to escape and finally breathe.
you don’t know how come people run their goddamn knees into the ground anyway.
you don’t know how to measure the value of the twenty dollar bill clutched in your hurting hand.
you don’t know how you walked into this trap so obliviously.
you don’t know how to adjust the rearview mirror.
you don’t know how to mourn your dead brother.
you don’t know how to drive this car.
you don’t know the way to new york.
you don’t know the way to new york.
you don’t know the way to new york.
you don’t know the way to new york.
- 2013: Palmer and Gaiman reveal that they have an open marriage. Palmer and Gaiman give multiple interviews about their open marriage, but Palmer says that she will refuse to sing about it because it would "disrespect" her husband and their lovers.
"We were fascinated by one another, and fascination is much stronger than physical attraction, which we both do have now, incidentally." Author Neil Gaiman and artist Amanda Palmer on their open marriage https://t.co/1fphwxu7aE— The Sunday Times (@thesundaytimes) October 20, 2019
- September 2015: Palmer and Gaiman have their son, Ash. At this point, Gaiman is also a grandfather. Palmer requests to Neil that they stop their polyamory and focus on their family.
- 2015-2019: The couple apparently begins struggling. Before the birth of their son, they had more freedom and did not spend as much time together in one place. Gaiman has said,
"The thing I hate most about our relationship is our respective calendars, we can never quite sync them up. We’re always travelling. Things can get stressful, more so now we’re parents. Once, we would just go off on our separate travels, do our things and then come back to one another, but now that we have Ash, one of us is always at home with him."
- March/April 2020: Gaiman and Palmer hunker down in Havelock North, New Zealand, and rent an estate there due to the COVID-19 quarantine.
- May 4, 2020: Gaiman abruptly leaves his wife and son in New Zealand for England in the middle of quarantine. Palmer writes on her Patreon,
"since people are getting confused and asking and my phone and inbox is blowing up with 'where‘s neil'? a few times a minute....i can only gather that he’s finally told the internet that he’s left new zealand, and i thought i would come here with a short note.
neil has left for the U.K.
i’m still in lockdown here in new zealand with 4-yr-old ash for the foreseeable future.
all i can say is that i’m heartbroken, i really am profoundly struggling and i need to call my community to me like never before. i need you.
i am so far from home and so alone right now. i do not know what is going to happen."
- Also May 4: Gaiman tweets,
- May 5, 2020: Palmer writes 3,456-word blog post on Patreon about the situation.
"i know what i am.
i‘m a person.
a confused, vast, fragile, complex, truth-seeking, happiness-seeking, flailing person.
like you. like everybody.
the internet is also bored right now. there are no concerts or new mega-blockbusters to critique."
"i’ve made a commitment to myself to try to stay off my own screens when i’m taking care of ash. that has been hard as hell in the past few days, as my phone has been buzzing off the hook.
so, after the the flurry of ”don’t look at the internet“ texts came in as i sat down to per, setting off the echoes of verse-chorus in my head, i walked out of the bathroom and set ash down. i walked away, and i pulled out my phone. i did not look.
i wrote an all-to-familiar text to my team to watch out for anything so threatening or abusive that i‘d need to phone the police, and i turned my phone off and sat down with ash"
"i do not sound the emotional distress signal to hurt anybody, but to call in my people. this has been a source of misunderstanding between me and many people (often men) for eons. neil's strategies for how to deal with the public have always been very different, this is one of those cases where an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. in therapy, neil and i often used to talk about our struggle for "control of the narrative", the deep and dark struggle over who gets to tell the story. you can tell a story by saying nothing, you can tell a story by giving every last detail, they're both still....choices. "
May 6, 2020: Gaiman tweets,
I don't think asking for privacy really worked (but thank you to everyone who respected the request). Heigh ho. I'll put up a blog later tonight. I love all of you going through rough times right now, and so does @amandapalmer.— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) May 6, 2020
May 9, 2020: Gaiman's Goodreads account reveals that he is reading a book called "Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder." He later claims that his account was hacked by someone has has "a dark sense of humor."
If I forgot any good details, comment/PM and I'll add them!
The previous ONTD posts:
Neil Gaiman leaves Amanda Palmer and their child behind in New Zealand, returns to England by laydownhere
Neil Gaiman updates his Goodreads in a Pointed Manner by blahblahcakes64
Sorry there are so many sources, mods!!!
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