In his memoir “Born to Run,” out today, Bruce Springsteen comes clean about his affair with Patti Scialfa and his divorce from first wife Julianne Phillips with his usual grace and aplomb. Bruce, you know, is a gentleman. But he brings it all up, and we want to know…
First of all Bruce says his marriage to Phillips, eleven years his junior, was marked by his anxieties and distrust.
“One evening, while I sat across from my beautiful wife in an upscale Los Angeles eatery, a conversation formed silently inside my head. There, as we politely chatted by candlelight, hand in hand, a part of me tried to convince myself that she was simply using me to further her career or to get . . . something,” he writes. “Nothing could’ve been farther from the truth. Julianne loved me and didn’t have an exploitive [sic] or malicious bone in her body. Inside, I knew that, but I was out where the buses don’t run and couldn’t center myself around the truth.”
The relationship deteriorated, and Bruce drifted toward Scialfa, who was in his band and closer to his age. They spoke the same language.
He writes: “Patti was a musician, was close to my age, had seen me on the road in all of my many guises and viewed me with a knowing eye. She knew I was no white knight (perhaps a dark gray knight at best), and I never felt the need to pretend around her…
“…I came clean to Julie as soon as I knew how serious Patti and I were, but there was no decent or graceful way out of it. I was going to hurt someone I loved . . . period…I dealt with Julie’s and my separation abysmally, insisting it remain a private affair, so we released no press statement, causing furor, pain and “scandal” when the news leaked out. It made a tough thing more heartbreaking than necessary. I deeply cared for Julianne and her family and my poor handling of this is something I regret to this day.”
“Julianne was young, just getting her career started, while at thirty-five, I could seem accomplished, reasonably mature and in control, but, inside, I was still emotionally stunted and secretly unavailable. She’s a woman of great discretion and decency and always dealt with me and our problems honestly and in good faith, but in the end, we didn’t really know. I placed her in a terribly difficult position for a young girl and I failed her as a husband and partner. We handled the details as civilly and as graciously as possible, divorced and went on about our lives.”