New York Couple Throws Divorce Party


It's a glittering event packed with chic party goers, cocktails and a couple of smiling, well-dressed hosts. The occasion? The divorce of Charles Bronfman and his wife, Bonnie. The Bronfmans are celebrating their breakup in a manner that divorce attorneys in Pasadena often see reserved for their clients' second weddings. Nevertheless, the New York couple is celebrating their breakup with a one-of-a-kind type of party.

Charles and Bonnie Bronfman tied the knot almost three years ago in classic New York style. She wore a long silk gown by Angel Sanchez as their 200 guests nibbled on dinner at the Four Seasons restaurant and danced to the music of Peter Duchin. Yet while the wedding may have been fabulous, the marriage was not. Mr. Bronfman told The New York Times that he and Bonnie were just fundamentally different.

"Bonnie is an intellectual. I am anything but. I like Florida in the winter. I like golf. I play some tennis. I don't want to go to lectures. Our lifestyles are totally different. I thought she could show me areas of New York, and my world will be expanded. Guess what?" he said. "It didn't work."

Yet despite their clashing personalities, the pair remains friends.

Thus the divorce party was born. Friends of the couple in the New York area have received engraved invitations to the affair and have been instructed not to bring gifts. In an era of headline-grabbing bitter divorces, the Bronfman's celebration stands out for being so civilized... if not a little bizarre. The point of the party is to thank their loved ones for their unwavering support. The invitations noted that the couple hopes they can all remain close to their mutual friends.

"Our differences were in everything we do," Bronfman added. "We thought those differences could mesh, but we found out the opposite. So we thought, why not tell our friends and thank them for helping us out?"

Mr. Bronfman is a former CEO of Seagram Company whom Forbes estimates is worth $2 billion, while Bonnie (now) Roche is an architect.