Demi Moore couldn’t have appeared more contented if she’d tried. At an Oct. 13 party for the Gateway Building, a new holistic health and martial arts center in Hailey, Idaho, the brainchild of her boyfriend Oliver Whitcomb, 30, the actress played hostess to 300 guests and tended to her three daughters. But she only had eyes—and lips—for Whitcomb. “They were beaming at each other, and there would be these quick kisses as they walked by,” says a Hailey resident who attended the party. “They were kissing in one of those old-married-couple kind of ways.”
Five days later, the real married couple finally called it quits. On Oct. 18 Moore, 37, and Bruce Willis, 45, who parted ways in 1998, quietly filed for divorce in Hailey’s Blaine County courthouse, ending any speculation that their lengthy separation meant they were trying to salvage their 13-year union. In fact, says a friend, it took the couple all that time to sort through the nearly $20 million-worth of real estate they owned together in Hailey and to be confident that their daughters—Rumer, 12, Scout, 9, and Tallulah, 6—were able to cope. “They wanted to make sure the kids were really grounded,” says the friend.
Exactly how they have divided their properties, including a 14-room Manhattan apartment and a 40-acre estate just outside of Hailey, was sealed as part of the divorce settlement. (Moore and their daughters continue to live on the estate, while Willis bought a $1.1 million house near Hailey after the separation.) As for the children, “they are very happy,” says the friend, who adds that before the separation, “nannies had them all the time. I think it’s better now.”
Certainly Moore and her new beau are thriving. Since starring in such disappointments as G.I. Jane and The Scarlet Letter, the actress has cut back on movies (her latest, this summer’s romantic drama Passion of Mind, was her first film in three years) to focus on raising her children and helping Whitcomb, a martial arts instructor she met in the mid-’90s while he was coaching Willis, with his new center. “She looks happier and better than ever,” says her friend. “She glows.” Willis, who has been keeping company with 33-year-old Spanish model Maria Bravo since the spring of 1999, visits Hailey less frequently these days, although he did drop in last month to take Rumer to a car-washing fund-raiser for her youth group. “He was directing all the cars into position,” says one Hailey resident. “He was totally there and having a great time.”
Whatever great times Moore and Willis have without each other, together they managed a remarkable feat: pulling off a Hollywood divorce without the usual scandal and rancor. “They made sure it was done in a thoughtful process,” says Moore’s friend. “They’ve done an amazing job.”