One week after former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, dropped their separation bombshell, friends of the family quietly confirmed to PEOPLE on Wednesday that the eldest of the couple’s four children, daughter Karenna Gore Schiff, is separated from her husband of 12 years.
Karenna, 36, and Andrew “Drew” Schiff, 44, “have been separated for a couple of months and in marriage counseling,” says a friend of the couple, who live in New York and have three small children: Wyatt, 10; Anna, 8; and Oscar, 3. Another friend of the Gore family said of the split, “It’s amicable and they are in counseling. They are not divorced.”
Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for the former vice president, said only: “Neither the Gores nor the Schiffs plan to comment.” But the two friends who spoke to PEOPLE said they wanted to be frank about the state of the Schiffs’ marriage to head off any misinformation or rumor-mongering as people scrounge around the Gore family’s private life.
“People are looking for reasons and there’s a lot of psychoanalysis of the Gores,” said the friend of the Schiffs.
Drew, a medical doctor, works for biotech investment firm Aisling Capital, while Karenna, a lawyer by training, is collaborating on a documentary about inspirational women in history and volunteering at a legal aid clinic for domestic violence victims. “But mostly, she’s being a mom,” said the Gore friend. And, evidently, one who’s being helped through this rough patch by her parents, however estranged they might be. “Both Al and Tipper have been to New York to help Karenna with the kids since her separation,” says the Gore friend. “Like all families, they rally.”
Al Gore, meanwhile, is in the Philippines and still wearing his wedding ring, according to local news reports. ABS-CBN News says the former vice president and environmental activist was asked at a climate-change forum in Pasay City to comment on all the recent talk of his personal life. To applause from the audience, Gore replied simply: “No. I don’t do that.”