They seemed to have it all: a passionate courtship, romantic trips around the world, and each other’s undying support. But just 15 months after marrying, tennis star Chris Evert and golfing great Greg Norman – who left their longtime spouses for each other in 2006 – called it quits last week, begging the question: Why?
Friends close to the high-profile sports legends, both 54, say many of their problems involved interactions with each other’s children. Evert has three sons, Alex, 17, Nicky, 15, and Colton, 13, with ex-husband Andy Mill, the retired Olympic skier who was best friends with Norman; Norman has two children, Morgan-Leigh, 26, and Greg Jr., 23, with ex-wife Laura Andrassy.
“Greg got in between Andy and his sons, which caused a great deal of turmoil for Chris,” says a close source. “On one occasion, Andy flew from his Aspen home to Boca Raton to spend time with his sons, and before Andy even touched ground, Greg whisked Nicky off in his private jet. He took him to his own ranch in Colorado, leaving a very unhappy Andy crying on the phone to his son.” Another time, Norman told Colton that he needed to spend time with him instead of going to a planned meeting with his own father.
Norman’s children never warmed up to Evert, says Laura Andrassy Sr., mother of Norman s ex-wife. She tells PEOPLE that Morgan-Leigh and Greg Jr. never said anything derogatory about Evert, but they weren t happy with the marriage. “It wasn’t a good relationship with the kids and her,” Andrassy Sr. says. “Chris and Greg both had big egos, they were both celebrities.”
Reps for Evert and Norman told PEOPLE that, “Chris and Greg will remain friends and supportive of one another s family.”
A Midlife Crisis
The marriage seemed to have a great start. After their dreamy sunset nuptials in the Bahamas last summer, Evert assured PEOPLE, “Greg will take care of me emotionally.” Close friends, however, never expected the relationship would last.
“Chris had a midlife crisis and came out of it totally turned on by Greg’s celebrity, gorgeous looks and bank account,” says a south Florida friend of the couple. “They didn’t take time to get to know each other. Both of them are narcissistic and want to control. In a celebrity marriage, only one person can be like that.”
Norman and Evert never set up a home together. He stayed in his Jupiter Island manse, “Tranquility,” while Evert remained in her nearly $3 million Boca Raton home. The couple would sleep over at each other’s houses.
Mill, 55, who recently asked Aspen homemaker Debra Harvick, 40, to marry him, tells PEOPLE, “Now that Greg is out of the picture, we are all fine, and I am ecstatic. Debra and I are always there for the children, and Chrissy and I are friends.” Mill spent three years anguishing over the betrayal by his wife and best friend. He added, “Divorce is like a golf swing – it always make someone happy.”
•With reporting by SARA HAMMEL