Michael Fishman revealed why the former couple chose to file for separation over divorce, saying he wants to keep their split as amicable as possible

By Jodi Guglielmi
December 31, 2018 03:10 PM
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Credit: Globe Photos/ZUMA

The Conners‘ Michael Fishman is in no rush to officially end things with his estranged wife Jennifer Briner.

Briner filed for legal separation from Fishman, best known for playing D.J. Conner on the long-running series Roseanne and its spinoff The Conners, after nearly 20 years of marriage on Thursday.

In a new statement to TMZ, Fishman revealed why the former couple chose to file for legal separation over divorce, saying he wants to keep their split as amicable as possible.

“Among the reasons for not getting a regular divorce is the shared desire to keep Jenny covered by my health insurance, and allow to slowly unfold our 20 years together in a way mutually beneficial for our family, particularly on behalf of our children,” he said.

The spouses, who wed in 1999, have been in the process separating since June 2017 but were delayed when production on Roseanne was halted, reports TMZ.

Fishman and Briner have two children together.

Fishman also addressed the split on Instagram Sunday.

“Nineteen years ago, as young kids, Jennifer and I entered marriage with little more than love,” the statement began. “All marriages are complex, with tremendous growth and change over the course of a twenty-year relationship. Goals shift, life challenges us, and our twenty years together have been a resounding success. We are raising two wonderful children who continue to be the focus of our decision making, they remain our top priority.”

The statement continued: “We completed our marriage with compassion, kindness, and respect. Opting to postpone filing until after the holidays and the completion of our son’s first semester at college. Through love and communication, we are transitioning our family, unraveling the complex responsibilities forged over nineteen years. Collectively we are focused on privately making the transition as seamless and undisruptive for our family.”

ABC canceled the revival of Roseanne Barr‘s hit sitcom Roseanne following her racist tweet about President Barack Obama‘s former advisor Valerie Jarrett in May. After her TV family, including Sara Gilbert and Fishman, slammed her social media, Barr tweeted that they’d thrown her “under the bus.”

Fishman tweeted that he was “devastated” by the show getting canceled, in addition to denouncing his TV mom’s remarks.

“Our cast, crew, writers, and production staff strived for inclusiveness, with numerous storylines designed to reflect inclusiveness,” he wrote. “The words of one person do not exemplify the thinking of all involved.”

RELATED VIDEO: ABC Cancels Roseanne, Calls Roseanne Barr’s Racist Tweet ‘Abhorrent’ and ‘Repugnant’

Fishman added, “I condemn these statements vehemently. They are reprehensible and intolerable, contradicting my beliefs and outlook on life and society. I have always lived and taught my children to be inclusive. I believe our show strived to embrace different backgrounds and opinions, through open dialogue.”

Barr responded to Fishman, writing, “I created the platform for that inclusivity and you know it. You throw me under the bus. nice!”