Keegan-Michael Key settles divorce to first wife days after announcing his engagement

Keegan-Michael Key and Cynthia Blaise were happily married for 17 years. In December 2015 he filed for divorce after a brief separation and nobody really knew why. Shortly after announcing his engagement to Elisa Pugliese, his divorce is finalized in November 2017. And the price tag was hefty.

17 years married

Keegan-Michael Key and Cynthia Blaise hug hard

Keegan-Michael Key and Cynthia Blaise hug hard

They were married in December 1998. And it was in December, 17 years later, that Keegan-Michael Key filed for divorce from his by then estranged wife Cynthia Blaise.

Keegan’s career had hardly begun when he married Cynthia. But in the last 10 years, it has taken flight and especially during the last three years it seems Keegan has become unstoppable. His face is virtually everywhere. If there’s a comedy show he can guest-star on, he will. He’ll take other roles as well, mind you.

But he is a comedian at heart and has even been nominated for an Emmy for his talents.

Cynthia has been acting in the past as well, but she’s working more as a dialect coach these days. She’s 12 years older than Keegan and unfortunately, that means there’s more work for her behind the camera than in front of it nowadays.

We don’t know much about their marriage, but when pictured together they always seemed happy. Keegan often held Cynthia close and they were always smiling for the cameras. One hopes that it wasn’t just for the cameras they were smiling for, but also for each other when they were alone.

Filing for divorce

The announcement to divorce came unexpectedly. Keegan filed in December 2015, giving November as their date of separation. He cited the ever handy ‘irreconcilable differences’ and has hired a high-profile divorce lawyer. He requested that spousal support is sorted later down the line. It indicates that he is willing to pay. Since the filing happened in California, it was likely that their assets would be divided 50/50, because that’s the law of the land in the Golden State. The couple’s former home was listed for sale in February and either the money would be divided once the house is sold or one party pays out the other. A prenup does not appear to have been in place, which is hardly surprising given that Keegan was a virtual nobody when he married Cynthia.

Keegan-Michael Key and Cynthia Blaise say cheese

Keegan-Michael Key and Cynthia Blaise say cheese

So, what happened? Did Keegan and Cynthia fall out of love? Did his career take off too much, resulting in more time apart than together? Did their age difference catch up to them?

The couple is childless. Keegan is only 46 now. What if he realized that he wants children? It would be an unfortunate reason to divorce if everything else was going well, but it wouldn’t be entirely surprising. Cynthia is definitely past the age of bearing children.

This is all speculation, of course. We don’t know the details and likely never will. It somehow weighs more heavily when a comedian gets a divorce. The funny men and women bring usually so much joy into our lives that it’s hard to imagine that their private lives aren’t also full of joy and laughter.

Getting engaged and finalizing the divorce

For a long time, little was heard from Keegan and his estranged wife. Cynthia requested spousal support at one point because she was no longer able to support herself. She suffered from anxiety, depression and lost weight after the emotional turmoil the unexpected divorce put her through. She was even on medication to treat the worst of it.

Meanwhile, Keegan began dating producer Elisa Pugliese, who is younger than him. The two kept it very low-key for quite some time. Nobody even knew they were seeing each other and Keegan was presumed to be single and busy with his career.

But it appears he did move on from his marriage. Since little is known about his new relationship, how and when it began, one might want to speculate that his growing feelings for Elisa might have played a role in his decision to divorce Cynthia. Keegan has not commented on it, but it does seem conspicuous that his divorce was only finalized days after he announced his engagement to Elisa. They made their debut as a couple in March 2016, which is indeed rather close to the end of his first marriage.

In a social media post in November 2017, Keegan called himself the luckiest man alive, announcing that Elisa had said yes to his proposal, making not only their engagement but in many ways their relationship official.

A few days later the news made the rounds that his divorce from Cynthia had been finalized.

Keegan was ordered to pay spousal support of $34,000 plus 21% of his annual income exceeding $2,153,846, though the annual amount she could receive at the most has been capped at $700k. Additionally, he was ordered to pay $655,649, which would equalize the division of their assets. Cynthia would keep a vacation home in Mexico and her Subaru Crosstrek.

Hopefully, Cynthia feels better after the divorce was finalized. The news of her former husband’s engagement can’t have been great to receive, though.

We don’t know when Keegan and Elisa might walk down the aisle. They may very well keep things on the down-low given that they’ve kept their relationship under wraps for most of the time they’ve been together. Perhaps keeping things private will make their marriage a success.

Additional sources:

Cynthia Blaise & Keegan-Michael Key snapped at an event

Cynthia Blaise & Keegan-Michael Key snapped at an event

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