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Author Vicky Ward: Why I told the story of my messy divorce

After The Hot Button Blog ran an item on the compelling essay author Vicky Ward wrote about her high-profile divorce for a U.K. paper, Ms. Ward called The Globe and Mail to explain her motivation for sharing so much detail. (Yes, we used the word cringe-worthy.)

She needed the well-paying gig to pay for the nanny who cares for her eight-year-old twins, says the Vanity Fair writer and author of Devil's Casino. She didn't include that detail in the piece, but is now trying to set the record straight.

After Ms. Ward wrote a piece for the July issue of British Vogue about the mental-health struggles she faced during the split, newspapers came calling for similar pieces. At the same time, Ms. Ward's ex-husband was declining to pay the nanny's salary as he'd done since the divorce, Ms. Ward says.

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When the Daily Mail offered her £5,000 ($8,000 Canadian), she said yes.

"So the Mail is saying, 'We'll wire you the money into your bank account' at the exact moment that he stopped paying," says Ms. Ward on the phone from New York. "That's the only reason I did it. I wrote it on Friday morning in two hours. It was a lot of money and I needed to not turn this woman out on the street."

And while the piece includes a number of very intimate details about her ill-fated marriage, Ms. Ward says she wasn't being cavalier about anyone's privacy, including her own.

"It sat really uneasily with me. I felt incredibly undignified. I'm not the kind of person who wants to tell my private life to the world. I'm not Oprah Winfrey and I'm not on Oprah Winfrey. It's for a higher purpose."

Revenge was not the goal, either, she maintains. She notes that she didn't include her ex-husband's name in the original piece; editors added it in.

"All I want is for it to be over. Be really over," she says. "I want to move on … and get on with the subject matters that are not me. I have a lot of things to do at Vanity Fair that are not me."

Ms. Ward says her ex has not yet commented to her about either piece.

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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