Catherine Zeta-Jones says that the secret of her lasting union with Michael Douglas lies in "a very open relationship".
The 49-year-old Welsh actress said on Tuesday to Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, host of the "Today" show, that her perfect frankness with her husband for nearly 20 years had allowed their relationship to work despite the Hollywood career and the public scandal.
"First of all, I'm so happy that we've been together for 20 years," said Zeta-Jones. "It was great, but I think it's unfathomable for me to be with someone for 18 years and things are not going well every day. They just are not.
"… Michael and I have a very open relationship. When you have children who do not ask to be born in a carefully scrutinized or scrutinized world, you have to be open and honest and share things that people in the pharmacy probably would not share at the counter. "
And in the case of 74-year-old Douglas, Zeta-Jones insisted that he "was fine".
When Guthrie, 46, spoke about allegations of sexual allegations against Douglas earlier this year, Zeta-Jones revealed that the family "shares everything around the table."
"I am a big girl from a European family," she said. "And so everything is shared around the table … And so, I think you clarify things. And everyone knows what's going on. This is not a big surprise.
Zeta-Jones' statement comes just days after she told the Times of London that she was heartbroken when Douglas was accused of sexual misconduct.
"My children and I have been deeply annihilated by these allegations," Zeta-Jones admitted Sunday. "And I was torn on the place where my absolute morals reside. This woman came out of nowhere and accused my husband. I had a very big conversation with him, with the children in the room, and I said to him, "Do you understand if others are coming out …"
In January of this year, journalist Susan Braudy said that Douglas, 74, was masturbated in front of her at a meeting in the late 1980s while she was working for her production company. In response, Douglas told Deadline that the allegation was "a complete lie, a fabrication, no truth about it".
"My kids are really angry, [and they have] go to school fearing that this would be part of an article about me, sexual stalker, "said the actor at the time. "They are scared and are very uncomfortable …. I am confused by the fact that after 32 years we are coming out today.
Zeta-Jones and Douglas have been married since 2000. They share an 18-year-old son, Dylan, and a 15-year-old daughter, Carys. Douglas is also the father of Cameron, his 39-year-old son, from his previous marriage to Diandra Luker. This union lasted from 1977 to 2000.
Zeta-Jones, a public supporter of the #MeToo movement, added that Douglas had reassured him and their children: "There is no story here and it will be the same".
"There was nothing to back it up," she said. "For any accusation that is not confirmed, the movement returns 20 years back."
Yet Zeta-Jones added, "It was a very difficult position for me and at the height of the situation, it was nasty." And even if their marriage has ups and downs that are closely scrutinized, she is not the type of person "to throw the sponge very quickly or anything."
Braudy had previously told the Hollywood Reporter that the star of "Fatal Attraction" was sexually harassing her several times. Braudy claimed that the Oscar winner, who was early in his career, commented on his appearance and spoke openly about his affairs with actress Kathleen Turner and a European heiress. She alleged that Douglas told her inappropriate things.
Douglas responded to the accusations by also saying that the Hollywood Reporter Braudy's claims were "a regrettable and complete fabrication".
However, Douglas "admitted to having inappropriate discussions, but refuted his claim to a hostile workplace."
"Rude language or private conversations with my friends who might have troubled her are far from being harassed," Douglas said. "It is a bad service for those who have suffered sexual harassment and intimidation."
Braudy told the Hollywood Reporter that she was not "surprised that Douglas is swinging against her".
"I think that's part of the problem, as is his pretense of victimization," said Braudy. "These are some of the reasons why so many women do not present their stories – Lord knows it took 30 years and a movement for me to find my courage."
Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, and Associated Press contributed to this report.