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Fran Drescher on differences between real-life gay ex-husband and one on “Happily Divorced”

Fran Drescher insists that her hit sitcom Happily Divorced only loosely based on her real-life in which she is still friendly with an ex-husband who is gay.

On the show, Drescher’s character, also named Fran, is a Los Angeles florist who finds out her husband of 18 years is gay. They get divorced but because of the poor economy, they can’t afford to live separately. So they navigate the changes in their relationship while each re-enters the dating world.

‘I’m not as dependent on my ex-husband in the way that Fran is,’ Drescher tells BuzzFeed. ‘We’re very, very close, and we’re like family, and I would certainly call him first if I needed anything or anyone. Our lives aren’t intertwined in the way that theirs are.’

Her ex-husband is Peter Marc Jacobson who co-created and is co-executive producing the series with Drescher to whom he was married for 21 years. They also created her first hit series The Nanny.

Jacobson came out as a gay man after their 1999 split.

Despite working together, Drescher says she and Jacobson have developed their own separate lives unlike their television alter-egos.

‘They really haven’t experienced being single in the way Peter and I have been able to, and I think that that helps make me a more well rounded person,’ she says. ‘It’s hard to see where the marriage ended and the divorce began with them, because they’re still living together. She needs a little distance to help define her as an individual outside of that relationship, and I’ve really carved that path for myself for many years already, so I don’t need to prove anything to me or to the world.’

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