‘I Love Lucy’: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s Daughter ‘Totally Understood’ Why They Got Divorced–’We Had Heard the Arguments’

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz got divorced in 1960, splitting up one of show business’ most famous couples of the time. Lucie Arnaz, the former I Love Lucy couple’s daughter, says, of course, she didn’t want it to happen. But, even as a child, she understood why her parents decided to get divorced.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz | Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Lucie Arnaz on mom Lucille Ball and dad Desi Arnaz’s divorce

In 2016, Lucie was interviewed by the Television Academy Foundation. She recalled the heartbreaking conversation where her parents told her and her younger brother that they were getting divorced.

“Well, like any kids whose parents get divorced, you definitely don’t want that to happen,” she said. “And it was terrifying. I hear Cher singing in my head somewhere right now because that’s exactly what happened: ‘You better sit down kids.’ You know, and those words are pretty much, I think, what every kid goes through when their parents tell them it’s not working out anymore.”

While Lucie didn’t want her parents to split up, she says she understood because they’d been fighting a lot.

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“Part of me probably totally understood because we had heard the arguments and that wasn’t fun either,” she said. “But it was hard. It was very hard. And I didn’t want my daddy out of the house. He was out of the house enough. I didn’t want him to go any further away.”

In 2018, Lucie described the divorce as “horrible” to Closer Weekly.

“There was a lot of anger and screaming,” she said. “Their divorce was horrible. And then there was the alcoholism. I had preferred those things had never been there. We didn’t have any abuse, but we did go through some pretty hard stuff and that’s why my parents didn’t stay together.”

Lucie Arnaz on when her mother got remarried–’that was like a knife in the heart’

Not too long after Ball and Aranz got divorced, the I Love Lucy star got remarried. At first, the decision deeply upset Lucie.

“When my mother wanted to remarry, I mean, that was like a knife in the heart,” she told TAF. “Just, ‘You’re kidding, right? It’s only been a year, not even,’ So it a rough period. For all of us.” 

Lucille Ball and Gary Morton on their wedding day
Lucille Ball and Gary Morton on their wedding day | Bettmann, Getty Images

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Ball married a comedian named Gary Morton. Eventually, Lucie came around to her step-father.

“[He] was a nice guy,” said Lucie. “He was a funny guy, comedian, Gary. Catskills comedian guy. Tall and kind of handsome-ish. Made her laugh and didn’t embarrass her, you know, in any way. Didn’t drink too much, didn’t smile and giggle with the ladies. I don’t know if they had a passionate marriage. I hope so. I don’t really know, we didn’t talk about things like that.”

In the end, Lucie says she “respected” Morton for being “a good step-father.”

“It took him a while to learn how to do it, just like it took me a while to learn how to be a good stepmother, which I had to become later on in my life,” she shared. “He was fine, you know, and I think he was content being just who he was.”