'The Grieving Process Is Similar': Jennie Garth Compares Divorce to Death of Her Father (EXCLUSIVE)

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Peter Files For Divorce
Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth at the "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" Los Angeles premiere
Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth are divorcing after an 11-year marriage. Read More »

Simply put, Jennie Garth has had a difficult couple of years. In 2008, the former star of 90210 lost her father John after a long battle with heart disease. Then, last month, Garth confirmed she was divorcing her husband -- Twilight actor Peter Facinelli -- following an 11-year marriage.

"Theyʼre very similar in the grieving process, actually,” 40-year-old Garth -- who will star in the new CMT reality series A Little Bit Country, premiering this Friday -- told Celebuzz, in an exclusive interview.

The former 90210 star signed up to film A Little Bit Country, about her decision to move her three daughters -- Luca, 14, Lola, 9, and Fiona, 5 -- from Los Angeles to a farm in California, last year. At the time, little did she know the show would also feature the unravelling of her longtime marriage.

“I was filming then and yeah my personal life began to unravel. It wasnʼt very good timing,” Garth told Celebuzz, ruefully.

Still, she insists the show isn't always so somber.

“Itʼs a fun show," she said. "It sort of showcases the shift in my personal life, the things that Iʼm looking for in my life, things that are important to me right now as a mom raising my girls -- though, ultimately, we have moments where we touch on my marriage.

"I didnʼt want the show to be about that, but there are a couple of times when it goes back to what Iʼm dealing with because it does affect me on every level.”

Doing the show at such a difficult time was also cathartic for Garth, who admitted there were days when she didn't get out of bed, except to take her daughters to school. As it turned out, filming turned out to be a welcomed distraction.

“I got to talk about things on and off camera, so, ultimately, I think it was good for me," she said.

"Divorce is really hard, but thatʼs the reality of the situation. Women have to allow themselves to go through that [hard] part.”

The former couple, who met on the set of the TV movie An Unfinished Affair, had been together for 17 years before their split -- a relationship Garth felt would last forever.

"We grew up together,” she told Celebuzz.

“I thought it would be forever, for sure. But if you want to look at it from the other side, we did beautiful things together, created beautiful memories and have beautiful children. I guess thatʼs what life is about.”

Even though Facinelli filed for divorce a mere three months after they separated -- not to mention six days before Garth turned 40 -- the pair is committed to their brood. Indeed, the whole family just spent the Easter vacation together.

“Peter and I are doing everything we can to keep the girls in a well rounded environment,” Garth said. “We put our own personal needs and feelings aside.”

As for dating, Garth seemed a little surprised when we asked about the prospect.

“Itʼs too early," she said.

A Little Bit Country premieres April 20 at 9PM on CMT.

Written by Nicki Gostin

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