Former Star Island resident Vanilla Ice’s wife of 19 years filed for divorce this week because, she says, she was tired of “living a lie!”
Pembroke Pines native Laura Van Winkle, the wife of the 1990s pop icon singer of “Ice Ice Baby” and recently dismissed contestant on the current “Dancing With The Stars,” filed her divorce petition in West Palm Beach on Oct. 18 — her 46th birthday.
“I gave myself a birthday present,” the mom of two said. “We never really had a wedding or an engagement, so I figured I’d do it on my birthday.”
The 48-year-old singer, who’s touring with a 1990s-themed multi-artist show, texted that the matter is “private” and declined comment.
The Van Winkles’ union has been a lasting one by entertainment world standards: They were just five months away from celebrating their 20th anniversary.
However, their life together has been no bed of roses, if you believe Laura and public records.
The two have been living apart for the past five years, since reports of Laura cheating with a cast member of the singer’s popular DIY Network home rehab show, “The Vanilla Ice Project,” surfaced in 2011.
The singer inhabits a $1.2 million mansion in The Hunt, an upscale gated community in Lake Worth. And Laura lives in their old marital home in Wellington.
Despite the living arrangements, Vanilla Ice — a.k.a. Rob Van Winkle — and his missus were seeing each other, like a “boyfriend/girlfriend thing,” Laura said.
Until they returned from a vacation in June 2015, she said.
“We went to Curacao for one of our fake family vacations. Rob always wanted to appear to be a great family man, so we had these vacations.”
The trip, Laura says, was the last time she talked to or saw Rob.
According to Miami-Dade County records, Rob married Laura Giaritta on March 30, 1997. Records show a notary public performed the ceremony at their Star Island mansion.
At the time, the Van Winkles ran a sporting goods store in Miami Beach, 2 The Xtreme.
The two met at a Fourth of July party in 1994 in Miami, Laura tells us, well after Rob’s pop star status faded.
Rob’s union with Laura quickly produced daughters Dusti Rain, now 19, and Keelee Breeze, who’s 16.
She said the girls welcomed the news she filed for divorce.
Over the years, there was violence in the relationship. Rob was arrested three times in incidents involving Laura.
In 2001, he was charged with disorderly conduct in a domestic violence incident in Broward County and was ordered to undergo family therapy. He was arrested again in 2004 then 2008 in Wellington on battery charges, but Laura agreed to have the charges dropped both times.
She also took some of the credit for Vanilla Ice’s new career as TV show host.
“Without me, he wouldn’t have come back,” she said. “I home-schooled the girls so that he could do all that stuff.”
Laura said she doesn’t believe Rob wants a divorce, and he might still love her.
“He wants to keep me,” she said, “but he is such a narcissist that he doesn’t think I’m serious.”