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Minnie Driver recalls 'heartbreaking' moment with Matt Damon weeks after public breakup

The Good Will Hunting stars split in 1998


minnie driver matt damon 1997© Bei/Shutterstock
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
March 14, 2024
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Minnie Driver is reflecting on her breakup with Matt Damon and the viral video of her sad expression during his 1998 Oscars win. 

The 54-year-old actress appeared on The Jennifer Hudson Show on Thursday and admitted she was "heartbroken" when he turned up to the ceremony with a new girlfriend after she found out he had dumped her just weeks before. 

Minnie has stated in previous interviews that she discovered their romance was over when Matt gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey and declared that he was "single." 

Matt Damon and Minnie Driver at the Mann Bruin Theatre in Westwood, California© Getty Images
Minnie and Matt dated for around a year

Speaking to Jennifer about the throwback clip of her looking close to tears while Matt and Ben Affleck accepted Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting in last year's viral video, Minnie revealed what she was really feeling in that moment. 

"We'd recently broken up, I was nominated, he was nominated," Minie – who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress – explained. "He had a new girlfriend; I was totally heartbroken." 

She continued: "I think it's like anyone who's been heartbroken can understand, it's like the last thing you want is everybody having a window in on that and it was so public. 

"So, when I commented, it was just I saw the clip, I hadn't seen the clip. I don't know that I've ever seen it. I'd never seen my face." 

She added: "The reaction when they won and they cut to me because there was a camera right in the face of the poor young 25-year-old girl, who's about to burst into tears." 

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Sharing the advice she would give her younger self, Minnie said: "I wish I could have told her, 'Honey it's cool, you can celebrate and life's gonna be great and beautiful and hard and amazing.' 

"'You're going to love again, it'll be fine,'" she added.

 When the now-viral video was first posted in October and highlighted Minnie's sad look when Matt acknowledged her contribution to the film during his acceptance speech, she commented: "My face", followed by several crying with laughter emojis. 

Minnie Driver and Matt Damon during 1997 Cartier International Polo in Windsor, United Kingdom.© Getty Images
Minnie found out she was single when Matt appeared on Oprah Winfrey

When a fan responded and said: "Minnie looks so sad," she replied: "Matt had ended our relationship a few weeks before this, and was at the Oscars with his new gf… I was devastated." 

Minnie gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times in July 1998 and revealed that she was shocked by how their relationship ended abruptly, and so publicly. 

It was even more surprising to her considering just a month prior, Matt had appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and said that the British actress "pretty much rocked my world". 

Minnie looks sad when Matt was awarded his Oscar© Getty
Minnie's sad expression when Matt was awarded his Oscar

"It's horrendous breaking up with someone anyway, but to have it be so public and to be cast in a role that I would never play if they were paying me – this wronged woman!" she said. 

"It's unfortunate that Matt went on Oprah; it seemed like a good forum for him to announce to the world that we were no longer together, which I found fantastically inappropriate. Of course, he was busy declaring his love for me on David Letterman a month previously." 

Addison O'Dea and Minnie Driver attend the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.© Getty Images
Minnie has been with Addison O'Dea since 2019

Following their breakup, Minnie was briefly engaged to actor Josh Brolin in 2001. She is now a mom to a 15-year-old son, Henry, and has been in a relationship with Addison O'Dea since 2019. 

Matt, meanwhile, has been married to Luciana Barroso since 2005 and they share four daughters.

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