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Who is Chris Rock's ex-wife and why did they split?

The comedian referenced his marriage in his new Netflix special, Selective Outrage

chris rock and exwife
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior Features Writer
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Chris Rock's highly-anticipated new Netflix special, Selective Outrage, landed on the streaming giant over the weekend in which he performed a series of jokes about his personal life, celebrity culture, and the moment Will Smith slapped him on stage at the Oscars.

The stand-up comedian made a series of jokes about the incident which made headlines around the world, including whether it hurt. Check out the video below to see what Chris had to say…

WATCH: Chris Rock references Will Smith's slap in new Netflix special

The comedian also made a string of gags about his ex-wife and daughters, including his divorce from Malaak Compton-Rock. But who is his ex-wife and why did they split? Find out why below.

Who is Chris Rock's ex-wife?

Chris Rock's ex-wife is Malaak Compton-Rock. The pair got married in 1996, two years after they met at an industry party and began dating. Although Malaak was married to the comedian throughout his successful career, she largely kept out of the spotlight, but did accompany him to various events and red-carpet premieres.

MORE: Will Smith makes emotional speech in first awards appearance since infamous Oscars slap

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Chris Rock and Malaak Compton Rock in 2007© Photo: Getty Images

Chris and his wife split after 19 years of marriage

Malaak previously worked in the PR industry before embarking on a career at UNICEF. It's clear from her career and education that she's passionate about humanitarian issues and in 2008, she founded her own non-profit organisation named Angelrock Project Foundation, which supports programs for women and young people from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Why did Chris Rock and his wife split?

In 2014, Malaak and Chris announced they were separating after 19 years of marriage. In a joint statement, they explained: "Chris and I have decided to go our separate ways. While recognizing that this is a significant change, my children remain at the center of my life and their well-being is my top priority.

It is in this spirit that I sincerely ask that their privacy and the privacy of our family be respected during this transition in our lives." The divorce was finalised in 2016. A reason for the divorce was not given at the time, but in the years following the split, Chris has opened up about his infidelities.

Chris Rock with his wife and daughter at Kids Choice Awards© Photo: Getty Images

The couple welcomed two daughters

According to PEOPLE, Chris admitted to cheating on Malaak in an interview with Rolling Stone. He also made the revelation in his other Netflix special, Tamborine. "I cheated. I'm serious. I'm not bragging. I cheated. But, then, you know what happens? Your woman finds out. And now she's new. She's never the same again."

Does Chris Rock have children?

Chris and Malaak welcomed two daughters during their marriage. In June 2002, the couple welcomed their first daughter, Lola Simon, and, in 2004, they welcomed their second daughter, Zahra Savannah.

The girls are now grown up and have even moved away to study at college. Malaak also has another daughter, Ntombi, whom she adopted from South Africa after her split from Chris. 

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