Obligatory Divorce-enstahl Post

Confirming the rumors I have been hearing from a connected reader for about three weeks now, last night Lukey announced his separation from Erin Ravenstahl, and if twitter is any indication, it shocked the pantalones off of Pittsburgh.

This is touchy because not only is this the personal life of a public person, but also, they have hired SCARY SCARY SCARY LAWYERS from Philly to protect their privacy (read, sue the pantalones off of anyone that says Lukey was unfaithful).

So, my thoughts that I feel comfortable sharing with you guys while balancing the respect for the privacy of a newly-broken family and one broken officially so close to the holidays, with the fact that he IS a public figure:

1.  Some are questioning the timing of the announcement and wondering if Lukey would have been reelected had this news broken before the election.

You know, I think he would have.   He still has that all important thing.  Not his party platform, not his giant wads of cash, not questionable ethics, but the most important thing of all that’s required to win the mayorship of the City of Pittsburgh:  The D.

OMG, NOT the Steelers defense, you boobs.  He’s the democrat.  Had this broken prior to the primary election, yeah, it totally could have hurt him.

Will it hurt him now?  I don’t see how, but I know the whole city is kind of looking at him a little differently.  Wondering.

2.  The interview Lukey did with KDKA, which if I was his PR person, boy would I have strongly advised against that interview, Lukey basically says that Erin did not want him to run for re-election, but he chose to do it anyway.

[I] was very, very close to not running for this office based on my interest in protecting my family.

See, that right there. Bad idea to do the interview, because now it seems to us that the Mayor chose his political office over his family.

I’ve said this six million times, Lukey needs a new frickin’ media adviser.  Someone to say to him, “Release your joint statement and then repeat after me: ‘My private life will remain private. No comment.'”

Look, marriage?  It is HARD.  Don’t anyone ever tell you differently and if someone who has been married for more than four years comes up to you all, “OMG.   Marriage is amazing and perfect and easy and I love my husband so much and he’s like Daniel Sepulveda [his body], Troy Polamalu [his heart], Brad Pitt [his mojo], Bill Gates [his money], and Sting [his, you know, stamina] all rolled into one, and we are soul mates, connected at the bellybuttons of our hearts and we never fight, and we never even talk that much because we’re too busy having amazing sex every moment we are together, and our love, not to go all Princess Bride on you, cannot be broken, not with a thousand swords.  Every morning, we chew breath mints before we kiss and then we make each other breakfast.  We recite poetry to each other and tomorrow, we’re finding a field of wildflowers to run to each other through in slow motion.”  You can know for CERTAIN that that person is either on crack or that her pantalones are en fuego.

Erin seems like a decent human and she’s a mom and she hates the public life.

I’m going to respect that.

3.  Today on his radio show, Marty Griffin called Lukey “attractive.”

Uh, no comment.


  1. Heather
    November 24, 2009 11:17 am

    Sad that another family is broken apart. With that said, he just seems to have control over less each day. And could someone please get him a decent PR rep… it’s unbelievable that he continues not to see that as a pittsburgh pothole in his staff.

  2. bucdaddy
    November 24, 2009 11:22 am

    Got news for you: Those things aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s 27 years here of kitty baskets and unicorn poop and I can STILL set Mrs. Daddy’s pantaloons en fuego.

    You kids think you invented it.

    As for LR, since I have no real feeling about him one way or the other, I just hope the immediate commencement of The GF Watch doesn’t get too out of hand. And that Lukey and his mantourage don’t get too out of hand either. (I’d bet on the latter though.)

  3. Emilie
    November 24, 2009 11:26 am

    The break-up of any marriage is truly disappointing, especially when there are children involved.

    While I am not a big fan of Lukey (tuition tax – grrr!), I feel terrible that he and Erin were not able to work through their differences for the sake of little Cooper.

    Ginny’s right – marriage is hard work and I’m pretty sure it get 1000% harder when you are a public figure. Hopefully people will respect their privacy through this and what caused the demise of the relationship. It’s not our business….I hope our local news media doesn’t go all Gossip Girl on this – we get enough of that crap from Hollywood!

    PS: I had to agree with #2 – WHOA! I am hoping that he just wasn’t able to properly convey what he really meant. I saw that this morning and just shook my head! : (

  4. summer78
    November 24, 2009 11:27 am

    Next week my husband and I will be celebrating our 7th anniversary. I can promise you no fields of flowers or poetry will be involved. Marriage is very hard, but it is amazing, too. Not because it is always perfect, but because when you BOTH work at it, you have a partner and a best friend to be by your side for the good and the bad.

  5. Sooska
    November 24, 2009 11:29 am

    I saw that interview last night and wondered, WTH you doin’ and sayin’ there Luke? So sad. Too bad for the baby.

  6. Jessica
    November 24, 2009 11:30 am

    I’ve been waiting all morning for you to post on this.

  7. Pingback: Ravenstahl and wife split - Early Returns - post-gazette.com

  8. bucdaddy
    November 24, 2009 11:40 am

    Actually, now that I think about it, I DO have a feeling about LR, and it’s that he is not mature enough either to be mayor or handle the realities of a marriage. But that’s just from a way outsider looking in.

  9. Amanda
    November 24, 2009 11:52 am

    Marriage is hard. We had our worst year after having our daughter too. But we got through it unscathed. I can only imagine adding a very demanding public job/election on top of that. I wish them both the best. Either together or separately.

  10. Lauren
    November 24, 2009 11:58 am

    Looking at this from a different perspective, could it be that Luke got married too young (he’s only 29 now) and definitely had a child too young?

    Before I get the “that’s not an excuse,” hear me out, and just for full disclosure, I got engaged at 22 and married at 23 and am quite happy now after nearly 1 1/2 years of marriage. Notably, I’m also childless.

    I really don’t think the majority of men are mature enough to get married in their twenties. There is way to much they need to get out of their systems, conquests they need to have (both sexual and otherwise), man things they need to do. By marrying young, they feel either rightly or wrongly that they can no longer do these things. Some men are fine with that, but others kind of repress it and at some point in time, and in Lukey’s case, with a large dose of fame added after the fact, realize “OMG, I’m broken and I’m not even thirty yet.”

    Kids tend exacerbate this situation. My feeling is that if a guy even slightly has the above mentioned problem, he shouldn’t even consider breeding. Kids (again, either rightly or wrongly) make guys feel all kinds of responsibility they never felt before. This scares the poo out of them. Some of them step up to the plate, others run away as fast as they can. It’s sad, but true. They run because they can and because the only consequence is a monthly child support check. Men in their twenties are more likely to do the latter.

    I realize there are exceptions to this, but I think Lukey is in this situation. I wish he, like other men, could handle it and step up to the plate, but this isn’t the first time it happened and certainly won’t be the last.

    And oh, how long until Lukey and Jon Gosselin are having “guys that got married too soon and lost their twenties” night out?

  11. Bojack
    November 24, 2009 11:59 am

    I was all set to respect the Ravenstahl’s personal privacy-

    right up until I heard the crap about “scary” Filthydelphia lawyers!!! F them!!

    If I had any stories, pics, allegations, Skippy & Lukey war stories
    I would be ALL OVER IT!!!!!!

    PUBLIC FIGURES!! 1st Amendmendment!!

    Has he posted in the Craigslist “seeking” yet??

  12. USCMike
    November 24, 2009 12:01 pm

    While not an LR fan, I do wish all of them their privacy and hopefully, they’ll be able to reconcile at some point.

    Marriage is tough enough. Throw in a baby, a re-election campaign, no competent advisers to truly assist him, normal, day-to-day, mayoral duties and you’ve got the recipe for a divorce because ER probably feels like she is a single parent.

  13. Shibori
    November 24, 2009 12:10 pm

    Who’s paying for these Philly lawyers that are going to protect Lukey’s privacy? And way to buy local, buddy. We have overpriced lawyers right here on Grant Street.

  14. bucdaddy
    November 24, 2009 12:23 pm

    In retrospect, I hope they weren’t one of those couples having problems that decides to have a baby in the hopes it will make the marriage better.

    Because that ALWAYS works out well.

  15. Bram R
    November 24, 2009 12:25 pm

    One thing about his reliance on the idea that Erin just hated public life.

    She married a man who ran for Pittsburgh City Council — and did so successfully — when he was 23 years old. Sure, mayor coming as it did when it did could not have been expected. But could she not have realized she was joining with an ambitious young pol and in so doing would be leading an increasingly public life? Or was it really the *nature* of the public life she turned out to have to lead that was the shock?

    You have to feel awful for the broken family — but we’re being treated about like always.

  16. BaldTruth
    November 24, 2009 12:29 pm

    I have a hard time believing that the wife had such difficulty with Luky’s career choice. Knowing the Lukester better than anyone, she undoubtedly knew politics was the only arena in which that dunce could make any coin and was probably okay with it. Kudos to her for not being okay with that dope shtupping around.

  17. Clair
    November 24, 2009 12:30 pm

    Yes marriage is hard. This couple barely got started before calling it quits. Seriously. IMO…LR was quite selfish when he proceeded forward with what HE wanted to do with no respect for his wife’s feelings. Public figure or not, this is a big problem with married couples. Disrespect, lack of consideration of feelings…yeah I’d be pretty PO’d too. Age is no excuse. If you think you still need to sow your oats, so to speak, DON’T get married. And definitely don’t have kids! I know, easier said than done. I was married young…and, most people thought, in odd circumstances for the time. I was 22 and hubby was 21 when we married. I brought to the marriage a 5 y/o daughter as well. So we had the responsibility of a child from the get-go. Hubby took that on like a responsible man (and eventually adopted my daughter as well). We will be married 13 years in March and have since had 3 more kids. Not once did either of us ever think of calling it quits. Yep, we hit some bumps. a couple of big bumps. But nothing we could not overcome. Unfortunately, not everyone can do the same, so it is best for them to go their separate ways. Believe me, some people are better off divorcing, rather than staying in an unhappy situation “for the children.”

    But anyway, I hope these guys find peace in their decision to separate. I know it was not easy to come to that decision. The fact they are thrust in the spotlight makes it all the harder.

  18. BagitTagit
    November 24, 2009 12:37 pm

    Marraige is hard…

    True love is hard to find. Sometimes you think you have true love and then you catch the early flight home from San Diego and a couple nude people jump out of your bathroom blindfolded like a damn magic show ready to double team your girlfriend.

  19. Monty
    November 24, 2009 12:37 pm

    Maybe she tried to impose a tax on bumping uglies.

  20. bucdaddy
    November 24, 2009 12:42 pm

    BagitTagit, That happened to you? Like in a Brazilian soap opera or something? Seriously?

    Um … Can I get your GF’s number?

  21. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    November 24, 2009 12:43 pm

    The “scary” Philadelphia lawyer — Richard Sprague — has represented a lot of politicos, including (at one time) former state senator and now federal prisoner Vince Fumo. In addition, he is an investor in the SugarHouse Casino being built in Philly. SugarHouse, by the way, is also owned by Neil Bluhm, owner of the Rivers Casino.

  22. Pica U
    November 24, 2009 12:43 pm

    Yes, his PR people aren’t the best in Pittsburgh by any stretch of the imagination, but rumor has it that it wouldn’t matter too much anyway. He doesn’t listen to too many advisers.

  23. Suz
    November 24, 2009 12:45 pm

    The “true love is hard to find…..” comment is a quote from one of the great films of this decade, Old School.

  24. notsurprisedatstahl
    November 24, 2009 12:48 pm

    Partying in NYC with Ron Burkle. Going to games at Fenway with developers. Golfing with Joe Thiesman. Crashing Oakmont to see Tiger. Camping out at the US Open. Going to Steelers training camp. Skipping Memorial Day to go see the Stanley Cup in Detroit. Going to the Super Bowls.

    It seems like Luke Ravenstahl will milk every last perky drop out of his mayorship, integrity be damned. His non-answer on the infidelity question was bad enough; his admitting he picked Mayor over family is worse.

    It is only a matter of time before the names, plural, become public. Go to a swanky restaurant. Talk to the bartenders. Ask some questions about the Burkle trip. Talk to professional campaign personnel. Now we’ll have to endure this sideshow.

    The whole timing of this announcement is also troubling.

    It is sooo sad that this person is Pittsburgh’s Mayor. Not just for the city, but for his family … and even Luke, who probably would’ve been a much better person except that he was rushed into the spotlight before he was mature enough to handle it.

  25. SpudMom
    November 24, 2009 12:56 pm

    I see his reliance on the “Erin disliked my public role” excuse has just that – and EXCUSE so that he doesn’t have to own up to the real reasons be they infidelity, gross stupidity, hubris, or a bromance with Yarone Zober. It seems fairly obvious to me that he’s blaming this split on Erin and her wishes rather than taking responsibility for his part in it.

    Why am I not surprised?

  26. bluzdude
    November 24, 2009 1:10 pm

    All I want to say about it is that it’s sad when people’s marriage is grounds for rampant public discussion. I know he’s a public figure, but he should be praised or bashed based on his public accomplishments or lack thereof. I know the scrutiny is inevitable, it’s just unfortunate.

    No one should have to be under a microscope while their private life is swirling down the toilet of public discourse.

  27. CriticExtraordinaire
    November 24, 2009 1:13 pm

    I’m looking forward to seeing ol’ Luke out partying HARD with all the Pittsburgh cuties that are out there, lampshade on his head and the whole bit.

    He’s got the ultimate pickup line goin’ for him… “I’m the Mayor of Pittsburgh”.

  28. Old North Sider
    November 24, 2009 1:14 pm

    So Erin didn’t like the limelight that stalkerstahl adores? I betch a irn city and a chipped ham sammich that the split had something to do with Super Bowl Bachelor parties (Onoroto took his wife, Luke took his brothers & bodyguards..schizzle), numerous nights out at finer norside watering holes, etc. I always wondered why Erin didn’t accopany Lukey on his many stalkerstahl escapades (NY with Burkle hoping to dine with Mick Jagger & waking up in an undisclosed place?,Tigergate, etc.) — turns out she’s smart and had her priorities in place. My heart goes out to her. I was pulling for them. I too married an immature North Catholic grad who turned out to be a responsible adult, great parent, and committed partner.

  29. plexxer
    November 24, 2009 1:28 pm

    I don’t think she ever forgave him for changing his last name to Steelrstahl .

  30. BaldTruth
    November 24, 2009 1:41 pm

    Young Luke may have had the best intentions for getting into politics, but he allowed himself to become seduced by all the trappings that go along with the gig. The guy gets off on getting his mug on camera as much as possible, lots of cool swag, meeting Tiger Woods (who can forget that embarassing display), and apparently…the opportunity for favors from the kind of skanks who would seek out the likes of this dope.

    The whole episode is unfortunately reminiscent of what I’m seeing happen to another young politician in a neigboring county (I won’t name names other than to say “40 under 40”).

  31. Jtown
    November 24, 2009 1:44 pm

    Maybe he just wants a hotter wife??

  32. Sooska
    November 24, 2009 1:46 pm

    Does any one else think Erin ought to have her own lawyer to protect herself and her parental rights? In this case, the baby needs a lawyer too.

    I wonder why a Pittsburgh lawyer wasn’t good enough? just askin’ ;)

  33. red pen mama
    November 24, 2009 1:48 pm

    @bucdaddy, bagittagit’s scenario is a scene from a movie… with Juliette Lewis. I wish I could remember which one. Dang.

    I was curious to see this post. Nice job.

    My take? Yep. Marriage is HARD.

    I don’t think it would be fair for me to say to my husband: I don’t want you to continue to be a psychologist. Your hours are too long, and this whole opening your own office thing is too stressful on our finances. Pick something else. Or for him to say to me, You can’t be a writer. Nope, sorry. It’s just not bringing in the cash. Pick something else.

    We knew each other’s chosen careers — and the challenges that went along with them. We’re dealing with it together.

    And kids? Are brutal on a marriage. It’s a good thing they’re so cute. And that marriage has other advantages to it.


  34. red pen mama
    November 24, 2009 1:50 pm

    Oh, and “pantalones are en fuego” is hilarious.


  35. DA
    November 24, 2009 1:51 pm

    Let’s be serious … everyone knows what’s going on here. Blaming his wife is just another example of why Luke is what he is. Also, I hope no one gets scared away from asking (Luke) real questions. This thing with the lawyer is just a bluff … the #1 defense against slander is … TRUTH.

  36. red pen mama
    November 24, 2009 1:53 pm

    And maybe I should read all the comments first. “Old School.” credit @suz.

    i’m going now. I promise.


  37. KGC
    November 24, 2009 1:53 pm

    @Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Gal…

    Wonder how The Boy Mayor can afford such a high-priced attorney? Who’s reeeaallly paying the attorney? Is Lukey independently wealthy? Highly unlikley. Or, is Lukey getting a “benefit” the average Joe couldn’t get? Inquiring minds want to know. Something smells fishy and I’m nowhere near Wholey’s.

  38. Elle C.
    November 24, 2009 1:53 pm

    wasn’t it from the movie ‘Old School’? Luke Wilson comes home from a business trip and thus the scenario…

    @jtown…I hope you’re joking.

  39. Gus
    November 24, 2009 2:12 pm

    @Jtown #31….Of course he did.

    – Any chance Jon Gosselin moves to Pitt and he and Luke get a place in the southside? There’d be Ed Hardy gear and fat necks galore!

  40. Cassie
    November 24, 2009 2:22 pm

    I do think that it should be a private affair, but when you have a public job, unfortunately that means public scrutiny. I don’t envy that situation.

    Yes, marriage is hard. I’m never going to be one of those women who sit around and say how much they despise their husband, though. I hear about it all the time. My favorite is when the tell me, “Give it time, soon you’ll hate him.” Um, if I hate my husband, then I’ll just divorce him, thanks. And to stay together ‘for the kids’ is just ridiculous.

    While I’m no fan of marriages coming to an end, so is the way of Lukey. He shouldn’t have tried too much at once. Being married is one thing, having kids is another, then to throw in a public office and being a general nincompoop? Too much for one person to handle. I don’t know how he can stand to be himself for just one day.

  41. Cassie
    November 24, 2009 2:26 pm

    @Gus I smell a new reality tv show!

  42. Jtown
    November 24, 2009 2:42 pm

    Tons of guys Wife-up. Nothing wrong with that.

  43. Right pew, wrong church
    November 24, 2009 2:45 pm

    Still irritating, at best.

  44. PittinDC
    November 24, 2009 4:10 pm

    It sounds like, from the comment above, that Luke picked a lawyer that has experience with this type of high-profile divorce. That was probably one of the reasons he picked that particular lawyer. Additionally, he may have picked a lawyer from another city to avoid conflicts issues. Many of Pittsburgh’s big time lawyers are probably Democratic fundraisers, and many probably do work with the city. Even family lawyers may do work for city organizations. So, in order to avoid bringing about any conflicts, Luke may have been advised to go elsewhere. Or, maybe he just wanted a superstar lawyer. Either way, its sad for both Erin and Luke that the marriage had to end.

  45. chrys
    November 24, 2009 4:21 pm

    I am one of those people who believe Lukey was cheating. He just looks like the type to go for it. All the trips without Erin just spells disaster. Marriage is tough, and you definately need to have trust, but you also need to take care of and nurture your roles as husband and wife. Like maybe insisting that Erin join him on one of his many trips. It’s not hard to find grandparents to watch their sweet little grandson for a day or 2. I hate when men “blame” the wife.. She didn’t like him being mayor?? Bullshit.. Erin probably got fed up with all of the excess trappings of him being mayor. Lukey needs to grow up. If you watch the KDKA interview Marty Griffin asks him point blank about the “cheating rumors”, all Lukey says is that he and Erin aren’t discussing specifics. Yeah, I know not an admission, but not a flat out denial either.

    I have been married just over 12 years, I’ve been with my hubby for almost 16 years. I probably love him more now than I did at the beginning of our relationship. We’ve grown together, believe me, it’s been no moonlight and roses, especially in the early years, but we made it work and here we are with 2 beatiful daughters with another girl on the way. ( God help me there! lol)
    I say good luck Erin, and good riddence! Give it some time, then get out there and find a grown up man! One that can give you the things you need.. love and respect.

  46. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    November 24, 2009 4:35 pm

    @PittinDC — Luke picked a high-profile, politically connected Philadelphia lawyer. His focus has been more on the corporate side, but domestic relations is also in his resume. He’s close, personal friends with many of the state’s top politicians. As an attorney, I would’ve recommended an outside person, too, but it appears that Mr. Sprague’s focus really isn’t the divorce side, but rather protecting the political side. Erin should definitely have separate counsel from Luke, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she did. It’s just sad.

  47. toni
    November 24, 2009 4:57 pm

    1.) Lukey is an arrogant ass….but he’s a DEMOCRATIC ass. Hence election goldmine.

    2.)I don’t believe for a minute that Lukey debated long and hard about giving up political life…that’s like asking a fish not to swim. Let’s see …time spent angsting over marriage/political life….time spent over dreaming about a tuition tax that was announced like 3 days after his election while he stood with union representatives who barely got him back in office ( 55%?). Which one do you think his brain spent more time on?

    3.)I loved this line ”
    love of sports and a reserved approach to social life united them.” Lukey certainly shows his reserve side as he’s riding in Steeler parades and gate crashing golf tournaments. Let’s not even bring up his David Letterman appearances and his need to “represent” in every single solitary Penguin play-off game while tax payers foot his security guards bill.

    I have never read such a PR crock of crap. I also have to wonder just who and what Lukey is scared of that he’s hiring the lawyer to breath flame on anyone that dares sulley said child mayors already tarnished rep. Let’s hope they don’t have pictures. I just damn well hope the tax payers aren’t funding this.

    My sympathy, compassion, and respect goes totally to Erin. I don’t care or need to know the details about the breakup of a marriage, but I can certainly lambast an ass for how he’s handling the dissolution.

  48. burgherboy47
    November 24, 2009 5:22 pm

    I completely agree with “24. notsurprisedatstahl”…

    Lukey has been given everything in his life. He won his City Council seat thanks to the backing of his dad’s downtown connections. He was elected President of City Council because Peduto ran against O’Connor in the primary and 5 other councilmen were pissed at him. He became mayor because of the death of Mayor O’Connor.

    I guess you could say he ran 2 successful mayoral campaigns – but in Pittsburgh with the Democratic Machine in charge I’m not sure that even qualifies.

    The Bottom line, he has not worked hard at one thing in his life. Why does anyone think he would work for his marriage, let alone be truthful with Pittsburghers?

  49. Elizabeth
    November 24, 2009 5:43 pm

    This makes me so sad. My husband and I were married at the same time as the Ravenstahls and had a baby at nearly the same time as the Ravenstahls. I cannot tell you what a difficult year this has been for me and my husband. Bringing a baby into the mix has brought us SO much joy, but also so many challenges. I cannot imagine having to endure a mayoral race at the same time. I hope Luke is happy with the choice he made. I feel worst for Cooper. He certainly will suffer the most from this situation.

  50. Stefanie
    November 24, 2009 5:51 pm

    I was waiting for Ginny to post on this after I read about it on WPXI.com. Btw, I think you handled it with grace, Ginny, though I never doubted that you would handle it gracefully. I definitely feel for them both and hope things work out well. Breaking it off with someone, regardless if you’re married or not, is very tough.