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TV Talkers Quietly Get Single As Romance Rumors Fly

News hit today that morning talk show host Mika Brzezinski has listed her Bronxville, New York, home for a sweet $2.09 million, a nice bump up from the $1.6 million she and her now-ex-husband James Hoffer paid for the property back in 2012.

The status of the house had been a lingering question mark after news broke last year that Brzezinski, half of the team that anchors DC-favorite Morning Joe on MSNBC, had quietly divorced Hoffer, setting up months of rumors that she and co-host Joe Scarborough were conducting a not-very-private affair.

It was a big change of pace in a year that featured blaring headlines about famous splits from marquee celebrities like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

Instead of rambunctious court appearances and tabloid column inches, the Brzezinski-Hoffer divorce was handled quickly and discretely, with a simple statement from an MSNBC representative that read, “Mika’s divorce was finalized in the past year. She’s really grateful that it was done amicably and in private. This has, of course, been a painful time for her family. So right now she is focused on her two teenage daughters, and continuing to heal.”

That didn’t stop rampant speculation from network insiders, the media, and fans, that the split would pave the way for Brzezinski and Scarborough to go public with an affair that many believe is happening, but to this day, neither has seen fit to reveal.

Brzezinski’s father is Zbigniew Brzezinski, a foreign policy veteran of the Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter administrations whose highest role was serving as National Security Advisor to President Carter.

The younger Brzezinski began her career in journalism in 1990, moving to CBS television news later in the decade. She gained prominence at the network when she happened to be an on-the-ground reporter covering the September 11 attacks in 2001, and was quickly promoted to correspondent for CBS News.

She also filled in as a substitute anchor and as a breaking news segment anchor, with contributor spots on CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes.

Unexpectedly, the network cut her with no notice a few years later, and she reached out to top brass at MSNBC, where she had been part of a daytime news program lineup earlier in her career.

Scarborough offered her a role on his new program, Morning Joe, in 2007, and Brzezinski quickly made herself a fan favorite by going on offense against stories she deemed unworthy as news.

In one notable incident, she declined to read a piece about Paris Hilton, calling it a puff piece, but producers kept loading the story into the script for each hourly update. Each hour, Brzezinski’s protests against reading the piece became more vocal and dramatic.

Finally, she made a move to set the story on fire, but guests and the on-air team intervened, forcing her to tear it up instead.

An hour later, confronted with the Hilton non-story once again, she was prepared with a paper shredder and fed it through that rather than share it with the audience.

It wasn’t the only time she pushed back on so-called “entertainment news,” prompting the creation of the Morning Joe segment known as “News You Can’t Use.”

Her star was rising on cable TV, while her husband, James Hoffer, was winning awards with hard-hitting stories for New York affiliates like WABC-TV.

The couple had married in 1993 and were raising their two daughters together. They seemed like a good match, two journalists who shared a commitment to informing the public and taking stands for the truth.

For instance, as Morning Joe took off, Brzezinski became embroiled in a wage equity fight with her network, leading to the publication of a book called Knowing Your Value.

She’s become a spokesperson for women confronting the wage gap in their own careers, and has been lauded as a role model for young women just establishing themselves in the workplace.

In an early 2016 interview, she spoke meaningfully about family, saying, “I tell women, especially younger women, not to forget to get married and have a family, because what’s the point of it all if you have no one to share it with?”

This was just a few months before MSNBC replied to a reporter’s inquiry with the short statement noting that her divorce was finalized and, it turns out, shortly after it actually was.

According to additional reporting, Brzezinski filed for divorce on December 21, 2015, and the action was signed off on by a judge on January 15, 2016.

If that seems fast to you, it’s because it is almost unimaginably fast in New York divorce terms.

The lightning speed essentially tells us that the divorce was extremely well planned by both Brzezinski and Hoffer, and that the couple went into court with a thorough divorce settlement already worked out by their attorneys and agreed upon in full.

It was not contested, and both parties must have been happy enough with the terms.

One thing that wasn’t publicly known was the status of their Bronxville home, a 1915 English Tudor-style house that interior designer Larry Burns elegantly updated for them.

In July, Brzezinski bought herself a new place, a 3,670-square-foot mansion in Westchester, dropping $1.6 million for it.

Now, the former couple is offloading the Bronxville house, while rumors and speculation about the real nature of the Mika and Joe team continue unabated.

Whether she’s the unofficial Mrs. JoeScar or not, it’s a relief to know that there are still couples who come to the end of a marriage and approach the matter with some dignity.

Their daughters, who have no doubt been through a difficult couple of years, will certainly come to appreciate the fact that their parents’ personal drama wasn’t splashed across the news every day, and that any salacious details there may be of their mom’s personal life remain in the realm of innuendo as the family adjusts to its new normal.

There’s no way divorce isn’t painful, but it is possible to minimize the effects on your kids.

If both spouses are able to come to agreement on issues relating to their divorce, they can get a no-contest divorce in Queens, NY. It is still in the best interest of both parties to have an attorney representing the interests of each party.

When your marriage in Queens is ending, call the team at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino today at 718-523-1111 and talk to an experienced Queens divorce lawyer for free.