Kim Delaney Thought Losing Custody of Her Son Was Her Rock Bottom, but Life Has Only Got Worse

Mon Nov 28 2022

Many actors dream of finding that role. This is the role that changes their lives, the role that thrusts them into the limelight, and the role that allows them to really showcase their craft. At one point in her life, Kim Delaney found it. Known for her long-term role in the hugely popular crime drama NYPD Blue, this actress seemed to have it all. But then it all got taken away from her.

When many fans think of Kim Delaney, they think of Detective Diane Russell. The actress took on this role for eight years and even won an Emmy for her time on NYPD Blue. But while many are used to seeing this lady laying down the law, what many don’t realize is that her own crimes resulted in her only son being taken away from her. In fact, her own flesh and blood testified against her… and her life has only gotten worse since then. This is her tragic story.

Kim Delaney’s Big Break Saw Her Play an Innocent Character, but She Was Far From Innocent Behind the Scenes

Although Kim Delaney started her professional career as a model, she studied acting to break into Hollywood. And it didn’t take her long to catch her big break. From 1981 until 1984, Kim starred in the hugely popular soap opera All My Children. On this show, she won fans over with her innocent portrayal of teenager Jenny Gardner Nelson.

Delaney’s involvement on this show allowed her to obtain a loyal fan base, and the actress noted that “They come up and will say they’ve followed everything I’ve done, and they stopped watching the show after I left, and they’re so happy to see me on NYPD Blue, because they love the character.” However, these fans don’t realize that she wasn’t quite as innocent behind the scenes. That’s why she lost custody of her son.

The Actress Got Married in 1984 and Hoped To Start a Family… but Her Husband Didn’t Want Kids

Leaving All My Children left Kim Delaney in the lurch, and she wondered what would come next for her. Amazingly, the same year she left the show, she also married her first husband, fellow actor Charles Grant. These nuptials solidified Kim’s place in Hollywood and allowed her to become part of an acting power couple. But sadly, this marriage didn’t last.

During her first few years of marriage, Kim continued her reign in the acting world and starred in movies like Delta Force, Campus Man, and Christmas Comes to Willow Creek. And while some have speculated that their busy schedules tore a hole in their marriage, it’s also been suggested that Kim wanted to focus on settling down and starting a family. As Charles didn’t want any children, they got divorced in 1984.

A Few Years Later, She Married Her Second Husband and Finally Welcomed a Son Into the World

After a few years of single life and career progression, Kim Delaney finally found someone special to share her life with and build a family with. This someone special came in the form of actor Joseph Cortese, and just a year into their marriage, they welcomed a son named Jack into the world. For a while, it seemed as though Kim Delaney had found her happy ending.

From 1989 until 1994, it was clear that Kim’s personal and professional lives were heading in the right direction. She had a happy marriage and a newborn son, and she had landed a major role in the television show Tour of Duty. Unfortunately, she soon learned that this second marriage was also not meant to last.

Although Her Second Marriage Ended in Divorce, She Tried to Concentrate on Her Son and a New NYPD Blue Role

Five years into her second marriage, Kim got divorced once again. She romantically parted ways with Joseph, and for a while, they were willing to co-parent respectfully with each other. After all, Kim wanted to focus all of her attention on raising her son to be happy and healthy. What she didn’t realize was that this same son would later testify against her.

Shortly after her divorce, Kim was also handed a lifeline when she was offered the chance to play Diane Russell in the TV show NYPD Blue. Although her character was only meant to appear in four episodes, she proved to be so popular that her contract was extended again and again. Her character became iconic, and so did she.

As Kim’s Professional Career Took Off, Her Personal Life Descended Into a Downward Spiral

Not only did NYPD Blue give Kim the chance to showcase her talent on one of the most iconic television shows of all time, but it also allowed her to become an in-demand actress. While working on the show in 2001, NYPD Blue‘s producer was also mapping out a new television show called Philly… and he wanted Kim to take on the lead. As you can imagine, she jumped at the chance to play a strong female lead.

Her career progression didn’t end there. In 2002 she was also cast as the female lead in the spin-off series CSI: Miami, and her diary was booked up. However, it was during this time that she began to struggle behind the scenes. Although she tried to hide it from those around her, Kim had started to drink and abuse alcohol regularly.

In 2002, Kim Was Pulled Over by the Cops for Driving Erratically and Was Arrested for Drink Driving

Unfortunately, Kim wasn’t able to keep this drinking a secret for too long. In January 2002, Malibu police officers were contacted by a passing motorist who had spotted Kim driving erratically. Not only did he contact the Sheriff’s department immediately, but he also decided to follow the actress back to her house so that he could wait for the authorities to arrive.

When the cops turned up at Delaney’s house, the witness identified her as the driver and confirmed that she had been driving the vehicle. And while Kim agreed to speak to the officers, she didn’t agree to take a blood alcohol test. Her refusal instantly made the cops suspicious, especially as they could smell alcohol on her breath.

Kim Was Taken Into Custody and Ultimately Pleaded No Contest to the Drink Driving Charges

Sargent Mo Angel, who attended the scene, told People Magazine that “She was obviously intoxicated and confused—you could smell alcohol on her breath.” Because of this, the officers had no option but to take her to the station and arrest her on drink driving charges. She was issued a citation, spent five hours in custody, and was ultimately released in the early hours of the morning with a court date in her diary.

In court, Kim pleaded no contest to the charges – which many saw as a guilty plea. Although she was not sentenced to time behind bars, the actress was handed two years’ probation, forced to pay a fine, and ordered to take a defensive driving course. And while fans were shocked to hear the actress had found herself in trouble, this was nothing compared to what was coming next.

When Kim Was Dropped From CSI: Miami, She Drowned Her Sorrows in Alcohol Once More

Throughout her arrest and court battle, Kim could rely on her work to keep her busy. But that all changed just a few months after her arrest when she was subsequently kicked off CSI: Miami. The actress had appeared in just 10 episodes of the new show, and this decision came as a shock to her. It was especially hard for her when she discovered that she was being dropped due to her lack of chemistry with her co-stars.

At the time, CBS released a statement that read “The network, the production companies, and the producers jointly arrived at this decision upon recognizing that the character of Megan Donner was becoming less integral to the series as the season progressed.” Kim was reportedly devastated by her firing, and unfortunately, this saw her turn to the bottle even more.

After Being Fired, Kim Admitted Herself to Rehab. But Her Efforts Were in Vain As She Continued Drinking

In 2003, Kim Delaney was a 41-year-old, twice divorced, single mother who had just been dropped from a show that was supposed to maintain her place in the limelight. She was an alcoholic – and she knew it. That’s why she ultimately made the decision to check herself into Sierra Tucson, a rehab clinic in Arizona.

Her statement from her rep at the time read: ”Due to a stressful year, Kim made the decision to enter a program at Sierra Tucson.” And while the actress went through the motions to combat her alcoholism and continue the steps to a sober future, her efforts were unfortunately in vain. She continued to drink, and this ultimately affected her most important role; her role as a mother to her son Jack.

Although Kim Tried To Keep On the Straight and Narrow, She Ultimately Lost Custody of Her Son in 2005

After her stint in rehab, Kim tried to focus on her work – but she didn’t have jobs coming in thick and fast. Her time on NYPD Blue had come to an end, Philly was canceled after one season, and she was kicked off CSI: Miami. And while she managed to score a few minor roles on shows and television movies such as The O.C and 10.5, she felt lost.

For a while, Kim Delaney was pushed out of the limelight while she tried to figure out her life – but then she was thrust back into the spotlight in 2005 when she hit headlines for losing custody of her only son. And in a wild turn of events, her son was the reason she lost custody of him.

Her Son Testified Against Her, Stating That She Was Endangering His Life by Drink Driving

Kim’s custody hearing hit headlines when it was discovered that her son, Jack Cortese, had testified against her at just 15 years old. While in court, Jack confessed that his mother had endangered his life on multiple occasions due to her drinking. On one occasion, he stated that his mom had embarrassed him when she turned up at his friend’s house intoxicated, insisting he go home with her.

In his testimony, Jack stated that “My mother demanded that my friend go with us. He refused to drive with her because she was drunk. Unfortunately, this is not the only incident in which I have seen my mother drunk.” And while fans of Kim were shocked to hear her son be so candid, this wasn’t all he had to say about his mother’s drinking.

Jack Also Confessed That He Didn’t Want To Be Around His Mom Until She Was 100% Sober

During the court hearing, Jack also confessed that he was staying with his father and that he hadn’t seen his mom for many months. This was his choice and one that he stood by. In fact, he stated that “I do not want to be with her until she has completed rehab and is sober. I am very concerned for my safety when I am with her.”

News of Jack’s testimony rocked Hollywood, with many people shocked to learn that their favorite NYPD Blue actor had such a checkered personal life. This was especially shocking, as Kim’s NYPD Blue character struggled with her own alcohol issues in the show. The parallels between Kim and Detective Diane Russel were obvious, but things were going to get even worse for Kim.

In an Effort To Win Back Her Son, Kim Focused on Her Acting Career and Her Sobriety

Thankfully for Kim, the Hollywood chatter surrounding her child custody loss didn’t last long. Many felt sorry for the actress, and they hoped that she would get help and make an impressive comeback – and that’s exactly what Kim focused on. In an effort to win back Jack, she decided to put all of her effort into her career and her sobriety.

In 2007, she landed a huge win when she was offered the chance to play Claudia Joy Holden in the television series Army Wives. This show once again thrust her back into the spotlight, but she continued to struggle with her alcoholism. Although she promised her son she would get sober, she proved during an embarrassing incident in 2011 that she definitely wasn’t.

In 2011, an Inebriated Kim Delaney Was Kicked Off the Stage During a Slurred and Infamous Speech

In September 2011, Kim Delaney was asked to attend the Liberty Medal Awards in Philadelphia, a night that was set to honor former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. This was a huge honor for the actress, especially as she was asked to prepare a speech for the event. What she didn’t expect was to be escorted off the stage in the middle of it.

While up on the stage, it was clear to see that Kim was not sober. Her face and her body language were wobbly, and her speech was slurred and sloppy. As if that wasn’t enough, those in the room also couldn’t get to grips with the speech that she’d written. After all, the speech was poignant, emotional…. and incredibly uncomfortable.

Kim Spoke About Her Own Experiences in the Military Within Her Speech, but It Wasn’t As It Seemed

While looking “disheveled” on the stage, Kim began to read her speech from the piece of paper in front of her. Within this speech, she spoke about “having served in active military duty family for five years.” But that wasn’t all. She also confessed that “I’ve seen soldiers come home with painful life-altering injuries borne of their time and service.”

Within this rambling speech, she also noted that “I’ve attended numerous military funerals, including that of my best friend’s son.” And while this speech should have touched the hearts of those in the room, most were just confused. Especially those who were familiar with Kim’s life story, as her anecdotes just didn’t seem to match up with the truth.

After the Event, Kim Confessed That Her Speech Was Based on Her Army Wives Character and Not Her Own Life

As those in the room dissected her words, they soon realized that none of it was true. In fact, Kim herself clarified that her speech was false. She noted that the events in her speech were instead scenes from Army Wives and experiences that her character went through. None of it was from her own personal point of view.

As the audience grew more and more uncomfortable with Kim’s drunk and disorderly behavior, organizers behind the scenes decided to intervene. While nearing the end of her speech, a member of staff went onto the stage and escorted the actress off the stage. Many hoped that Kim would address the situation right away, but it took months for her to finally speak about that night.

The Actress Brushed Off Her Awards Ceremony Mishap As Simply a “Bad Week”

Over the next few months, all eyes were on Kim Delaney. She still had no contact with her son, fans were still reeling from her strange awards show behavior, and she was being strangely quiet. Nobody knows what she was doing during this time, but she came back in March 2012 with an explanation. However, it didn’t go down well.

Although Kim didn’t initially comment on what happened in 2011, she gave her first interview since the infamous event to Entertainment Weekly seven months later. She told the publication that there was nothing she could do to change the events of that event, and she dismissed the whole experience as a “bad week.” That wasn’t all she had to say about the matter, though.

She Stated That She Wasn’t Feeling Well, and That There Were “Technical Issues” at the Event

As she explained a little more about the awards evening and her own strange behavior, she stated that “I wasn’t feeling great [and] there were technical problems…I was prepared, but it didn’t come out that way. It was like the perfect storm for something to go wrong. And then it goes viral! There’s just nothing you can do [but] deal with it, right?” 

Despite this rather lackluster explanation, fans of Kim Delaney still wanted the best for her. They understood how hard life had been for her, and they wanted to see her turn her life around. That’s why they were over the moon when it was announced that the actress would return for season seven of Army Wives. But just like many other instances in Kim’s life, that didn’t go to plan.

In 2012, It Was Decided That Kim Wouldn’t Return for the Seventh Season of Army Wives

Although plans were in motion for Kim Delaney to appear in the seventh season of the show, it was announced just a few weeks after season six came to an end that she wouldn’t be returning after all. In fact, the network confessed that Delaney’s character would be killed off. Of course, fans went wild when they heard the news.

Almost immediately, they also began to speculate why the actress was no longer going to be appearing in the show. While some reports suggested that Kim had made the difficult decision herself to leave the show behind, others speculated this idea and wondered whether she had been kicked off due to her erratic past behavior.

Kim Went Quiet for the Next Few Years, Returning in 2020 for a Role in General Hospital

By looking at Kim Delaney’s filmography, you can see that she took somewhat of a break between 2012 and 2020. Although she starred in a few small movies and television shows, she largely kept herself to herself. This has led many people to speculate that she took this time to focus on her health, get sober, and regain a relationship with her son. But she came back with a bang in 2020.

In 2020, Kim Delaney fans were beside themselves when they learned that their favorite actress had joined the cast of General Hospital in a new role as Jackie Templeton. In 2021, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series thanks to this role, and she’s still playing this character today. In fact, she seems to have gotten her life together.

Apparently, Kim Is Now Sober and Has Regained a Relationship With Her Adult Son

As well as landing an impressive role on a legendary television show, Kim also seems to have rebuilt her personal life. Fans love to catch up with the actress on social media, and they’re over the moon to see that she now has a relationship with her son after all of these years.

Although Kim lost custody of Jack when he was 15 years old, it seems as though Kim and her now-adult son have rebuilt their bridges and formed a new relationship based on love, trust, and sobriety. In fact, Kim loves to gush about her son on Instagram, calling Jack her “angel” and “the joy of my life.” But that’s not the only new development in her life.

Kim Also Seems To Have a New Man in Her Life, Although His Identity Is Unknown

As well as having her son back in her life, it’s clear from her social media profiles that Kim also has a new man in her life. She’s posted numerous photos with the man pictured below, with captions that suggest that they are way more than friends.

Although it’s not known who this man is or how long they have been together, it’s clear to see that she’s incredibly happy and content with where her life is at the moment. And for fans of the actress who have watched her fall from grace over the years, this is a welcome development in her life.

Some Accounts Suggest That Kim Is Too Prioritizing Her Career To Be In a Serious Relationship

Despite posting a suggestive picture on Instagram of her loved-up with a mysterious man, some fans think that she is far too busy focusing on her career to be entertaining a serious relationship. After all, Kim captioned the image of her snuggled up with a guy on a beach, “Last of summer,” perhaps suggesting that it was nothing more than a summer fling.

People believe that she may be too busy for a serious relationship as she has been busy with work after her performance in season seven of the firefighter and paramedic TV drama series Chicago Fire. Starring alongside Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, and Lauren German, her part in the series was aired in May 2018.

People Thought That Perhaps Kim Was Starting Something With Her Co-star After Posting a Cute Couples Photo Together

Just before Chicago Fire aired in 2018, fans speculated that Kim might have had something going on with her on-screen ex-husband, Treat Williams, after they were pictured taking a cute couples photo with each other. Kim posted the pictures on Instagram and Twitter, almost as if she was making some kind of cryptic relationship announcement.

But as much as fans were hoping this was true, Kim didn’t confirm the rumors. It was just as well as Treat has been married to the same person, Pam Van Sant, since the late nineties. Clearly, it appeared that Kim and Treat were nothing more than friends and co-workers, and he was still happily married.

Finally In 2022, Kim Revealed To the World That She Was Happily Coupled Up With That Mystery Man

After months upon months of radio silence regarding her dating life, Kim finally revealed to her Instagram followers that she had been in a relationship this whole time. Only, she didn’t use her words by writing a caption, she simply dropped this adorable couple pic on the photo-sharing app and let it do all the talking.

Naturally, her fans were ecstatic to hear, or see, that she was happily loved up. She received over 800 likes and tons of comments that ranged from sending love heart emojis to writing congratulations. One commenter wrote, “Your happiness is contagious!” while another stated that Kim was a “Gorgeous lady, with a beautiful smile.”

Kim Ushers In the New Year By Revealed That She Married That Mystery Man

At the start of 2023, Kim revealed to the world that she had married her mystery man. She didn’t give away any details, but she did post this adorable wedding photo of her and her beau in a tight embrace. However, it’s definitely not clear where they might have had their wedding or how long it has been.

Kim simply captioned the romantic photo, “Wishing everyone a magical 2023!!”. Her followers were delighted to hear that she had tied the knot, writing comments like “Congratulations!!!!” and “I hope 2023 brings you much happiness,” to “Post a few more wedding pictures.” Clearly, some fans wanted to know more about her secretive relationship.

In 2023, Kim Reminded the World That She’s Very Much In Love and Shows Herself Being Spoilt By Her Husband

Kim put out an update on her life in 2023, by posting a photo of her and her husband on Instagram. She showed the pair of them seated at a table for what looked like a very romantic meal and captioned the photo: “Beautiful Birthday at Chef Volas decorations by his mama. Thank you all. Very special. So fun, appreciate it!”

Clearly, things were pretty serious with the guy that she was dating, as not only had she met his mom, but they were celebrating life events with one another. The couple had been celebrating Kim’s birthday, with the actress captioning the photo that followed, “Birthday night, one more cause it was so great! Lots of love.”

Kim Shows the World That Her Relationship With Her Son In February 2023 Has Never Been Better

Rihanna gave an iconic Super Bowl performance in February 2023, and Kim revealed to her Instagram followers that she was sitting right there watching it in person. But she wasn’t alone – she was pictured attending the game with her son Jack, writing the caption, “Superbowl with my son.”

Fans couldn’t believe how young she looked stood next to her son, with comments ranging from “Wow! I thought that might be your brother! You don’t look old enough to have a son that age!!” to “Philly girl showing up!” Clearly, Kim has been enjoying life’s pleasures with her son by her side.

Kim Shows the World That She and Her Husband Are Busy Living Their Best Lives

In the months preceding 2023, Kim had been rather quiet on her social media. But as 2023 rolled around, she came out about her secret marriage, and she started sharing more of her life with her Instagram followers. She shared the photo below in January 2023, writing that she and her husband were “sending love.”

In February 2023, she shared another photo of her with her mysterious husband where the couple is dressed to the nines. She captioned the photo, “A pretty brunch in Santa Monica,” showing them cuddling up to one another with a gorgeous sunset behind them.