'Survivor's' Lisa Whelchel divorced from husband of 24 years

Sep. 21, 2012 at 7:43 AM ET

Lisa Whelchel is a survivor, no matter what happens on "Survivor: Philippines." 

The former "Facts of Life" star turned reality-TV castaway divorced her husband of 24 years earlier this year, but they remain good friends, E! News confirmed Thursday.

"Facts of Life" alum Geri Jewell came out as a lesbian last year

"The divorce was final on March 1, and (I) went out to be on 'Survivor' on March 10," Whelchel told People about the split. "Going out to 'Survivor' was helpful for me, to divert my attention and not just dwell on the loss.... It was painful to realize that it wasn't going to work out."

Whelchel, 49, and her pastor ex, Steve Cauble, 61, have three grown kids together -- and they all gathered to watch the "Survivor" season premiere Wednesday night, she said. 

It's a fact of life: Lots of celebrity couples don't last

Happily, Whelchel's Tandang tribe was totally safe!

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