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Anna Marie Tendler says she was hospitalized for 'mental health breakdown' amid John Mulaney divorce

Tendler opened up about the experience in a tribute to the late dog she and the comedian shared, Petunia, prior to their split.
/ Source: TODAY

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After the death of her beloved French bulldog, Petunia, Anna Marie Tendler is opening up about how the dog supported her in her darkest moments.

In an essay published by Elle on June 6, Tendler wrote about the loss of the dog that she'd shared with her ex, comedian John Mulaney, prior to their divorce.

She revealed that in the "first two weeks of 2021" — while Mulaney was in rehab and amid their divorce — she was "hospitalized for depression, self-harm, and severe suicidal ideation."

Mulaney, in his most recent stand-up special outlined the timeline of his recovery, saying he spent two months at the rehab facility from Dec. 18 to Feb. 20.

In her essay, Tendler said her dog had become the only reason she felt she could continue on.

"My mental health hinged wholly on my dog," she wrote, adding that in the hospital, "the doctors asked me to make a list of my reasons for living. Petunia was the one and only thing on that list."

Tendler said that she and Petunia had moved to Connecticut in December 2020 "in the wake of my severe mental health breakdown and what appeared to be the impending end of my marriage."

"We fused even more deeply together in an attuned and totally symbiotic relationship," Tendler wrote. "She never let me out of her sight."

News of Tendler and Mulaney's split made headlines in May 2021. At the time, Tendler told People that she was "heartbroken."

“I am heartbroken that John has decided to end our marriage,” she told the outlet in a statement. “I wish him support and success as he continues his recovery.”

In her June 2023 essay, Tendler said that throughout Petunia's life, the dog had been her constant.

"She was my constant through marriage, four moves, graduate school, a career change (or two), a mental health crisis, a divorce, and finally a reinvention," she wrote, adding that the dog had been put to sleep in her arms.

"Even after life had left her body, I sat with her, held her, and continued to talk to her. I told her how much I love her. I told her how grateful I was for her love and companionship. I promised her that I was okay and that I would be okay without her; crushed, lonely, but okay," she wrote. "I thanked her for staying with me—for guarding me—until I was strong enough to survive without her."

In a post after Petunia's passing, Mulaney also celebrated the dog and what she'd meant to him.

"Petunia, I loved you from the first moment I saw you. Rest in peace. Thank you for being my little shadow," he wrote at the time.

In her Instagram tribute following the dog's death, Tendler wrote that the Frenchie had been her "best friend and the great love of my life."

"Thank you for letting me be your constant companion, and for being mine," she wrote, in part. "I love you with every part me. Until we meet again in our next life ❤️."