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Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon Opens Up About Divorce, Breast Cancer Diagnosis

By Laura Ferreiro

photo: Will Ragozzino/Getty ImagesGoing through a divorce is never easy, but when you’re one of rock’s most enduring and revered power couples, playing it out in the public eye makes it even rougher. In late 2011, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of legendary alternative rock band Sonic Youth announced they were separating after 27 years of marriage. They largely remained quiet about the cause of the break up, until now.

Gordon revealed in an interview with Elle that their marriage dissolved as a result of an affair Moore was having with a woman who had once dated a band member and who collaborated with him on a literary project. "We seemed to have a normal relationship inside of a crazy world," Gordon said. "And in fact, it ended in a kind of normal way--midlife crisis, starstruck woman."

"We never got to the point where we could just get rid of her so I could decide what I wanted to do," she said. "Thurston was carrying on this whole double life with her. He was really like a lost soul."

Moore ended up moving out, and Gordon surrounded herself with friends and family during the difficult time, while also caring for their teenage daughter. She said things were just starting to look up when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully it was non-invasive, which Gordon said is "literally the best you can have." It was treated with a lumpectomy. But she couldn't help wondering, "What else is going to happen to me?"

Although the divorce has not yet been finalized and the couple is still settling their assets, Gordon said that they have each moved on with their lives. Not surprisingly, the rebellious rocker chick has been courted by several younger men. Meanwhile, she's been painting, starred in an ad campaign for Saint Laurent, and has been musically prolific, participating in various projects and performances with the likes of John Cale, Johnny Marr, and Black Francis.

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