Meg Ryan says her failed marriage to Dennis Quaid was far more complicated than people know, says Katie Roiphe in In Style. The high-profile Hollywood marriage fell apart in 2000, after Ryan began a notorious affair with Russell Crowe. Ryan took a beating in the tabloids, and her image as “America’s sweetheart” never recovered. “It was a great story, but what wasn’t in the story was the reality of my marriage for nine years,” she says quietly. “Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time, and that was very painful. I found out more about that once I was divorced.” Ryan is quick to stress that she is not trying to justify her own missteps. “I am not a victim. I was there. I was in that marriage for a really long time. I was a mess.” Ryan says the only good that came out of the debacle was that by losing her public persona as the innocent girl next door, a wider variety of acting roles opened up to her. “My time as a scarlet woman was really interesting. As painful as it was, it was also incredibly liberating. Now I was utterly free. I didn’t have to care about what people thought.”