After more than a year of waiting, Queen of All Media Kris Aquino and husband James Yap, the basketball star, got what they wished – annulment of their marriage.
The Makati City Regional Trial Court annulled their five-year marriage which produced a son, James Jr., now four years old, on the ground that it was invalid because the solemnizing officer was not unauthorized to solemnize their marriage.
It was learned that Kris was given the custody of their son, but James was given visitation rights.
While their separation was tumultuous at the start, the couple eventually talked things out and agreed on a separation of their conjugal properties.
And while they are now on separate ways, Kris said she wants to remain friends with James.
“Yes I’m annulled & can only wish for james & me lasting happiness & genuine friendship for [our son] Bimby’s sake,” Kris wrote on Twitter on Feb. 3.
Kris said she wishes James lasting happiness in life.
The news that the couple’s union has been legally nullified was repored on Feb. 2 on ABS-CBN’s “Bandila” by co-anchor Boy Abunda.
Abunda said on the television news program: “I am happy na magkaibigan sila ni James. Una niyang tinawagan when she got the news na annulled na nga sila ay ang kanyang pamilya, ang kanyang mga kapatid, pati na rin ang mahal nating presidente (Noynoy Aquino). Pero ang pangalawa niyang tinawagan ay si James.”
Kris filed the “petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage” before the Makati court on August 2010, five years after she wed James in civil ceremony.
The court granted custody of James Jr. who is known as Bimby because the Family Code states that a child under seven years of age “shall [not] be separated from the mother…”
The ex-couple said James Jr. will remain as James Yap Jr.
Kris has been linked to many men, including Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay and actor Diether Ocampo, but the television host and actress denied any romantic links with the men.
On the other hand, James has been linked many women, the latest of whom is an actress and model.
Kris is celebrating her birthday on Feb. 14. She left recently for Hong Kong for a vacation with her sons Joshua and James jr. Joshua is her son with former partner Philip Salvador.
Interviewed on The Buzz, Kris said that although their marriage was nullified, she shares a more civil relationship with James now, adding that they could share a laugh or two and will always put Baby James’ needs ahead of them.
“We can joke already. We can laugh. Of course, we still fight. Pero ngayon, magkaibigan na talaga kami kasi parang mas madali nang magkuwentuhan,” she said.
Kris said she and James settled the separation of their conjugal properties as early as February of last year.
“I just want to say na kung nilaban namin to the end ang kaso, actually, there was no conjugal properties because there was no marriage from the beginning,” she said.
“Hindi ako greedy na tao. And I would like to give credit to James also kahit na marami ang nanunulsol sa kanya, he didn’t listen,” Kris said.
Kris described the separation of properties as fair: “I think it was fair,” she said. “Kung anuman ang napaghatian namin, nangyari yun because we both earned during our marriage. And he got what I think was fair what was given to him and I also got what’s fair to be given to me.”
Kris also confirmed that he waived all the rights to ask for fraternal support from James because she’s also earning a living and it would only be voluntary on the basketball star’s part.
The television host said James will be always welcome to visit their son, adding that Baby James will remain a Yap.
She said she has asked her ex-husband’s permission for James Jr. to use ‘Aquino-Yap’ and not just Yap for his surname.
Kris disclosed to Abunda that for now, love will take the backseat.
According to Kris, for the past 20 years, she’s been in a couple of heartbreaks and she’s keen in enjoying her single life.
“I am grateful for the chance to be single and to have the chance to love again. But if you’re going to ask if I want to love again, not really,” she said.
She added: “Baka hindi talaga para sa akin to be in a relationship. Kasi okay ako on my own ngayon.”
“So, kung a year from now in-love na ako, ina-announce ko sa iyo na ikakasal na ako, then I eat my words. But for now, sinasabi ko po talaga na nakikita ko and I don’t… I’m no longer afraid of growing old alone,” she said.