As news spreads about actor Victor Webster’s divorce from fellow actress Shantel VanSanten, whom he met on the set of their 2017 Hallmark movie “Love Blossoms,” fans have rallied around the star on social media, encouraging him to keep his chin up.
The couple had three separate weddings beginning with a civil ceremony in August 2021, according to Brides magazine, and got matching tattoos of their initials. But many fans were not surprised by the news that Webster, 50, filed for divorce in January, as first reported by TMZ on April 10, 2023. The actor hadn’t posted anything about VanSanten, 37, on Instagram in many months and fans had begun to leave comments inquiring about their relationship.
For instance, on a February photo he shared of himself sitting on a rock in the middle of a small waterfall, one fan asked, “Are you still married?” and another replied, “I was wondering the same thing!!!”
Though Webster never replied publicly to such questions, he has given Instagram followers clues that he’s been going through a challenging time, traveling extensively with his dog since filing for divorce. VanSlaten, meanwhile, appears to have deleted all of her social media accounts.
‘Your Fans Are Here For You’: Social Media Followers Send Victor Webster Words of Support
According to court documents obtained by Heavy, Webster filed for divorce in Los Angeles County on January 13. On his petition for divorce, he listed his separation date from VanSlaten as January 10, but on the family law cover sheet filed at the same time, it is listed as January 7.
He posted on Instagram on both of those days, with a video on January 7 of him playing with his dog Nova in a park, and a photo of him and Nova wearing raincoats in L.A. on January 10. But on the day after filing for divorce, Webster shared a selfie and a poignant reflection about trying to smile through pain and hardship.
“According to a recent study published in the journal Experimental Psychology, researchers found smiling — even a fake smile — can have a positive impact on mood,” he wrote. “Essentially, triggering certain facial muscles by smiling can ‘trick’ your brain into thinking you’re happy. I’ve been ‘smiling’ a lot lately. Hope it works. Life is full of surprises and unexpected twists and turns. A least it’s not boring.”
Sensing Victor was struggling, multiple fans shared messages of hope, including one who wrote, “The eyes can’t fake it. Sending healing energy.”
Another commented, “We can fake a smile together! Sending hugs, positive energy, and a prayer to help heal wherever you may need it!!☺️”
Fans have shared messages of concern on many of his posts, wondering why he no longer included his wife and noticing him looking somber at times. On a January 16 post, one follower wrote, “I have been seeing sadness in your eyes. Even n Greece snipits. Not my business but I think I have it figured out.”
Webster’s last Instagram post was uploaded on March 29 with a video of him pouring whiskey next to a campfire with one line of the Willie Nelson’s song “Whiskey River” as the audio. In it, Nelson sings, “Whiskey river, take my mind; don’t let her memory torture me.”
Since news of his divorce began spreading, fans have been commenting on the post with words of support.
One wrote, “Your fans are here for you. Hoping for better days ahead for you. Stay strong!”
“Looks like some good liquid therapy,” another person wrote. “As FB would say, I am ‘In a relationship with my damn self…and it’s complicated’ lol🐾🤣❤️ Relationships are harder at our age, but we deserve our ever after too with the right one!”
Another follower commented, “I just heard 😢 I’m shocked as I’m sure you are. Prayers for you both during this time. It’s not going to be easy but, you are a survivor. Cling to your Faith and God will always have your back ❤️🙏‼️”
Victor Webster is Taking His Own Advice By Trying to ‘Enjoy Life’
Less than a week after filing for divorce, on January 19, Webster participated in a Facebook Live session with fellow Hallmark stars Autumn Reeser, Alison Sweeney and Lacey Chabert to promote the latest “Wedding Veil” movie he was part of, “Wedding Veil Journey.” Webster revealed that he had left the country and was participating in the online event from a hotel room in Turkey.
When asked what advice he had for his character in the movie, Nick, he shared some wisdom he said he was trying to follow in his own life.
“I think you have to make time to enjoy life along the way,” he said. “You know, there’s a saying like, ‘You can’t live to work, you have to work to live.'” So you work enough to be able to enjoy your life because if you wait, then it’s too late and you can’t enjoy your life because you probably won’t have the health to do it. So enjoy your life along the journey. It’s basically ‘stop and smell the roses,’ it’s that whole thing. Nick really needs to, and I need to more in life as well, just enjoy life along the way.”
In the three months since filing for divorce, Webster has followed his own advice, traveling extensively across the United States and Canada including a bear sanctuary in Arizona, Zion National Park in Utah, and various spots in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Webster has shared photos from his adventures on his personal Instagram account and on his professional photography account, which still features multiple photos of VanSanten during their travels together as a couple, with the last one of her posted on July 9, 2022.
It’s possible his travels have also been a necessity since he listed in his January divorce papers that he and VanSlaten still lived at the same address in Los Angeles.