Most of us know Michelle Madrigal as the finalist of ABS-CBN’s reality talent search Star Circle Quest, which helped her land roles in the hit teleseryes Maging Sino Ka Man, Zorro, Pasion de Amor, and FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano. In 2016, however, Michelle decided to leave her acting career behind to start a new life in the US.

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After taking up a culinary course in Texas, the actress married former football player Troy Woolfolk and gave birth to their daughter in February 2017. However, the two decided to call it quits and filed for divorce after four years.

“There were moments na I felt emotionally abused. I just knew that it wasn't gonna work out anymore,” she reveals. “I didn't want my daughter to grow up in a toxic home.”

Michelle MadrigalInstagram/mitch_madrigal

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Though some people may not understand her decision to leave, the actress firmly believes that if both parties aren’t willing to work together, the relationship isn’t going to work. She adds, “A lot of people say, 'You should stay for the kids.' Yes, I see that. Pero both partners should be willing to work on their relationship and as individuals kasi dalawang entity kayo. […] If one of you is not willing to work on that, it's never gonna work.”

Michelle MadrigalInstagram/mitch_madrigal

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"I always preach to women to 'empower yourself.' I always tell my daughter, 'You have to be strong. You don't let someone treat you a certain way.’” Well said, Michelle!

*This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Female Network editors.

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