MICHAEL Strahan’s twins appear to be having a harder time after their parents’ messy custody war, a psychologist has said.
And he thinks that while Sophia and Isabella seem carefree on their Instagram feeds, other painful separations are ahead.
Michael Strahan’s teenage twins Isabella and Sophia may have endured a “terrible” situation during their parents’ custody battle, a psychologist has said.Credit: Instagram/sophialstrahan
A psychologist has told how Isabella and Sophia, 18, will enter a new and difficult phase now by separating if either of them finds romanceCredit: Instagram/sophialstrahan
Michael, 51, and his ex-wife Jean Muggli, 57, have been embroiled in a public battle over child custody and living arrangements for their twin daughters.
The US Sun revealed that the nasty case was finally over earlier this week.
It’s been a long time coming: The former GMA host filed for divorce from Jean in 2006, and they separated a year after the twins were born.
In 2007, according to the New York Post, the former NFL star was said to have been asked to pay Jean $15.3 million in the divorce and $18,000 in child support.
Previously, court documents also showed the involvement of a parenting coordinator, in addition to other difficulties related to payments, despite the fact that the couple agreed to custody in 2020.
According to Page Six, court documents had shown that Michael would share custody with Jean and that Sophia and Isabella would spend alternate weeks living with each other.
Now, the twins appear to continue to live in Manhattan, where they attend separate private schools.
Her mother previously agreed to move to New York, where she now has an apartment.
In an exclusive interview, licensed psychologist Dr. Danielle Forshee told The US Sun: “The custody case for the twins is closed.
“But because they had a parent coordinator, it shows how high the conflict was and that this case was highly litigated.
“The court appoints a parent coordinator to make decisions in the best interest of the children.
“This is because parents can’t make those decisions together.
“This tells me how terrible the situation was, and that really affects the children in a very significant way.
“If kids know their parents can’t make decisions for them, like whether to enroll their kids in and what activities, it leaves them in a triangulation position,” says Dr. Forshee, who has not been involved in the case and has not examined the girls.
Jean Muggli (pictured during court proceedings with Michael) is the mother of Isabella and Sophia.Credit: Getty
Dr. Forshee continues: “This means they may feel as if they are trapped between their parents and don’t know which side to take.”
“They don’t know if they should take sides either.
“Usually, children end up taking sides to get rid of the anxieties and fears, or the stress that they have in the situation.
“The twins were certainly affected by this custody case and specifically because they had a parent coordinator.
“Let’s hope they keep their sibling relationship despite the problems with their parents.”
Growing up as identical twins presents a unique set of challenges for Sophia and Isabella.
Says Dr. Forshee: “In the next stage of twin development, it is common for one to enter into a romantic relationship and even settle down.
“Intimate relationships and careers are the next phases they are entering.
“This will bring the next shock for the twins in their unique relationship.
“It can change the dynamics of a twin.
“When one party starts putting more emotional energy and time into another relationship, it takes something away.”
So far, Isabella and Sophia appear to have bravely weathered the storm amid their parents’ lengthy court battles.
The teen’s Instagram feeds showcase his fun-loving lifestyle packed with everything a typical 18-year-old would enjoy.
Sophia posts a photo on Instagram of partying with friends and shows that she enjoys her time with friends as a teenagerCredit: Instagram/sophialstrahan
The couple have shared photos of themselves partying and on vacation with friends.
Sophia and Isabella are also seen confidently showing off their stunning bikini figures as well as their favorite fashion styles.
But our expert points out that as twins, they may have tough times ahead of them as Sophia and Isabella begin to mature even more.
“It appears that the twins grew up together and probably would have spent a lot of time together as children,” adds Dr. Forshee, a licensed clinical social worker and parent coordinator.
“It seems that they dress alike and their hair is the same.
“In a post Sophia has from when she was little with her mom and sister, they are dressed identically.
Sophia shares a photo on Instagram of her twin sister and her mom in which she wears the same outfit as IsabellaCredit: Instagram/Sophiastrahan
“In another photo, as teenagers, the twins are still dressed very similarly.
“There is something magical about twins in that they are so alike.
“But it makes it harder as they get older, especially around the age that Isabella and Sophia are.
“It’s normal for them to start exploring their sense of independence and develop a sense of themselves and who they are.
“They are going to see where they fit in the world, their purpose, what they want to be, where they want to go and what they want to do.
“There is probably some pressure on them in terms of how society expects the twins to be.
“Interestingly, twins are often very different people, even though they were simply born at the same time.
“And so there’s that added pressure for these twins that affects their ability to separate or differentiate.
“They look the same but that has nothing to do with their personality, their interests, their tastes, their character or their life experiences.
“It’s tough for the twins because there’s that struggle for them as well about how things will work out.”
Isabella shares a photo of herself with her friends during a time when a psychologist says she is beginning to explore her sense of independence.Credit: Instagram/isabellastrahan
With Isabella looking set to become a model, she has already been testing the waters for the past year.
She made her runway debut at the Sherri Hill fashion show last April, while Michael showered her with praise on Instagram.
“So proud of you @isabellastrahan for making it big on your first runway this weekend for @sherrihill!!!!” he wrote.
“As a parent, there’s nothing like seeing your child succeed at what they love with a smile on their face! #ProudDad #GirlDad,” Strahan said as he captioned a video of his daughter’s impressive day.
Michael then took Isabella to model an MSX puffer jacket for his own NFL range.
Isabella dazzles on the runway during her modeling debut that her dad proudly shares on InstagramCredit: Instagram/michaelstrahan
While Sophia seems to be going to study at Duke University.
Although this has yet to be confirmed, he updated his Instagram bio in December with: “nyc/duke ’27.”
Adds Dr. Forshee, “It’s always hard when you have a father who’s in the spotlight like Michael, because that naturally puts the kids in it as well.
“The twins are trying to explore for themselves and figure out who they are and how to become independent.
“Sometimes kids start doing things they think their parents want them to do.
“They may follow in their parents’ footsteps instead of following their own internal compass and exploring alternatives.
“Otherwise, if the twins have disagreements, the best thing for Michael to do is not take sides.
Michael and his twins look happy and close in 2019 at entertainment eventCredit: Getty
“If any of his girls come to him with any kind of problem or complain, then dad should listen neutrally.
“Dad needs to empathize with the issues and direct his daughter to go and handle it with the other.
“He needs to be as supportive as possible with his two daughters.
“When they both find a romantic partner, it can be difficult for them.
“So that would also need Michael’s guidance.
“Being twins means having a built-in partner for life.
“But it also brings additional challenges for the twins when they find new twins.”
Michael with his twins (born 2004) when they were youngerCredit: Instagram