Phillippe and Witherspoon, co-stars in the 1999 film "Cruel Intentions," were married for seven years and have two children.
"After the divorce, I was a physical wreck. I wanted to die," Phillippe told the British magazine Man About Town. "I was ready to kill myself. I was not taking care of myself at all. I would wake up and cry and vomit."
Phillippe said the experience has helped him become a better actor and even made it easier for him to cry on camera.
"When I was younger, I didn't have enough to cry about," he said. "But since I've had kids, I feel my work has become better, because my life is fuller and more complicated, and I've experienced so many highs and lows."
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet
Gal Gadot cast as Wonder Woman for 'Batman vs. Superman'