In this modern world of ours, it has become quite problematic to find one’s way in the diverse sea of sexual orientations and gender identities. The two distinctly defined genders and the standard Mom-Dad-and-Me families are already considered anachronisms. And now, being in a relationship with a gay man is more acceptable for female celebrities than ever. We bet these women marry their homosexual partners out of love. It’s irrational to think that they do it to gain publicity or fame as most of their spouses are far less famous or not famous at all. However, not all gay men go into a marital commitment with pure intentions.
You’d be surprised how many female celebrities miss the signs and exchange vows with a man who at some point comes out of the closet. Some of them are used as “beards” – a slang word in the LGBT community for a person who is used as a romantic partner of someone who wants to camouflage one’s own sexual orientation. Let’s not forget that the majority of these mixed-orientation marriages took place in times when homosexuality was bottled up by society. Some of these relationships ended in a storm, while other couples broke up politely and stayed friends for life.
Get ready to discover 15 celebs who were, or still are, married to gay people.
15. Judy Garland
Gay men have always had the tendency to admire iconic performers such as Marlene Dietrich, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Madonna, Beyoncé – the list is really impressive. Actress Judy Garland is also widely considered a gay icon; she was even proclaimed “The Elvis of homosexuals” by the prestigious gay magazine Advocate. It’s more or less ironic (but also not surprising at all) that her second husband Vincente Minneli was gay.
They met on the set of Meet Me In St. Louis, and, in the beginning, Garland could hardly imagine she’d end up married to the tyrannical director that Minneli was. But they did get married in 1945. However, shortly after the birth of their baby daughter, Lisa Minneli, the romance began to fade away due to Garland’s growing suspicion about her husband’s homosexuality. The couple divorced in 1950. The actress though wasn’t done at all with the family life – after Minneli she married three more times.
14. Lisa Minneli
Being attracted to gay men is a curse that obviously runs in this famous family. Lisa is no less а gay icon than her mother, and, inevitably, she fell into the same trap. Unlike Garland, however, her gay husband, Peter Allen, was her first (out of four). In fact, it was Garland who pressed the Australian-born actor on her daughter, so, in a way, Lisa was pushed into marrying him in the mid-1960s. As you can guess, their marriage was a total disaster. And it couldn’t be otherwise, since Lisa Minneli caught Allen in bed with a male lover. On their wedding night! The couple divorced seven years later. Before his death in 1992 from having contracted the AIDS virus, Allen had made a name for himself as the Liberace of the disco era. In 2003, a musical based on his life opened on Broadway. In the production, Minneli’s ex-husband was played by… hold your breath… Hugh Jackman, who won a Tony for his performance!
13. Carrie Fisher
The actress who played the enigmatic role of Princess Leia in the Star Wars film series passed away just half a year ago, but it seems that now people are even more interested in her personal life and career than they’ve ever been before. There is one curious fact in Fisher’s biography that has always been somehow ignored – whether intentionally, or not. In the early 1990s, after her first marriage with musician Paul Simon failed, she had a brief thing with the talent agent Bryan Lourd. They never married, but Fisher had her only child with him (Billie Lourd, born 1992). The relationship came to an end in 1994, when Lourd left Carrie for another man. After him, Fisher didn’t really date other guys (or gays, for that matter), but the rumor has it she was in a very close relationship with singer James Blunt.
12. Berry Berenson
We don’t know how to categorize this weird relationship – as disturbing, or as blood-curdling. Both seem appropriate, though. First of all, when you marry a guy who is best known for his role as one of the most convincing psychopath killers in the history of cinema, you should always be on the alert. Just in case it was not only acting! Secondly, the fact that your husband has had several relationships with men prior to your marriage should definitely raise the alarm.
In 1973, the Cat People actress Berry Berenson married Psycho star Antony Perkins. The beautiful blond Berenson was totally oblivious about her husband’s homosexual affairs, and was happy to give him two sons – Oz and Elvis Perkins, both of whom have turned out to be successful musicians. As Berenson never realized (or refused to believe!) that her husband was gay, the couple never divorced and lived, let’s say, happily until Perkins died of AIDS in 1992. Berenson herself died on the day of the 9/11 attack; she was aboard Flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
11. Fran Drescher
This voluptuous, widely celebrated TV comedian, model, producer and healthcare activist, famous for her distinctive nasal voice and thick New York accent married her fellow writer/producer Peter Jacobson in 1978. The guy waited for twenty-one years to come out as gay. The two were high-school sweethearts – they met in Queens and attended Queen College together. Then, Drescher enrolled in a cosmetology school because, as she says, “all acting classes were filled.” Luckily for her though, because this real-life experience gave her the proper insight so that she could portray so well her heroine in the hit TV series The Nanny (1993 – 1999). The couple never had children. Since their separation in 1999, the actress has been actively supporting LGBT rights. She stated that she didn’t divorce Jacobsen because he had come out as gay, but because she needed to change the course of her life. They remained close friends and business partners, and Drescher never stopped saying their relationship is “rare and unconventional… unless he’s being annoying.”
10. Lou Diamond Phillips
Well, we won’t call this guy a “beard” partner for his spouse, but he certainly let himself be fooled for three years. The Cherokee actor’s breakthrough role was as Richie Valens in the biographical drama La Bamba (1987), for which he was nominated a Golden Globe Award. He met Julie Cypher on the set of Trespasses, where she worked as an assistant director. They married in 1987 and divorced in 1990 when she came out as a lesbian. It’s a curious fact that after Phillips, Cypher had another marriage… with a guy – Matthew Hale, to whom she is still married. In between those marriages, however, she was involved in a serious relationship with singer Melissa Etheridge. During this partnership, Cypher gave birth to two children via artificial insemination. The father’s name was later (reluctantly!) disclosed as musician David Cosby. In 1999, Cypher made a statement that she had never been gay, and the couple split the following year.
9. Martha Raye
Known as “The Big Mouth”, this comedian and singer was another American icon of her time. Her personal life was very complex and emotionally chaotic. The girl wasn’t kidding – she was married seven times! Her last and seventh husband, Mark Harris, was bisexual. The guy was 33 years younger than his wife and soon became known as Mr. Martha Raye. He wasn’t especially loved in Hollywood – he was seen as a fame-obsessed, liposuctioned gold-digger who preyed on wealthy, old divas. A second-rate dancer and singer, Mark Harris met Martha in Vegas when he was 42. She was 75 and partially paralyzed after a stroke. Three weeks after their meeting, Raye proposed to Harris. She needed to get herself a husband, otherwise she was going to a nursing home. Right after they were wedded in a Jewish ceremony because of Harris’ religion, he took over as her manager. He negotiated for himself 50 percent of the rights for the book, the movie, and the Broadway musical based on his wife’s life. Martha Ray died in 1994, and left Harris the house and 75 percent of her assets.
8. Vanessa Redgrave
What are the odds that both your father and your husband are homosexuals? Stop guessing and take a look at the family scenario of Vanessa Redgrave’s life. Her father, Sir Michael Redgrave, maintained both a successful career as one of Britain’s finest actors, and a number of male lovers. When his daughter started dating film director Tony Richardson in the early 1960s, they were so madly in love with each other that they smashed up the furniture in the apartment with their unconstrained love-making. Twice! The landlord even sued them for the damages they had done. However, when they married in 1962, not everyone was convinced the couple would live happily ever after. The problem was that Tony Richardson was openly bisexual. Actually, before meeting Vanessa, all his friends believed he was strictly gay. In Hollywood, they were even joking he married her only because he would be able to wear her clothes. The couple had two daughters but they split in 1967, when Tony Richardson left Vanessa for the French actress Jeanne Moreau. So, he wasn’t that gay after all…
7. Carolyn Moos
“He told me I was his soul mate and I was meant for him.” Former WNBA star Carolyn Moos was devastated when her fiancé, the NBA player Jason Collins, broke up with her after eight years of dating. That was in 2009, and back then Collins didn’t care to come up with a proper explanation for why he was calling off the wedding, thus leaving his girlfriend totally confused and frustrated. It wasn’t until 2013 that he confessed in a personal essay published in Sports Illustrated that he was gay. Although Moos’ dream to have Collins’ kids was crushed, she still wants to get married and have children. Not long ago she announced she was planning to have her eggs frozen – just in case she meets Mr. Right when it’s too late for her to conceive. After all, she invested eight years in her relationship with Collins. “But now I have to rewrite the script,” Moos says.
6. Star Jones
Please meet another gorgeous and successful woman tricked into marriage by a gay man. Investment banker Al Reynolds proposed to the famous lawyer, journalist, writer and TV personality Star Jones during the 2004 NBA All-Star game. The lavish wedding was held at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, and was widely publicized. Star Jones proudly bore her husband’s name up until 2007 when she suddenly went back to her maiden name. She then explained she did it in order to keep her private and professional lives separated, but those close to the couple suspected there was another reason. And a secret behind the reason! Jones and Reynolds announced their divorce in 2008 because Jones had had enough of the speculations that her husband was gay. Which he has eventually turned out to be!
5. Danielle Fishel
Before marrying her husband Tim Belusco, the ultimate Boy Meets World teenage dream girl dated the *NSYNC member Lance Bass. They were actually planning a wedding, as they were (or at least seemed) so into each other. However, the couple split in 2000, and Fishel announced she was mad at Bass for misleading her. We shouldn’t be that tough on the pop singer though. The guy had a really difficult time growing up in a family where homosexuality was considered a psychiatric disorder. However, he always had the support of cute girls. After Fishel, Britney Spears herself was there for him when his father and stepmother sent him to a rehab for being gay. In 2006, Bass revealed his sexual orientation in People magazine. The same year, he was awarded The Human Rights campaign Visibility award. For three years now, he’s been happily married to Michael Turchin. As for his ex-girlfriend Danielle Fishel, since last year, she’s been happily divorced from Tim Belusco, and is now again on the dating market.
4. Kelly Preston
This entry may rouse your indignation, but let’s face the truth – despite all his masculine charm, John Travolta is as gay as pink ink, although he is still officially in the closet. And his marriage to actress and former model Kelly Preston is still intact. The rumors about Travolta’s homosexuality became especially intense last year when a pilot and alleged former lover claimed in an interview with National Enquirer that the actor’s sexual appetite was “insatiable.” Travolta has always denied the accusations of homosexuality which have been piling up for years. However, Gotterba, the pilot and ex-lover in question, swears he remembers the actor admitting back in 1992, only months after marrying Preston, he was STILL attracted to men.
3. Charlotte Rae
“My husband of 25 years was gay”. The 90-year-old Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life star is still upset over the shocking discovery she made in 1975. Back then she found out that her husband, composer John Strauss, had been cheating on her with men throughout their marriage. The actress recalls that discovering her man was homosexual crushed the image of her own self. “John’s secret confirmed my feelings of inferiority. That I was less than a woman…That I didn’t deserve to be loved and valued,” she confided in an interview for The New York Post. Strauss, who became renowned for composing the soundtrack to the Academy Award winning movie Amadeus (1984), died in 2011 after living for many years with Parkinson’s disease.
2. Betsy Drake
Betsy Drake was the cute French-born actress who often appeared with the world famous Cary Grant in his movies. But she is best known not for her cinematic roles or scripts, but for being his second of four wives! Grant spotted her in 1947 and instantly made her his protégé. And two years later, also his wife. The couple lived a very private life, indulging in mysticism and yoga. Although Drake enjoyed acting, she eventually gave up her career to focus on her other passion – writing. The marriage constituted Grant’s longest union. He did care deeply about Drake and credited her for broadening his interests beyond acting. However, the couple separated in 1958, although they didn’t divorce until 1962. They remained friends.
As for the rumors Cary Grant was gay, his own daughter writes in the memoirs about the actor that he very much liked being called gay. He claimed this made women want to prove this assertion wrong. It is a given fact though that in the 1930s he was in a relationship with actor Randolph Scott. The couple moved into a Malibu beach house, which instantly became known as “Bachelor Hall.”
1. Dina Matos
If compared to all the above mentioned celebrities, this lady probably had the worst experience! The former First Lady of New Jersey not only found out her then husband of four years was homosexual, but was also dragged in the middle of public scandal because of this. When in 2004 it was revealed that Governor James McGreevey was having an affair with a man, he was forced to resign from office. Although she was put in a very embarrassing position, Matos decided to stand by her husband during the press conference during which he announced his resignation. But that was a one-time sacrificial thing. After that, she immediately filed for divorce, and it was a messy one. What made things worse and Matos angrier was the fact that she was refused the $600,000 alimony she asked for. Which led to her next move – she wrote an autobiographical book, in which she made it clear she would have never married McGreevey and have his child if she had known he was gay. And when she appeared on Oprah to promote her book and talk about the scandal, the betrayed ex-wife stated that her whole marriage was, in fact, stage-managed.