Celebrities You Never Knew Dated Real Housewives
The phrase “rich and famous” gets tossed around a lot, like one status naturally leads to the other and as if they’re inexorably linked. With the rise of reality TV, particularly Bravo’s massive Real Housewives franchise, they can be separate entities entirely. The women who have come in and out of the show’s various iterations set in New York, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington, Miami, and more, were wealthy, to begin with, which is why they were cast on Real Housewives – a show that made almost all of them internationally famous.
But before the TV fame, these misnamed “housewives” were well-known in specific scenes and high-society pockets. They were well-known enough and out there living their lives in a big way, that they earned the attention of people who were far more famous than they were (at least at the time). Many cast members of many Real Housewives shows dated, or romantically or physically engaged with, quite a few big-time celebrities in the years before they hit Bravo. Here are all the movie stars, sitcom actors, athletes, and major musicians who once romanced these future Housewives.
Two friends went out with Brandi Glanville
Brandi Glanville had a measure of fame, and a very specific bit of it, before entering the world of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2011. In the celebrity news and gossip sector, she was known as the abandoned, cheated-on wife whom actor Eddie Cibrian left when he connected with singer LeAnn Rimes on the set of a Lifetime movie in 2008, according to Us Weekly.
As it turns out, Glanville’s romantic history included way more interesting entries than just an imploded marriage with the guy from Third Watch. In 2020, Glanville told the podcast Everything Iconic that decades ago, and very briefly, she dated Friends star Matt LeBlanc. “Went back to his house,” Glanville said of their encounter. “I was totally gonna have sex with him, and then the dog licked the ice cream and he licked the ice cream and I was like, ‘I can’t.'” Later on, as if evoking an episode of Friends, Glanville made a go of it with Ross, or rather the actor who played him, David Schwimmer. That didn’t work out either, and again, because of a quirk. “He wore makeup,” Glanville explained. “He wore concealer during the day … it really annoyed me.”
Ben Stiller never appeared on Friends, but he did date Brandi Glanville, too. She told Everything Iconic that she went out with the writer-director-comedian “for a little while,” and also that he was incredibly well-endowed.
A 'Modern' romance for Bethenny Frankel
Well before she was an original cast member of The Real Housewives of New York City, which hit Bravo in 2008, Bethenny Frankel had lived a very interesting life. After a failed party planning business in Beverly Hills, she started a cookie company called BethennyBakes, which led to an appearance as a contestant on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, according to Forbes. On the love life front, Frankel got married for the first time in the ’90s to producer Peter Sussman, and years later to Jason Hoppy. Both marriages ended in divorce.
After Real Housewives made her extremely famous, Frankel enjoyed relationships with a couple of equally famous fellows. According to E!, she was part of a couple with Emmy-winning Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet throughout 2015, and they were spotted on dates in both New York and Los Angeles. Frankel also admitted on Watch What Happens Live that she went out on all of two dates with New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, purportedly around 2009.
John Stamos dated Denise Richards
Denise Richards was a latter-day addition to the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and up until she left the show in 2020 after co-star Brandi Glanville claimed to have had a brief fling with her, often discussed her love life, past and present. Before she dated doting good-guy Aaron Phypers, she was married to controversial actor and self-proclaimed wild man Charlie Sheen.
Richards doesn’t much discuss another love interest, whom she dated both between and before both husbands: Full House star and Beach Boys drummer John Stamos. “The truth was we’re really good friends and when she was going through her divorce, I was there for her,” Stamos said on Howard Stern’s radio show (via PopSugar). “We had dated, you know, years before for a while. This time around was just kind of a fast thing.” Stamos explained that the relationship didn’t work out because Richards is a “very hands-on mom” and that he didn’t really want to date a woman with children.
An '80s heartthrob dated a Beverly Hills Housewife for five years
It’s been almost completely overshadowed by the shenanigans she’s gotten up to over the course of more than 200 episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but Kyle Richards was, in the 1970s and 1980s, a child and teen star of some renown. At age six, she had a small role in the 1975 kids movie Escape to Witch Mountain (costarring her sister and occasional Housewives star Kim Richards) before appearing in Halloween, The Watcher in the Woods, and the long-running sitcom Down to Earth.
In other words, she was a teenager living it up in Los Angeles in the 1980s, and as such met other crackling young Hollywood up-and-comers. According to an interview with Bravo chief Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM show Radio Andy, Richards’ first serious relationship was with C. Thomas Howell, the teen idol dreamboat made famous with roles in The Outsiders, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, and Red Dawn. Richards said they dated for “five years,” and that he was the “only actor” she ever dated before her husbands Guraish Aldjufrie and Mauricio Umansky. Richards also divulged, reluctantly, that she lost her virginity to Howell just before they split up.
An American Idol runner-up dated three Real Housewives of New York City
Years before the many and varied Real Housewives shows churned out brand-new reality stars at a healthy rate, American Idol did the same, producing a dozen or so new famous singers each year. In 2005, one of those stars was Constantine Maroulis, presented as more of a rocker than a pop guy, and he made it to the final half-dozen before being eliminated. Maroulis quickly found a niche singing and acting in rock-oriented musicals, starring in Broadway shows like The Wedding Singer, Rock of Ages, and Spring Awakening.
And another way Maroulis enmeshed himself in the cultural happenings of the Big Apple? He dated three women, all of whom would one day be cast members of The Real Housewives of New York City. In a 2020 episode of the series (via Daily Mail), Luann de Lesseps bragged about a new guy in her life, a singer she didn’t identify but claimed, “won American Idol.” Ramona Singer noted that she’d also once been with this mystery man (who did not actually win American Idol). On the podcast Behind the Velvet Rope, Maroulis confirmed that he was the guy and also spoke about his relationship with a third Housewife, Tinsley Mortimer. “Tinsley and I legitimately went out many years ago during the height of Rock of Ages,” he said, adding that he dumped her when “she started calling me her boyfriend.”
Sonja Morgan dated a few well-known guys
Iconic household names surround The Real Housewives of New York City star Sonja Morgan. Born Sonja Tremont, she took the last name of the man she was married to from 1998 to 2006: John Adams Morgan, a descendant of banking tycoon J.P. Morgan (as in J.P. Morgan Chase). Both before and after the marriage, Morgan dated several extremely prominent men. When asked on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen if she would consider dating legendary actor and Oscar-winner Jack Nicholson, Morgan admitted that she already had, albeit for a small period of time. “Nobody nails down Nicholson,” she said, characterizing the relationship as “one big sloppy mess.”
When tennis great John McEnroe was a guest on Watch What Happens Live, he fielded a question from a viewer asking him to confirm or deny the rumor he and Morgan had a fling before her marriage. “I believe that did happen,” McEnroe said. Morgan also dated rock star Billy Idol, back in the ’80s when he was at his peak of fame and also in a long-term relationship with dancer Perry Lister. “He’s a vegetarian and a very nice man,” Morgan told Paper (via Bustle).
Jon Voight and Eileen Davidson were a couple
Before she joined The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, already in progress in 2014, Eileen Davidson was a superstar in the solid entertainment niche of daytime soap operas. Davidson appeared on more than 100 episodes each of Santa Barbara and The Bold and the Beautiful along with several thousand episodes of Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless. Heck, she’s even got a couple of Daytime Emmy Awards to her name.
Davidson has been kicking around Hollywood since the early 1980s, and as such, has been part of a couple of romances with famous guys. According to a source close to the former couple who spoke to Radar, Davidson dated Academy Award winner and Ray Donovan costar Jon Voight in the late 1980s, and even walked the red carpet together at the 1989 People’s Choice Awards. The relationship was evidently “very passionate,” but ultimately “ran its course” without Davidson ever meeting Voight’s daughter, Angelina Jolie.
Davidson also once romanced Pro Football Hall of Famer and Los Angeles Raider Marcus Allen. According to BravoTV, Davidson mentioned to costar Kathryn Edwards that she’d gone out on some dates with the athlete, who happened to be Edwards’ ex-husband.
Russell Simmons dated women from two different Real Housewives series
On an episode of The Real Housewives of the Potomac, some of the cast members killed time on a drive from their home base in Washington, D.C. to a vacation spot at Bethany Beach in Delaware by playing a game of “Shag, Marry, Kill.” During that time, model, fashion plate, and charity organizer Katie Rost talked about the ups and downs of her relationship with Russell Simmons, record industry mogul and co-founder of rap label Def Jam Recordings. In short, the relationship ended badly — while they were still living together, he moved on to a new woman, but they eventually patched things up and stayed friendly, according to BravoTV.
Rost isn’t the only (or first) Real Housewives woman to romantically interest Simmons — he was also once in love with The Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Cynthia Bailey. In 2010, Bailey’s husband at the time, Peter Thomas, told Essence that his wife once dated Simmons, who was so smitten that he proposed marriage, publicly and on television, during an NBA game. She said no.
Nick Lachey dated Orange County Housewife Lizzie Rovsek
At this point, pop singer Nick Lachey is probably more famous for his high-profile relationships with other celebrities than he is for his time as the lead singer of late ’90s / early 2000s boy band sensation 98 Degrees. Per Daily Mail, he married actress and model Vanessa Minnillo in 2011, a few years after the end of his marriage to pop singer Jessica Simpson, thoroughly detailed on their MTV reality show Newlyweds. There are some other relationships in Lachey’s distant past, too.
On a 2014 episode of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live (via Us Weekly), host Andy Cohen recalled a time when Lachey visited the Bravo offices and remarked, “‘This woman that I used to date is about to be an Orange County Housewife.'” Cohen’s guest at the time: Lizzie Rovsek, just before she started a stint on The Real Housewives of Orange County, confirmed that she was the woman to which Lachey referred. Rovsek, a swimsuit designer and former beauty pageant contestant, admitted that she’d dated Lachey before he married Simpson as well as after they split, but before he got together with Minnillo.
Hollywood A-listers loved Carole Radziwill
Ralph Fiennes and George Clooney have a lot in common. They’re both handsome movie stars, they’ve both been at the center of blockbuster franchises (Voldemort in Harry Potter, and Batman in Batman & Robin, respectively), and both have received attention from the Academy Awards — Fiennes earned nominations for The English Patient and Schindler’s List, and Clooney has one Oscar for producing Argo and one for acting in Syriana. One other thing the two acting heavyweights share: They both dated The Real Housewives of New York star, award-winning documentarian, journalist, and author Carole Radziwill.
“It was long ago and far away … over a summer I was living in London,” Radziwill told Us Weekly about her Fiennes fling, adding that a bedroom scene in her romance novel The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating was based on a real-life encounter with the actor. As for Clooney, Radizwill mentioned on a Real Housewives episode (via People) that they dated “post-Dr. Doug Ross, pre-Danny Ocean,” meaning after ER and before Ocean’s Eleven, so around 2000. As far as his lovemaking prowess goes, on a scale of one to 10, Radizwill rated Clooney “definitely a nine.”
Lance Armstrong dated Cary Deuber
Don’t be fooled by the name of the show — Cary Deuber of The Real Housewives of Dallas works outside of the home and has a successful career as a nurse in the plastic surgery practice of her husband, Dr. Mark Deuber. The pair appear to be mostly happily married, a rock of stability in the often chaotic universe of the Texas-set version of the Real Housewives franchise. Before finding her spouse, Deuber dated some big-name celebrities, and she apparently had a type: athletes, particularly ultra-famous and champion athletes.
“I dated Lance Armstrong for, like, six months,” Deuber told Life & Style in 2017, referring to the multiple Tour de France winning cyclist, cancer survivor, Livestrong founder, and ultimately admitted and disgraced user of performance-enhancing drugs (according to USA Today). Deuber called their romance “very fun and kind of easy,” and said that Armstrong called it off before things got too serious, as he was hesitant to jump into something major after the end of his engagement to Sheryl Crow.
Very soon after she and Armstrong broke up, Deuber had a dalliance with New York Yankees star Derek Jeter. “I went on, like, literally two dates with the guy,” Deuber said. “In New York, we went out once and we went out once in Dallas and that was it. He wasn’t my cup of tea — and nor was I his, I think.”
Mac Miller hooked up with Eden Sassoon
Eden Sassoon only showed up for one season of pot-stirring antics on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, leaving the reality hit after just 16 episodes in 2017. Her name preceded her: She’s the daughter of hair care and beauty tycoon Vidal Sassoon who runs her own salon as well as a couple of pilates studios. According to Radar, her former husband, Tomer DeVito filed for divorce in 2008. Subsequently set free from the fidelity constraints of marriage, Sassoon didn’t necessarily date a slew of much younger and very famous men, but she definitely forged a connection with all of them.
In December 2016, Sassoon told The Tomorrow Show with Kevin Undergaro (via HollywoodLife) that she once performed a fleeting physical act on the late rapper and producer Mac Miller, whom she met by chance one day at a tattoo parlor. “I didn’t want to sleep with him, so I was like, ‘let me take care of this kid,'” Sassoon said, referring to their 19-year age difference. Sassoon previously dated pop singer and actor Jesse McCartney, 13 years her junior, for more than two years, and admitted to a make-out session with NBA star Blake Griffin when the latter was 22.
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