On March 29, 2020, actors and reality television personalities Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin celebrated 23 years of marriage, and their relationship is truly a one-of-a-kind love story. From their very first conversation to the way they rang in their twenty-second wedding anniversary, these two sure are a unique Hollywood couple. Even Rinna’s single gripe about Hamlin is out of the ordinary: When TooFab asked The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star in January 2020 to name one thing she does not like about her husband, she replied, “He chews this blue gum.” Rinna explained that the blue gum “ends up everywhere,” before adding, “But I mean, if that’s the only thing that I don’t like about Harry Hamlin, I think we’re good.” She has a point.
This celebrity romance has been in the spotlight for a long time, and there have been a whole pile of interesting stories about these two throughout those years. Here are some of the strange things about Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin’s marriage.
Harry Hamlin thought Lisa Rinna was all about elephant dung
It was love at first … misunderstanding regarding a circus. On a 2019 episode of SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show (via People), Harry Hamlin revealed that he met Lisa Rinna in 1992, just as her acting career was taking off. At the time, Rinna was working at an eyeglass store, and one fateful evening, she stopped by the restaurant where her boss was dining to drop off the keys after closing the shop. Her boss just so happened to be dining with Hamlin, L.A. Law star and People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” of 1987.
Hamlin recalled Rinna bringing up a recent trip to the circus and calling the show “sexy.” She was talking about Cirque du Soleil, but he assumed she was talking about a Ringling Brothers show with “the elephants … and the clowns and all that.” He continued, “I thought, ‘If this girl can be turned on by elephant dung and whatever, I’m good with her.'” Hamlin was, as he put it on The Jess Cagle Show, “smitten.”
Shortly after they crossed paths for the first time, they entered into a relationship. According to a People report from 1997, Rinna and Hamlin went out on their first date to Brentwood, Calif. restaurant Toscana in 1993, where the waiter told the two that they were “soul mates.” It looks like that waiter was not wrong.
Harry Hamlin was married to Lisa Rinna's co-star's husband's ex
Now, bear with us here … we promise it all makes sense. Back in 1991, Harry Hamlin married actor Nicollette Sheridan, and they split the next year. After he and Sheridan broke up, he met future The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Rinna, and they got married in 1997. Nearly two decades after Hamlin and Rinna got hitched, Sheridan started a relationship with Aaron Phypers. As People noted, the couple got married in December 2015, but just six months later, the Knots Landing star filed for divorce.
In August 2018, Sheridan and Phypers were officially divorced, and a few weeks later, Phypers tied the knot with Denise Richards. Their wedding just so happened to be featured on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And RHOBH just so happens to be a reality show that stars Richards and Rinna. As Rinna put it on a Season 9 episode of the Beverly Hills edition of The Real Housewives, “So yeah, [Richards and I] have some intertwining stuff going on, don’t we?”
Oh, and that is only the half of it. Later that season, viewers watched RHOBH‘s Dorit Kemsley make small talk with actor Patrick Muldoon at Richards’ wedding … about Muldoon dating both Richards and Rinna way back when. Hollywood: Where the world is small and the names are big.
Lisa Rinna believes Michael Bolton is to thank for her marriage to Harry Hamlin
If you figured we were done naming celebrities who are connected to Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin’s relationship on some level, well then, you’ve got another thing coming. On Season 9 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Rinna shared with her cast mates that Hamlin and Nicollette Sheridan’s marriage supposedly came to an end after Sheridan went to a Michael Bolton concert at the Hollywood Bowl and allegedly left the show with the musician while Hamlin was in Canada. Before Rinna raised her glass to lead her RHOBH co-stars in a toast to the Grammy winner, she said, “I thank Michael Bolton to this day, are you kidding me?” Classic Rinna.
Sheridan and Bolton began dating in 1992, broke up in 1997, and then reunited in 2005. They then got engaged in 2006, but as outlets such as the Daily Mail reported, the on-and-off couple called things off two years after that. Sheridan maintains that she did not cheat on Hamlin with the “When a Man Loves a Woman” singer, and she made that point loud and clear on social media following the aforementioned episode of RHOBH.
“Harry and I ended our marriage nose to nose in Canada,” Sheridan tweeted in part. They couldn’t see eye to eye, but according to Sheridan, they were about to work things out nose to nose.
Harry Hamlin's drama with his ex-wife made it into the Bravoverse
After Lisa Rinna expressed on an episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills that she is grateful to Michael Bolton for her relationship with Harry Hamlin, Nicollette Sheridan tweeted her take on the story, calling the claim that she cheated on her then-husband “FAKE NEWS!” Hamlin fired back that Sheridan allegedly hooked up with Bolton weeks after his mother died, adding, “I did a lotta stuff with my wife ‘nose to nose’ but ending our marriage was not one of them!” Rinna also responded to Sheridan’s remarks, calling her “the gift that keeps on giving!”
Then, Sheridan quote-tweeted Hamlin’s reply and wrote, “Do you really want the truth shared? I appreciate that you want to support your housewife’s FAKE NEWS narrative, but the end of our marriage had nothing to do with anyone other than us. Sad you still can’t own your part.”
Right when all of this drama was unfolding, Beverly Hills Housewife Dorit Kemsley went on Watch What Happens Live. So, naturally, host Andy Cohen asked Kemsley if she thinks Sheridan should be on a future season of RHOBH. The Beverly Beach founder was not into the idea. On another episode of WWHL, Rinna flipped the bird when asked how she feels about what Sheridan tweeted. And when Cohen shared that Sheridan started following him on Twitter? Rinna replied, “She probably needs a job.” Once again, classic Rinna.
The couple's house was built by Harry Hamlin and his first wife
You know Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin’s abode? The one that’s in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Here’s some history for you: That home is the very same house that Hamlin lived in with his first wife, actor Laura Johnson, back in the ’80s. That in and of itself is not strange; lots of people live in a house that their significant other once shared with an ex. However, this example has some fairly unique twists and turns.
On a May 2020 episode of Watch What What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Rinna claimed Hamlin’s second wife, Nicollette Sheridan, “refused to live in this house” that he built with Johnson. She continued, “So he moved out and lived with her.” However, Hamlin didn’t ditch the home he once shared with Johnson. “And then when they broke up, he moved back in,” Rinna added. “And I was like, ‘F**k it. I don’t care. I’ll live in your house!'”
And they’ve been in that home ever since. Everything’s coming up Hamlin-house.
Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin have nothing in common
Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin started dating in the early ’90s, walked down the aisle on March 29, 1997, and have been together ever since — and that is no small feat for a couple in the public eye. As Rinna put it when Ryan Seacrest asked her about her twenty-second wedding anniversary on Live! With Kelly and Ryan in 2019, “I always say that that’s like 150 in Hollywood, which it kind of is.” Apparently, you use about the same rate to calculate Hollywood relationship years as you do dog years.
So, what’s the secret to their relationship success? When talking about her long-lasting marriage to Hamlin during a 2018 appearance on the talk show, Rinna admitted she does not know why they work. She went on to say, “We’re so opposite. We have nothing in common, and I truly mean that. Like, zero.”
For his part, Hamlin told Kelly Ripa and Seacrest the following year that he and Rinna have stood the test of time thanks to a few tried-and-true reasons. “In all seriousness, we really respect each other, we listen to each other, we’re great friends, and we really like each other,” he said. Hamlin then deadpanned, “Also, there’s a thing called sex. You know, it kind of plays into the whole thing.” He also noted that they are “complete opposites, too. Absolute 100 percent opposites.” These two may be opposites, but they don’t have opposite opinions regarding being opposites.
Harry Hamlin considered cutting ties before Real Housewives
Lisa Rinna revealed on a 2015 episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? that when the idea of joining The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was first presented to her, she thought, “Oh, god. Harry’s never going to go for this.” Sure enough, when she approached him with the idea, he told her he would file for divorce and left the room. Rinna continued, “He comes back to me in like two days and he said, ‘You know, I’ve thought about it, I’ve done some research … I changed my mind. I think it might be a good thing for you.'”
For his part, Hamlin admitted on a 2019 episode of Watch What Happens Live that he told Rinna he had his “divorce lawyer on [his] speed dial” when she expressed interest in the Bravo reality series. He also told Andy Cohen that Rinna suggested he speak with The Real Housewives of New York City‘s Bethenny Frankel about the franchise and the business opportunities it can offer, adding, “So I did, and here we are.”
But RHOBH is not the couple’s first reality show rodeo. Rinna was a contestant on the second season of Dancing with the Stars, and in 2010, Rinna, Hamlin, and their daughters, Delilah Belle Hamlin and Amelia Gray Hamlin, were all on a TV Land reality series called Harry Loves Lisa. As far as the reality TV genre goes, Rinna owns it, baby.
Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna apply psychology to Real Housewives
Like a football team gathering around a tube TV that the coach wheeled into the locker room so they can dissect what happened in the most recent game, Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin try to analyze her The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills co-stars’ behavior after every episode. He told The Daily Beast in 2019, “I pull out my psychology degree from Yale and my DSM-5 manual, and we see what all the personality disorders are blossoming and figure out how to deal with all the personalities, and what Lisa can do to stay above the fray.”
Before he was declared “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine, Hamlin was a college kid working on two majors. As The New York Times noted in 1979, he graduated from Yale in 1974 with degrees in theater and psychology. And now, he uses one of those degrees to break down the various kerfuffles that develop on any given season of RHOBH. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall of the Rinna-Hamlin kitchen during the Puppygate era. Or the “Were people doing coke in your bathroom?” era. Or the Bunnygate era. Or the — let’s stop right there before this list gets longer than that braid Dorit Kemsley wore to an event on RHOBH Season 10.
Lisa Rinna may not only refer to her husband as Harry Hamlin
As The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fans know, when Lisa Rinna talks about her husband on the show, she almost always refers to him by first and last name. Well, according to her husband, that is apparently just a bit she does for the Bravo cameras. When The Daily Beast asked Harry Hamlin about Rinna calling him “Harry Hamlin” in 2019, he said, “I don’t know where that came from. No, she does not say, ‘Harry Hamlin, put the toilet seat down.’ I am ‘Harry’ at home.” Hamlin went on to theorize that Rinna does this on the reality show “to make sure people know who she is talking about.” He continued, “She is reminding people I’m still alive as an actor.”
While Rinna may not say “Harry Hamlin, put the toilet seat down,” it does seem like she has been using his first and last name for quite some time. Consider this tweet from 2015, where she wrote, “I have no idea why I call Harry Hamlin, Harry Hamlin. I just do and always have. Love that HH.” Or this one that went up about two years before she appeared RHOBH: “I like to call him Harry Hamlin don’t you? Or HH or the Hubby.”
Hey, when a name’s got that clear of a ring to it, why not say it to your heart’s content?
Lisa Rinna's RHOBH co-star hinted something was up with Harry Hamlin
In the middle of an argument that took place on the fifth season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, original cast member Kim Richards implied something was going on with Harry Hamlin behind the scenes. Gesturing to Lisa Rinna from across the dinner table, Richards said, “I’m concerned about you and your situation at home.” Later, she muttered, “Let’s not talk about the husband,” which elicited a reaction from Rinna, with Richards replying, “Let’s not talk about what you don’t want out.” It all culminated in Rinna throwing her drink at Richards and breaking the glass.
There has been some speculation regarding what Richards was talking about, including a rumor that Hamlin allegedly cheated on Rinna with Julianne Phillips, who was in 1997’s Allie & Me with Hamlin. (This alleged affair has been linked to some disturbing and unverified claims that have appeared on some blogs and forums. In March 2019, Rinna addressed the rumored infidelity on Twitter, writing, “You all can come at me for whatever you want I don’t care Julianne and Harry need to be left alone they did nothing.”)
In 2015, TMZ reported that sources claimed Richards apparently pulled that whole “Let’s not talk about the husband” thing out of thin air. According to the outlet’s insiders, Richards allegedly just wanted to say something that would upset Rinna during that fight, and that’s what she came up with. Yeesh.
Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin celebrated 22 years of marriage with whales
The traditional gift for a twenty-second wedding anniversary in the United States is copper, but in the Rinna-Hamlin household? The best way to honor 22 years of marriage is to watch whales give birth. When she was a guest host on a 2019 episode of Live! With Kelly and Ryan, Lisa Rinna revealed that she and Harry Hamlin planned to celebrate their anniversary by going to watch baby whales being born.
Ryan Seacrest observed that this is an “unconventional” way to ring in another year of marriage and asked, “Is there a theme? Is there a reason?” Rinna didn’t have an answer, so she volleyed the question back at Seacrest. There was then some debate regarding whether or not all whales live in salt water. Oh, there was also a part where Seacrest wondered if maybe because Rinna and Hamlin have kids, Hamlin enjoys watching mammals give birth? Morning chat shows really are the best.
Go see some whales is precisely what they did. Rinna documented their whale-watching excursion on Instagram Stories (via the Daily Mail) and her main Instagram grid. And wow, did their adventure out on the open sea look like an un-baleen-able time.
Harry Hamlin doesn't keep up with Lisa Rinna's social media
Lisa Rinna’s Instagram account is the number one place to find clips of the Melrose Place alum dancing like everyone is watching — well, almost everyone. On a December 2019 episode of Live! With Kelly and Ryan, Harry Hamlin revealed he does not check his daughters’ social media posts, and he makes a concerted effort to avoid Rinna’s Instagram account. He said, “I don’t watch the message boards, I don’t read reviews, and I don’t look at Lisa’s posts.” Naturally, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest proceed to show him a now-infamous video of Rinna dancing on a table at Andy Cohen’s baby shower, and he watched in silent shock before jokingly throwing his hands up and asking, “You see why I don’t follow her, okay?”
Around that same time, Hamlin went on Jenny McCarthy’s SiriusXM show, where he explained that he does technically follow his wife on Instagram but does not check her account. “I’ve been told never to look at it,” he quipped. What a hilarious thing to hear about your own spouse’s Instagram page.
Hamlin has his blue chewing gum, Rinna has her Instagram dancing videos, and it all seems to be working out.
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