When Hollywood’s bankable star Julia Roberts and her first future husband, Lyle Lovett, courted, people noticed “something special was happening between” them from the onset. Lovett knew it too, but he was too overwhelmed by the thought of them being an item.
The romance between actress Julia Roberts and singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett began in 1993 in New Orleans. The couple was first spotted in June that year when Roberts was filming the thriller movie “The Pelican Brief” in the city.
They had gone to hear the acoustic band called “New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars” which specializes in funky Jewish folk music. Still, their presence with each other seemed low-key.
Singer Lyle Lovett and his wife, actress Julia Roberts during “The Pelican Brief” Westwood premiere at the Mann Bruin Theatre on December 13, 1993 in Westwood, California. / Source: Getty Images
The duo could not openly show that something was brewing between them, but they did dance the hora. One customer recalled the experience between Lovett and Roberts that day:
“They were nuzzling and dancing together. Everyone knew something special was happening between them.”
Interestingly, Lovett believed that Roberts was way out of his league but at the same time felt their chemistry was undeniable. “It felt extraordinary,” he admitted.
Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts during the 31st Annual New York Film Festival Opening Night – “Short Cuts” Screening at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center on October 1, 1993 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images
Yet he tried to suppress his thoughts about being madly in love with America’s sweetheart because of who she was but knew deep down that he liked her, saying:
“I didn’t want to actually think it out loud, or even to myself, because of her being who she is. I knew I really liked this person. But I thought, ‘Don’t be stupid. She’s Julia Roberts.’”
THE WHIRLWIND ROMANCE LED THE COUPLE DOWN THE AISLE
Julia Roberts and her husband Lyle Lovett embracing during his concert on the night of their wedding day in July 1993. / Source: Getty Images
The Grammy Award winner and the “Pretty Woman” star dated for three to four weeks before they spontaneously decided to get hitched in July 1993.
Lovett’s former lover, Allison Inman, told People that she was in awe of her ex-boyfriend for doing something unconventional with Roberts, going against his meticulous reputation.
“I’m proud of the old guy because I’ve never seen him do anything spontaneous. I have to applaud a woman who can get him to do something like that,” said Inman.
Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts during the Rainforest Foundation Benefit Concert at the Carnegie Hall on April 30, 1997 in New York, New York. / Source: Getty Images
In December 1993, Roberts gushed on her newly-wedded husband during an interview with The New York Times, stating he was an exceptional man:
“He’s a tremendous man, and he’s shown a great deal of courage in marrying me.”
Being an A-Lister, Roberts shared that Lovett embraced her very public life, which is a big part of her. “That’s part and parcel of my life, and he’s done it with great, distinguishing effort,” she said.
Of their lives as a married couple, the Golden Globe Award winner revealed they pretended to be an average couple. They got up every morning and left for their jobs. While he went to the studio to make a record, she went to the studio to make a film.
On a particular Thanksgiving, Roberts cooked a turkey in Los Angeles for Lovett’s family, who visited from Texas. Moreover, she and her spouse considered New York their home, adding people would walk up to them to greet and congratulate them on getting married.
The “Runaway Bride” star revealed that some unkind people made fun of her wedding gown, saying it looked like a tablecloth.
She was not the only one in the relationship who received criticism. Roberts had to defend her spouse during an interview with Barbara Walters the same year they wed. Lovett’s hairdo had featured in almost every article about the pair.
During the interview, Walters asked the “Notting Hill” star whether she liked her husband’s hair, and she said yes. Roberts mentioned that she could not understand why everyone made a fuss about Lovett’s hair:
“I do like his hair. It’s not as big as everyone makes it out to be. It’s pretty normal.”
After slamming the naysayers, Roberts defended Lovett in the following interviews. A mutual friend introduced the two in 1992 before they co-starred in the movie “The Player” that same year. The brunette beauty had reportedly been a big fan of the musician before they crossed paths.
While they were over the moon after getting married, their union did not last. The duo split in 1995 after almost two years together. But it did not come as a surprise because they rarely made public appearances together.
The rumor mill also alleged that Roberts was spotted dancing with her co-star Ethan Hawke. In addition, she and Lovett still owned separate homes; the starlet lived in New York while Lovett stayed in Texas full-time.
The “Cowboy Man” singer later explained the couple’s unusual circumstances of never having lived together as husband and wife, telling People:
“We’ve never gone more than a week without seeing each other since we got married. But before that, we’d never spent more than seven days together.”
Nonetheless, the pair had an amicable breakup, and Roberts later said she had no regrets about their marriage because good things came out of it.
LOVETT HAS BEEN WITH HIS WIFE APRIL KIMBLE SINCE THE ’90S
Lyle Lovett and April Kimble during a celebration of Paul Newman’s “Hole In The Wall” Camps at Lincoln Center on October 21st, 2010 in New York City. / Source: Getty Images
After their union ended, Lovett moved on with April Kimble, and the couple has been together since the ’90s. Kimble and Lovett married in 2017 and now reside on his family homestead in East Texas.
When asked what home is to him, the “Angels Sing” actor shared that first and foremost, home for him is family. But in his case, home is a farm place that his forefather came to in the early 1850s.
Lovett further explained that a home is where he could keep his family’s space intact and teach his kids about it and their place in the family.
Lyle Lovett and April Kimble during the Annenberg Space for Photography Opening Celebration for “Country, Portraits of an American Sound” at the Annenberg Space for Photography on May 22, 2014 in Century City, California. / Source: Getty Images
The record producer and his wife welcomed twins, a son, and a daughter, in June 2017. Being in his sixties, Lovett never imagined his age being a factor when becoming a dad.
Having children had been a revelation to the “The New Guy” star, and he has enjoyed the first two years with his brood. “I didn’t think of my age as something relevant until I became a father,” Lovett confessed, adding:
“More than anything else, when I’m gone, I want my kids to know that their dad loved them.”
LOVETT IS ENJOYING FATHERHOOD WHILE HE STILL CAN
April Kimble and her husband Lyle Lovett attending the Haiti Carnival in Cannes during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2012 in Cannes, France. / Source: Getty Images
In an interview with The Washington Post in May 2022, Lovett talked about the joy of fatherhood, “It’s wonderful. I mean, I’m so grateful to have had this experience at all,” he said.
The musician noted that he always imagined being a dad but never predicted that he would enjoy parenthood so much. He also revealed that his kids inspired some of his songs.
His new album “12th of June” is a title from his children’s birthday. Lovett mentioned that he had written the songs but was not sitting and reflecting on what it is like being a father because he is one.
There is a song called “Pants is Overrated,” which is about his brood in the album. “It was about my kids. Seeing them run around with no pants, it’s like, who needs them?” he stated.
Lovett shared that he sang that song for his children to try and convince them to wear pants. One of his bandmates from Large Band, Russ Kunsel, divulged his boss seems “fulfilled” since becoming a father. The drummer added Lovett constantly desired to be a dad and for his family to grow and to go on, creating a lineage.