Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin: How the Unlikely Couple Came to Be

Celebrity News Mar. 27, 2014 AT 1:30PM
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin Looking back at how recently separated couple Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin first met. Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Considering the constant tabloid speculation, it wasn't a huge surprise when Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow announced that they were separating — or rather, consciously uncoupling — on Tuesday. Still, the duo was married for over a decade, which in Hollywood time is really about 30 years.

So how did the Oscar-winning actress and Coldplay singer — who seemed like total opposites — become a power couple?

Paltrow, 41, met Martin, 37, while Coldplay was on tour to promote "A Rush of Blood to the Head." The rocker asked Gwyneth to come backstage after one of his Los Angeles shows in 2002.

"It's funny because people had started writing that we were going out and we had never even met," Paltrow revealed while chatting with reporters during her "Iron Man 3" press tour in April 2013. "And then he was in Los Angeles doing a concert and an actress that he had a crush on was supposed to come to the concert. When she didn't show up, he was so annoyed that he said, 'Oh, this is for my girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow.'"

She continued, "Then people were saying, 'What's going on?' I was like, 'I've never met this guy, I've no idea!' And because of that, because people were writing about it, we ended up meeting at a concert and there you go. So, thank you! Because they had written so much in the press, his assistant came to my seat at the concert. They said, 'This is so crazy, but will you come back and say hello afterwards?' And that was it."

[Related: Gwyneth and Chris Split... Were There Warning Signs?]

But Chris and Gwyneth faced tough times even during their whirlwind courtship.

Paltrow's father, Bruce, passed away in October 2002, weeks after she and Martin began dating. The actress battled depression in the months that followed, although she leaned on Chris to help her through it. Several songs from Coldplay's 2005 "X&Y" album, including the ballad "Fix You," were written for Paltrow after her father's death.

Gwyneth then decided to take a break from Hollywood. She hit the road and followed Coldplay on a six-month world tour across North America, Europe, and Australia.

So what exactly drew this duo together aside from relationship rumors?

"One of the things that unites us the most is that we always laugh at the same jokes," Gwyneth has said.

Chris — who usually made it a rule not to speak publicly about Paltrow — also revealed on "CBS Sunday Morning" that his marriage to the actress is the only serious relationship he's ever had.

"From being a loser to going out with an Oscar winner?" the musician admitted. "It's a giant leap."

He added, "Let's face it. It's like winning the lottery."

On Dec. 3, 2003, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child together. Chris officially won the lottery two days later when he and Gwyneth secretly wed in Santa Barbara, California.

Martin and Paltrow's family of two grew quickly. The actress gave birth to daughter Apple in May 2004 and son Moses in April 2006. Gwyneth later opened up about suffering from postpartum depression after the birth of Moses.

Unfortunately, the difficult times didn't stop there.

[Related: Gwyneth and Chris: A Timeline From Unusual Baby Names to Uncoupling]

In a candid interview with The Mail on Sunday's You magazine last year, Paltrow revealed she had miscarried with her third child, although she did not specifiy when when she lost the baby.

Clearly, family kept this (sometimes) seemingly unlikely couple together. In the same interview, Gwyneth hinted at marriage troubles, but praised Chris as a "co-parent."

"Regardless of what happens in our marriage, I chose the best father," she said. "[Chris] is so good to the children and to know that you had kids with such a good man is a real weight off you. We are committed co-parents, we make all the decisions together and lean on each other for support."

A month later, Paltrow told Self magazine, "You're not learning anything unless you're having the difficult conversations. Dealing with things directly changed my relationships. Sometimes when you get clear about who you are, others get less comfortable because they liked who you were. It's changed my marriage, too, but he's up for the challenge."

Although Chris and Gwyneth appeared solid his past weekend, they announced their separation on Tuesday.

"It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate. We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much we will remain separate," read a statement on Paltrow's Goop website.

"We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been," the post continued. "We are parents first and foremost, to two incredibly wonderful children and we ask for their and our space and privacy to be respected at this difficult time. We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner."

Reportedly, Gwyneth and Chris are currently riding out the media firestorm how they started this crazy journey… together.

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