While attending Elton John’s annual Academy Awards viewing party in Los Angeles, Bello shared that the couple got engaged on December 29 during a trip to Paris. “We’re pretty happy, considering we just got engaged,” the NCIS star, 52, told Entertainment Tonight. “So, this is sort of our fun time out in Hollywood for the first time since we’ve been engaged.”
The Coyote Ugly actress continued, “It was very surprising, but meant to be. It’s about time. I’ve finally grown up enough to get married. I think we just light each other up.”
The recently engaged pair continued to celebrate their relationship milestone by hitting up Vanity Fair’s star-studded gathering later that evening.
Before finding happiness with the 53-year-old French chef, Bello dated Dan McDermott from 1999 to 2006. The exes share an 18-year-old son, Jackson.
In November 2013, the Grown Ups actress revealed in a New York Times essay that she was in a long-term relationship with a woman named Clare Munn. The story, titled “Coming Out as a Modern Family,” detailed how she decided to give love a try with her best friend.
“I read about the handful of men and the one woman I had been in romantic relationships with, passages rife with pain and angst,” she wrote at the time. “It seemed when I was physically attracted to someone, I would put them in the box of being my ‘soul mate’ and then be crushed when things didn’t turn out as I had hoped.”
She continued, “As I continued to look through photos, I came across a black-and-white one of my best friends and me taken on New Year’s Eve. We looked so happy, I couldn’t help but smile. It didn’t occur to me, until that soul-searching moment in my garden, that we could perhaps choose to love each other romantically.”
Bello also recalled how she initially hid her romance with Munn from her then-teenage son. “I was with someone romantically and I hadn’t told him,” she explained. “I had become involved with a woman who was my best friend, and, as it happens, a person who is like a godmother to my son.”
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