Quite the journey. Prior to marrying Nikki Bella in August 2022, Artem Chigvintsev — who shares son Matteo with the former WWE personality — dated others in the spotlight before settling down.
The Russia native, who was part of Burn the Floor and Strictly Come Dancing before joining Dancing With the Stars, has been romantically linked to many fellow dancers over the years. While not all his exes are still part of his life, one has a big impact on his weekly schedule.
Carrie Ann Inaba, who is currently a judge on the ABC competition series, was in a relationship with Chigvintsev for two and a half years between 2006 and 2009. She hasn’t given him any special treatment over the years though. In fact, during season 29 of the show, fans on social media speculated that she was being tough on him and partner Kaitlyn Bristowe because of their past.
“I think it’s hysterical. You know what I love though? This is what I love about the Bachelor fans and Bachelorette fans. They can create a story around it!” Inaba told Us Weekly and other reporters in November 2020. “And it’s weird because I totally understood what they were doing. They’re like, there’s jealousy there and there’s this and that because that’s what the Bachelor and Bachelorette is all about, right? It’s about creating stories about everybody.”
The longtime judge went on to deny that she gave Chigvintsev or anyone on the series special treatment, pointing out that she is friends with her ex and his love Bella.
“I love Artem, I respect him, I love him and Nikki together. I love that they just had their little baby Matteo. There’s nothing but love and I thought it was hysterical,” she continued. “So none of it bothers me. I know that people are passionate about Dancing With the Stars. They’re passionate about who they’re voting for. I love that.”
Bella, for her part, also joked about the Hawaii native’s history with Chigvintsev in 2019, noting that if the judge’s save was part of the season they competed on together, maybe they would have “lasted longer” than they did.
“I think Carrie Ann totally would have saved us. And not because you guys dated … but she really liked my technique,” the Total Bellas star said during Entertainment Tonight at the time. During the live show, the dancer immediately began blushing and covered his face.
Despite their past relationships, Bella and Chigvintsev are in a great place.
“Artem treats Nikki like a queen. He’s such a great guy and madly in love with her,” an insider exclusively told Us in June 2020, two years before the duo tied the knot. “She’s his dream girl, and she is super sweet to him. Their friends love them as a couple.”
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Scroll through the gallery below to see who else Chigvintsev has dated — and who he married — through the years: