The former model and the film producer had a chance encounter in 1999 while Shields was filming the sitcom Suddenly Susan. During the shoot, the New York native’s dog Darla wandered off, but Henchy — who was at the studio that day working as a writer on a different show — brought her back.
“We chatted and he made me laugh,” Shields wrote in her 2005 memoir, Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression. “I left without even knowing his full name, but he made such a strong impression that I called up a friend and told her I had found a guy.”
The Lipstick Jungle alum noted that she wasn’t “even considering dating” at the time because she’d recently divorced her first husband, Andre Agassi. After she started spending time with Henchy, though, she changed her mind. “I was struck by how thoughtful and funny he was,” Shields recalled. “Because he knew my situation, there was no pressure, and we were just friends for quite some time. Finally, though, I had to admit that there was something between us that I could no longer ignore, and we started dating.”
After getting engaged in 2000, the duo tied the knot the following year at an intimate ceremony attended by close friends and family. In May 2003, they welcomed their first daughter, Rowan, but Shields underwent several fertility treatments before she successfully conceived a child. After Rowan’s arrival, the Endless Love actress experienced severe postpartum depression, which she’s publicly spoken about over the years. (The couple welcomed daughter Grier in April 2006.)
“Having my first daughter obliterated me,” Shields recalled in her 2014 book, There Was a Little Girl. “It took away all my power. All of a sudden I was experiencing something so foreign, which I had no response for. I had no resources to rely on. … And with the level of depression I experienced, I was just waiting to figure out how to slip away. It was so acute.”
Henchy was supportive of his wife during those dark periods, encouraging her to take prescribed antidepressants when she was nervous about using medicine to treat her condition. “Thank God he was so understanding,” Shields wrote in Down Came the Rain. “I know I wouldn’t have been able to continue if he’d been any less patient.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Keep scrolling for a look back at Shields and Henchy’s relationship timeline: