Pompeo met husband Chris Ivery in a Los Angeles grocery store in 2003 and after six months of friendship, the couple began dating. “One night she just looked different to me,” Ivery told People in a joint December 2006 with the Old School star.
The pair quickly realized their meet-cute was meant to be when they discovered they had grown up about 10 miles away from each other in neighboring Massachusetts towns.
For Pompeo, it didn’t take much more to know the music producer was The One. “I guess you fall in love and you think he’s the guy right away,” she gushed. “Right when you fall in love, you think he’s the guy. You don’t sort of fall into a relationship thinking it’s only going to be temporary. We were six degrees our whole lives, so I feel like we were sort of meant to be.”
The twosome secretly tied the knot a year later, with former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg officiating the ceremony. “They took us in this underground tunnel underneath City Hall … and you’re in the mayor’s office. Behind a bookshelf, a wall opens and then you just walk in and you’re in his office,” Pompeo recounted during a 2017 episode of Live With Kelly and Ryan. “No one knew, so we had that to ourselves.”
Throughout their marriage — and the birth of three children, daughters Stella and Sienna, and son Eli — Grey’s Anatomy made its way to becoming the longest-running medical drama in television history. Throughout its success, Pompeo remained at the helm of the series until she announced that she would be stepping back from the show in November 2022.
While Ivery has provided unwavering support for the Emmy winner throughout her career, there’s one thing he avoids in order to keep their marriage healthy — watching the Daredevil actress on screen.
“There was a time back in the day that I watched it a lot, but then I didn’t know if she had a lover,” Ivery exclusively told Us Weekly in February 2019.
“I would say I’m not jealous; I’m really confident, but it’s awkward. She’s acting but now she’s got this new lover, which I know him,” he said of Giacomo Gianniotti, who portrayed Dr. Andrew DeLuca on ABC hit from 2015 to 2021. “He’s a great guy. I actually like him. And to be honest, I haven’t watched those scenes because I feel like it can be awkward.”
While Ivery may not have tuned in to watch Pompeo every week, he still told Us he’s his wife’s “biggest fan,” noting that the secret to their longtime romance is creating time for one another — no matter what.
“What’s the secret? We’ve been doing it for a long time. I think the secret is taking the time that we need,” he explained. “Like if it’s me and her and we need a date night, we take it. It’s just sort of supporting each other. And obviously, with three kids it’s ample. Her on set, me downtown, it’s a lot. But she’s my biggest fan. I’m her biggest fan.”
Pompeo, for her part, echoed her husband’s sentiment and gushed over how “proud” she was of him for starting a clothing line after such a successful career as a music producer.
“He’s been in the music business for 25 years and he changed careers at 50,” she told Us. “And he killed it. I mean, knocked it out of the park. It’s amazing! So for anybody who feels they’re stuck, you can change your career at any age.”
As for why Pompeo chose to stick with Grey’s Anatomy for almost two decades — it was all about putting her family first.
“For me, personally, a healthy home life was so important to me — more important than a career,” she said during an August 2020 episode of the “Jemele Hill Is Unbothered” podcast. “I didn’t grow up with a particularly happy childhood. So the idea that I have this great husband, these three beautiful children … to have a happy home life was really something I needed. And so I made a decision to make money and not chase creative acting roles.”
Keep scrolling to relive Pompeo and Ivery’s longtime love story: