The Glee star introduced himself to the model at a Grammys party in 2011.
“I sang backup for a guy named Don Ho in high school, and spent summers in Hawaii. So when I heard her speak, I said, ‘Howzit, sistah?’ and she laughed,” he recalled to The New York Post of meeting the Hawaii native. “The rest is history.”
“Honestly, [Renee] loves the fact that I went through all that — a lot of relationships, some one-night stands,” Morrison told The Post. “I learned a lot about who I was and, more importantly, the person I wanted to be with. My wife came into my life at such a great time.”
After proposing in 2013, Morrison and Puente wed in October 2014.
“I teared up … when she was saying her vows to me,” the actor told People. “Both our vows were very us and filled with heartfelt sentiments but also some comedy.”
He added at the time that they were on a “two-year plan” to expand their family, explaining, “We want to enjoy this moment and enjoy being husband and wife by ourselves because once that happens, it’s kind of not about you anymore.”
The twosome went on to welcome a son in 2017 and a daughter in 2021. Controversy rocked the spouses in May 2022 when Us broke the news that Morrison was leaving So You Think You Can Dance amid season 17.
“Having the opportunity to be a judge on So You Think You Can Dance was an incredible honor for me,” he said in a statement at the time. “Therefore, it is my deepest regret to inform you that I will be leaving the show. After filming the audition rounds for the show and completing the selection of the 12 finalists, I did not follow competition production protocols, preventing me from being able to judge the competition fairly. I cannot apologize enough to all involved and I will be watching alongside you all on what I know will be one of the best seasons yet.”
A source subsequently told Us that messages the musician sent to a female contestant “were deemed inappropriate and broke protocol” for Fox and led to his firing.
“The messages contained sexual innuendos and were flirty to the extent he was overstepping boundaries,” the insider said. “He didn’t have sex with the contestant, but she complained to producers about him because the messages made her feel uncomfortable and awkward and then they took it to HR.”
In June 2022, Morrison took to Instagram to share his side of the story. “It’s really unfortunate to have to sit here and defend myself and my family against blatantly untrue statements made anonymously,” he said in the video, reading the alleged text out loud. “I will read to you the one message that I wrote to a dancer on the show: ‘Hey, it’s Matthew. If you don’t mind, would love to get your number and talk you through some things.’ The end.” He added that he contacted the contestant in order to help get a choreographer friend a job on the show.
Immediately following his post, Puente reshared her husband’s video via her own account, defending the actor, deriding the gossip and thanking fans for their support. “To all those who have shined love and light in our lives through this… thank you 🙏🏽🌞 To all the rest- sending Love & Light,” she wrote alongside the clip.
Scroll through for Morrison and Puente’s relationship timeline: