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Julia Roberts | Source: Instagram.com/Juliaroberts
Julia Roberts | Source: Instagram.com/Juliaroberts

This Girl Left Her Fiancé Shortly Before They Were Set to Wed & Later Starred in ‘Runaway Bride’

Busayo Ogunjimi
Oct 30, 2023
05:00 A.M.

This actress gave her fiancé the most shocking, unforgettable wedding experience. She abandoned him at the altar on their nuptials and ran off with his best friend. Here is a full timeline of how their romance metamorphosed and crashed.

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This actress has been the star of films such as "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "Eat Pray Love." She gave fans some of the most amazing love stories and her work over the years has won her numerous awards.

Julia Roberts with her siblings Eric and Lisa Roberts and actor Jon Voight in New York in 1985 | Source: Getty Images

Julia Roberts with her siblings Eric and Lisa Roberts and actor Jon Voight in New York in 1985 | Source: Getty Images

The actress was in the film "Runaway Bride," where she played a small-town lady who made it a habit to flee the altar every time she was set to marry. The irony lies in the fact that in real life, years earlier, she was a runaway bride herself, as part of one of Hollywood's most scandalous romances.

Before the drama of her scandalous wedding, the actress grew up with a love for theatre. Her parents owned a theatre school in Atlanta called Actors and Writers Workshop.

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The theatre school became an important part of the community. At the time, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, were looking for their children to join a theatre school, but no one wanted to take them in.

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But when the King family asked the actress' parents, she welcomed them with open arms. From there the two families became close and even paid for the hospital bill when the actress was born.

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The actress used her theatre background to become one of the most celebrated Hollywood stars. Eight of her films have made over $100 million, not to mention the awards she has won, including an Oscar.

The Scandalous Wedding

It is no secret that Julia Roberts has one of the most successful careers in show business. But, while she had a job many would wish for, her love affairs weren't alluring. Roberts was once in love with her colleague, actor Kiefer Sutherland.

Julia Roberts at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 25, 2015, in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

Julia Roberts at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 25, 2015, in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

The actress, who is regarded as Hollywood's most bankable star, and her mercurial actor-lover of more than a year, first met on the set of the 1990 science-fiction film, "Flatliners." Sutherland had just finalized his divorce from actress Camelia Kath at the time. Roberts, for her part, had also broken off her engagement with former co-star Dylan McDermott.

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The two actors dated, and were the perfect couple, always showing their love. The "Stand by Me" actor soon proposed to Roberts, and they were ready to say "I do" on June 14, 1991.

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Their wedding was supposed to be held in a film studio soundstage that would be converted into a garden. Guests of high status were invited, and the cake, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and all that a million-dollar wedding needed were ready.

But their flamboyant, highly publicized nuptials became one of the most scandalous events in Hollywood's history. On their wedding day, instead of walking down the aisle, Sutherland found himself back in his own apartment after moving out of Roberts' Hollywood Hills home they used to share.

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Meanwhile, Roberts, who called off the wedding days before, ran off with Sutherland's best friend, Jason Patric. While Sutherland was still trying to process Roberts' actions, she and Patric were on their way to Ireland.

Scandalous Wedding Aftermath

After the scandalous event, the three actors did not address the issues for many years, but a friend once confirmed that Roberts' actions deeply hurt Sutherland. When asked how the actor was doing a few weeks after he was ditched for Patric, the friend said:

"Well, what would you think if someone who goes on every talk show and says how much she loves you did something like this? He's shocked."

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On the day Sutherland should have been named Roberts' husband and moved out of the actress's home, the runaway bride was enjoying a turkey burger with the "Sleepers" star.

After their lunch, they took a flight to London and booked separate rooms at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, where suites cost $650 a night. A hotel worker said the actress didn't have her engagement ring on and looked "very drawn" when the two checked in.

Jason Patric arrives at the 21st Annual Huading Global Film Awards held at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on December 15, 2016 | Photo: Getty Images

Jason Patric arrives at the 21st Annual Huading Global Film Awards held at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on December 15, 2016 | Photo: Getty Images

As their affair continued to make headlines, speculations also started rising. People wondered if Patric was indeed Roberts' boyfriend or if they were only friends, but a tabloid said that the two were "practically making love" during their flight to Dublin.

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However, this was later countered when "Pretty Woman" director Garry Marshall told a reporter that Roberts needed "a lot of hugging and holding" during the devastating period. It also turned out the relationship had faced issues that threatened to wreck their affair.

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Sutherland had once moved out of Roberts' house while they were still dating. Although it wasn't clear if it was because of an argument or work, Sutherland checked into Francis Hotel across the street from Hollywood Billiards Parlo. And, within days, he was seen with Amanda Rice, a dancer at the Crazy Girls Club in Hollywood.

Why Roberts Ditched Sutherland

Many years after Roberts called off her wedding, the actress decided it was time to address the drama surrounding it. In an interview, she said the situation wasn't as dramatic as the media made it seem.

However, she did say Sutherland may have given the media reasons to read more meaning to what happened by playing the victim. The actress also said it was good for them that they never got married.

Sutherland’s Point of View

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Sutherland also notably said nothing about their breakup until later. In an interview with People's Jess Cagle, the actor said Roberts had the courage to end their engagement. He further explained:

"We had decided we wanted to get married, but then this other thing kind of took over... this wedding that was supposed to be something between the two of us became something so big."

Where Are Sutherland and Patric Now?

It has been several years since Patric ran off with his friend's bride, and it appeared that time had already healed the wounds. The two friends have since settled their rift, and in an interview with Michael Rosenbaum, the friend revealed how they eventually worked things out.

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In the clip posted on YouTube, the buddies dismissed the gossip about Patric running off with the bride, not being invited to Sutherland's wedding and the other rumors. The friends didn't dive into detail, but they did say the situation was a case of bad timing.

Julia Roberts Found Her Happily Ever After

Although Roberts gave the media a scandal to remember, she eventually found love again. This love story also had its fair share of drama surrounding it, but the actress and her husband of 21 years, Danny Moder have stood the test of time.

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The couple share three children together, twins Phinnaeus, Hazel, and Henry. But in addition to co-parenting, Moder and Roberts also work together and the "Runaway Bride" star would not have it any other way. Roberts gushed:

"He’s my favorite person on the planet, so I love spending time with him, and I love his work ethic. His point of view is really valuable to me."

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Even when doing scenes that might have been a bit exposing, Roberts said she felt more comfortable knowing that her husband was there. Moder and the actress both work demanding jobs in the film industry, but they always prioritize their children.

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Despite the major career milestones the actress has achieved, she expressed that the family she built with Moder has become a big part of her happiness.

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