Chris Ivery and Ellen Pompeo | Source: Getty Images
Chris Ivery and Ellen Pompeo | Source: Getty Images

Ellen Pompeo & Her Husband Went from Friends to Dating after She ‘Looked Different’ to Him One Night

Joe Akins
Feb 07, 2022
01:00 P.M.

"Grey's Anatomy's" Ellen Pompeo has been married to Chris Ivery since 2007 and shares three children with him. Meet the beautiful couple and find out more about their beautiful love story.


American actress Ellen Pompeo is famous for playing Dr. Meredith Grey on the medical drama series "Grey's Anatomy" since 2005.

Besides being a star actress, Pompeo is also a married woman and shares three children with her husband, Chris Ivery. Meet her husband and children and discover how they ended up as a couple.

 Ellen Pompeo attending the GLSEN Respect Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in October 2018. | Source: Getty Images

Ellen Pompeo attending the GLSEN Respect Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in October 2018. | Source: Getty Images


In a 2006 People article, Pompeo dished on her relationship with Ivery. Then, they were still dating, and she disclosed how they had a lovely time at the beach, outdoors, and at home.

Although Ivery and Pompeo grew up minutes away from each other, they never crossed paths until they met through pals in Los Angeles in 2003. However, the pair did not start dating immediately after the meeting. Ivery revealed:


"We were friends for six months; then one night, she just looked different to me. We were six degrees our whole lives, so I feel like we were sort of meant to be."

Pompeo added that she and Ivery would eventually end up as a couple, saying, "We'll get married eventually, secretly." Pompeo's certainty that she would end up with Ivery was incredible given his criminal past. Before meeting the actress, Ivery had at least 13 convictions on his record.


Those convictions were for offenses like counterfeiting documents, drug trafficking, credit card fraud, probation violations, and postal theft. Also, he served three stints in jail, including a federal prison.

However, Ivery has since changed his ways and confessed his criminal past to Pompeo before marrying her.


Pompeo and Ivery bonded quickly in their relationship due to their shared upbringing in rough neighborhoods. Hence, she understands his past life as her mom had died of a painkiller overdose. Thus, she and Ivery understood each other.

With that kind of bond and understanding, it was not surprising when the couple got engaged. Now a record producer, Ivery proposed to Pompeo on her 37th birthday after breakfast at home.


Pompeo's representative disclosed the proposal to People and revealed that the actress was surprised and thrilled after Ivery presented her with a 3.5-carat emerald-cut diamond in a platinum setting designed by Tacori.

As Pompeo said they would, the couple quietly wed in New York in November 2007. Pompeo's dad confirmed his daughter's wedding to People, saying:

"I'm very happy for her. She just didn't want a big thing."

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, served as a witness at Pompeo and Ivery's brief ceremony held at City Hall in Lower Manhattan and performed by a city clerk.


During a 2017 chat with Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa, Pompeo explained why she went to great lengths to keep her wedding away from the public. She told Hello! Magazine:

"At that point, I was really dying for privacy. So we flew out on a redeye Thursday night. Friday morning, we woke up, went to City Hall, had the wedding really quick, and then we went to a waffle lunch after."

Pompeo also revealed she and Ivery took a secret route to their wedding venue to avoid being spotted. Also, she reportedly wore a black Yves Saint Laurent dress to her nuptials — another unconventional feature of the secret wedding.



Pompeo and Ivery are a beautiful couple and loving parents to three adorable children. They became parents for the first time in 2009 when they welcomed their daughter Stella.

In 2014, the couple welcomed another daughter Sienna. In 2016, they welcomed their first and only son, Eli.

Pompeo has done incredibly well to juggle parenting with her busy schedule on "Grey's Anatomy." Although she seems to handle both effortlessly, she has opened up about her struggles with parenthood.


Pompeo once said parenting while having a career is challenging and revealed that there are days where she feels guilty leaving her kids to go to work.

Despite the challenges of being a working mom, Pompeo expressed gratitude that her career can allow her to afford help, as many working moms struggle to cope. She also expressed appreciation to Ivery for being by her side all through.



Being the husband of a famous actress comes with its advantages. However, there are also hazards involved, like watching her in romantic scenes in films or TV series.

It is something Ivery has had to deal with in his marriage to Pompeo, who has been in several romantic scenes while playing Dr. Meredith Grey.

One can only wonder what the music executive feels about his wife's romantic scenes. Pompeo shed light on this during an interview with InStyle's Laura Brown.

Ellen Pompeo and her husband enjoying an LA Clippers Game in January, 2020. | Source: Getty Images

Ellen Pompeo and her husband enjoying an LA Clippers Game in January, 2020. | Source: Getty Images

Pompeo had extraordinary chemistry with her former co-star and television husband, Patrick Dempsey. Their chemistry made their romance scenes more believable, and Ivery got jealous during their kissing scenes. The actress revealed:


"Poor guy had no idea what he was getting into. I remember in the beginning it was really hard for him. He was like, 'This is not what I signed up for."

Pompeo further disclosed her husband's reaction, saying: "He was like, 'This is not what I signed up for. You go to work and make out with that. I like Patrick and everything, he's a good dude, but like really?'"



No relationship is without its challenges, and Ivery and Pompeo have had their fair share of scrutiny. For example, Ivery was accused of hitting on a younger girl during the "Guns N' Roses" concert in NYC in 2012.

A source told HollywoodLife that Ivery did not act like a married man during the concert but kept trying to get the attention of a 26-year-old woman.


The source revealed that Ivery and the woman talked on and off most of the night, and he was very persistent. The source added:

"He was with some of his buddies, and they were watching him flirt and try to get this girl to go home with him! He even asked her for her number in front of his friends."

The source explained that Ivery asked the girl to make out and go home with him. He knew the girl knew who he was but did not care as he was hellbent on getting her to go home with him.


However, she felt weird and sorry for Pompeo and refused his advances. The allegations threw serious doubts about Ivery and Pompeo's marriage.

However, the couple rode off those challenges and remained together. Most incredibly, Pompeo praised her husband in an Instagram post she made to mark Father's Day in 2018. She shared a picture of Ivery walking with one of their kids in the post.

In the post's caption, Pompeo wrote: "This man has been my rock... my soulmate ...my protector and has given me the three greatest blessings in my life. I don't know how I got so lucky, but Wow, am I grateful."

Pompeo added that she does not take any minute with Ivery or their beautiful children for granted. She concluded by thanking him for his love and describing him as her everything.



Despite the pressure that comes with maintaining a marriage while juggling a Hollywood career, Pompeo and Ivery have stayed together for 15 years.

During a 2018 chat with Us Weekly, Pompeo explained how she finds time for Ivery and their kids. She disclosed that she has a lot of help, which she is grateful for. When asked what the secret to their marriage was, Pompeo said:

"Just don't try to change people. They are who they are, and they were fine when you married them, so don't expect them to change."


In a chat with People, Pompeo revealed that her husband is not intimidated by her drive or bossiness. She also noted that she and Ivery being open and honest in their communication helps their marriage. She explained:

"I have a tendency to be a little bit bossy just because I'm juggling so many things. He's really good about letting me know when I'm talking to him like an employee."


Pompeo also knows her husband's strengths and weaknesses and responds to them accordingly. For example, he cannot multitask, so she has an assistant, nannies, and housekeepers to help with things.

Pompeo and Ivery continue to go strong in their relationship. The couple has experienced difficulties and speculations about their love but remain devoted to each other and their kids.

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