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Julian McMahon Has Been Married 3 Times — His 1st Wife Dannii Minogue Allegedly Left Him Because of His Mother

Edduin Carvajal
Feb 22, 2022
04:40 P.M.
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One of the first things most people do before getting married is earning the respect of their in-laws, but Julian McMahon's first wife, Dannii Minogue, couldn't do it.


Australian actor Julian McMahon comes from a very influential family: his father was Australia's 20th Prime Minister Sir William McMahon, and his mother was philanthropist and socialite Lady Sonia McMahon.

Instead of following in his dad's footsteps and becoming a politician, Julian is an actor best known as Doctor Doom in the "Fantastic Four" franchise and Jess LaCroix in "FBI: Most Wanted."

Julian McMahon on January 17, 2016 in Santa Monica, California [left]. McMahon and Dannii Minogue circa 1995 [right] | Source: Getty Images



Before Julian made it big in Hollywood, he worked on Australian television projects. One of them was the TV series "Home and Away," portraying Ben Lucini from 1990 to 1991. 

Australian singer and actress Dannii Minogue also worked in the show – she played Emma Jackson from September 1989 to August 1990.

Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh on September 21, 2003, in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images


The details of Julian and Dannii's relationship's first stages are unclear, but they began dating sometime in the early 1990s and tied the knot in 1994. Unfortunately, their marriage was destined to fail.

Their separation per se was not shocking – most celebrity marriages end up in divorce due to conflicting schedules, egos too big to control, or infidelities. However, something entirely different caused Julian McMahon and Dannii Minogue's breakup: his mom.



Dannii probably sensed that Lady McMahon was not a fan of hers from the get-go, but she was convinced her mother-in-law would never accept her into her family on their wedding day.

Due to Lady McMahon's inexplicable hard feelings toward Dannii, she decided to miss the wedding. The singer confessed that was stressful, but she and her then-husband-to-be chose to go ahead with the marriage anyway. 

"I'm not in touch with Julian now. I'd like to be, but I know we're never going to be friends."


Lady McMahon eventually changed her mind and attended the ceremony. Sadly, she "caused a scene." Dannii has never revealed what Lady McMahon did, but she said the experience was "hard."

Dannii Minogue was unwilling to let Julian McMahon's mom ruin her vibe, so she stayed away from the drama and enjoyed her wedding day.



Lady McMahon apparently didn't care how much Julian loved Dannii because she never blessed their relationship. The "Masked Singer Australia" judge pointed out that Julian's family never liked her, adding that: 

"There's a certain social pecking order, and I was definitely not in that scene. [Lady McMahon] only spoke to me a couple of times."


The situation was so uncomfortable that Dannii couldn't even enter her husband's family home. Dannii recalled when Julian had to collect something at the McMahon's residence, and she had to stay in the car.

Dannii always felt that she did something wrong to the family even though she didn't. Julian McMahon and Dannii Minogue divorced after only 18 months together, and rumors about Lady McMahon pushing him to end their relationship are still everywhere.


The singer pointed out that nobody ever told her why the McMahons mistreated her, so she believed that just being with Julian was wrong in Lady McMahon's mind.

Dannii revealed that her short relationship with Julian "shaped" her. It was not easy for her, Julian, or Lady McMahon as nobody had fun with their unhealthy dynamic.

The "Ultimate Beastmaster" presenter eventually realized things between Julian and Lady McMahon had been "uneasy" for a long time. Sadly, it exploded when she came into Julian's life.



Giving love another chance after coming out of such an unhealthy relationship was probably challenging for Dannii, but she did it. From 1999 to 2001, she dated professional racing driver Jacques Villeneuve.

In 2008, Dannii began dating Kris Smith, an English-Australian model, TV presenter, and retired rugby player. Even though they never married, they welcomed a boy, Ethan, in July 2010. 

[Julian] and Dannii's relationship happened so long ago that it was hard to relate to it completely.


Lady McMahon passed away after battling cancer on April 2, 2010. She was 77. Dannii said that while she and Julian were no longer in touch, she hoped he made amends with his mom before her passing. The singer added

"I hope Julian resolved things with her before she passed. I'm not in touch with Julian now. I'd like to be, but I know we're never going to be friends."



Over two decades after Julian McMahon and Dannii Minogue parted ways; he worked with another Minogue in the film "Swinging Safari." Dannii's older sister, Kylie Minogue, was his co-star in the movie.

Julian pointed out that he had no problem kissing his ex-sister-in-law in the project. It was an "impromptu moment," though, and when he did it, Kylie had a very particular reaction: 

"[Kylie] had this great reaction, like she was being attacked by some kind of creature. It was very funny."


Julian said he never felt awkward around Kylie because his and Dannii's relationship happened so long ago that it was hard to relate to it completely. He added that Kylie was a terrific sister-in-law who even sang at their wedding.

After breaking up with Dannii, Julian tied the knot with former "Baywatch" actress Brooke Burns in 1999. Although they divorced in 2001, they welcomed a daughter, Madison, in June 2000. 

Nowadays, Julian is married to model Kelly Paniagua. They began dating in 2003, and his marriage proposal was quite unusual. He popped the question during a flight with Madison's help.

Julian McMahon and Kelly Paniagua on January 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images


He told Madison he wanted to ask Paniagua to marry him in Paris. However, he was not sure they would get there, so Madison agreed to propose on the plane together.

Julian McMahon and Kelly Paniagua married in Lake Tahoe, California, and although they have not enlarged their family, they are still together. At the moment, Julian is one of the main stars in CBS's "FBI: Most Wanted." Way to go!

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