Chris Meloni didn't know that Sherman Williams was meant to be his wife when they started dating. He ran away from proposing for many years before he finally came to his senses and did the right thing.
In 1989, Chris Meloni acted in an HBO series that he later deemed forgettable. Although the show, based in Los Angeles, wasn't memorable, someone was there who caught his eye.
The production designer, Sherman Williams, in her 20s at the time, struck Meloni's senses with her short bleached-white hair. She also stood out because of the cat's-eye sunglasses that she wore.
Christopher Meloni in "Surviving Jack" with a premiere date of March 27, 2014, and him with Sherman Williams, daughter Sophia, and son Dante at the Big Apple Circus Opening Night Gala Benefit on November 4, 2005. | Source: FOX Image Collection & Desiree Navarro/FilmMagic/Getty Images
On top of that, Williams pitched to the set riding a Harley Davidson motorbike! She looked so great she was likened to actress Sharon Stone's twin sister or maybe even a female Billy Idol!
According to Williams' website, before becoming a production designer and finding a career in film, she was a Fine Art graduate at the California College of the Arts. For 14 years, she designed sets as an Art Director and Production Designer for television and film.
Chris Meloni and Sherman Williams at the launch party for AbsolutDirector.com in New York City on May 22, 2001. | Source: Gabe Palacio/Getty Images
She then relocated to New York and studied at Parsons, The National Academy School, and the Art Students League. When Meloni spotted her that fateful day, he thought, "This I gotta meet."
He wandered over to her, and they started flirting, and the actor figured she was an 11 on a coolness scale that reached 10. She also had a boyfriend, but one day when the star was driving in Hollywood Hills, he heard someone calling his name.
Chris Meloni and Sherman Williams at the Kenneth Cole Spring/Summer 2003 Collection show on September 18, 2002, in New York City. | Source: Matthew Peyton/Getty Images
Williams invited him to a party she was hosting, and he pitched. She still had a boyfriend, but Meloni found her "cool, funny, sexy," he returned to New York but soon enough, he was back again in Los Angeles, where he bumped into Williams.
The actor left a note at the production designer's house because it was rare to bump into someone in the city. He ended up getting distracted by three women and forgot about Williams.
However, two years later, the pair met up again and started seeing each other. After six months of dating, the couple had started staying together, and in a couple of years, the duo had officialized their relationship.
HOW CHRIS RAN AWAY FROM SHERMAN BEFORE MARRIAGE
Chris Meloni and Sherman Williams at the launch of IFP's Independent Film Week in New York City on September 18, 2006. | Source: Brian Ach/WireImage/Getty Images
To get into more detail, Meloni and Williams attended three parties hosted by three sets of her friends for their first date. The first event they went to was in West Hollywood, and all the men there were gay.
Sherman recalled how her date managed to pass that test with flying colors. The second party was in Beverly Hills, and the actor was polite and held his own; the last event was in the Hills.
Christopher Meloni and Sherman Williams at the Project A.L.S. "Tomorrow Is Tonight" gala in New York City on October 21, 2002. | Source: Evan Agostini/ImageDirect/Getty Images
The costume designer hosting the party gave them beers from a tub on the porch to drink. Williams was impressed since he'd managed to handle all three events and thought she could take him anywhere with her.
Even though the date happened after Meloni came back after being away for two years. She knew he was the one for her because the star cut two concrete steps in front of his home to allow Williams' cycle to get into his lawn.
The actor and the set designer wanted to have a house and children, but it wouldn't happen right away. In 1995, Meloni didn't feel he could juggle establishing a successful acting career and committing to children.
Speaking to Harry Connick Jr. on January 10, 2018, Meloni confessed that he didn't know Williams was the woman for him. Instead, his mother was the one who knew!
The actor's mother recalled meeting Williams for the first time and seeing her from a distance. She confessed to her son that she knew the set designer was the woman Meloni would marry!
However, the star ran away from marriage, and it took him four years of dating before he finally popped the question! When he finally came to his senses, realized she was the one, and did the right thing, Meloni never regretted it.
TYING THE KNOT, HAVING CHILDREN, AND CELEBRATING GREAT MILESTONES
On July 1, 1995, the couple got married during a Malibu beach ceremony where they both went barefoot. The theme for the event was medieval, and the decorations included banners that fluttered in the wind.
A nondenominational minister performed their service. Williams and Meloni had goblets that had tequila shot glasses inside, which they knocked back before the set designer had to rush to the airport because she was filming a movie in Miami.
Chris Meloni, Sherman Williams, and their daughter Sophia Meoloni at Children's Day Artrageous Hosted by the Edwin Gould Foundation on April 5, 2003. | Source: Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Soon after marriage, Meloni was pulled back to New York, and he and his wife decided they weren't allowed to be apart for over three weeks. However, the back-and-forth travels took a toll on them.
The couple needed to be together, and it was a tough decision because Williams loved Los Angeles and her husband loved New York. The set designer made "a great sacrifice," and they relocated to New York.
Christopher Meloni, Sherman Williams, daughter Sophia, and son Dante at the Big Apple Circus Opening Night Gala Benefit on November 4, 2005. | Source: Desiree Navarro/FilmMagic/Getty Images
The works started rolling in for the actor after that, and two years after getting married, the couple welcomed their first child, Sophia, in 2001. The family was completed in 2004, when their son, Dante, was born.
In 2014, the "Runaway Bride" star revealed that he preferred parenting through persuasion instead of force. For instance, when his daughter found out that dance wasn't going to be offered at her school, she thought she wouldn't have a sport to partake in.
Christopher Meloni, Sherman Williams, daughter Sophia, and son Dante, at the Entertainment Industry Foundation's 9th Annual Revlon Run/Walk For Women in Time's Square on May 6, 2006. | Source: Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images
However, her father told her she had to do something, and Sophia decided on ballet; her parents guided her on that route. In 2022, his children were young adults, and Meloni had managed to keep a strong bond with them.
In a previous interview, [Chris] Meloni revealed the secret to his long-lasting marriage.
He also frequently shared lovely family photos on his Instagram account. In a more personal aspect, the "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" actor and his wife celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary in 2021!
Meloni marked the day by sharing his wedding day photo and recent one. The star explained that the first image was how their relationship started, while the second one was how it was going in the longstanding union.
THE COUPLE'S HOME LIFE
Christopher Meloni and Sherman Williams at the Conde Nast Traveller "Hot List Party" on April 27, 2005. | Source: Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images
The "Law & Order" actor and his family lived in an apartment 60 stories above Hell's Kitchen in New York. Meloni chose the place because he wanted to feel cocooned and be away from everything after work.
The apartment gave them views of Central Park, which were great for his artistic wife. When it came to the artwork in their apartment, Meloni had one of his wife's works that he wanted to hang up.
"Being a painter, it's hard to find another artist's work I want to live with."