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Julia Roberts Was Benjamin Bratt's 'Favorite Dish' until He Felt Stuck in Their Relationship

Gracious Egedegbe
Apr 09, 2022
07:30 P.M.
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Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt's relationship was one of the most talked-about in the late '90s. After they split in 2001, the actress said she had only one regret. Find out what it was.

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Over the years, American Actress Julia Roberts has been in the news several times due to her career achievements. However, the icon's love life has put her in the spotlight as well.

Roberts has been married twice in her lifetime, but she has also been romantically involved with other men. One of the relationships that put the actress in the headlines was her romance with American Actor Benjamin Bratt.

[Left] Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt during The 73rd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California; [Right] Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt during Erin Brockovich Premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California | Source: Getty Images

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 The pair first met in a restaurant, and during an interview, Roberts opened up about the encounter. The actress explained:

"He walked in, and I looked up at him, and it was like something hit me over the head with a bat."

Despite Roberts's immediate attraction to the actor, the pair did not speak that evening. Details about how the pair started dating remain unknown as the actress confessed that the story was interesting, hilarious, wonderful, and private, hence her decision to keep it a secret.

Actress Julia Roberts and actor Benjamin Bratt attend the 51st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 12, 1999 at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

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Irrespective of the secrecy of how they started dating, Roberts and Bratt's relationship left many people talking. At the beginning of their romance, the duo was surrounded by paparazzi, while different magazines described every step of the couple. 

Roberts was delighted with the relationship while being head over heels in love with the actor. She declared:

"He's very good looking, and handsomeness pales in comparison to his kindness. That is all a girl could ask for, really."

INSIDE ROBERTS AND BRATT'S RELATIONSHIP  

Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt during 2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

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As a couple, Roberts and Bratt were not shy about expressing love for each other in public. Time and again, they had nothing but sweet words to say about each other.

Once during an interview, the "Blood In Blood Out" star revealed that everything he had to say about Roberts could not fit into one or two sentences. He described her as an incredible woman.

Julia Roberts with Benjamin Bratt at The American Museum of the Moving Image Salute to Julia Roberts at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on March 4, 2001 in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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The bond between the movie stars was so natural that the duo's friends confirmed it. Speaking of the relationship, one of Roberts' closest friends said:

"Julia is incredibly happy right now. The relationship is so special that none of us wants to comment."

Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt during DNC 2000 Fundraiser NY Concert on September 14, 2000at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York | Source: Getty Images

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Apart from serenading each other with kind words, Roberts and Bratt loved spending time together in restaurants. Being in public did not stop the former lovebirds from showing PDA. At some point, a regular patron who was a witness to the couple's love noted:

"Julia is his favorite dish. He barely even looks at the menu, he's so smitten with her."

Julia Roberts & Benjamin Bratt during Erin Brockovich Premiere at Mann Village Theatre on March 14, 2000 in Westwood, California | Source: Getty Images

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Bratt also proved his love for the actress by giving her meaningful presents. He once bought her a mountain bike and a book titled "Tropic of Cancer." Overall, Roberts felt lucky to have Bratt and was grateful for the beautiful relationship. Roberts admitted:

"We're drunk with joy 24 hours out of the day. We're sickening."

The pair's relationship has everything, including trust. Even when Roberts shot love scenes on set, Roberts would playfully call him, and they would talk about it. 

Actor Benjamin Bratt and actress Julia Roberts attend the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 21, 2001 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

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Once when Bratt filmed a love scene with Madonna for "The Next Best Thing" in Los Angeles, Roberts called and quizzed him about it.

She asked funny questions like, "Was it a good kiss?" "Did you like it?" and "How was the Kiss?" Bratt's co-star confessed that, indeed, what they had was real. The actor also confirmed that statement by noting that he and Roberts's relationship worked because they balanced it by keeping it real.

RUMOURS OF SPLIT

Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt during 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 23, 2000 - Arrivals at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

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Although Roberts and Bratt's relationship appeared blissful, rumors about their split began to make the rounds in 2000. It was revealed that the duo had not seen each other in months, even though they were not far apart. A source explained:

"At this point, they haven't seen each other in months. It's not necessarily over, but it's certainly hit a crisis point."

Despite the rumors, Roberts's representative said the duo was still together and very happy. On the other hand, Bratt's representative declined an answer.

Actress Julia Roberts and actor Benjamin Bratt attend the 'Notting Hill' New York City Premiere on May 13, 1999 at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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Asides from rumors of a breakup, there were speculations that the actress wanted to get married, but Bratt was more interested in family.

"Julia wants to get married. Benjamin isn't as committed to the relationship. He wants to spend more time with his family in California," a source revealed.

THE BREAKUP 

Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt during 2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

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Amid the breakup rumors, Roberts and Bratt were spotted hanging together on the red carpet on Oscar Night 2001. He also helped the actress fix her train when she approached the staircase to receive her award. 

For the rest of the night, Bratt helped Roberts carry her award. The pair appeared to have everything together, but in June 2001, the movie stars confirmed their split. 

Actress Julia Roberts and actor Benjamin Bratt attend 'The Next Best Thing' New York City Premiere on February 29, 2000 at Loews Cineplex E-Walk in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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Details regarding who requested the split were not revealed, but a rumor had it that the "Law and Order" actor wanted Roberts to move in with him, and when she refused, he ended the relationship. The duo had decided to act as the magazines wanted. In early 2001, he spoke about their decision thus:

"Last week we were engaged, and this week we are broken up, and next week she will be abducted by aliens, and the following week we will marry, and she will give birth to an alien child. We try to keep it right."

Unfortunately, the decision did not turn out well. Bratt knew about the high media attention to Roberts, but he eventually became tired of it and craved a more quiet life.

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Actress Julia Roberts and actor Benjamin Bratt attend the 'Stepmom' New York City Premiere on December 15, 1998 at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City | Source: Getty Images

"I wasn't so naive as to go into that relationship thinking, This will be an entirely normal experience. Soon, however, I experienced that living at that level of visibility is something that doesn't appeal to me. And I discovered it can't really appeal to anyone," the actor confessed.

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Bratt described the whole situation as when one understands the public attention but is already stuck. While the actor attributed the split to the pressure of the media, there were rumors that the breakup resulted from an affair between Roberts and George Clooney.

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However, during a chat session, shortly after the split, the actress debunked the rumors. She also said, "It's come to a kind and tenderhearted end, and my only regret is that the media can't accept that it's tenderhearted and kind."

After the breakup, the pair found love again. In 2002, Roberts married Daniel Moder while Bratt tied the knot with Talisa Soto. The movie stars are still happily married to their spouses to date. 

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