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Patrick Dempsey's 1st Marriage to 26-Years-Older Wife Failed - He Is Committed to Making 2nd Marriage Work

Esther NJeri
Jun 10, 2022
03:30 P.M.
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After his first marriage failed, actor Patrick Dempsey swore to make his second one work. After 15 years of marriage, his second wife filed for divorce, but Dempsey continued wearing his wedding band. Read along to discover how they worked out their troubles and remain happily married today.


Patrick Dempsey had early success in the film industry, earning fame for his 80s films "Can't Buy Me, Love" and "Loverboy." But besides his career, he also made headlines when he married his first wife, Rochelle "Rocky" Parker, 26 years his senior.

The "Grey's Anatomy" star says he learned a lot from the marriage. However, their age difference became an issue with time as, instead of experiencing life together, they wound up going through different cycles in their lives.

Actor Patrick Dempsey and wife Rocky Parker on March 18, 1990 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images


There was also the issue of the heavy accusations by Parker about his alleged abuse. According to court papers obtained by the National Enquirer, Today reports that Parker accused Dempsey of being physically abusive.

However, Parker would later distance herself from the claims, saying that she had listened to lousy advice to make those and other accusations during their messy divorce and that they were all false.

The couple's relationship took a nosedive in the early 90s, and in 1991, Parker filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences." They eventually divorced in 1993, after the actor reportedly told Parker he'd met someone else.



Actor Patrick Dempsey and wife Jillian Dempsey at John Varvatos Los Angeles on March 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Jillian Fink was checking the appointment book at her chic Los Angeles hair salon when she came across a name that made her heart skip a beat.


She thought her prankster employee was playing a joke on her by pretending to have booked Dempsey. All other clients booked for appointments that day were big names from the 80s, such as Molly Ringwald, and Fink could not believe it when Dempsey turned up for a haircut. She said:

"I was shocked. But at the same time, I was happy because he was so cute."

Patrick Dempsey with wife Jillian Fink and children arrive for the world premiere of "Bridget Jones's Baby" at Odeon Leicester Square on September 5, 2016 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images


It was a love-at-first-sight situation when Dempsey walked into the salon. However, at the time, they were both seeing other people. After three years of harmless banter and endless flirting from Fink, they finally got together.

Dempsey did not waste his time and moved fast when he learned that Fink was single through a mutual friend. He called her up and made her pasta for their first date. Three months later, she moved in, and the two exchanged vows two years later, in 1999.


While many actors and actresses tend to marry within their circles, Demsey chose to be different. Instead of marrying an actor like himself, he went for a woman in the beauty industry.


Fink is one of Hollywood's most sought-after hairstylists and makeup artists in the entertainment industry. She has worked with big names such as Bradley Cooper and Kristen Stewart, and automatically, her husband.

She found her big break in 1993 when she worked with Brooke Shields for the editorial shoot of Vanity Fair magazine and has not looked back since.

Besides her work with Hollywood's finest, he also has a self-titled beauty product brand that caters to both men and women. Away from work, she is also a doting mom to her and Dempsey's children.


After their wedding in 1999, the two welcomed their first child, daughter Talula Fyfe, in February 2002. According to Dempsey, Talula is the creative one of his kids and loves cooking. She is now of college-going age and started in 2020.

Their secondborns are twins Sullivan Patrick and Darby Galen, who they welcomed in February 2007. Despite being twins, the two have different interests. Sullivan takes after his dad and wants to be an actor, while Darby leans more toward sports and is passionate about soccer.


The two are already camera-comfortable and have appeared numerous times on their parents' Instagram and Twitter. They have also modeled for their mother's hair pomade collection.


No marriage is perfect, and neither was Fink and Dempsey's. However, the extent of their marital troubles became apparent when after 15 years of marriage, Fink filed for divorce in 2016.

Actor Patrick Dempsey and wife Jillian Dempsey at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on February 8, 2010 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images


The couple gave a joint statement, announcing that after careful consideration, they had decided to end their union, albeit with mutual respect. They told E! News, as Closer Weekly reports:

"Our primary concern remains the well-being of our children, and we ask with profound gratitude that you respect our family's privacy at this very sensitive time."

The two would reportedly share joint custody of their three children. However, weeks after Fink filed, Dempsey still had on his wedding band, raising questions about whether they would go through with the separation.



The months following their big announcement were full of speculation about what could have gone wrong with the couple's seemingly perfect marriage. But behind the scenes, Dempsey was working hard to repair his union.

Still, the notion of ending his marriage was scary, and he could not brush off how destabilizing the separation would have been for them and the kids. He would say:

"Our marriage was not something I was prepared to let go of. I didn't feel like we had done all the work. And we both wanted to do that work. That's where it started."

Jillian Dempsey and Patrick Dempsey attend amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS Gala at Hotel Du Cap on May 19, 2011 in Antibes, France | Source: Getty Images


Unwilling to let go of their beautiful union, the couple began attending counseling, gradually picking up the pieces. Eventually, they were back on track, having learned crucial lessons on keeping a marriage going.

Dempsey, who refers to his marriage as a "new beginning," shared some of the nuggets of wisdom he learned, saying that marriages require work, communication, and knowing what to prioritize.

Today, the two make time for date nights, even though they have to balance getting their kids to sporting events and other school activities or getting them ready for college.

"We are growing together as a couple, individually, and as a family," Dempsey said of their now-stronger-than-ever marriage. "The older you get, the more you realize how little time you have and [how] you want to make the most of it."