The One Reason Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere's Marriage Fell Apart

Gere reportedly taught the model "how to be famous."


Acclaimed supermodel Cindy Crawford and ‘80s and ‘90s Hollywood heartthrob Richard Gere.

Cindy Crawford in a white evening gown with her arm around Richard Gere, wearing a tuxedo
Brenda Chase/Getty Images

How They Met

According to People, Crawford and Gere first met at a star-studded barbecue hosted at the home of photographer Herb Ritts around 1988. Crawford was 22 at the time and awestruck by the celebrity crowd — but especially by Gere, who was 39 at the time. They spontaneously wed four years later in Las Vegas, exchanging aluminum foil rings at the altar (because neither of them could afford the real thing — just kidding, they traveled there by private plane, and to this day the foil ring decision remains very confusing).

Why We Loved Them

Cindy was Richard’s real-life Pretty Woman — minus the prostitution, of course. Crawford admits she “learned a lot” from her ex, including “how to be famous.” Cue the Roy Orbison.

When They Peaked

Cindy Crawford in a red Versace gown and Richard Gere in a tuxedo at the 63rd Annual Academy Awards
Jim Smeal/Getty Images

 OK, this is mostly about Cindy, but her and Gere’s arrival at the 1991 Academy Awards will forever go down in fashion history. The model’s plunging red Versace gown inspired myriad look-alike dresses — and became so influential that it even has its own Wikipedia page. Again, no one really cared about Gere’s red carpet look, but we’re going to assume there would be no Crawford at the 1991 Oscars without her high-profile date, so kudos, Richard.

The Breakup

There were a lot of factors at play in Crawford and Gere’s 1995 divorce. Being as famous as they both were at the time, salacious rumors about their relationship were never far behind. Though both parties denied the claims, tabloids were relentless in their assertions that both Gere and Crawford were gay, and that their marriage a publicity stunt. Crawford even said she found the rumors “amusing,” joking with the press, “ … Considering the number of women he’s [been] associated with, when does he have time to be gay?”

Years later, Crawford admitted that she and Gere “didn’t spend enough time together” throughout their marriage. There was also that glaring 17-year age gap between them.

"I was still 22 and at 22 — as a young woman — I was kind of still figuring out who I was and what I wanted to be, " Crawford told Oprah in a 2013 interview. “I just think your twenties for women is such a time when you're starting to come into your own and feel your own power and connect to your inner strength and it's hard to do that — it's hard to change — in a relationship, because what one person might have signed up for, all of a sudden, you're not that anymore. I think I was more willing at 22 to be, like, 'OK, I'll follow,' but then you start going, 'Well, I don't want to just follow — I want to lead sometimes and I want to walk side-by-side sometimes.'"

Looking back, Cindy thinks she and Gere should’ve worked on establishing a friendship. “I think part of the problem in our relationship was that we were a lot of other things, but I don’t know if we were ever friends — like peers, because I was young, and he was Richard Gere," she explained. "And then, as I started kind of growing up and growing into myself — it’s hard to change the nature of a relationship once you’re already in it.”

Where They Are Now

Since splitting from Crawford nearly a quarter-century ago, Gere has been married twice. He wed actress Carey Lowell in 2002, with whom he welcomed son Homer James Jigme Gere two years prior in 2000. He and Lowell split in 2016, and Gere took up with Spanish publicist Alejandra Silva. The pair wed in April 2018 and welcomed a son named Alexander in 2019.

Professionally, Gere’s entertained many career coups in the past two-and-a-half decades, including a Golden Globe win for his performance in Chicago and a nomination for Arbitrage. The actor appeared in the BBC Series called MotherFatherSon, and has an upcoming movie called Maybe I Do.

Crawford wed husband of 20 years Rande Gerber in 1998, welcoming two children soon after: Presley, born in 1999, and Kaia, born in 2001 (both of whom followed in mom and dad’s footsteps as models).

The world-famous model gave up full-time modeling in 2000, though she still appears in the occasional editorial or runway show. Since “retiring,” Crawford’s shifted her focus, launching a furniture collection, authoring an autobiography, and doubling down on her charity work.

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