It’s obvious to even casual fans that Mark Wahlberg’s wife, Rhea Durham, has totally captured the once wild actor’s heart. Their relationship has been anything but conventional, but it doesn’t seem like they’d have it any other way. Even though Wahlberg’s accomplishments are undeniable, it’s his wife that made him the man he is today.
Rhea Durham was born in Lakeland, Florida in 1978, making her about seven years younger than her husband. In 1995, while still a teenager, Durham became a model and was incredibly successful. She landed covers of both national and international fashion magazines, including French Vogue, Marie Claire, as well as British and American Elle. In 2001, Durham landed a contract with the makeup brand Revlon. That wasn’t the only change that year brought for the young model.
That was also the year that Mark Wahlberg and his future wife first met. The two soon embarked on a romance that would span over a decade. The two didn’t wait long before starting their family. Two years after becoming an official couple, Rhea Durham and Wahlberg had their first child, a daughter named Ella Rae. Three years after that, in 2006, the couple had their second child, a boy named Michael. He was followed two years later by another son, named Brendan. Last, but certainly not least, the couple had their fourth and final child, a daughter named Grace Margaret in 2010. Little Grace might have been Durham and Wahlberg’s last child, but she was their first kid together as a married couple.
In 2009, Wahlberg made Durham his wife and the two were married in a small intimate ceremony at a Catholic church in Beverly Hills. Durham converted to Catholicism before the ceremony, shedding her Baptist roots. Wahlberg’s well-known wild child past may have led some people to believe that the rapper-turned-actor would always be a bachelor, but that all changed when he met Durham. Wahlberg spoke with The Sun about his past, which included a 45-day stint in prison, and how Durham helped him realize that the man he was didn’t have to be the man he would be. “I owe a lot to my wife,” the Boogie Nights star explained. “She has helped me become the man that I am and created a beautiful life for me and our children. Until I met her, I wasn’t ready to have a family.”
The actor went on to say that his childhood didn’t exactly prepare him for fatherhood and he feared he’d fail to give his future kids stability, which had been missing from his youth. Being with Durham swept those fears away. “You need the right woman in your life and that feeling that you’re going to be together for a long time,” adding, “That’s especially important if you’re going to have children. Rhea always wanted to be a mother. She had a job, but her mission in life was to be a mother and to be a wife.” Seems like Wahlberg found his perfect partner in Durham.
The movie star is now a happy family man who often shares photos of his four children on Instagram. With the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, the family’s been spending more time together than ever, which seems to be suiting everyone just fine. Good thing the family seems to get along, since quarantining with four kids must get a little chaotic at times.
The tabloids, naturally, have often portrayed the pair as anything but harmonious. In general, these outlets have a tough time printing the truth about anyone, but Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham often find themselves at the center of truly bizarre rumors. Gossip Cop has debunked several over the years, but we still haven’t quite gotten used to the strange stories these gossip rags come up with.
OK! wrote in 2018 that Durham was being driven crazy by Wahlberg’s “primping.” The outlet said, “Durham may be a former Victoria's Secret model, but these days her hubby is easily the more high maintenance of the two.” A suspicious tipster also informed the magazine that Wahlberg was “obsessed with keeping his body in tip-top shape and his constant peacocking is getting on Rhea's...nerves.”
The almost certainly fake source went on to say, “Between waxing his chest, doing his hair and flexing in the mirror, he spends more time in the bathroom than she does,” adding, “Mark always asks Rhea to join him [working out], but she has to remind him that she has a busy schedule raising their four kids.” Nothing about this story was remotely true. Gossip Cop checked in with our own source close to the situation, who laughed off the article’s claims and confirmed the rumor was utterly false. The tabloid was merely using photos from a then-recent vacation Wahlberg took with his family to push its bogus narrative.
Even the rumors about the couple that were positive in nature were completely made up by outlets desperate to exploit big name celebrities in an attempt to make a quick profit. For instance, there was an article out of Life & Style last year that claimed Wahlberg and Durham were renewing their vows on the couple’s 10th anniversary.
According to the outlet’s source, Wahlberg and Durham were “planning a small intimate ceremony later this year. It'll just be the two of them and their kids.” Since the couple are devoted Catholics, Gossip Cop highly doubted that the couple would have a vow renewal without a priest, who rarely, if ever, perform such ceremonies. To make sure our hunch was correct, we also reached out to Wahlberg’s spokesperson, who told us on the record that the allegations were “not true.”
That same year, the National Enquirer reported that Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham were expecting their fifth child together. The often debunked publication claimed the former model had been “sporting a suspicious round belly” lately, which got people thinking she might be expecting again. A so-called “insider” snitched, “Word is she's already past the three-month mark and due late fall.”
The reason why the family hadn’t announced the alleged good news? “She and Mark are keeping things quiet for now, probably because they don't want to jinx anything by announcing the news until she's quite far along,” the snitch insisted, adding, “But if the buzz is true, I'm sure they're both thrilled and will welcome a new addition with open arms.” Nothing inspires confidence in the tale of an anonymous source more than the phrase “if true.” That’s a sneaky way of letting the reader, but more importantly the high-powered celebrity lawyers, know that the source has no idea what they’re talking about.
Asked about possibly adding a fifth child to his brood during an interview with Extra, Wahlberg was upfront and honest. “I think the only time we ever have that discussion is when they're sleeping, but as soon as they're awake, we realize we have our hands full,” he explained. Gossip Cop also checked in with our source close to the situation, who reassured us the former model was not three months pregnant with her fifth child. We checked back in on the story a year later and found that our initial assessment was totally correct, seeing as how the couple are still holding firm at four kids.
Rhea Durham and Mark Wahlberg seem to be a perfectly lovely couple. Their dedication to each other and their children is genuinely inspiring. Even when the world seems to be falling apart, the family appears to be holding things together quite well.