Ellen Pompeo’s husband, Chris Ivery, might not be in the spotlight as much as his famous wife, but there’s still plenty of curiosity about him. He and Pompeo have shared an almost fairytale life together and the way they met is the literal definition of a “meet-cute.” It’s clear that these two were destined for each other.
Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery both grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. Pompeo told People that despite the fact that they grew up literally minutes away from each other, they didn’t actually meet until they were adults. That meeting must have felt like kismet, which Pompeo confirmed. “We were six degrees our whole lives, so I feel like we were sort of meant to be.”
Strangely enough, the two first ran into each other at a Los Angeles grocery store. They struck up a friendship and kept things platonic for a few months before something changed, and they began looking at each other in a different light. Ivery added, “We were friends for six months; then one night she just looked different to me.” For the next few years, the two happily dated, even as Pompeo was cast as the titular character in Grey’s Anatomy.
In that same interview, Pompeo described a recent evening she’d spent with her record producer beau, telling the magazine, “We had a great day yesterday. We walked on the beach, then we came home, took a shower and went out for sushi. Then we laid on the couch with the dogs and watched TV.” Rather than hitting up the latest LA hot spot, the actress far preferred a quiet evening with her future husband.
Though the two weren’t married at that time, Pompeo revealed that her single status would likely change in the future, though it likely wouldn’t be a massive, star-studded event. “We’ll get married eventually, secretly,” Pompeo coyly revealed.
“Secret” barely even begins to describe Ellen Pompeo’s wedding to Chris Ivery. After a few years together, Ivery proposed on Pompeo’s 37th birthday, and in 2007, the two tied the knot. True to her word, Pompeo kept the wedding party as small as possible. She didn’t even have any guests, and the two eschewed a traditional church wedding, or even an outdoor affair, for a quick ceremony at New York City’s City Hall. Though they didn’t have any big-name guests attend, their ceremony was officiated by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg himself.
A whopping ten years after getting married, Pompeo finally opened up to Live! With Kelly And Ryan co-hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest about her wedding day. “We got married here in City Hall and Mayor Bloomberg was our officiator,” she explained, adding, “Yeah, it was very cool.” At the time, Pompeo was riding high on a huge wave of popularity thanks to Grey’s Anatomy, which was beginning to wear on her slightly. “At that point, I was really dying for privacy,” she admitted. Since she and Ivery were determined to get married, they decided the best way to do it was as far from prying eyes as possible.
So we flew out on a redeye Thursday night. Friday morning, we woke up, went to City Hall, had the wedding really quick, and then we went to a waffle lunch after. We had the whole weekend and no one knew.
If privacy was what Pompeo and Ivery were after, they chose the perfect venue for it. The two literally took a top-secret passage in order to get to City Hall without anyone spotting them. “They took us on the subway underneath a tunnel. There are tunnels underneath City Hall!” Pompeo revealed. “And then you come up, and you're in the mayor's office. There's a bookshelf and then, you just walk in and you're in his office.” The nuptials went off without a hitch and shortly after they said their “I do’s,” the two got to work on creating their family.
Two years after their super-private wedding, Chris Ivery and Ellen Pompeo welcomed the first of their three children, a little girl named Stella Luna Pompeo Ivery. Five years later, the couple had a second daughter, who they named Sienna May Pompeo Ivery. Finally, in 2016, Pompeo and Ivery had their third child, a boy named Eli Christopher Pompeo Ivery, who nicely rounded out the family.
As a working mom, Pompeo has, of course, had to make some sacrifices in order to keep her kids happy and healthy, as well as make sure her career keeps moving forward. The Grey’s Anatomy actress spoke with Working Mother about her tactics for keeping her head above water, and self-care is a key component of that.
I focus on self-care every day, because if I’m not OK, then who is going to take care of my children? I have an amazing husband, and I’m really lucky, but I need to take care of myself to be able to take care of my kids.
Pompeo went on to add, “I need to be the best version of myself that I can be for my children. Self-care is not something I find time for, it’s one of my priorities every day.” It seems like she’s developed quite a healthy work-life balance, especially since she’s got a partner she can trust to hold down the fort without her there. Despite the close nature of Pompeo and Ivery’s relationship, however, there have been rumors that things are not as hunky-dory in their marriage as would outwardly appear.
In 2018, the National Enquirer reported that talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was upset over the fact that her wife, Portia de Rossi, had ignored her at a party and instead chatted up Ellen Pompeo. A source told the often debunked outlet, “Portia and the happily married Grey's Anatomy beauty were gabbing nonstop.” The source went on to say that DeGeneres became increasingly frustrated with de Rossi supposedly fixating on Pompeo before she “finally went up to her wife and snapped, ‘Why are you spending so much time talking to her!’”
Gossip Cop had trouble swallowing this story from the beginning, so we reached out to a mutual friend of our’s and DeGeneres’ who confirmed the story was totally false and called the rumor “ridiculous.” There was absolutely no way that DeGeneres was jealous of her wife talking with Pompeo who, as the tabloid itself pointed out, was happily married.
The happiness of their marriage was called into question about two years later by OK!, who insisted that Ivery and Pompeo were on the verge of calling it quits on their decade-long marriage. A suspicious source told the tabloid, “The truth is, they grew apart and have seemingly been living separate lives for a while.” Supposed “friends” of the couple agreed, adding “it’s been a long time coming.” The source went on to claim that the two had been “an odd match from the start” and that Ivery had never gotten comfortable with either Pompeo’s fame or her acting career.
Both of those notions were absolutely absurd, Gossip Cop found. To see if our hunch was correct, we reached out to an individual in Pompeo’s camp, who confirmed our suspicions that the narrative was entirely untrue. The supermarket gossip rag had no insight into the actress’ personal life or her marriage with Ivery. The two have one of the longest-lasting marriages in Hollywood, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.