Although we’d like to think that Patrick Dempsey is Grey’s Anatomy‘s Dr. Derek Shepherd in real life (and that Season 11 didn’t happen), it’s a harsh reality to face that his relationship with Meredith Grey, aka Ellen Pompeo, is actually fiction. However, Dempsey did find his happily-ever-after with his wife of over 20 years, Jillian Dempsey, behind the scenes.
The pair first met when Dempsey was a frequent customer at a hair salon where Jillian worked, the beauty expert recalled in an interview with People. After three years of haircuts and playing coy, Dempsey asked for the makeup artist’s hand in marriage, and the two tied the knot in 1999. Since saying “I do,” the couple welcomed three children together — daughter Talula and twins Sullivan and Darby — however, things weren’t always peachy for the family of five. In January 2015, Jillian filed for divorce from the actor, citing irreconcilable differences. Less than a year later, they called off their split, per Good Housekeeping.
“Our marriage was not something I was prepared to let go of,” Dempsey told People at the time. “I didn’t feel like we had done all the work. And we both wanted to do that work,” adding, “I wasn’t prepared to give up on her and she wasn’t either. We both wanted to fight for it.” From the look of Fink’s resume, she’s clearly one worth fighting for — keep scrolling for more details about Patrick Dempsey’s wife.
Jillian Dempsey is a successful businessperson
Aside from being the matriarch in the Dempsey household, Jillian Dempsey is one of the most sought-after makeup artists and hairstylists in the entertainment industry, working with everyone from Kristen Stewart to Bradley Cooper. Of course, husband Patrick Dempsey is still her best customer. As for her big break? That came in 1993. “I worked with Brooke Shields for an editorial shoot with Vanity Fair magazine,” she recalled to The Recénseré.
In addition to her work with the stars, she owns a self-titled brand of beauty products that cater to the needs of both men and women, and in March 2020 she launched her own virtual beauty and grooming app called Fyfe. Jillian also created the Roadie Hair Pomade, to name just one of her popular products. However, she’s not all business. She told Maine Woman Magazine that she feels “most beautiful” when she is “looking at” and “laughing at” her kids. She praised them for being “super silly and natural.”
Although it sounds like Dempsey and Jillian’s professional lives would collide, the actor explained to People, “We try not to get into each other’s work too much. However, he’s always down to try out her products, telling the outlet, “My big thing is to make sure the lipsticks taste good when you kiss. And, well, so far they taste pretty darn good.”
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