Christy Turlington and Edward Burns are a super private couple with a unique love story
Christy Turlington and Edward Burns have been married for over 20 years but have always maintained a low-profile relationship.
The supermodel and the actor first met in the ‘90s and had a whirlwind romance before getting engaged only months into their relationship. Today, they are parents to two grown children and live in New York City.
The two have kept details of their love to themselves, and they don’t often discuss their personal lives with the media. Burns doesn’t appear to use social media, but Turlington sometimes shares glimpses into their life on Instagram.
In January 2023, the supermodel shared a photo with Burns — her “Steady Eddie” — with an accompanying caption for his birthday. “The best partner in raising our kids and in navigating this growing older and wiser together that is marriage,” she wrote on Instagram. “I love you and appreciate you more than you know.”
Here’s everything to know about Christy Turlington and Ed Burns’ marriage.
She doesn’t remember the first time they met
Turlington and Burns didn’t exactly have a meet-cute — in fact, he has previously said that she doesn’t even remember the first time they crossed paths. In August 2015, Burns told HuffPost that they first encountered each other when she appeared on Entertainment Tonight, where he was a production assistant. Burns got her a cup of coffee.
“Fortunately she was very nice,” he joked.
He added, “She has no memory of it, but of course [as] the PA who gets to meet Christy Turlington, I remember it very well.”
In November 2020, Turlington told Grazia U.K. a slightly different story about their initial interaction, saying they met in the late ‘90s at a basketball game at Madison Square Garden. “I was with somebody else and it took a little while before we literally bumped into each other at a charity event in 2000,” she recalled.
That charity event is where they kicked off their romance. They got engaged two months later, Burns told Elle in 2007.
They briefly called off their engagement in 2002
Turlington and Burns originally planned to get married in Milan in October 2001. However, after the 9/11 attacks, they postponed their nuptials.
At the time, PEOPLE reported that the wedding was delayed for several reasons, including Burns’ fear of flying after 9/11. After several months, though, Turlington reportedly called off the engagement in March 2002.
According to Burns, more was happening behind the scenes that led to the decision, including their fast-track relationship. "It was one of those things where you get caught up in the moment," he told Elle. "Suddenly, when the reality of what we'd done and what we were planning hit us, we put the brakes on."
He added, "We were both pretty much done with the relationship when we broke up."
They got married in 2003
By late 2002, however, the couple were back together. Turlington and Burns went on to wed in San Francisco in June 2003.
Turlington, who was 25 weeks pregnant, wore a Galliano gown with an Empire-waist silhouette. Despite initial reports that claimed U2 singer Bono gave her away — her father, Dwain Turlington, died in 1997 — Turlington later clarified that she walked down the aisle solo.
“[Bono] was there, of course, but I gave myself away,” she told Cookie magazine in November 2007. “Eddie met me halfway down the aisle.”
That said, the Irish artist did sing during the special moment at the wedding ceremony.
They have two kids
Turlington and Burns are parents of two kids. Their daughter, Grace McKenna Burns, was born on Oct. 23, 2003. Their son, Finn Burns, was born on Feb. 11, 2006. The couple have kept their children’s lives very private and don’t share many pictures or anecdotes about them.
Still, Grace is following in her mom’s footsteps. In April 2023, the mother-daughter duo starred in a Carolina Herrera campaign. A few months later, Grace made her runway debut in the British Vogue X LuisaViaRoma show in Florence, Italy. The up-and-coming model also often shares her professional photo shoots and campaigns on her Instagram page.
As for Finn, he maintains a low profile, but he posed for a photo with his parents and sister in August 2022 while they were on vacation in Greece.
They have shared their secrets to a successful marriage
In an October 2020 interview with Vogue Australia, Turlington gave a glimpse at the inner workings of their relationship. “I think one key is being realistic about marriage and having common ideas about what a successful marriage means,” she told the outlet. “Simply [being] married for many years does not necessarily mean success.”
She added: “I went into marriage understanding that there would be good days and not-so-good days, which helps on the not-as-good days, and over time you come to know how to minimize them. Every day and year is an opportunity to grow closer and deepen the relationship.”
When speaking with Elle, Burns echoed a similar sentiment. "I think both of us became more realistic about who we were with," he shared with the publication about why the relationship worked the second time around.
That said, there is a light-hearted element as well. In February 2015, the supermodel spoke to Editorialist magazine and joked that their “key to a successful marriage” was having separate bathrooms.
“Years ago I put one of my Calvin underwear posters on the back of my husband’s bathroom door,” she said, per HuffPost. “It’s still there and I tease him about it.”
They have worked together and support each other
Turlington and Burns have worked together, including as models for Calvin Klein Eternity. At the start of her career, Turlington appeared in the original CK Eternity campaign in 1988 and later in the iconic 1995 campaign with Mark Vanderloo. Fast forward to 2014, her professional and personal lives merged when she shared the camera with Burns.
In a November 2022 interview with Vanity Fair, Turlington noted that the 2014 campaign was the first time they had worked side by side. They also collaborated on a different ad in 2020.
“It felt funny at times too, though, because when you’re intimate with your husband, there’s not normally a crew and a camera,” she said of bringing her husband into the “fantasy” of perfume ads. “I think even in reality, you sometimes want to have a more aspirational version of yourself than maybe is your day-to-day. And so for us, that experience was a bit like that.”
Apart from fashion, Turlington inspired Burns in making his film The Groomsmen (2006). In an interview with CBS News, Burns said he wrote the movie in 2003 when he was getting married and “things were just coming to a head,” including in his relationship with Turlington.
“We were talking one night about how this wedding is causing all of this commotion,” he said. “Christy goes, ‘You should go back to that script you have and write that version of it. The honest version of what really goes on when someone gets married.’ And that’s what I did.”
They spend most of their time in New York City
The couple have lived in N.Y.C. since they’ve been together, and they spend most of their time in Manhattan or the Hamptons on Long Island. While Turlington loves to travel, Burns isn’t as interested.
“He’s a New Yorker and he thinks New York is the best place, and I love it too,” she told WSJ. Magazine in 2016. A few years prior, the family went on a safari in Tanzania. “Ed said, ‘Okay, now I’ve done it,’ and I said, ‘No, no, that was the first trip,’ ” she recalled.
She was grateful, however, that he was always around. “If he had to travel for work all the time, I wouldn’t be able to do it as much as I do,” she said. “It’s a good balance to have someone who likes to be the steady Eddie.”
They are very close with their siblings, who are also married
Even their extended family is very close — Turlington’s sister Kelly is married to Burns’ brother, Brian. Burns told WSJ. Magazine that he and Turlington were nervous when their siblings started dating.
“If the relationship hadn’t worked out, it might have made the holidays a little weird,” he said. “You can imagine how Christmas would have gone down.”
The two couples are neighbors, both have two children and see each other several times a week. “It’s been great for the kids,” Burns said. “We say they are more than cousins and less than siblings.”
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