Spike Lee was on a date when he first met his wife

Spike Lee says 'time stopped' when he first saw his wife credit:Bang Showbiz
Spike Lee says 'time stopped' when he first saw his wife credit:Bang Showbiz

Spike Lee was on a date with another woman when he asked his now-wife for her number.

The 67-year-old filmmaker recalled how "time stopped" when he set eyes on Tonya Lewis Lee for the first time in September 1992 in Washington D.C. at an event at the Congressional Black Caucus, which was screening a trailer for his film 'Malcolm X', but because he was out with someone else, he ended up making an excuse so he could slip away from his companion and try to arrange a meeting for another time.

Speaking on the 'Kelly Corrigan Wonders' podcast, Spike said: “So I had a date that night. So I'm going to the restroom and I see this woman coming to me — and I know it might sound corny, but it’s true — time stopped.

“I said, ‘Damn!’ And so later on, she said the same thing. So we just looked at each other and then couldn't see [each other] anymore.

"So the night is going on. You know, I’m there, I got to introduce the trailer for Malcolm X," Lee said. “And it's time to go, so we’re leaving — Tonya has her version, I have my version, and there’s the real version ...

“I'm going down the escalator, and she's going up the escalator. So I'm going down the escalator, I gotta think quick. So tell the person I’m with, ‘I think I left my Montblanc pen upstairs,’ you know, something like that.

“So I make a U-turn, go back on the escalator and find her and ask her for, you know, her number."

The 'Do The Right Thing' director called Tonya - who was working at a law firm - to be his date at an out of town event for "Madonna's 'Sex' book" and she accepted.

But when she returned to work, "everyone" in Tonya's office had seen her on the news "at the book party".

Spike quipped: "She was busted."

Later in the interview, Spike praised his wife - who he married just a year after meeting and went on to have Satchel, 29, and 23-year-old Jackson with - for her 2022 Emmy-nominated documentary 'Aftershock', which chronicled the impact on two families when two young women died in childbirth.

Noting he is "very proud" of Tonya's work, he added: "She's a filmmaker in her own right, and went to Sarah Lawrence undergrad, UVA Law School.

"[She's doing] what she always wanted [to be a] greater person. She's doing that now."