Bret Michaels has held several titles over his years in the entertainment industry: winner of Celebrity Apprentice 3, judge for Nashville Star, solo recording artist, Travel Channel host, and most notably, frontman for the rock band Poison.
So, what’s the story of his love life? He has called his on-again, off-again romance with Kristi Lynn Gibson “a positive work in progress.” Is she Michaels’ wife or his special someone? Did they decide to break it off?
We took a deep dive into their relationship, and here’s what we found out.
Who Is Kristi Lynn Gibson?
Kristi Lynn Gibson was born on December 25, 1979, in Vancouver, Canada. Gibson is an actor known for the 1998 film A Letter From Death Row (in which Michaels wrote, directed, and starred) and The Untold Story (2019).
Michaels And Gibson Met In 1994
They had an on-off relationship for about 18 years. They share two daughters: Raine Elizabeth, born May 20, 2000, and Jorja Bleu, born May 5, 2005.
Michaels Sought True Love On VH1 Reality Show Rock Of Love in 2007
Anyone or anything that gets parodied on Saturday Night Live has usually attained a certain level of campiness, and Rock of Love was no different. During what was presumably an “off” period of his relationship with Gibson, Michaels embarked on a televised journey to find love.
The premise of the show was simple. A bevy of attractive women vied to be Michaels’ ladylove, at least for one date and hopefully more thereafter. The show only lasted for three seasons, but it spawned spin-offs such as Rock of Love: Charm School and Rock of Love Girls: Where Are They Now? Like the show itself, the “relationships” flamed out fast.
Michaels Proposed To Gibson During The Finale Of His Reality Show, Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It
In place of the fourth iteration of Rock of Love, Michaels starred in the show Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It. During the shows December 2, 2010 finale, Michaels popped the question to Gibson.
They called off their engagement in July 2012, according to People. Michaels’ rep said they parted amicably and were co-parenting their daughters.
Despite their split, it looks like Michaels and Gibson are still close. She wished him a happy birthday on Instagram as recently as August of 2022, and regularly posts about his concerts as well as their anniversaries.
Gibson Stood By Michaels Through Several Health Crises
Gibson devotedly stayed at Michaels’ side during several big health scares. In 2010, he had major stomach discomfort but wanted to perform in San Antonia, Texas, anyway, as he figured it was just a bad case of the flu. He actually needed to be brought to a hospital on the double for an emergency appendectomy.
Although Michaels’ recovery seemed to go smoothly, he had a brain hemorrhage that same month. His website reported that he was in critical condition.
He had a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which involves bleeding between the brain and the membrane around it. It can, in some cases, be lethal.
As Michaels said on The Wall Street Journal Live, “I’m one of the very few that have made a subarachnoid hemorrhage and survived it.”
According to People, When Michaels was brought to the emergency room of the hospital, a doctor asked him if he had children. Michaels wanted to know if he was dying. He later explained that if he was, he wanted to see his daughters, but if he wasn’t, he preferred not to have them see him in such a dire state.
Gibson’s steady, reassuring presence and faith that things would get better were evidently key to helping Michaels hang on. “In most of our world, Bret’s the hero, but in this situation, Kristi was the hero—she saved his life,” Michaels’ guitarist Pete Evick told People.
She was right there with him on the ambulance trip to the hospital in Phoenix.
“I said, ‘I’m not leaving his side,’” Gibson recalled. “I held his hand and told him, ‘It’s going to be okay.’”
Unfortunately, Michaels’ health scares were far from over. In May 2010, he had a transient ischemic attack, or TMI. This is also sometimes referred to as a warning stroke.
After experiencing numbness on one side of his body—a classic stroke symptom—Michaels underwent tests that indicated a hole in his heart.
Prior to that, his recovery from the brain hemorrhage had been proceeding well. His sly sense of humor had even returned. Michaels joshed to Rolling Stone that the brain hemorrhage ocurred while he was watching Busty Cops 3.
His doctor said that it did not seem like this newly-diagnosed heart condition was the reason for Michaels’ brain hemorrhage, which must have been a relief to him. He was “ready to rock again,” according to his rep.
Michaels reflected later on his serious medical issues, including his brain hemorrhage. When asked if his brush with death gave him a renewed sense of purpose, he told Vegas All Night, “I found more of a drive for life.”
“The night I had my brain hemorrhage, my two daughters and Kristi truthfully saved my life. That’s the God honest truth,” Michaels told People. “When it all hit the fan, when it came to that moment that I needed to react, my family rallied behind me…”
Bret Michaels has had more severe health threats than most people ever experience. At times, his life apparently hung in the balance. It seems like his own stubborn will to survive, along with the unstinting love and support of his family, especially Gibson, were immensely important in helping him pull through.
Although the nature of their relationship has been ever-changing and isn’t absolutely clear at the moment, she is definitely a beloved member of Michaels’ innermost circle and the woman that he wants with him when the chips are down.