Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have proven all of the skeptics wrong. For years, the couple has been scrutinized for their 25-year age gap. But after celebrating over 20 years of marriage, Douglas and Zeta-Jones have proven that age-gap relationships can be just as successful as any others.
‘The Constant Is Love And Respect’
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas’ love story is one for the ages. The couple met in 1996 when Zeta-Jones was on the press tour for The Mask of Zorro. As Zeta-Jones recalled in a 2001 interview with Larry King, people had been saying that Douglas wanted to meet her. “I was a little nervous because I didn’t quite know what he wanted to meet me about,” she explained.
Zeta-Jones has said Douglas was “gentlemanly” during their first interactions, but the Fatal Attraction star remembers making a crude comment.
“I said to her after about half an hour, ‘You know, I’m going to be the father of your children,”” Douglas revealed on the Jonathan Ross Show in 2016. “It sounded good, and she said, ‘You know, I’ve heard a lot about you and I’ve seen a lot about you, and I think it’s time I say goodnight.’”
Douglas feared she wouldn’t give him the time of day again, but after the actor sent her flowers and a written apology, Zeta-Jones decided to give him another chance.
They Were Friends For Nine Months Before Making It Official
According to Zeta-Jones, she and Douglas took things slow. They’d apparently talk for hours on the phone and meet for dinner dates, but they didn’t consider themselves to be in a relationship. The actress recalled always wondering, “Why are we not together?” Once the two finally addressed their undeniable chemistry, the rest was history.
However, going public with their romance also meant inviting gossip. Tabloids immediately scrutinized the couple’s 25-year age difference, but Zeta-Jones insists it was never an issue for them.
“Historically, older men and younger women have been together,” Zeta-Jones once remarked. “When my mother was telling me about men and telling me the facts of life, she never actually put an age bracket on it.”
It’s a point she’s constantly had to battle people on. As recently as 2021, the Chicago star was still reassuring people that their romance is enduring. “My husband is 25 years older than me; that’s not a secret. With any relationship, it wouldn’t be normal if there weren’t any ups and downs,” she told The Wall Street Journal. “The constant is love and respect. We’ve never, ever lost our sense of humor, and we enjoy each other’s company.”
To this day, Zeta-Jones insists the secret to a long-lasting marriage is to find ways to keep having fun. “My husband and I spend a lot of time together because, unlike so many couples, we’ve never had a 9-to-5 job where it’s consistent,” Zeta-Jones explained. “We lived on the island of Bermuda for 12 years bringing up our kids. We respect each other’s space, and our humor is just long-lasting.”