CBS’ "Criminal Minds" has been on the air since 2005. The 15th season of the highly watchable procedural drama ended in 2020 and fans have been wondering if it’s ever coming back. (Look, it was hard enough to lose Shemar Moore and his character Derek Morgan back in 2011, OK?)
Well, there is good news, as the Paramount+ streaming service picked up "Criminal Minds" in February 2021 and is bringing it back for its 16th season. However, there’s no word yet on who is coming back to the show, per Deadline.
The real life partners of the cast of "Criminal Minds" have had to put up with the crazy schedules of their spouses and partners throughout the show’s enduring run. Thomas Gibson played Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner. He left the show abruptly after two very brief appearances in season 12. He married Christina Parker in 1993. The couple has two sons and a daughter. In 2014, he filed for divorce. It turns out he and his wife separated in 2011. The divorce was finalized in 2018, per E!
Moore, another former fixture on the show, left "Crimina Minds" during the 11th season. Moore has never been married. He dated soccer player Shawna Gordon for a year in 2014. In 2018, he dated "Quantico" actor Anabella Acosta. He appears to be single as of this writing — or he’s really good at keeping his love life private, per The Netline.
Now let’s look at the real life partners of the current cast members of "Criminal Minds."
Matthew Gray Gubler is a romantic who dated Taylor Swift
Matthew Gray Gubler has played criminal profiler Dr. Spencer Reid in all 15 seasons of "Criminal Minds." Though his character on the show is a bit dorky and awkward, in real life, Gubler has dated some of the hottest women in the entertainment industry.
Gubler was in a long-term relationship with Cobra Starship’s Victoria Asher and he had shorter relationships with actor Kat Dennings and singer Taylor Swift. Gubler and Swift dated for a few months in 2013, per Distractify. The two were first spotted together at Swift’s 2013 Fourth of July party, per Hollywood Life.
Gubler is a romantic at heart. In a 2015 interview with Glamour, he said he does not go on a lot of dates. However, when he does, he does it up big! He is not a big fan of being spontaneous and prefers well-thought-out dates. Gubler said, "I don’t go on a ton of dates, but when I do, I try to make dates really spectacular."
Gubler also remains friends with most of his exes. "I fall in love with wonderful people and people that can’t be replicated. They are completely unique individuals, and those people are really rare and you can’t let them go," he told Glamour. "You gotta be friends with them forever because if I’m going to date someone, it’s a real big thing for me."
Kirsten Vangsness is ‘as queer as a purple unicorn singing Madonna’
Kirsten Vangsness portrays technical analyst Penelope Garcia on "Criminal Minds." In real life, she’s "as queer as a purple unicorn singing Madonna," per The Advocate. In fact, it was her former co-star Shemar Moore who helped her realize she was not straight. She simply was not attracted to Moore, which made her realize she was, in her own words, "super queer."
"We got along famously and he was flirting with me and I remember thinking, ‘I must be queer. I should be reacting differently to what he’s doing,’" Vangsness told The Advocate. (She does, however, recognize that Moore is one of the hottest men on the planet. She does have eyes, after all.)
Vangsness dated editor Melanie Goldstein for seven years starting in 2006. In a 2009 interview with People, she said, "I never thought I would want to [get married]. Then when you meet the person, you’re like, ‘I want to marry you. I don’t care if there’s a law against it!’" Same-sex marriage was not legal in California at the time. Vangsness and Goldstein broke up before their wedding.
Two years later, in 2015, Vangsness got engaged to writer and actor Keith Hanson. She told People in November 2015, "The person I’m with, I can tell you, is very, very special and the right person for me. I was not expecting it to be a guy…" The two have yet to get married — or, if they did, it’s one of the best-kept secrets in Hollywood!
Aisha Tyler didn’t have a chance to join the MILF club
Aisha Tyler played Dr. Tara Lewis on "Criminal Minds" from 2015 to 2020. In real life, she married attorney Jeff Tietjens in 1992. They were college sweethearts, having attended Dartmouth together. However, they separated in 2015 and Tietjens filed for divorce in April 2016, per TMZ.
Tyler’s divorce was finalized in May 2017 and she was ordered to pay her ex-husband $2 million plus $31,000 a month in spousal support, per TMZ. On an episode of the podcast "WTF with Marc Maron," Tyler remarked that she was married for 25 years, but never got the occasion to join the MILF club, as she and Tietjens never had children.
In 2018, Tyler started dating "Arrow" actor Emily Rickards, per BET. At the time, Tyler posted a strip of photos of her and Rickards on her Instagram account and captioned it: "True love." Despite this public declaration, Tyler and Rickards never confirmed or denied their relationship.
Fun fact: Tyler’s high school boyfriend was actor Sam Rockwell, per HuffPost. During an appearance on Lily Singh’s talk show, Tyler joked, "Sam, you’re so awesome," Tyler said. "You seem a lot taller now that you’re rich and famous."
A.J. Cook’s husband beat cancer in 2020
A.J. Cook played Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer "JJ" Jareau on "Criminal Minds." She did leave the series, but still appeared in every season. She met her now-husband, Nathan Anderson, in a film class at Utah Valley University and moved to Salt Lake City to be with him, per Paramount+. They married on August 3, 2001. Cook and Anderson welcomed their first child, a boy named Mekhai Allan, in September 2008, per People. In July 2015, their second son, Phoenix Sky, was born, per People.
Both of Cook’s sons have appeared on "Criminal Minds." Mekhai has appeared as Henry LaMontagne on several episodes of the show, per TV Fanatic. Phoenix played Michael, the second son of Cook’s character JJ Jareau, per People.
Cook, Anderson, and their sons live in Los Angeles. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but does not let her religion influence which acting roles she takes, per TVOvermind.
Anderson was diagnosed with cancer and beat it, according to a 2020 Instagram post of Cook’s. She posted a series of photos and captioned it, "It’s been a hell of a year @nathanandy. I know you hate when I get all sentimental but #Cancer picked the wrong guy to mess with. You won baby! You’re #cancerfree. It’s like the weight of the world has been lifted."
Joe Mantegna has been married since 1975
Joe Mantegna played Special Agent David Ross from 2007 to 2020. He married his wife Arlene in October 1975. Mantegna and Arlene are both from Chicago and they met in high school and started dating in 1969, per People. They moved to Los Angeles with actor Dennis Franz in 1978. Arlene supported Mantegna as he worked to get his acting career off the ground, per Country Living.
The couple welcomed their first daughter Mia in 1987. Mia was born three months early because of an infection in the umbilical cord. There were moments when Mia stopped breathing. Per Country Living, Mantegna "went as far as to change the light bulb on his front porch from white to red so ambulances could find their house easier." When she was 2, Mia was diagnosed with autism (per Country Living). The couple’s second daughter, Gina (who later changed her name to Gia) was born in 1990, just as Mantegna started booking more acting roles.
While Mantegna was getting his acting career off the ground, Arlene managed the family. In 2003, Mantegna was happy to support his wife’s dream of opening a restaurant. They opened Taste Chicago in Burbank, California. The restaurant served classic Chicago comfort foods like deep dish pizza, Vienna beef hot dogs, and Chicago-style hot dogs until it closed in 2019, per Eater LA. The restaurant was beloved by the local community and a welcoming place for Chicago ex-pats to watch the Cubs, Bears, or Bulls while munching on classic Chicago fare.