If there’s one thing everyone knows about Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, it’s that she knows how to cook and cook well. De Laurentiis is obviously most well-known for her Italian cooking, but her personal life with former husband Todd Thompson has also garnered plenty of interest over the years. Specifically, the couple was married for 11 years and two months (via E!), but De Laurentiis and Thompson announced their divorce in 2014. The end of their marriage brought plenty of speculation.
There were many rumors as to what led to the divorce. But the truth about Giada De Laurentiis’ former marriage is that it wasn’t really all that dramatic. The pair seemingly started with a love story just like any other couple, in addition to a good amount of fame and fortune. De Laurentiis knew Thompson since she was 19 years old and seemed to have quite a happy life with him. Let’s take a closer look at their story.
Giada De Laurentiis met Todd Thompson when she was 19 years old
When many people think about Hollywood breakups, they typically imagine that the couple in question hasn’t been together very long. After all, there are more than a few makeups and breakups that happen among celebrities. Giada De Laurentiis and her first husband, Todd Thompson, were together for a significant amount of time. In fact, in a 2011 interview with Redbook, De Laurentiis confirmed that she and Thompson had been together for 20 years — since she was 19 years old.
De Laurentiis and Thompson received a special wedding gift
When Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson tied the knot, they likely received the typical wedding gifts like china and linens. But this happy couple also received something non-kitchen related, as food isn’t the only love that De Laurentiis and Thompson shared during their marriage.
The pair had a common passion for art, and were gifted a pretty unique piece of artwork as a wedding gift. Artist Darren Quinn attended college with Thompson, where the two became close friends, according to Quinn’s website. So when Thompson married De Laurentiis, Quinn created his first "Amore" painting for the couple’s wedding present. During their marriage, De Laurentiis and Thompson collected quite a few of Quinn’s pieces.
Todd Thompson was pretty romantic
When you’re married to a chef, it’s easy to imagine that you won’t have to do any cooking for the rest of your life. But in reality, even a professional chef gets tired of cooking constantly, so having a partner who can take over in the kitchen every so often is probably pretty important. And that was exactly what Todd Thompson did. While he wasn’t the chef she was, he would do some pretty romantic gestures.
For example, in an interview with Parade, De Laurentiis said that Thompson would often make and serve her breakfast in bed. "Sometimes he likes to make something he calls a ‘Scramble Surprise’ which means whatever is leftover in the fridge from the night before, he mixes it with eggs and serves it to me."
Todd Thompson’s family wasn’t used to dealing with Hollywood gossip
Being a celebrity chef attracts a lot of attention, and Giada De Laurentiis’ personal life is no exception. Sometimes, interest turns into rumors that are just flat-out untrue — something De Laurentiis learned the hard way.
In 2011, De Laurentiis was the subject of false gossip that she was having an affair with singer John Mayer. De Laurentiis denied those rumors, and in an interview with Redbook, she explained that while her husband Todd Thompson was understanding of the tabloid lies, his family wasn’t exactly on the same page. "My family is used to that sort of thing," De Laurentiis said. "But my husband’s family is not. Todd was embarrassed that his family in Michigan would see it and think, What is going on over there in Hollywood?" Life in the spotlight can be a difficult adjustment, but as De Laurentiis’ grandfather was already in Hollywood, her family was more familiar with how to deal with it than Thompson’s.
Giada De Laurentiis’ family was unsure of their feelings towards Todd Thompson at first
In an interview with Redbook, Giada De Laurentiis revealed that some of the first times Todd Thompson was around her large Italian family, they were a bit skeptical of him. "When he would come to my grandfather’s house to eat dinner, my grandfather would say to me in Italian, ‘Who is this person butchering his pasta by cutting it with a fork and knife?’" But, all was well, because eventually, Thompson won over the De Laurentiis family. "Luckily, my husband is confident enough that he never took it personally," she continued. "He’d laugh it off, and my family ended up adoring him."
Giada De Laurentiis said Todd Thompson was not a cook
You might expect that a talented chef like Giada De Laurentiis would fall in love with someone who loved to prepare food just as much as she did. But that wasn’t really what happened. Todd Thompson wasn’t exactly a major foodie when they met — De Laurentiis had to teach him.
"My husband was used to opening cans — Chef Boyardee, frozen food, whatever," De Laurentiis told Redbook of what Thompson liked to eat when they first met. "He didn’t know much about cooking, bless his soul. He wasn’t that hard to impress," she joked. "But he’s come a long way. Parmesan cheese never existed for him," De Laurentiis said, adding that, for Thompson, "tomato sauce was watered-down ketchup."
De Laurentiis and Thompson liked to host dinner parties
It’s not exactly a new or revolutionary thing for a couple to host a dinner party. But for Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson, dinner parties weren’t just something to do — they truly enjoyed throwing them for friends and family.
As De Laurentiis told Women’s Health, the couple kept the guest list at the forefront of their dinner party planning, so the affairs would always be a good time. "My husband and I have a few friends who we know are going to be the life of the party, and we try to invite them as often as we can," she explained. However, that doesn’t mean that their dinner parties went all night long. "Todd and I have a discussion ahead of time about when I have to be in bed," De Laurentiis said. So when they needed their guests to leave, Thompson started doing dishes as a sly hint.
Giada De Laurentiis enjoyed time at home with her family
It’s obvious that Giada De Laurentiis is a modern, successful, busy woman. She’s a chef, TV personality, cookbook author, and restaurant owner. She also has a daughter, Jade. Even though De Laurentiis has so much going on in her professional life, she enjoyed good, old-fashioned home time with her family.
In an interview with TODAY, De Laurentiis said that although she was busy, she prioritized her marriage when she could. "When I’m not working, I love to make dinner at home for Todd," she said. "That’s the most romantic thing I can do for him — to make his favorite meal — farfalle with turkey sausage, mushrooms and peas. It reminds him that, oh yeah, that’s the person I married, that’s the woman I fell in love with."
Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson worked as a team
Every relationship changes when a baby comes along. For Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson, that happened in a good way when their daughter Jade was born.
In an interview with Parade, De Laurentiis noted that after her life changed with the birth of her daughter, her relationship with Thompson changed, too. "I have a great husband who really does support me and is able to get Jade up and the morning and put her to bed at night even with a full-time job of his own," she said. "I guess I never realized what a true partnership was until now, and I’ve been with my husband for 22 years!" De Laurentiis also added that their daughter really brought them closer together as they had to balance so much as a family.
De Laurentiis and Thompson compromised from the beginning
Every marriage is full of compromise. In an interview with We Are Not Martha, Giada De Laurentiis explained that even when she and Todd Thompson were planning their wedding, they worked together to decide what they both wanted on their special day. "My husband is a meat eater and I love fish, so we tried to have something that would make everyone happy," she said. "We started with a caprese salad and then had beef filet for my husband and fish for me. But the most important thing at a wedding is just having all your family and friends there to make it special."
Giada De Laurentiis squashed cheating rumors
In 2010, Giada De Laurentiis appeared in tabloids, as rumors claimed she cheated on her husband Todd Thompson with singer John Mayer. Needless to say, De Laurentiis was not pleased.
In fact, she made it clear that nothing ever happened between her and Mayer. "It is a shame a media outlet such as Star needs to rely on disgraceful lies and hide behind false anonymous ‘sources’ in order to entertain their readers," De Laurentiis’ representative wrote for her website (via OK!). "Contrary to the claims of an anonymous ‘source,’ at no time did Giada step foot in the Gansevoort Hotel … To be clear, they are not friends and cannot even go so far as to call John Mayer an acquaintance," her representative continued. So, as pervasive as that rumor was, it was definitely not true, as De Laurentiis made sure to emphasize in a since-deleted Tweet, OK! reported.
Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson have one daughter, Jade
Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson were together for many years before they had their daughter Jade. People wondered whether or not the couple would have more children.
"I have so many babies: the show, Todd, and Jade," De Laurentiis said at the 2010 New York City Wine and Food Festival, according to PopSugar. De Laurentiis also explained to TODAY why she didn’t want to have another kid. "People always say to me, ‘Why don’t you have another child?’ And I say to them, I have another child — he’s my husband!" she joked.
Giada De Laurentiis stressed about being a working mom
It’s evident that Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson had a very busy life together, between raising a child and being in the limelight. When asked during an interview with Women’s Health about what stresses her out the most in general, De Laurentiis explained it was typically her busy schedule which got in the way of other important things. "Not spending enough time with my daughter and husband, but I do my best," she answered. "On weekends, I’ll do yoga at a reasonable time, like 9 a.m., so Jade and Todd can join me. I try to do stand-up paddle surfing and go on hikes with my husband on weekends, too."
Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson seemed to have a civil divorce
Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson split up in 2014, and the news was shocking to fans (via TODAY). According to People, De Laurentiis announced her divorce from Thompson in a Facebook post. As devastating as a divorce can be, however, De Laurentiis’ statement made it seem fairly friendly between the couple. "After an amicable separation since July, Todd and I have decided to end our marriage," she explained in her post. "Although our decision to separate comes with a great deal of sadness, our focus on the future and overwhelming desire for our family’s happiness has given us the strength to move forward on separate, yet always connected paths."