Melissa Gilbert is engaged to Timothy Busfield from Thirtysomething

I know no one cares about Melissa Gilbert’s engagement, but I do – sort of. After Melissa appeared on Dancing With The Stars last year looking noticeably altered (and after her somewhat juicy tell-all memoir) she started attracting tabloid attention, and Melissa’s life was interesting! It’s just that it was Melissa Gilbert, so the stories didn’t get much mileage.

Last year, Melissa was dating a French dude was was only out for her fame and money, according to the Enquirer. The Enquirer ran several stories about Melissa, 48, and her 42 year-old lover, a vintage car salesman whom she met in late 2011 and dated until around November of last year. The gist was that the guy was using Melissa for her money and fame, and dumped her when he figured out she wasn’t as rich as he assumed. I believe this was Melissa’s first big romance following her split with second husband Bruce Boxleitner, in March, 2011. The thing is, Melissa just split with the French guy in November, and now she’s engaged to someone else a couple of months later. Melissa’s new guy is a familiar face to me, he’s Timothy Busfield from “Thirtysomething” and “The West Wing.” Here’s more:

Little House on the Prairie meets thirtysomething . . . for love! Melissa Gilbert is engaged to actor Timothy Busfield, a rep for Gilbert, 48, tells Us Weekly exclusively. It will be the third marriage for both. A mother of two, Dancing with the Stars alum Gilbert’s previous husbands are Bo Brinkman (they divorced in 1992) and Bruce Boxleitner (their split was finalized in 2011). A father of three, West Wing star Busfield, 55, has been married to Radha Delmarter and Jenny Meriwin.

“They got engaged over the holidays,” a source tells Us of the surprise couple. What brought the TV veterans together in the first place? “They’ve known each other for quite some time, as their paths have crossed off-and-on over the past 20 years.”

The spouses-to-be celebrated their engagement on the evening of Monday Jan. 28 at Beverly Hills eatery Mr. Chow. Gilbert, who became a child star as Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie in the 70s and 80s, admitted last year — during her stint on DWTS — that her split from second husband Boxleitner after 16 years together was a challenge.

[From US Weekly]

Is this a case of “when you know you know” or just a rebound? Time will tell I guess.

I went to google Timothy Busfield, and one of the suggested search phrases was “Timothy Busfield Scandal,” so of course I had to find out what it was. In 1994, at the age of 36, Busfield was sued in a civil case for sexual harassment against a 17 year-old girl. The girl was an extra on a movie set, and Busfield allegedly invited her to his trailer, plied her with alcohol, fondled her and attempted to have sex. She turned him down and told the production company, which had her fired. Two other women came out publicly to say that he had harassed them with wildly inappropriate come-ons. It sounded similar to the David Boreanaz scandal to me, except it involved someone underage. I don’t know what else to say except that for Melissa Gilbert’s sake I hope this guy has changed. They sure hooked up fast. I mean they may have been friends over the years or something, but she’s been with him less than three months.

Update: I was unable to find any information on how the lawsuit against Busfield was concluded. Also, he was accused just last summer of sexual assault, for groping a woman while on a date with her at a movie theater. Prosecutors rejected the criminal case for lack of evidence.

These photos are from Christmas Eve, 2012. Credit:

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60 Responses to “Melissa Gilbert is engaged to Timothy Busfield from Thirtysomething”

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  1. Ms Kay says:

    Dude looks like my neighbour who works in a seafood company, he brings us some very delicious shrimps, very nice chap.

  2. Hautie says:

    Ummm, I may be a little jaded.

    But I would not be remotely surprised to know this had been an ongoing thing. Just never took very seriously.

    And doesn’t he work all the time? So at least he has a steady income. So that is a positive.

    But I still think there is more to this sudden engagement.

  3. badrockandroll says:

    It’s sort of unfair to say that Busfield was sued for alleged sexual misconduct without actually stating whether he won or lost the suit. Rob Lowe, another Gilbert ex, was sued by his family’s nanny, and the allegations were proven to be wildly false. If he did it, he’s scum, but if the courts could not prove his guilt, I feel bad that he has to carry that tainted baggage around for the rest of his life.

  4. Jayna says:

    I think Busfield also directed on many TV series I would see his name on credits and recognized his name

  5. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    He was also on Trapper John MD.

  6. Syko says:

    I’m mostly bothered by her stringy flying-around hair while she’s serving food. Ugh.

  7. marie says:

    good for her. her face still freaks me out a bit though.

  8. claire says:

    wow. Thirty Something. I haven’t though about that show in a long time. It was super popular. Wasn’t two actors from that show also married in real-life?

  9. L says:

    Isn’t he supposed to be married to CJ?

    Honestly, I can’t look at any actor that was on the West Wing and unsee their character. (same thing happened when Toby was on NCIS last season…)

  10. renee says:

    He has always creeped me out..That is too many accusations to just shrug it off. If it was one, ok but when theres smoke there’s fire.

  11. Lisa says:

    Wow she really messed around with her face. This seems like such an odd pairing.

  12. fabgrrl says:

    Bo Brinkman and Bruce Boxleitner. Are you sure this guy’s name isn’t “Bimothy Busfield”?

  13. Anguishedcorn says:

    How do you sue someone for sexual harassment for being groped while on a date? Lmao…

  14. SleepyJane says:

    I had no idea that he was (allegedly) such scum. I was going to comment “how cute! Great for them!” until I read the article. Yikes.

  15. goodquestion says:

    His character fell in love with CJ Craig on the West Wing, so I have a soft spot for him.

  16. Esmom says:

    Never been a fan of hers and her handling of her history with Rob Lowe was douchey.

    She’s seemed kinda desperate somehow to me for a while now. The massive facial tweaking is a sign of serious insecurity, imo.

  17. truthful says:

    she has trout mouth and he is a touchy feely perv…something tells me he is going to embarrass her w/more allegations AFTER they marry, if they make it.


    rolls eyes

  18. OXA says:

    My 1st thought at seeing the healine is that she must be drinking again.

  19. RobN says:

    That’s a big step down from the Scarecrow. I’ve always had the sense that she was extremely high maintenance and Boxleitner just got tired of her being a pain in the ass all the time.

  20. YummyMummy says:

    I too was in love with BB in Scarecrow. I so wanted to be Mrs King. Melissa does look terrible I think a lot of these stars have had too much done to their face uggg

  21. JL says:

    Wow, just wow. If she can live with the allegations and he can live with that face more power to them.

    I feel sorry for her sister Sara, she seems so down to earth.

  22. G says:

    He will always just be ARNOLD POINDEXTER from Revenge of the Nerds.

    He’s also from my town and started the ‘B Street Theatre’. He is kind of known for being obnoxious.

  23. KellyinSeattle says:

    I wonder what Nellie Oleson would say.
    RIP Michael Landon, the definition of a sexy man.

  24. Eh, she’s always moved quickly. She got married for the first time 7 weeks after her final breakup with Rob Lowe.

  25. Madriani's Girl says:

    Wait a second. What happened to Boxleitner??? God, I remember when she got engaged to Rob Lowe and she was on the Tonight Show putting her hand up to her face a million times in a very unnatural and obvious way to make sure was ALL saw her diamond.

    Busfield has slid out of Ginge territory and has completed his journey to looking like a Muppet called Shifty.

  26. Manchurian Global says:


    Every time I see her I think about how she was Catherine O’Hara’s nemesis in Six Feet Under. Good times. :D

  27. Chelsea's handler says:

    I’m always surprised when celebrities get in trouble for unwanted sexual advances. You’d think celebs would have no shortage of people willing to sleep with them.

  28. Cirque28 says:

    She split from the French dude in November and got engaged to Busfield “over the holidays?” That’s moving way too fast.

  29. muppet_barbershop says:

    Her face is sort of jacked, but he seems like a decent sort, and I do want her to be happy. (I grew up with Little House, plus I’m “in love” with Sara Gilbert, so I “care” about her elder sister.) My only concern is, why would ~anyone~ give Us Freakin Weekly an exclusive on ~anything?~ That alone causes worry for me. Are Melissa and/or Timothy desperate for attention?

  30. Louise says:

    She is soooo fake, she’s a beard for a perv. Great match, great karma.

  31. Pandy says:

    When I opened the article and saw the first picture of them, my first thought was that he looked like a toucher. Not surprised at this article. Creepy.

  32. Bee says:

    UGH, I would be so upset if this (the assault) was true of Danny Kincannon.