Star: Dakota Johnson hates stepdad Antonio Banderas for his younger girlfriend

Dakota Johnson and her mom, Melanie Griffith, are close. Dakota goes to events and premieres with Melanie, and she talks about her in interviews, and brings up issues which are important to her mom. That’s why this story in Star Magazine rings true for me. Dakota seems closer to her mom than she is to her stepdad, Antonio Banderas, and as much as Antonio and Melanie play nice for their daughter Stella’s sake, there are probably some hard feelings there. Star claims that those hard feelings extend to Dakota too:

Dakota Johnson can think of 50 reasons why she hates her stepdad Antonio Banderas, despite his being a father figure to her since she was just 6 years old. Dakota blames Banderas, 55, for ruining his marriage to her mom, Melanie Griffith, and is livid that he’s already moved on with a lithe young girlfriend, Nicole Kimpel, 36. And while Melanie, 58, is putting on a brave face and saying she’s loving the single life, behind closed doors she’s devastated that he’s already coupled up with someone half her age.

“Melanie is totally humiliated and in so much pain,” the source divulges. “Dakota thought he was better than this, but now she just sees him as a despicable man having a midlife crisis and thinking only about himself!”

[From Star Magazine, print edition]

Normally I would dismiss this as tabloid musings, but right around the time Antonio first got papped with his new girlfriend, Melanie Instagramed a message comparing dating her ex to eating leftovers. I can see how she would be hurt about Antonio moving on, and how Dakota might feel the same. That said, I don’t think Antonio disrespected Melanie at all. (At least after their divorce, but if he cheated as was rumored during their marriage that’s another story.) He said so many nice things about Melanie after their divorce and then he settled down with a woman who was just shy of 20 years younger than him. It could have been much worse.

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51 Responses to “Star: Dakota Johnson hates stepdad Antonio Banderas for his younger girlfriend”

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  1. Nancy says:

    I admire her loyalty to her mother. However, Antonio was married to Ana Leza when he dropped her like a hot potato to date and eventually marry Melanie. Melanie has been married four times, so knows the story of Hollywood marriages and breakups.

    • MooHoo says:

      totally agree with you.

    • ol cranky says:

      Melanie was also a hot-mess of addiction during their marriage and he stood by her through much of it so it’s more than a little self-serving for Melanie or Dakota to paint Melanie as a victim

      • Nancy says:

        True. All the years of alcohol and pills have taken a toll on her face. He did stand by her, but one can take so much. I see no reason for Antonio to be the bad guy here. What I said up thread though I believe, what goes around comes around.

      • Gina says:


        Yea, I don’t believe this for a minute. I think Dakota is well aware of how Antonio stood by Melanie, and I just don’t think she’d be that selfish. Besides they aren’t engaged to be married, just dating.

        Also, this ‘girlfriend,’ is 36, not 26. In that pic of them they look very age appropriate. Probably because she looks older than her age and he looks younger than his.

        Finally, I don’t know what Star rag is talking about – if 36 was “half Melanie’s age,” she’d be 72 years old. Way to get your digs in STAR. Ugh, so terrible. This obviously is a woman who’s had issues surrounding aging her whole life, plus chemical dependency and addiction issues – then they go write crap like this, and turn the knife. I hope Melanie has finally gotten it together and can ignore this cruel garbage.

      • Taxi says:

        I agree that Antonio was pretty stand-up to abide Melanie’s alcohol & drug messes for years. Being a caretake or overseer for a years-long addict pretty much kills the romantic feelings or sense of partnership.

        Did Dakota get worked up about Don’s flings, which continued even after he married the rich,young SF socialite?

      • Janetdr says:

        Taxi, that’s what I was wondering!

    • Kelly says:

      Agree. I feel bad for her, but I feel worse for his wife that he left for Melanie.

      What goes around comes around.

      I will say this about Antonio, whenever I hear his name I eye-roll. Then I see him and there is this small part of that is, “Ooooh, Antonio!” I hate that part of me.

      • Nancy says:

        I mentioned that above about the first wife. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Don’t know if the rule applies to old farts though. Melanie stayed in Miami with him during Evita, so he’d wouldn’t be alone with Madonna. think the new gf resembles Bo Derek.

      • KiddVicious says:

        It’s not so much his looks for me, I don’t think he’s that attractive. Those man bangs must go. His voice/accent gets me every damn time, though. I melt. I can’t help it.

    • holly hobby says:

      Yup totally. He was married to a beautiful wife when he hooked up with Melanie. I hope Mel didn’t conveniently forget about that. He also took care of her for years. Mel has a whole basket of issues and the fact that they made the marriage last as long as it did was a miracle.

  2. Lex says:

    He looks much older than 55. I can see why you’d be annoyed if your parent/parental figure dated someone much younger than them. The new gf is less than ten years older than Dakota, that’s gotta be weird.

    • susan says:

      yikes. A lot of people complain about Melanie’s plastic surgery face and even (sexistly) say that’s a good enough reason for him to leave her, but Antonio has obviously hit up the plastic surgeon a lot too and yet still also looks very old.

      • INeedANap says:

        Totally agree. I remember him as a younger man and WOWZA he was smokin’ hot, but now his face just looks stretched.

    • kibbles says:

      Both Griffith and Banderas look bad for their age. They look look like they have gone under the knife, but Griffith’s surgeries have made her look horrific. I just can’t help but have pity for her whenever I see her face. Griffith’s mother Tippi Hedren is in her late 80s and looks much better than she. That must hurt. I don’t consider being in one’s fifties to be that old. I still think of it as middle age and I have personally seen people in their fifites who look great; at least much better than these two.

  3. Azreen says:

    Melanie stuck it out for so long. I can’t believe she was willing to endure all that just to avoid drama.

    • Jayna says:

      And he stuck it out for so long with a wife who was continually having relapses with pills and alcohol.

      • Gatita says:

        I know someone who worked with them, Antonio was very devoted to her for years and gave her lots of attention and support. Can’t fault him for finally saying he’d had enough.

  4. Sayrah says:

    They’ve been divorced for years. I’m sure it’s not pleasant to see your ex with a new girlfriend but at some point people do move on. She’s also 36. It’s not like she’s 20.

    • Truthful says:

      She’s 36 to a 55 years old !!.

      Age matters, not just the women one. Both.

      • isabelle says:

        If he is a healthy active 55 year old. Would date some that age if I was 36.

      • Truthful says:

        @isabelle: good for you but most women that age won’t.
        And even “healthy active” cannot erase an age gap. An age gap is an age gap and a 19 yrs one is a generational one.

  5. Jayna says:

    I’m sure it was hard at first, but I can’t imagine she cares as much now. And his much younger girlfriend looks like she’s in her 40s, even though she’s not. So it’s not like he’s with some young-looking thing.

  6. Emma - The JP Lover says:

    Who wrote the “Star” magazine blurb? Is a 36-year-old woman now considered a “lithe, young girlfriend?” Leo’s young ‘thangs’ aren’t even described that way. Antonio’s new girlfriend is nearly 40-years-old. It doesn’t seem like he purposely ‘robbed the cradle’ just to rub Melanie’s nose in some young stuff.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yeah, that made me roll my eyes. She is lithe, but why say it? And she’s younger than he is, but I wouldn’t describe a 36 year old as “young.” So stupid.

    • Ramona Q. says:

      36 ain’t nearly 40!

      • SleepyJane says:

        Tell ’em, Ramona Q!

        No one is nearly 40 until they’re 39 for 364 days 😋

    • Norman Bates's Mother says:

      The writer also thinks that the 36-year old girlfriend is half the 57-year old Melanie’s age. Basic math and common sense are not required to get a job in Star magazine.

  7. SamiHami says:

    “Melanie is totally humiliated and in so much pain,”

    I wonder if the woman he was married to when Melanie started dating him felt that way as well.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      It’s always hard for me to work up a lot of sympathy in that situation.

    • Luca76 says:

      They were actually BOTH married. Melanie was still Mrs. Don Johnson at the time they met. Anyway I get that it might be painful to see a long term marriage end in the cliched way but one can only hope they can all move on eventually .

  8. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I don’t believe she hates him if this is all there is to the story. If she hates him, she probably knows things we don’t.

  9. Memurs says:

    How dare Antonio date a fully grown consenting adult after getting a divorce! I wonder how she feels about her dad dating her mom when he was 22 and she was 14. No sir, that isn’t creepy at all!

  10. poliandra says:

    well isn’t melanie’s other ex stephen bauer dating a teenager? so yeah it could have been much worse.

  11. Zaytabogota says:

    I doubt Dakota cares, they’re divorced, he’s moved on as expected, that’s life. Melanie may have issues with it because she can’t get a replacement husband so easily, at least not the handsome ones she’s used to. She spent her whole life working the pretty, then messed her face up with surgery, age makes it worse and now the looks are gone so there’s nothing left.

  12. Barrett says:

    Ah first picture….glimpse of her old face and lips…. Sigh Melanie!

    • Lisa says:

      She was so pretty in that picture. I wonder when it was taken. It’s a shame she felt she had to take the plastic surgery route.

  13. Ari says:

    um his gf is almost 40 years old how is she half his age lol

    • nina says:

      She is 36 and there is a 15 years age gap, how is that not much? I hate when people infatilize men and project maturity and old age on women. 36 is still young and there is a huge difference in being in ones 30s vs being in ones 50s….if she is “almost 40” then Antonio is almost 60.

      • Truthful says:

        Totally. hate it too and particularly when women are the ones doing it. They are 19 years apart… a bigger gap than the one between Jlo and Casper Smart… and oddly we see how this one is seen …

        19 years is a major age gap! EVEN if the woman is not 20 anymore.

  14. serena says:

    While I respect her being by her mom’s side, he was a father figure to her.. it doesn’t feel right the way it’s worded here. Melanie had serious addiction problems and I can’t imagine it’d be easy to live with that, no matter how much you love a person. Then of course he went the clichè way, dating a woman more than half his age but he was always nice. At least that we know of.

  15. Micki says:

    I giant eye-roll is all I have.

  16. Tris says:

    Dakota always seems like a petulant child to me. And Melanie is really really really yucky. Always has been, in my book.
    Antonio seems like the least-assholic celeb; as you say, it could have been SO much worse.

  17. chelsea says:

    She’s really mad that the only father she has ever known finally left her unstable mess of a mother? Sure. Pull the other one.

  18. Harryg says:

    Dakota looks exactly like her dad. Like Tiger Woods looks exactly like her mom.

  19. OTHER RENEE says:

    Eh. My stepmother is 13 years older than I am and we’re incredibly close. She’s an amazing person and has helped guide me through some tough times. I call BS on this story. It’s Star, for heavens sake.

  20. Mollie says:

    I’d rather read something about Don Johnson and Dakota. On another note, is Antonio shrinking? He looks so tiny and frail next to his new girlfriend.

  21. Deeana says:

    What I don’t understand is how some of the stars who have obviously had surgeries look fantastic – like Christie Brinkley, Jane Fonda – and others end up looking so bad. Was it the skill of the surgeon, what the patient asked for, just the way the patient healed from the surgery or what?

    Jacqueline Smith looks great. Helen Mirren looks good. And many others.

    And whoever is working on Tom Cruise’s face should be drummed out of the business!

  22. Sharon says:

    Melanie might been married four times but with her last marriage. Her marriage last longer than most hollywood marriages.

  23. Marie says:

    You will never be able to change narcissistic womanizers. Every woman that comes along thinks she has something special that the other woman doesn’t, just like my piece of crap father who traded my mom in after 35 years for a 31 year old girl. When he gets bored with this one, he’ll trade her in too.