Katherine Schwarzenegger: Premarital counseling was ‘the most amazing gift’

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I’m a broken record about this, but it still amazes me to see how well-suited Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt are together. It was like that from their early days of dating – we could just see that they would get married and everything was falling into place perfectly for them. Pratt is definitely the kind of guy who needs to be “the star” of the marriage, with a supportive spouse in the background. Katherine seems completely happy with that dynamic, plus she has her side-businesses which do not threaten Pratt in any way. Plus, they’re both churchy as hell and they have, as Lori Loughlin might say, a faith-based marriage. Katherine gave a recent interview to the Meaning Full Living podcast, and wouldn’t you know, Katherine talked a lot about faith, premarital church counseling and more. Some quotes:

Premarital counseling: “Before we got married in the Catholic Church, you have to do premarital counseling before you get married, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, what is that going to be like?’ And it was the most amazing thing and just the most amazing gift. I know not everybody does [it], of course, because … if they don’t tell you you have to do it then why would you? But for us, when we had this experience of going to premarital counseling to get married in the Catholic Church it was such an amazing gift in our relationship ahead of getting married that we’ve definitely wanted to continue throughout our relationship and has been such a helpful thing to be able to have in our relationship of having that guidance.”

They got the prompts they needed: “Talking about things that maybe we wouldn’t necessarily have talked about before getting married, talk about things that couples of 10 or 15 years still don’t like to talk about with one another. Being prompted to talk about those things is also a really helpful thing to do early on. That I think helps us.”

Carving out time for each other: “Making sure that you can carve out that time. And of course, there are days where it doesn’t happen, and then we make sure we connect in a different way. I also just remember growing up and watching my parents [Arnold Schwarzenegger and ex-wife Maria Shriver] always be each other’s biggest support system and biggest cheerleaders, and that was always something that I wanted with who I envisioned somebody that I marry; always wanting to have that same support system and that same dynamic. I want him to be, to always feel loved and cared for and supported and like I’m his biggest cheerleader. And to feel that from him as well. We always are on that same page of wanting that for one another. And always putting our relationship first and our family first is super important to us.”

They “check in” with each other and talk about their faith and goals. “Also just like going on a walk, that was something that we did every single day when I was pregnant and it was a really great time for him and I to connect while also being able to get outside, which during the pandemic was important. Just taking the time to connect and to check in and always making that time is really important. Even with having the baby, it is still a priority for both of us.”

Faith is a big part of their marriage: Aside from friendship and communication, Schwarzenegger Pratt says faith is a “big part” of her relationship with Pratt and the “foundation of our relationship.” She said she feels “lucky all the time” to count him as her “really great support system.”

[From People]

Back in the day, I used to babysit for this super-churchy family and they never had anything to read in their house except pamphlets about church-mandated premarital and marital counseling for some reason. I was sort of surprised by just how many subjects are covered in premarital counseling – it’s not just one session of “listen to each other, communicate, you good?” There are many counseling sessions and the priest or reverend really does prompt couples to talk about sex, money, child-rearing, family planning and more. I’m not surprised that Katherine found it beneficial, and I bet Pratt did as well. As for the importance of their faith… it’s fine. They’re both super-religious and I hope Pratt starts veering more towards Katherine’s socially liberal Kennedy-style Catholicism.

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Katherine’s IG.

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84 Responses to “Katherine Schwarzenegger: Premarital counseling was ‘the most amazing gift’”

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  1. Darla says:

    I’ve never known a man like this to veer towards the wife’s views. But I have known many a white woman to completely change after marriage and become their husband’s mini-me.

    • MangoAngelesque says:

      But in this case, the wife is part of a very influential family line who shares her views, and Pratt will definitely want them on his side, so I can see him going her way just to align with all of them. Especially Arnold. He practically piddles the carpet over Arnold.

      • Darla says:

        True.

      • Cait says:

        Her father is very Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. Maria Shriver backed him and went full steam ahead with his Right-Wing views. I’m not shocked in the least she is with the worst Chris.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Cait
        True. It means nothing that Katherine has the bloodlines she does in terms of influencing Pratt. He’s in and she will bend however to make the marriage work.

      • Silver Charm says:

        Arnold is Republican. Katherine already clips Chris’s toenails for him. He’ll steer her more right wing and then use her family connections for when he runs for political office.

    • notasugarhere says:

      One of the Baldwins comes to mind. He married a singer who became born again, and he followed.

      • Lena says:

        That was chynna Phillips (who was big in the day) and billy Baldwin (the best Baldwin). They’re still married at 32 years or something and probably that has a lot to do with her faith,or maybe she just wants to be the opposite of her parents Mama&the pappas John and Michelle Phillips. Billy hasn’t followed her into it as deeply but I’m sure he is affected by it as well.

      • Jayna says:

        He hasn’t followed. He has attended church with her, will pray with her sometimes. But he is a worldly man who questions structured religion and belief systems and the hyprocisy of it. She’s always asking her followers to pray for Billy to come to Christ and accept Christ as his Lord and Savior. Even her churchy followers told her to stop harping on him about it.

        Chynna is exhausting but seems sweet. Her upbringing really screwed her up. I will go on it sometimes just when Billy comes on sometimes. or Chynna’s mother, who she is also trying to convert. He is funny and does love her. He seems to accept her as she is. He tweets about politics. She wishes he was more religious. He wishes she had an interest in his passion and what he mjaored in college, politics. They are still together because basically he is a family man. They have a son who is now in remission from cancer. He’s a teenager. He just went for another scan and still clear. But I can’t imagine the toll that takes on a family. She’s screwed up. I don’t mind her leaning on faith and the Bible. But she is in so deep that she has that reformed gay guy Beckett, now celibate, on and how she loves gay people and doesn’t judge their sin. Yes, Chynna believes being gay is a sin because the bible says so, but that you shouldn’t judge, that we all sin. Sigh. Her gay assistant seems to just deal with her.

        I know Billy is a Baldwin and can be so opinionated and a hothead, but Chynna is very exhausting also. It’s a wonder they are still together. She seems very depressed and is wound up in Jesus being the answer.

      • Natters says:

        California Preaching! I like her videos because she is self deprecating (I’m not born again). It’s crazy with how wild her family was in Hollywood when she was growing up that she grasped religion. Billy is following her but definitely not as passionately as she is. Pre Marital counseling is the advice I give all engaged couples but very few do it unless mandated by their church.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Tom Cruise got into Scientology after being introduced to it by his first wife Mimi Rogers.

      • Anne Call says:

        I love Mimi’s character in Bosch tv show on Amazon and she’s going to be one of the main people in the spin-off they’re doing. Wonder if she’s still into Scientology? Shudder. Hope not.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Mimi is a Former member of the church of $cientology.

    • Emily says:

      YUP! My mom was always the liberal parent while my dad was very conservative Christian. When she was younger she pushed back on it ways like sending us to public school, not contradicting science, advising me to get a degree and my own money. They divorced.

      Fast forward 20 years and my mom is remarried. She’s completely adopted her husband’s conservativism, watched Fox News and liked Trump.

      Neither man ever budged.

    • Mcmmom says:

      My husband joined my church because I was much more involved in mine than he was in his. My church was slightly more liberal, even though both were in the Episcopal denomination, so relatively similar.

      We got married in the church and the priest wouldn’t marry us without counseling. It was really good – we covered everything from physical intimacy to spending habits to how we deal with conflict. Our priest has been married for about 25 years and has raised two kids, so he “gets it.” Zero judgement and a lot of candid conversation about our flaws, our strengths, and what to watch out for. My husband and I have both been married before, so we both knew what NOT to do this go around and weren’t afraid to talk about it.

    • wow says:

      I’m not surprised they’ve lasted. She’s young, malleable & CATHOLIC

  2. Sandy says:

    Still can’t stand Chris Pratt to save my life, but he definitely lucked out with his wife. She will never take the spotlight and just be the pretty woman supporting him.

    • Seaflower says:

      It was the whole insecurity over Hollywood’s favourite Chris that did it for me – he must have whined incessantly to get people to actively come out to support him while all the others treated it like the fun jest it was.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        I never cared for him but once his public temper tantrum hit outer space, I was done. As for her, I wish her well because she is so young she has no idea what she is in for. I am surprised he isn’t mad and jealous of their child. Actually, she is raising 2 children at this point. I don’t see her being happy in the long run as he will ultimately show his true colors. That will not be pretty.

      • sa says:

        “he must have whined incessantly to get people to actively come out to support him while all the others treated it like the fun jest it was.”

        I am NOT defending Chris Pratt, because having people speak out about it was ridiculous. But I do think it’s easier to treat it as a fun or silly jest when you are not consistently called the worst Chris, as he is.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        If not for his P&R character I don’t know if he’d be anything today.

        Ive never known a faith based marriage couple that didn’t break down by crisis of faith or hypocrisy. You can be told and shown a path by counseling, but many people either resent taking that path or find the path is not right for them. You need more than a shared faith. If that’s all they have I’m betting they stay together only because divorce is not an option for them. Short of Pratt having a child from an affair.

  3. Chaine says:

    Maybe it’s just the way the interview is transcribed but she comes across as very breathless! Calm down hon, I bet your mom and dad had this oh so special Catholic premarital counseling too and look how that turned out.

    • equality says:

      I was thinking I wouldn’t have mentioned my parents as role models if I were her.

    • iconoclast59 says:

      @Chaine, I was thinking the same thing, that maybe she was nervous because she’s not used to being interviewed. Katherine repeats herself so much that it was like word salad trying to figure out what she was saying. It reminds me of the old joke about the “Department of Redundancy Department.” Or maybe she hasn’t dropped that college habit of saying in 20 words what you can say in 10, because you have to meet a certain word count in your papers and speeches.

      • Killfanora says:

        I’m glad Kaiser actually mentioned WHAT the Catholic Church guidance counselling covers as Katherine blathered on about how wonderfully helpful it was but didn’t tell you anything about it!

      • tealily says:

        @Killfanora I was thinking the same thing. “All the things couples don’t want to talk about” which are…?

        My husband and I were both raised Catholic but did not get married in the church. It felt like too much of a to do list at an already stressful time, including the counseling, but looking back that probably could have been beneficial. I mean, we’re doing all right, but some advice going in is always good. I wasn’t too sure how useful an unmarried celibate man’s marriage advice would be. I still have my doubts.

      • Kristen says:

        Yeah her interview seems incredibly vague and quite bland.

  4. caitlin says:

    I thought the Catholic church will not marry couples if they are divorced?

    • Wilma says:

      She’s the Catholic one, so that would be the rule for her.

      • Summergirl says:

        Actually, I believe Caitlin is right that the Catholic church usually won’t allow you to marry in the church if one partner is divorced. My grandfather was divorced and my grandmother had to beg and plead to be able to marry him in the church–of course, this was in the 1940s–and then she had to beg and plead to be allowed to take communion after marrying a divorced man. The Catholic church is a disgusting institution for so many reasons, and of course money speaks above all else for the church, so the rules were probably different for rich donors and celebrities.

    • Nina says:

      This is true, they won’t marry you if you are divorced. So this is very surprising. Unless his 1st marriage didn’t happen in any church, in that case this would be treated as his 1st marriage

  5. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    MerlinsDad left the Catholic Church when we got married, because I am a full blown atheist and I refused to do any sort of counseling or convert to the church. When the Priest condemned me and our future children to hell (“saving you a seat on the bus Padre” is what I said) MerlinsDad lit him up and left the church then and there. We were told we wouldn’t last a week and our kids were cursed (I don’t know how it is these days, this was back in 78). Welp 43 years come November and our daughters haven’t turned out half bad. We’ve had some DefCon Level 100 blow outs over the years but once we calm down, we talk it out and move on.
    I give props to folks who feel they need to do counseling, etc…I think you have to do what you need to do to make it work. For myself, communication is key always. A sense of humor is also a must.
    I wish them a long, happy marriage.

    • FHMom says:

      Wow. Congrats. The problem with Catholicism is that it is so judgemental. You probably could have shopped around and found a more liberal leaning priest. A friend of mine married a divorced non Catholic whose former wife was an alcoholic. I only mention that because. he had custody of his young kids. After some searching, she was able to find a priest who married them. This was ages ago. Cafeteria Catholicism is the way to go.

      • MerlinsMom1018 says:

        FHMom
        Thanks!!! I bear the brunt of the blame because (in my younger and stupider years) I didn’t want to be married in a church, ANY church because I thought it would be an admission of weakness on my part. (Did I mention I was young and stupid???) I only agreed (grudgingly) because (after my Dad yanked a knot in my tail) it was important to Himself.
        At that time there was NO Catholic Priest who would marry us because of my above mentioned stance on religion. Some of the stuff we were told would blow your mind
        We DID get married in my Mom’s Baptist Church by her Pastor who has known every member (and married quite a few) of my family since the day after the earth cooled off. He was a wonderful man
        MerlinsDad still has a true belief in God but feels he doesn’t need a building or a person telling him to be a good person.
        I hope your friends marriage is strong and happy

    • Chaine says:

      Good for you. Same thing happened with my church (although Protestant)—refused to perform ceremony or let me use the building for it because my partner was not Xian. I quit that s*** and never went back. 20 plus years and counting, still together, meanwhile most of my friends who did the whole church premarital counseling and religious wedding are long divorced.

    • Killfanora says:

      When I told my wonderful Catholic Irish Priest that my future husband was an atheist and could we get married in church, he just winked and said we’ll put him down as C of E (his parent’s religion!) and it’ll be fine. When I told my atheist fiancé he laughed and we were married in the church. It made no odds to my atheist husband if we were married in a church, a field or a fridge…..but he knew it mattered to me. Some priests are far more progressive than others, and kind and understanding.

  6. Marysia says:

    Oh, Catholic counseling, loved it.
    I heard during mine that God created man first and that is why wife should always listen to her husband…

    • Killfanora says:

      How long ago was that? My daughter, getting married in 8 days, did the premarriage counselling with her fiancé recently and there was NO mention of women being second to men! In fact EQUALITY was stressed through the whole thing. My daughter has been raised to understand equality in everything throughout her life, and believe me she would not have stayed quiet if there had been even a breath of women being subservient or second class to men!

    • Ania says:

      After a few camps with catholic spin an a priest I completely gave up and got married in civil ceremony, never christened my kid. During camps there were „discussion hours” where I’ve heard ia that a man has right to wife who is a virgin. I was a teenager at that time and fortunately it was too late to influence me. But my dear friend had very catholic parents and after such indoctrination almost married her abusive boyfried because she was sure that as she already had sex with him… a smart, great woman who now has PhD… catholicism is poison for me, sorry to anyone offended but I’m from very catholic country and I saw how intrusive and judgemental and basically discriminating this „faith” is.

  7. DS9 says:

    There are few things more annoying than listening to people who have been married for five minutes prattle on about the secret to marital success.

    Just be grateful for each day and STFU.

    • Diana says:

      Amen to this!!!!!! Lol

    • It’sJustBlanche says:

      Agree with this completely although, I am sorry but I still think he’s the hottest Chris. I’m not talking about his personality here though.

    • Ange says:

      YES. And to then use your parent’s screwed up marriage as some sort of example….

  8. Stellainnh says:

    I got married in the Catholic Church and did the premarital counseling. Because of time constraints, my husband and I did it at a conference center with a bunch of other couples. A priest and laypeople were facilitating.

    We found that format very beneficial. We discussed the topics between ourselves and the other couples at our table.

    I do think premarital counseling is important. It brings up topics that all couples need to communicate about. I think it helped my husband and I. We found we were on the same page on a lot of issues. We have been married for 28 years.

    • Jennifer says:

      Ours was awesome too. We had financial advisors etc. in addition to spiritual and relationship counseling. It really helped set us up for not only a great marriage, but equipped us with basic life skills.

  9. Betsy says:

    Submission isn’t godly. You know that’s what she learned (again) from their counseling, and I am sick to death of the organized religion line being that’s that the way for women to get to heaven – on the back of their husband.

    This is just gross. I have no more kindness left for the Catholic church with their constant interfering in US policy on abortion, birth control and family planning here and abroad while ignoring the fact that they juggled pedophiles around the country and victimized thousands of children.

    • Amanda says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I also left the church a long time ago.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        As did I. They are an overflowing bunch of hypocrites and abuse their powers and influence to steer their beliefs onto entire countries all the while abusing those within the church.

    • Summergirl says:

      I agree! Not to mention the heinous crimes against indigenous people at residential schools here in Canada.

      • Anna says:

        And around the world. Look what they’ve done to children in African nations, kidnapping, violently forbbiding people to speak their own languages, destroying indigenous practices. The only thing I like about Catholicism is the ancient art like illuminated manuscripts and some of the sculptures. Good theatre with all the vestments and incense if you can separate it from the horrifically abusive foundational messages and their implementation.

      • Betsy says:

        I didn’t even think about that, but beyond the graves of those poor young children is the hand that the church had in the genocide of native people. Just awful.

        As is what they did at the Magdalene laundries. Terrible, terrible, terrible and nothing whatsoever what any god would ever want for people.

  10. questions says:

    He looks more handsome in the above photo than I’m used to seeing.

    I don’t know if it’s her as his partner making him seem more handsome than usual. or if he got a glow-up.

    They do seem to have that glow that couples who are besotted with each other tend to have. I have zero interest in their relationship advice, but their couple-y photos are kind of…..cute. Usually, I find photos of couples kind of annoying to look at. These aren’t so bad.

    Edited to add:

    Not sure why she mentioned her parents’ marriage as a source of inspiration. That was a little…weird.

    • North of Boston says:

      Yeah, that was very weird. Especially because of the odd history of their relationship even before they got married, even more so combined with more recent history.

    • Lucy says:

      The first picture doesn’t really look like him to me, for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the hair being all brown? He looks like some generic dude.

  11. It’sJustBlanche says:

    It’s kind of funny that she mentions that Arnold and her mom were each other’s biggest cheerleaders when he was getting the staff pregnant and hiding the resulting child from his family in plain view.

    • Darla says:

      Yeah but you can only pull something like that off if you have an ace cheerleading team.

    • Chaine says:

      she seems religious. My guess is she believes her parents had a perfect marriage and that the maid is a plotting jezebel used her wiles to ensnare Arnold just the once, and that there weren’t any other extramarital entanglements. She probably sees her dad as a victim.

      • tealily says:

        Either that, or she believes God and their faith kept them strong through the counseling they received after he cheated, and that he is a reformed man now. I have an uncle who had a full on girlfriend outside of his marriage, which my aunt knew about, and then went on the become a Deacon after they worked things out. F-ing gross.

  12. WithTheAmerican says:

    Omg. I worked in film with people who worked with her dad and say he had what appeared to be underage women brought to his trailer all the time. It came up when he was running for Gov but was shut down.

    Yeah a total role model.

    • Lena says:

      Yes there were as many extra marital rumors about him when he was running as there were when Clinton was running (in other words, a lot). Maria came to his defense & stood by her man and shot them down. I guess it helped that the women I question didn’t come forward to tell their tales to the tabloids. He obviously used women who would keep quiet.

      • WithTheAmerican says:

        At least one of them spoke up and gave an interview at the time.

        Not sure why you’re comparing him to Clinton when the most recent former president (TRUMP) was credibly accused of rape and or sexual assault 26 times.

  13. Joanna says:

    The ex husband and I declined the premarital counseling. We were getting along great and didn’t think we needed if. After marriage things changed and communication was our biggest issue. I regret not getting it.

  14. Case says:

    I follow Katherine on Instagram and I actually like her much, much more than I expected to. She seems really sweet and doesn’t come across as overly church-y or like a Christian influencer (and a LOT of influencers turn out to be excessively religious for my taste.

  15. Lucy2 says:

    While I personally wouldn’t want to do it through a church, I do think the idea of premarital counseling is a good one. It’s shocking to me how many people get married without discussing big issues like that, money, kids, etc., and I think it’s good to hash all of that out before you are legally and financially tied to another person.

  16. doobie says:

    I can’t get over how much they look alike. That’s all I’ve got. Its creepy.

    • Chaine says:

      I don’t think they look alike, but I do think she looks much younger than her actual age and he’s kind of weathered, so overall they have the appearance of dad and daughter.

  17. Jessica says:

    My ex husband and I did pre-Cana (which is what the Church actually calls it) and despite our failure later on, it really was beneficial to us. It gave us space to talk about stuff we wouldn’t have considered and did bring us closer in the lead up to the wedding. We just kind of ignored the more problematic parts and applied what fit us. If I were to get married again, I would like to do a secular version. It helped!

  18. Imara219 says:

    Hubs and I didn’t do pre martial counseling but we were married by a Non Denominational Pastor. She had a PhD and our sessions were more like asking us some questions to see what type of people we were. I believe that counseling in general works and gives people the right tools to be successful, but both parties have to be open and honest. I grew up Christian but I now identify as an eclectic Afro Spiritualist. She sounds grounded and affirmed. They have something that works for them. Unless they do harm I won’t belittle their faith reality. I don’t support their church but as individuals this couple does not bother me.

  19. Meg says:

    the last few pictures of him theyve released he looks so different. I think it’s his eyes? His face looks thinner i think? Maybe hes cut out drinking some people really show it in their faces when they drink

  20. Lena says:

    I’m Protestant so before my wedding we had an hour long talk with the pastor. My daughter got married in our church, but she married a Catholic so they decided to go to pre-Cana. Her description of it, especially the talks they had to have about their attitudes and beliefs towards money (the biggest conflict in marriages), made me a big believer. Marriage is too big a deal to just go forward without having those sticky or uncomfortable issues discussed. And it takes more than an hour!

    • Jennifer says:

      Yeah, ours was stretched over six months and it helped us identify some problem spots we hadn’t anticipated.

  21. Plums says:

    Glad it’s working out for them, and hope it lasts. If there’s a chance he can be moved more to a moderate political spectrum via association with the Kennedys, that would be awesome as well. I’ve never cared about any of his movie roles, but I’d like to be able to guilt-free enjoy Andy Dwyer again.

  22. Mel says:

    My husband is Christian, so we had a counsel session. It was the priests first. This man was a baby, fresh outta seminary. I was told it would be my job to be sexually available to my husband, even if I’m not in the mood or tired. I’ve done a shit job lol.

  23. Bendy Windy says:

    Speaking as someone who is currently separated and doing marriage counseling, I guess I can see a benefit to premarital counseling, but only a small one. Over a long marriage people change, as do their views about life. My spouse and I always had great communication and were on the same page until we didn’t and weren’t. 🤷🏾‍♀️

    • Imara219 says:

      I agree that’s the the kicker with marriage. You can be on the same page until you aren’t and that is an odd feeling. It’s like a displacement. If you wish it be I hope you both get back in step.

  24. TigerMcQueen says:

    I think premarital counseling is great, whether in a church or out, depending on how the counseling is set up.

    One of my sisters married in the Catholic church and said it was ridiculous that she and her future husband were being counseled by someone (a young priest) who had obviously never been in a long-term relationship with a female. She said they got nothing out of it. They’re still married about 30 (?) or more years later.

    Another sister did premarital counseling in the church, different set up, though, and was PO’d to hell and back when the counselor flat out said they shouldn’t get married because her fiance was clearly having major doubts. And they were right, because he skipped out a few weeks before the wedding date and was married to someone else about a year later.

  25. Jaded says:

    I find it ridiculous that a celibate priest gets to lecture couples about how to conduct their marriage.

    I also find it ridiculous that she lavishes praise on her parents’ strong relationship when her father was one of the most notorious womanizers in Hollywood. He cheated on Maria Shriver multiple times before their nanny had his child so no, he doesn’t deserve a “father of the year” award.

  26. RedWeatherTiger says:

    Before we were married 30 years ago, my husband and I did the required pre-marriage thing to get married in the Catholic Church, which was important to our parents and not to us. Our group leaders were a married couple, pregnant with their 4th child, who were lecturing us about Natural Family Planning and how, when the wife was ovulating, the husband would sleep on the couch so there was no temptation to try to have sex with her unless they were ready for the next baby.

    Naturally, we had to drink wine before these sessions and thought they were the most useless thing ever. Another hoop to jump through along with a price tag. We did not raise our children to be Catholic, and they have all thanked us repeatedly.

  27. Laura says:

    Not to be negative Nelly but, this is a gossip site right?! When they first started dating another gossip site reported that she was badmouthing his church (Hillsong) and commenting how dumb he was. But that he was rich, handsome, movie star etc and wouldn’t it be nice to have another Schwarzenegger in the Govenors Mansion)?