Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Naomi Watts' new husband Billy Crudup's bombshell love triangle with fellow A-listers that scandalized fans

The Morning Show actor infamously broke up with Mary-Louise Parker to be with Claire Danes

Billy Crudup attends Apple TV+'s "Hello Tomorrow" New York premiere at the Whitby Hotel on February 15, 2023 in New York City
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
12 June 2023
Share this:

After six years together, Naomi Watts and Billy Crudup got hitched over the weekend with a low key wedding at a Manhattan courthouse, and quickly received an influx of celebratory messages from all of their A-list friends when they shared the news on social media.

The low key, no frills, under-the-radar nature  of their nuptials stands in stark comparison the the Morning Show actor's romantic past.

While he now leads a quiet romance with Naomi, also 54, now, two decades ago he was embroiled in a headline-making love triangle, and subsequent scandal, with fellow stars Mary-Louise Parker and Claire Danes.

WATCH: Hoda Kotb grills Naomi Watts over her engagement ring on Today

MORE: Naomi Watts' $50k engagement ring's romantic diamond has to be seen

In 1996, Billy, then 28, started dating Mary-Louise, then 32, after they met as co-stars in the Broadway drama Bus Stop, and the two were together for nearly eight years, until 2003.

In 2003, while the actress was seven months pregnant with both her and Billy's first child together, the two shockingly split two months before she was due to give birth.

MORE: Naomi Watts shares behind-the-scenes details of secret wedding to Billy Crudup

At the time, The New York Post reported that the actor had moved on with his former Stage Beauty co-star Claire – then 24 and 11 years Billy's junior – though the alleged romance was quickly denied by his reps in a statement to People, which maintained that: "Claire has been friends with Billy for ten years," and that she was still with her former boyfriend, Australian rocker Ben Lee.

Photo posted by Naomi Watts on Instagram June 2023 announcing her marriage to Billy Crudup© Instagram
The marriage is a first for both Naomi and Billy

Despite the denial, just months later in the summer of 2004 – when Billy and Mary-Louise's son, named William Atticus Parker, was seven months old – Billy and Claire were spotted throughout New York City on plenty of loved-up PDA moments, effectively confirming their romance.

MORE: Naomi Watts addresses engagement rumors as she flashes her sparkler in latest interview –see the video

MORE: Claire Danes is pregnant – all we know about her relationship with Hugh Dancy

Despite their frequent sightings out and about, Billy made an effort to keep both his past relationship with Mary-Louise and his romance with Claire out of the media.

Billy Crudup and Mary-Louise Parker at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival© Getty
Billy and Mary-Louise at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival

Ahead of a 2004 profile of him in the New York Times, Billy was asked how he would address the love triangle, and in an email sent to the reporter, he wrote: "I just want to make an argument for not including anything about the Mary-Louise Parker situation," explaining: "First and foremost it is personal, painful and involves an infant, and does not deserve to be exploited to sate the appetites of circulation counters and bored readers."

Mary-Louise Parker and Billy Crudup arriving at the 9th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards March 2003© Getty
The former couple's last major red carpet together was in March 2003

He added: "I have never indulged our society's misguided notion that my personal life is relevant to my work, so any reporting surrounding that is necessarily hearsay, speculation or fantasy. Each published report is based only on the trade of suffering."

Claire and Billy broke up in 2006, the year the actress met her now-husband Hugh Dancy on the set of the film Evening. They announced their engagement in February 2009, and tied the knot in France later that year. They have two sons together, Cyrus, ten, and Rowan, four, and she is currently pregnant with their third child.

Billy Crudup and Claire Danes at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival © Getty
Billy and Claire at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival

Following the 2003-2004 drama, Claire has occasionally addressed her romantic past. She told now-defunct Blackbook Magazine in 2009: "That was a choice I made to fall in love. It's unpleasant to be cast in such an unflattering role [in the tabloids], but I just had to remain steadfast," adding: "I was living with the same kind of integrity that I had always lived with."

In 2015, she told Howard Stern: "I didn't know how to not do that. I was just in love with him, and needed to explore that, and I was 24. I didn't quite know what those consequences would be. But it's OK. I went through it."

Claire Danes and Billy Crudup during Celebrities Attend the New Jersey Nets vs New York Knicks Game - December 26, 2005 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York© Getty
The two confirmed their romance some months after Billy and Mary-Louise's split

Mary-Louise has addressed it even less. In her 2015 memoir, Dear Mr. You, where she wrote different letters to real and hypothetical men, though she never named Billy, she recalled an emotional confrontation with an NYC taxi driver when she was pregnant. She wrote that after he asked her to get out of his car, telling her: "I don't want you anymore," she thought: "No one does," and that: "My life is worse than yours in this moment," noting: "I am alone. Look, see? I am pregnant and alone. It hurts to even breathe." 

In September of 2007, she adopted a baby girl from Ethiopia, who she named Caroline Aberash Parker.

Read more HELLO! US stories here. 

Want to keep up to date with the latest stories? Sign up to our HELLO! Newsletters today.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Celebrity News

See more