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Julia Roberts' high profile Hollywood love triangle that resulted in a broken engagement

The Pretty Woman star is happily married to husband Danny Moder

Julia Roberts attends the "Money Monster" premiere during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2016 in Cannes, France
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
October 3, 2023
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Julia Roberts is one of Hollywood's rare success stories when it comes to marital bliss. She and husband Danny Moder have been married since 2002 and she's a doting mom to their twins Hazel and Phinnaeus, 18, and son Henry, 16

However, the actress, 55, has been in her fair share of high-profile relationships before finding love with Danny, including a short-lived first marriage to country singer Lyle Lovett from 1993-1995.

VIDEO: Julia Roberts' love story with husband Danny Moder

Before Lyle, though, Julia sparked a tabloid frenzy in 1991, when she broke off her 10-month-long engagement to Kiefer Sutherland  — and jetted off with his best friend, fellow actor Jason Patric, on what would've been the day of their wedding.

Let's backtrack a bit. Julia and Kiefer, now 56, first met in 1989 when they co-starred in 1990's Flatliners. They quickly struck up a relationship soon after Julia's engagement to Steel Magnolias co-star Dylan McDermott ended and Kiefer's divorce from Camelia Kath was finalized.

In August 1990, Kiefer and Julia announced that they were engaged and were set to tie the knot on June 14, 1991 in a grand ceremony held at 20th Century Fox's Soundstage 14 surrounded by A-list guests.

Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts during "Flatliners" Premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States© Getty Images
Kiefer and Julia first met while making 1990's "Flatliners"

However, according to People, the Notting Hill star broke off the engagement three days before the wedding, and the day of the ceremony, the 24 star was seen moving out of his ex-fiancée's Beverly Hills home.

What's more, the publication also reported that on the same day, she was spotted flying to Ireland with Jason, Kiefer's close friend and co-star in 1987's The Lost Boys.

MORE: Julia Roberts is glowing as she shares new celebratory photo from Milan Fashion Week

Jason and Julia eventually were recognized as a couple when they returned to the States days later, although they ended things shortly after in 1992. Julia was branded the "runaway bride" a full eight years before the movie of the same name opposite Richard Gere even came out.

Julia Roberts & Kiefer Sutherland at the 63rd Annual Academy Awards© Getty Images
The couple ended things just before they were set to tie the knot in June 1991

The firestorm surrounding the trio remained for a few years, with Julia first breaking her silence in 1994 in an interview with Rolling Stone, saying of her broken engagement: "I've read 'days before,' 'hours before,' 'minutes before'. 

"And the fact is, it doesn't matter how many times you say it – he wasn't waiting at the altar, it wasn't the day before, somebody else didn't tell him, he didn't see it on TV – people don't want to know."

MORE: Julia Roberts looks back on fond memories with daughter Hazel in bittersweet family tribute

The three remained quiet on the matter for years to come, but have since made amends. Jason and Kiefer reunited in 2011 for a revival of That Championship Season on Broadway, and in an interview with Vulture, Jason, now 57, cleared the air on reuniting with his old friend.

Jason Patric and Julia Roberts at the premiere of "Rush"© Getty Images
Jason and Julia were together till 1992

"All that stuff is made up, if you even go back there to all the archives you're never gonna see any comment by me," he said.

"They had a relationship that ended and I was with her for a little while and it ended. They've both been subsequently married several times and I think they're fine. But we never had any issue, even back then."

MORE: Julia Roberts stuns as she shares rare heartwarming video with fans

The two actors even got together for a 2021 episode of the podcast 'Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum', and when the host asked Jason about whether he took a trip with Julia, Kiefer jokingly whispered: "Ireland!"

Actors Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Patric attend the "Stand Up For Gus" Benefit at Bootsy Bellows on November 13, 2013 in West Hollywood, California© Getty Images
Kiefer and Jason reignited their friendship in 2010 and have remained close since

He asserted, though: "But look, the truth, where I'm coming from… you fall in love, you fall in love, there's nothing you can do about that. She's an extraordinary person and he is too and timing is what it is and everybody moves on from that."

In fact, in a 2016 interview with People, the Stand By Me star took the opportunity to gush about Julia and her "courage" to end their engagement when she did.

SEE: Julia Roberts' ageless before-and-after photos will make you do a double take

He credited the chinks in their relationship to her sudden stardom, having become one of the world's most beloved stars earlier that year thanks to the enormous success of Pretty Woman.

julia roberts husband© Instagram
Julia and Danny have been married since 2002

"She was arguably the most famous woman in the world, and this wedding that was supposed to be something between the two of us, became something so big.

MORE: Julia Roberts shares family update with husband Danny Moder after 21 years of marriage – see sweet photo

"And then in the middle of that, I think she had courage. It wasn't what she wanted to do, in the end. And I think it took a lot of courage, in amongst all of that other stuff, to be able to say, 'I can't do this.'"

Kiefer Sutherland with daughter Sarah during The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - 20th Century Fox Post Emmy Gala at Morton's Resturant in Hollywood, California, United States© Getty Images
Kiefer is a doting dad to daughter Sarah, shared with first wife Camelia Kath

All parties involved have found love elsewhere. Kiefer was married to second wife Kelly Winn from 1996-2004 and has been with fiancée Cindy Vela since 2014. Jason dated Danielle Schreiber on and off between 2002-2012, with whom he has a son.

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