Vanessa Lachey’s Ups and Downs Over the Years: Navigating Nick Lachey Romance After Jessica Simpson Divorce, Emergency Surgery and More

Like most stars, Vanessa Lachey has experienced highs and lows in her personal life amid her time in the spotlight.

After rising to fame in 2003 as a VJ on MTV’s iconic Total Request Live, the Love Is Blind cohost began making headlines in 2006 when she began dating Nick Lachey after his highly publicized and messy divorce from Jessica Simpson.

“He was literally in a very public marriage and a very public divorce, and I had to go through all that s—t very publicly and it was very hard for us,” Vanessa later recalled during a 2022 episode of The Ultimatum. “It wasn’t until the moment that he was like, ‘I’m gonna let it go,’ and I said, ‘I’m gonna let it go,’ and we truly committed to each other. We literally fell deeper and harder than we ever could.”

The couple, who tied the knot in 2011 — five years after forming a romantic connection on the set of Nick’s 2006 music video, “What’s Left of Me” — went on to welcome three children: sons Camden and Phoenix and daughter Brooklyn. However, Vanessa experienced complications with Phoenix’s premature birth and had to undergo scary emergency surgery.

“I was in the hospital on bed rest and then my water broke. I was only 29 weeks,” Vanessa revealed on Dancing With the Stars in 2017, several months after her youngest child’s birth. “I was on the operating bed and I looked up and I didn’t know a single face and I remembered thinking I hope the baby’s OK and don’t worry about me. Just make him OK.”

Fortunately, both Vanessa and Phoenix made it through the terrifying ordeal, and the family of five have since gone on to live a happy — and jealousy-inducing — life in Hawaii. The Lacheys, who frequently gush about their children, moved to the tropical locale after the Philippines native landed her historic role on NCIS: Hawai’i in 2001.

“I’ve never felt more at home than I do in Hawaii,” Vanessa exclusively told Us Weekly in March 2022. “Honestly, I constantly tell [Nick] how lucky I feel that we get to be here as a family.”

That same month, however, Nick found himself in legal trouble when involved in an altercation with a celebrity photographer who was snapping photos of him and Vanessa in Beverly Hills. In the wake of the incident, the “Hardest Thing” crooner “must participate in anger management classes and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings,” a spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office exclusively told Us in March 2023, explaining that the “successful completion of the Prefiling Diversion Program will result in no criminal charges being filed.”

As for Vanessa’s stance on the drama, she “stands by Nick, but she agrees that he didn’t handle the situation correctly,” a source exclusively told Us. “He behaved inappropriately. She says this whole ordeal has been a wake-up call and that we can all learn from it, especially Nick.”

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Keep scrolling to see Vanessa’s ups and downs through the years: