With Gwen Stefani’s high-profile romance with Blake Shelton, it’s easy to forget that she was once part of the ultimate ’90s rock power couple. She and her Bush frontman ex may have seemed like one of Hollywood’s most enduring pairings, but here’s why Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale got divorced.
Meeting During Bush’s Peak
According to People, the pair met in 1995 during No Doubt’s 27-month long tour. Stefani’s band opened up for Bush in London, and Rossdale was immediately taken by the singer. He even managed to find a way to see her during a stop in New Orleans.
At the time, Rossdale whose career was booming from his band’s 1994 hit “Glycerine” was the bigger star, but that quickly changed in the months following the release of No Doubt’s breakthrough album, Tragic Kingdom, which has since become diamond certified.
Stefani’s Second Boyfriend Ever
Prior to her relationship with Rossdale, Gwen Stefani had only previously dated her bandmate, Tony Kanal, from her brother’s then-little-known band, No Doubt. Stefani had hoped to become a wife and a mother, but only after the breakup did she realize that she had a natural gift for songwriting.
An Hour Late To The Wedding
According to People, in 2002, when the pair traded “I dos” in London’s St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden, Gwen Stefani was an hour late to the church, by which time the crowd outside had grown to about 250 people. Inside, the ceremony couldn’t have been more down to earth. A guest told People that it, quote, “wasn’t a big, glamorous glitzy affair,” and was actually quite traditional. The pair’s bandmates were among the 150 guests.
Stefani held her grandmother’s Catholic prayer book and rosary beads as her father walked her down the aisle. The couple “quietly” exchanged vows, and both of them cried. They did, however, party like rock stars after the ceremony and danced until 5 a.m., but that’s what weddings are for.
It seemed like the wedding was off to a great start at least before reality got in the way. “I’ve been married almost three, well, two and a half years, something like that.” “Wow! How’s that going? Are you still, uh, newlyweds, strictly speaking?” “I’m still super in love!”
Gavin Rossdale’s Love Child
In 2004, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale allegedly hit a rough patch when he discovered that he had fathered a lovechild, Daisy Lowe, during a fling with singer-songwriter and fashion designer Pearl Lowe in the late 1980s, according to Life & Style. Even though it happened before Stefani was in the picture, it reportedly, quote, “nearly ruined their marriage.” Why?
Per The Daily Mail, Pearl was married when she shacked up with the British rocker. Nevertheless, the Bush singer remained close to Pearl after their illicit fling and was named Daisy’s godfather. While it’s unknown to what degree this past relationship was a tension point in Rossdale’s relationship with Stefani, the affair with a married woman was certainly a spot on Rossdale’s record.
3-Year Affair With The Nanny
The seeming downfall of Gwen Stefani’s marriage was Gavin Rossdale’s reported three-year affair with Mindy Mann, the family’s longtime nanny. According to Us Weekly, the whole thing, quote, “was done right under Gwen’s nose,” and she was “completely devastated,” “mortified, livid, and embarrassed” when she found out. In truth, hiding it that long took some careful planning.
Access reports that the Bush rocker meticulously coordinated his illicit rendezvous with Mann. Their source disclosed that the nanny brought Rossdale’s kids to visit him on tour, and they did allegedly hook up on the tour bus while the kids were sleeping. Gwen, who was back home filming The Voice, was none the wiser.
Rossdale allegedly even went as far as leaving the hospital to be with Mann right after Gwen Stefani gave birth to their youngest son, Apollo. Growing infidelity rumors couldn’t be shaken. The Daily Mail claimed Mann of increasingly copying Stefani, alleging she was trying to take her place. In fact, Mann reportedly started dressing in the same way, doing the same workouts, and eating the same meals. Mann was, of course, fired.
The revelation of Gavin Rossdale’s alleged secret affair was only possible thanks to the blunders of modern technology. According to Us Weekly, Stefani found the proof on the family’s iPad that had been linked to Rossdale’s iPhone. There, she supposedly discovered nude photos of the nanny and texts detailing their plans to hookup.
Rossdale reportedly played off his wife’s initial discovery as “flirtation” not great, but not necessarily marriage ruining. After several months of new revelations and general domestic unpleasantness, Rossdale came clean, and Stefani decided she wanted a divorce.
The whole divorce was undoubtedly tough, with the “Used to Love You” singer telling Harper’s Bazaar: “It was so insane because not only did my family break up, but then my kids are taken away like half the time. So that was really like, ‘What?! What did I do?'” “It’s still painful! Like, I’m still looking at the pieces going, ‘What is happening?’, you know?”
Responding With A Hit
Gwen Stefani’s path to healing from divorce happened slowly, then all at once. At the end, she emerged with her most successful solo album to date.
According to Harper’s Bazaar, “Used to Love You” was written just a few weeks before its final release, and it helped propel This Is What the Truth Feels Like to No. 1, Stefani’s first chart-topper as a solo artist. Rossdale doesn’t feel as fondly about the song as the general public.
The rocker told The Guardian that he was first blindsided by the single in an airport kiosk, and it felt, quote, “horrible, tragic, or terrible.” He admitted: “I stood in the store and listened to it from beginning to end going: ‘Okaaay.'”
Secrets Remain Secrets
In a 2016 interview with Cosmopolitan, Stefani hinted at the fact that the end of her marriage was, perhaps, even more, shocking than the tabloids reported. The No Doubt frontwoman said of the details that no one but her closest family and confidants knows: “Nobody would believe it if I could really say what happened. I went through months and months of torture.”
Stefani may not be able to divulge the unknown details behind her divorce, but she does offer a window into her world to her fans: “All you have to do is listen to every single song I’ve ever written and it’s all there. It’s an ongoing theme that I’ve had for a long time.”