Melanie Griffith was 14 when she met 22-year-old Don Johnson. A year later, they moved in together.

When Melanie Griffith first laid eyes on Miami Vice star Don Johnson, she thought he was "the most beautiful person [she'd] ever seen".

It was 1972 and Johnson was working on the coming of age film The Harrad Experiment. It followed a fictional school where the students learned about sexuality and experimented with each other.

Johnson was starring in it alongside Griffith's mother Tippi Hedren. While the film raised eyebrows due to its sexually overt plotline, the relationship that blossomed on set dominated headlines. 

Griffith was 14 at the time and working as an extra on the film when she met Johnson. 

"We were in the stairwell of this Anheuser-Busch Estate waiting for a setup," Johnson recalled to The Hollywood Reporter. "We started chitchatting."

Hedren felt "sheer panic" at the thought of her teenage daughter falling in love with Johnson, who was 22 at the time.  

"How do you handle that? There was a very strong attachment between the two of them," she said later.  

"I was skeptical because of her age, but she was more woman than most of the girls I'd been going out with. Our first time wasn't in the back seat of a car, like people of our parents' generation. At least we were upfront about it," Johnson later told People

Watch Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Post continues below.


By the time Griffith was 15, she had been expelled from her Catholic high school for "questioning the religion". She then moved into a rental home in Hollywood with Johnson. 

Johnson proposed to the teenager on her 18th birthday. 

In 1976, they were married. But it would later be revealed that Johnson hadn't been faithful.

"I had been with [ex-Miss World] Marjorie Wallace most of the night [before the wedding]," Johnson later admitted. "Melanie called at about four or five in the morning. We professed undying love and flew to Las Vegas and got married."

The marriage lasted less than a year. 

After the divorce, Griffith's career went from strength to strength. 

In 1983, she married Scarface actor Steven Bauer and two years later they welcomed a son together, who they named Alexander. But Griffith said her struggles with alcohol and drug addiction came to the surface again as their marriage began to crumble. In 1985, they ended their relationship. 

As for Johnson, his career was also going well—along with his reputation for partying hard in Hollywood and his subsequent alcohol addiction. In terms of his personal life, he was dating actor Patti D'Arbanville in the early to mid '80s, and together they had a son, Jesse Johnson. Then in late 1988, he and Barbra Streisand began seeing one another. 


While he was dating Streisand, Johnson rekindled his relationship with Griffith after he helped her get admitted into a rehab facility. 

In 1989, they remarried. 

Griffith and Johnson in 1989. Image: Getty.

"Everything is better now because of all of that. We were always friends, and we always stayed in touch. There was always this connection. I can't explain it. It's almost like soulmates. I believe some relationships are fated, and ours was probably one of them. I'll always love him. He was my first love," Griffith said to People at the time. 


In late 1989, they welcomed their daughter, Dakota Johnson. 

Five years later, Griffith and Johnson split, citing irreconcilable differences. During their second marriage, the pair also both admitted to "falling off the wagon". 

Their lives since.

Griffith married actor Antonio Banderas in 1996. They also had a daughter together, who they named Stella. They were together for a number of years, before announcing their "loving and friendly" split in summer 2014.  

Johnson married Kelley Phleger, a nursery school teacher in 1999, and they've been together ever since. He has three kids from the marriage. 

Johnson and Griffith have remained friends, regularly celebrating birthdays and holidays together with their blended family.

"Some people are just meant to be together, and I think that was true for Melanie and me, so we got married twice. I don't believe that if you love someone, that love dies – it changes and becomes something else," Johnson said recently.

Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson and Dakota and Jesse Johnson. Image: Getty.


"We talk quite often. I mean, when you have children together, I learned a very powerful lesson, for anybody that's paying attention out there. When you have a child with someone - whether you're married or not – you're with that someone forever. And I'm okay with that," the now 74-year-old told Andy Cohen.

"I love Melanie. We get along and the kids are healthier because of it."

"[Don and I] were imprinted on each other. It was sort of a natural karmic thing for us to get back together and to have Dakota. She was meant to come into the world, if you think about it. All of my husbands, my three husbands – I love them all so much, and we're all very close," Griffith told InStyle

Feature Image: Getty.

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