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Patrick Dempsey was 18 when he met his first wife. She was 44.

In 1984, Patrick Dempsey met Rochelle 'Rocky' Parker when she played his aunt in a play. 

He was 18 at the time and she was 44. 

Parker was a well-established actress, acting coach, and theatre performer and Dempsey was just breaking into the industry. 

Three years later, they married. 

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Video via ABC.

By 1991, they had split. Parker filed for divorce the same year, citing "irreconcilable differences," reportedly after Dempsey told her he had met another woman.

The divorce proceedings between the pair were lengthy. 

Parker accused Dempsey of physical violence, including breaking her finger after slamming a car door on her hand, according to legal papers obtained by the National Enquirer in 2006.

In the legal papers, she alleged: "[While] we were on the set of his [1987] movie Can't Buy Me Love he beat me up because he wanted to see what it was like to beat a woman."

Their divorce was settled by 1994.

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By 2006, Parker had distanced herself from those allegations. She later released a statement saying that during the messy divorce she had been advised to make those accusations and others - which she now said were false.

Reflecting on the relationship, Dempsey told ABC's Barbara Walters in 2006 that it had started for the wrong reasons. 

"I think I needed a mother. There were a lot of negative things that I'm still undoing from it," he said. "She had a son one year older than me."

In 2019, Parker died from lung and throat cancer. She was 74 years old. 

In the mid '90s, Dempsey crossed paths with his soon-to-be second wife, Jillian Fink. 

She's a celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist, and the pair met when he paid a visit to a salon she was working at. Three months after their first date, they reportedly moved in together and by July 1999, they were married. They've since welcomed three kids together - daughter Talula in 2002, and twins Darby and Sullivan in 2007.

"The best part about being married is feeling centred," he told Good Housekeeping in 2011. "Nothing else matters so much as long as you can come home and be with your family."

In 2015, Dempsey and Fink announced they were separating. 

"It is with careful consideration and mutual respect that we have decided to end our marriage. Our primary concern remains the wellbeing of our children, and we ask with profound gratitude that you respect our family's privacy at this very sensitive time," the statement they released at the time said. 

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But by 2016, they confirmed they were back together and not separating.

Reflecting on the decision to get back together, Dempsey said to PEOPLE: "Our marriage was not something I was prepared to let go of. I didn't feel like we had done all the work. And we both wanted to do that work. That's where it started."

He later said their time apart made him realise all they needed was quality time and better communication in order to get back to a happy place together.

“Getting quality time together in a relationship - especially with three children, everyone is running around trying to get them to sporting events or school activities, getting them prepped for college or all that - couples have to figure to get date nights. That is what it is about," he said.

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This year, Dempsey and Fink are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. In 2018, they spent their anniversary at the spot where they first married back in 1999.

"Can't believe it’s been 23 years, feels like yesterday. I love you and don't know what I would do without you. The most amazing woman, wife, mother, and friend," he wrote on Instagram. 

In 2023, when Dempsey was named PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive, his wife paid tribute to his win on Instagram. "Well, the cat's out of the bag for 2023 @people's #SexiestManAlive and my hubz is on the cover!" she wrote.

"Loved being a part of this insanely fun ride with you @patrickdempsey. What a title! You truly are my sexiest man alive."

Feature Image: Getty. 

This article was originally published in August 2022 and has since been updated.

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