Robbie Williams and Ayda Field’s love story inspired a documentary, but their first date was anything but romantic.

There are few music icons that defined the late-'90s and early '00s like Robbie Williams. 

For over a decade, the eternal lad and former Take That member dominated the charts as his wild antics were plastered across every UK tabloid. The 'Angels' singer's rise to superstardom and struggles with addiction are reexamined by the man himself in Netflix's new four-part docuseries, Robbie Williams.

As the singer embarks on the Australasian leg of his 2023 XXV world tour, we look back at the singer's highest-profile romantic relationships and his occasionally messy 12-year marriage to US actor and presenter, Ayda Field. 

The dating years.

According to 'Sporty Spice' Melanie Chisholm's memoir Who I Am, Robbie Williams broke her heart after initially striking up a friendship in 1996. The pair went on a few dates in Europe when they were both, as Chisholm describes, "a mess".

"Sadly, Robbie did behave badly," Chisholm recalls in her memoir.

"He led me on and then abruptly dropped me at a time when I was incredibly vulnerable. I don't have any bad feelings towards him now, but he did break my heart a bit.

"He has apologised to me publicly and privately, and of course I've long forgiven him, but I must admit, it really did hurt at the time."

After meeting on BBC music show Top of the Pops in late 1997, Williams then began a turbulent relationship with All Saints singer Nicole Appleton. The pair were together for nine months and were engaged after Robbie popped the question over the phone while overseas.


"She was kind and fun and sweet, you know she's just a good soul," Robbie said in the documentary. "With my relationship with Nic, it was very important to me to learn to become the man I was supposed to be." 

But their relationship was not meant to be. 

"I'm trying to convince myself that I'm the kind of person that is ready for that kind of commitment, I know I'm not," he admitted in Robbie Williams. "I couldn't look after myself I was in no fit state to offer myself as a partner and the relationship with Nic ended a few months after this." 

Nicole later wrote in her autobiography, Together, that she was pregnant but felt immense pressure from her record company to have a termination. 

On Robbie's reaction to her pregnancy, The Mirror quotes Appleton as saying: "Robbie Williams put his hand on my belly and told me, 'This baby is saving my life.'"

Appleton wrote about her deep regret and devastation after the abortion and Robbie admitted that while he supported her decision, reliving it through the autobiography had "torn him apart". 

Just friends: Robbie Williams and Lindsay Lohan in March 2007. Image:Getty.


After several years in and out of rehab in between releasing hit albums, there were rumours of relationships with Kylie Minogue and Nicole Kidman (who he sang duets with in 2000 and 2001 respectively). Between November 2006 and March 2007 Williams was photographed with Lindsay Lohan, although representatives for the pair at the time said they were not a couple.

Watch: That time Robbie Williams pashed Carrie Bickmore.

Video via Channel 10.

The first date.

Williams and US actor and presenter Ayda Field met in 2006 on a blind date.

"I had this dinner and was like 'do you wanna go to this dinner party with me?'," Ayda recalled asking in the documentary.

"He’s like 'I’d rather stick knives in my eyes,' he said 'let’s meet up afterwards.'" 

Robbie and Ayda didn't get off to the best start when she visited his home. "The house is completely f***ing dark, not candles no lights, we’re just sitting there talking, we have nothing in common," she said. 

"I guess we surrendered to the fact that we were not each other’s person and this was a total miss, so we were just completely loose with each other, he was saying funny s**t in the car and I thought "oh he’s funny!"'  

The singer was high on prescription drugs at the time, and has since conceded that he slept with his drug dealer shortly before Field arrived at his Los Angeles home.

Despite a disastrous evening in which Williams "did not end up in a good way", Field said she knew, then and there, that they had a connection.

In an episode of their podcast, Staying At Home With The Williamses, the former Days of Our Lives star told her husband she felt "this huge energetic expansion of the universe" when they spoke.


"It was like I'd known you my whole life and it was like someone fully and completely understood me and I understood them," she said. "It was like breathing in air for the first time."

But it was anything but a fairytale.

Robbie and Ayda in 2010. Image: Getty.

Williams went to rehab for drug abuse on his 33rd birthday in 2007, for addiction to what he described as a "heart-stopping" quantity of prescription drugs.


"It was the American addiction. Prescription drugs. At the time, you don't give a shit if you pop your clogs. I must have been very, very close," he told The Evening Standard.

The couple soon broke up. "He is like 'I can't be in a relationship and I have to get better, I have to break up with you'," Ayda said.

"I understood it because I saw he was unwell and I remember thinking, I just want you to get better whatever you need to do, and I was just so crestfallen. He was my soulmate and then he was gone." 

Cameron Diaz, an epiphany and a wedding.

After completing his treatment, Robbie and Ayda got back together and set their sights on Morocco.

"There was a cementing of a relationship between me and my future wife," he said on the documentary. "There became enough space between me and my career to fall in love." 

Williams left Field for a third time, but it was a short separation — just two weeks — largely courtesy of a conversation with Cameron Diaz.

Chatting on Staying At Home With The Williamses, the 'Angels' singer explained that he was at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and struck up a conversation with her and Drew Barrymore.

"I started to espouse about this brilliant person that I just ended a relationship with. And you know there [were] all of these [words] coming out of my mouth about how incredible you were: beautiful, smart, funny...


"And Cameron Diaz said, 'It doesn't sound like that one's over.' And in that moment, I don't know why it was, but the universe went, 'Go to Ayda, be with her, marry her.'"

And they did. 

The couple wed in the backyard of their Los Angeles home on August 7, 2010.

While Williams has described it as the most incredible day of his life, he said his addictions to drugs, alcohol and sex meant he wasn't able to truly believe in their relationship until much later.

"I was in a place of shame and fear and disappointment, and I was scared," he said. "Then be responsible for somebody else's thoughts, feelings, emotions and life on top of that...

"Maybe two or three years into our marriage, then I could look back and go, 'Okay. I trust myself.'"


Williams and Field have since had four children. 

Daughter Theodora 'Teddy' was born in 2012, followed two years later by son Charlton 'Charlie', and then Colette 'Coco' and Beau who were brought into the world via the same surrogate in 2018 and February 2020, respectively.

While Williams was terrified at first about becoming a father, it's now a role he loves above all else.

"You know, I did the sex, drugs and rock and roll for the longest time, and it’s a lot of fun. But then a child turns up and you go, 'Right, I’m a grownup now,'" he told The Daily Mail.

"You are looking at the universe and the universe looks back at you, and it's going 'I love you.'"

This article was originally published on September 30 2022 and has since been updated with new information.

Feature Image: Getty.

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