Julia Roberts managed to build a strong marriage with a partner who’s not famous, and they’ve been married for over 20 years. She also put motherhood ahead of her career, pausing it for 20 years when she was almost 40. The star now lives an ordinary life with her family on a rural ranch where she secretly married her husband.
In the early spring of 2000, Julia Roberts met Danny Moder, a cameraman, on the set of “The Mexican.” Both were in relationships at the time, with the actress dating fellow actor Ben Bratt.
Danny was in a four-year marriage with his makeup artist wife, Vera Steimberg Moder. Some people close to the cameraman’s family said his marriage to his wife was strained, but the bond he started building with Julia pushed him to file for divorce in June 2001.
The “Pretty Woman” star was a frequent patron of the restaurants and shops near her lower Manhattan apartment when she was dating Bratt, but things changed after they broke up. When she began seeing a now-available Danny, she was rarely seen at her usual spots.
The pair, who’d become romantic, divided their time between Julia’s more than $5 million Taos ranch and the cameraman’s Los Angeles apartment. The actress bought the ranch in 1995 as a retreat from Hollywood life.
The star lived a simple life at the ranch where she’d walk her many dogs, bond with neighbors, get takeout at Taos Cow, or dance and makeout in the evening with Danny at the Alley Cantina. It seemed the couple’s relationship was more than a temporary thing.
The actress’ alleged friend described the couple as loving, solid, and nonjudgmental. Bratt, on the other hand, married Talisa Soto, his “Piñero” co-star, in May 2002, and never liked the fame Julia had once harshly told Vanity Fair:
“It’s like a fly that won’t leave you alone; it’s that mosquito that buzzes in your ear when you’re trying to sleep at night.”
That afternoon, the guests spent hours by the actress’s swimming pool, eating homemade turkey cooked by Julia and playing basketball and football. Some people wanted to sleep at night, but a friend recalled how the star urged them to stay put.