Mario Lopez has shared intimate details on his infamous, two-week marriage to Ali Landry.
In his new memoir, Just Between Us, the Extra host doesn’t hold back in sharing details about their relationship. And, although many might think the breakup stemmed from Landry catching him cheating during the bachelor party, the former Saved by the Bell star says it was about one very important detail — he didn’t love her.
The former couple met at the 1998 Miss Teen USA pageant, where he was hosting and she was serving as a commentator. The 24-year-old entertainer fell immediately for the 25-year-old model, telling his mother he would marry Landry. They dated for six rocky years before deciding to tie the knot.
“I thought this was the girl,” Lopez wrote. “If I wrote down the criteria of what I wanted in a wife and a mother — back then — she seemed to be it. She was a model, so she always had good style, she knew how to dress. And she was Catholic, very driven, ambitious, hardworking — but also charming and innocent at the same time. I could have been looking at a lot of criteria that were more on the surface than not. But that was my bad. Except a short time later I felt that she seemed to be changing. Like many girls who move here from small towns, Hollywood appeared to be taking its toll on her. Deep down I questioned whether she was the same sweet Southern belle that I’d fallen for. The changes were subtle, but her interests sounded more materialistic and she seemed more preoccupied with image rather than substance, things I didn’t care about. Our conversations became less based on common interests and more about her pressuring me to be a certain way, dress a certain way, act a certain way.”
Book signing tomorrow at 7pm at the Barnes & Noble at the Americana in Glendale. Hope to see you.. 🙂 #JustBetweenUs
Lopez said he was the one who wanted to get married.
“When we finally got back together after the last breakup, that’s when she gave the ultimatum. Either we would move forward — get married — or she was going to leave me.”
Lopez, who was nearly 30 by this time, began to feel his own biological clock ticking and saw other friends beginning to get married and have children — the pressure to make the ultimate commitment was on.
“My instincts screamed that I didn’t need to rush while my more critical voice barked that it was a manly choice to commit and begin a family,” said Lopez.
Then came the wild bachelor party that started as a fishing trip, but ended up with the boys having way more fun than they should.
“The bachelor party coincided with spring break, so it was a far cry from a fishing trip,” Lopez said. “We started with the hottest spots here in the States — MTV was shooting at many of these locations, so you can only imagine the crowds they drew. Then we jetted off in style to all the Mexican beach resorts.”
Running around after school with this little girl.
“It was a five-day nonstop party. Suffice it to say, my good time was a little too good, because I got inebriated and a little too friendly with a young lady on spring break at one of the stops in some university party town. What was I thinking?”
Lopez said the encounter got him thinking, but not enough to stop him from going through with the wedding.
“Once I took responsibility for my feelings, acknowledging how I had so mishandled my decisions, lightning hit me with the truth: I wasn’t in love. The thoughts came streaming in, but it was too late. My misgivings reared their ugly heads and I knew I should have broken things off with her before I strayed.
“Everything was suddenly crystal clear. But like an idiot I did what you do when you find out you’ve dug a hole for yourself: I kept digging. I formally walked down the aisle and said, ‘I do.’ But in my heart and soul, I was screaming, ‘I do not! I can’t! What am I doing?'”
After the wedding, Lopez went back to work out of town. When he returned him, his new wife was waiting to confront him.
“She brought me into the bedroom and showed me pictures her sister had found. One of our unplanned stops on our bachelor party tour had been at a Louisiana State University spring break party. Ali’s sister had a lot of friends at LSU and one of her sister’s friends snapped a picture of me in South Padre Island, Texas. I was caught in a white lie.”
Understandably, she was humiliated — though she sounded more worried about how it would make her look than about our relationship and working things out. She asked me to leave, so I did.
“Then I had an epiphany. I didn’t want to save our marriage,” he wrote. “The foundation wasn’t there. I finally got the balls to say, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t be in that marriage. It’s not right for either of us.'”
Familia Lopez in @PeopleMag this week… Gracias! #Blessed
The breakup was brutal and although Lopez said he’s friends with most of his exes, he’s anything but friendly with his former wife.
In December 2012, Lopez married Broadway dancer Courtney Mazza and they now have a four-year-old daughter, Gia, and a son, Dominic, one.