We’ve swooned over Meredith Grey’s relationships on Grey’s Anatomy (#MerDer forever) since 2005. But who is the actress married to in real life? Learn more about Ellen Pompeo’s husband and how the couple first met.
Grey’s Anatomy is ABC’s long-running medical drama that focuses on the lives of surgical interns, residents and attendings at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in Seattle, Washington. Created by Shonda Rhimes, the show debuted in 2005 and has earned more than 38 Primetime Emmy nominations after almost two decades on the air. Actress Ellen Pompeo has played Dr. Meredith Grey since the show’s inception. Her mother is famed surgeon Ellis Grey, the former Chief of General Surgery at Grey Sloan. She married Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) – who died in Season 11 — and the couple had three children together.
Our sister publication Variety first reported in August 2022 that Pompeo was exiting the popular medical drama to star in an untitled Hulu limited series about an orphan. The site also confirmed that Pompeo would take a reduced onscreen role for season 19, appearing in just eight episodes, but she would remain an executive producer throughout the season. Her final appearance on Grey’s Anatomy will be in Season 19’s two-hour finale, on Thursday, May 18, 2023, according to Deadline.
Pompeo officially announced that she was leaving Grey’s Anatomy in an Instagram post in November 2022. “I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons!” she wrote in the caption “Through it all….none of it …would have been possible without the best fans in the world.” See her entire message below:
In the actress’ personal life, who is Ellen Pompeo’s husband? Keep reading to learn about the couple’s romantic story, which began at a grocery store two decades ago.
Who is Ellen Pompeo’s husband?
Who is Ellen Pompeo’s husband? Ellen Pompeo is married to Chris Ivery, a music producer. The Grey’s actress met Ivery in a Los Angeles grocery store in 2003, according to People Magazine. The couple started dating after six months of friendship. “One night she just looked different to me,” Ivery told People in December 2006 in a joint statement with Pompeo. Ivery proposed to Pompeo on her 37th birthday in November 2006. “Chris and I have been together for four and a half years, so I was completely surprised, but not that surprised. We’ve been together a while,” she replied.
They tied the knot in a secret ceremony a year later and former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg officiated the ceremony. Pompeo recounted the special moment during a 2017 episode of Live With Kelly and Ryan. “They took us in this underground tunnel underneath City Hall… and you’re in the mayor’s office. Behind a bookshelf, a wall opens and then you just walk in and you’re in his office,” she said, adding that “No one knew, so we had that to ourselves.” Pomepo also revealed that she knew that her now-husband was the “one” early on in their relationship. “I guess you fall in love and you think he’s the guy right away. Right when you fall in love, you think he’s the guy. You don’t sort of fall into a relationship thinking it’s only going to be temporary.”
The couple has three children together. They welcomed their first daughter, Stella Luna (age 13) in 2009, followed by Sienna May (age 9) in 2014 and Eli Christopher (age 6) in 2016. Pompeo opened up about what it was like to star in Grey’s Anatomy while balancing being a mother with her first child, Stella Luna. “I have my days where I feel really guilty that I’ve been here every day if I have to work a lot,” she told E! News in 2012. “But the truth is I’m in a very blessed situation, I am so lucky. First of all, I am so lucky to live in a country where a girl like me can make this kind of living, achieve her dreams and reach her goals.” Although Pompeo keeps her family life out of the public eye, the family of five made an appearance at the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Women’s Show in Italy. She shared snaps of the family gathering on Instagram.
Pompeo revealed that the success of her long marriage is due to Ivery’s understanding nature. “My husband is not at all intimidated by my drive or my bossiness,” she said told People in 2018. “I have a tendency to be a little bit bossy just because I’m juggling so many things,” she admitted, but said that her husband is “really good about letting me know when I’m talking to him like an employee. Occasionally, I get told ‘I don’t work for you, don’t speak to me like that,’ which is okay. I need to hear it if I’m not coming correct.”
She added that her husband knows her strengths and weaknesses and can respond accordingly to the situation. “My husband can’t multitask… That’s why I have an assistant, two nannies and two housekeepers. I’m lucky enough to be able to afford all this stuff. I don’t ask him to do it because he’d have a f—— meltdown. The poor guy can only handle so much.”
Her husband revealed to US Weekly in February 2019 that he stopped watching Grey’s Anatomy seasons ago. “There was a time back in the day that I watched it a lot, but then I didn’t know if she had a lover,” he told the platform at the Tacchini STLA collection in Los Angeles on Thursday, February 21. “I would say I’m not jealous; I’m really confident, but it’s awkward. She’s acting but now she’s got this new lover, which I know him, Giacomo [Gianniotti].” Ivery added: “He’s a great guy. I actually like him.. And to be honest, I haven’t watched those scenes because I feel like it can be awkward.”
For Father’s Day in July 2018, the actress posted a tribute to her partner, writing: “This man has been my rock… my soulmate …my protector and has given me the three greatest blessings in my life. I don’t know how I got so lucky but Wow am I grateful. I don’t take one minute with you or our beautiful babies for granted. Thank you for your love CI… you are my everything. Happy Fathers Day. #hewillneverseethishehatessocialmedia”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.
Check out the real-life partners of your favorite Grey’s Anatomy stars in the gallery below.