Inside John Stamos' Relationship History

Hollywood heartthrob John Stamos may have played a happily married man on the hit sitcom "Full House," but it took him a while to find his happy ending in real life. The Greek-American actor, whose last name is actually Stamatopoulos, went through a string of failed relationships and even a divorce before he settled down with his current wife. But before he was a happily married father of one, Stamos dated quite a few big names in Hollywood, from Paula Abdul to Denise Richards and even his "Full House" co-star Lori Loughlin.

Stamos, who is best known for his roles in "General Hospital" and "Full House," released a memoir called "If You Would Have Told Me," where he details his love life at length. From some NSFW stories about his sex life involving chewing gum to the heartbreak following his divorce, Stamos spares no details about his love life.

So who are John Stamos' famous ex-girlfriends? Which date did he fall asleep on? Who did he catch in bed with his girlfriend? And what went wrong with his marriage to Rebecca Romjin? We've rounded up everything you need to know about John Stamos' relationship history, from awkward sexual encounters to heartbreaking splits.

He almost hooked up with Heather Locklear

In his memoir "If You Would Have Told Me," John Stamos dropped several bombshells about his personal life, including the fact that he almost hooked up with actress Heather Locklear. He recounts meeting her at a car show, saying he had a huge crush on her.

"I think I'm in love," he wrote (via TooFab). "She stars as Sammy Jo on 'Dynasty,' and I'm just a peon on daytime. She probably has no clue who I am. So, for now, I content myself with stealing glances at her from across the auditorium amid the muscle cars, admiring her Farrah Fawcett hairstyle framing a flawless face."

The two eventually locked eyes, and soon he was handed a note from Locklear inviting him to meet her at the hotel bar. To calm his nerves, Stamos chugged a few drinks before meeting her. When Locklear arrived, she suggested they play a drinking game called "Quarters," which involved tequila shots. "When it's my turn, I not only miss the glass with the quarter, I miss the entire table. I'm hammered. She's done with games and whispers in my ear, 'Meet me up in my room in twenty minutes. And don't be late,'" he wrote. But a drunk Stamos ultimately threw up all over his bed and passed out, so he never made it back to Locklear. The next time they saw each other, he recalled, Locklear was understandably cold until the actor explained what happened.

He took Lori Loughlin on a date to Disneyland

John Stamos and Lori Loughlin played married couple Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky on the hit show "Full House," but it turns out the co-stars actually dated briefly in real life. In a 2013 interview with HuffPost Live, Stamos said that the two had their first date at the most magical place in the world. "We went on a date to Disneyland before we were both married. In real life, when we were 18, 19 years old," he said (via Bustle). "No disrespect to her family and her husband now, I would say that she could be the one that got away. She's one of my dearest friends, and that's good enough. I really do adore her."

We're sure "Full House" fans would have loved to see their favorite on-screen couple together off-screen, but Loughlin would go on to marry Mossimo Giannulli. In 2019 the couple was embroiled in a college admissions scandal for paying bribes of $500,000 to get their daughters admitted to USC. 

He caught his girlfriend Teri Copley in bed with Tony Danza

In his memoir "If You Would Have Told Me," John Stamos opened up about the time he caught his girlfriend Teri Copley in bed with Tony Danza, calling it "his worst nightmare" (via People). Stamos described Copley as everything he was looking for, and he imagined himself becoming a stepfather to her daughter Ashley. But soon, Copley started acting distant. "I call her from the road, but the girl who breathlessly picked up the phone after one ring is now giving me busy signals and dial tones. When I get home, I call her throughout the day and into the evening. No response. Strange. We've gone from talking on the phone every few hours to silence," he wrote.

So Stamos decided to pay her a surprise visit. "The blinds are closed, but the door is slightly open. I take a peek inside and see four feet protruding from the shabby-chic, floral-print duvet that once kept me warm. My Tiny Dancer is in bed with Mr. Porsche Speedster. They are sleeping. I can't tell who he is, but I recognize Teri's ass barely covered by the sheets," he wrote.

Stamos told People that the pain was overwhelming, saying, "I remember running down the driveway with tears streaming down my face and I didn't want anyone to see me." Copley, on the other hand, claimed that the two had already broken up at the time of the incident.

He sort of forgot he dated Paula Abdul

John Stamos dated Paula Abdul for about seven months in 1990. The couple made their relationship debut when the "Straight Up" singer took Stamos as her date to the Grammy Awards, where she donned a striking gold dress and picked up her first Grammy for Best Music Video for "Opposites Attract." Not much is known about their time together, but in his memoir, he revealed that he once fell asleep "during an intimate moment" with Abdul (via Aol).

When asked about the relationship by Ellen Degeneres in 2009, Stamos said "It's so funny, because I sort of forgot" (via InStyle). In numerous interviews, Stamos has joked that Abdul's song "Cold Hearted" was written about him, but it seems the relationship ended on good terms as he had nothing but good things to say about her. "She was so adorable, and she was America's sweetheart," Stamos said. "I had just started 'Full House' during the time and she was the biggest star in the world. People were literally knocking me down to get to her ... She was great and we had the time of our lives."

He married Rebecca Romijn in 1998

John Stamos met his first wife, Rebecca Romjin in 1994 at a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show afterparty. Recalling the first time she saw Stamos on "Full House" to The Intelligencer, Romijn said, "I totally remember seeing John Stamos walk in with his guitar in hand and that dorky haircut, the double-decker mullet ... Today I keep thinking, God, what if somebody had been sitting next to me and said, 'You're going to marry that man someday.'" Several years later she watched another episode of "Full House." "I was like, 'Oh, my God, look at John Stamos. He's fine! Wow! He turned into a really good-looking guy," she told the outlet.

For their first date, Stamos took Romjin to — you guessed it — Disneyland. On Christmas Eve 1997, he proposed. "It's a spontaneous moment, so I don't have a ring," he wrote in his memoir (via Today). "She gets a cigar band around her finger." The couple got married on September 19, 1998, after four years of dating, in a ceremony at The Beverly Hills Hotel in front of 500 guests.

Stamos gushed about the early days of their relationship in his memoir. "We travel the world together, spend holidays with family, and grow closer and closer. The glam stuff gives way to an intimate relationship, the kind of comfort that feels like home." He added, "She is my best friend; someone I genuinely care for."

He filed for divorce from Romijn in 2004

Unfortunately, in 2004, John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn announced their separation. The divorce was finalized in 2005, with the paperwork citing "irreconcilable differences." "We were together for 10 years — it was heartbreaking," Stamos wrote in his memoir (via Us Weekly). "In my book at this point, I would still be married and have three kids. So, it was more about that plan being foiled than anything."

Stamos opened up about what went wrong. He wrote (via Today), "Rebecca doesn't notice me slipping away and I don't notice myself adrift. She's busy with her career and new friends. We're trying new things and growing, but not together."

He also admitted that he initially blamed her for the divorce, but after some self-reflection, he recognized his own part in the breakup. "In my mind back then, she was the Devil, and I just hated her," he told People. "I couldn't believe how much I hated her, and it ruined my life." He credits his AA meetings and sponsor for encouraging him to take accountability. 

John Stamos had a brief fling with Denise Richards

In 2006, shortly after his divorce from Rebecca Romjin, John Stamos briefly dated '90s heartthrob Denise Richards. The actress was in the midst of a high-profile divorce herself, ending her marriage to then-husband Charlie Sheen. Stamos and Ricahrds were first spotted getting cozy at her 35th birthday dinner at Nobu in Malibu. Although there were more of her friends present at the dinner, TMZ reported that Richards spent the whole night talking to Stamos.

However, the relationship was short-lived, with Stamos telling Howard Stern that he wasn't ready to date a mother, especially one going through a bitter divorce. 'It really kind of was the kid situation and what she's going through. It just wasn't the right time, you know. I barely did get out of that one! She was upset," he said (via Daily Mail). He also added, "She's a great mom and dating women with kids is tough."

Meanwhile, Richards only had good things to say about Stamos, particularly his performance in the bedroom. After it was reported that Richards called Stamos the best lover she's ever had, she clarified her comments. "I never said he was the greatest. I just said, 'He's great,'" she said (via Page Six).

He moved in with his longtime girlfriend Leah Marsh

After his divorce from his wife of 6 years, Rebecca Romijn, John Stamos began dating model and Pilates instructor Leah Marsh in 2007. In 2010, it was reported that John Stamos had moved in with his girlfriend of three years. "It really is that serious," a source told E! News. Marsh owns a Pilates and yoga studio in Santa Monica.

The two kept a low profile during their time together and barely attended events together, so not much is known about their relationship. One rare sighting of the couple together came at the Fulfillment Fund gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. However, their cohabitation was short-lived, as the duo called it quits in December of that year.

A few years after the break-up, Stamos told In Touch magazine he still wanted to settle down. "People used to say, 'If you're not married by 50, you'll be alone [forever],'" he said. "But the world is different now. For the last 10 years, I've thought, 'I've got to get married again and have kids!' So I'm totally open to it."

He was spotted on a date with Renée Zellweger

It seems like John Stamos has a thing for Disneyland — he was spotted on another date at the theme park, this time with "Bridget Jones's Diary" actress Renée Zellweger in 2011. A source told Us Weekly that the couple "were having a great time laughing and dancing as they walked from one ride to another." They added that the two actors "looked really close and both very happy" and "were trying to stay under the radar," with Stamos wearing a black baseball cap to conceal his identity. "We recognized him immediately and asked him for a picture," the source told Us Weekly. "[He and Renee] were both very nice! She was definitely more shy."

Another fan who spotted the couple on their date told Us Weekly they didn't actually recognize Zellweger, and asked her to take their photo with Stamos. "She struggled a little bit trying to get a picture," the source said. "We didn't even recognize it was Renée [Zellweger] until later!" The outing came shortly after the end of Zellweger's relationship with Bradley Cooper, whom she dated for two years. 

He took Amy Poehler to dinner and she had no idea it was a date

A lot of people would kill to go on a date with John Stamos, but when comedian Amy Poehler got the chance, she had no idea it was happening. The "Parks and Recreation" star told Howard Stern about the confusing dinner. "I remember I was at dinner with John Stamos ... and I was like, 'Oh, maybe this is a date!' ... but I blew it," she said (via ABC News). "I remember thinking, like, 'Oh s***, if this is really a date, I think I was wearing a Leslie Knope shirt — I think a shirt from [the set of "Parks and Recreation."] I wasn't foxy."

On the other hand, Stamos was definitely under the impression that it was a date. He spoke about the incident in an interview with Extra TV. "We're really good friends ... I guess she didn't know it was a date. I asked her out on a date ... and we had a really nice time. Then I hear she thought it wasn't a date." He clarified, "It was a date in my eyes."

His second wife, Caitlin McHugh, is 23 years his junior

In February 2018, John Stamos married actress Caitlin McHugh, who is 23 years younger than he is. They met on the set of "Law & Order: SVU" when McHugh was actually engaged to someone else. After McHugh's divorce, the pair started dating, and the pair moved in together six months later. The couple welcomed their first child together, a son named Billy, in 2018. "I wanted kids my whole life. And I'm just so grateful," Stamos told People. The actor also gushed about his wife, praising her skills as a mother. "She is as good as my mother was. I mean, when I watch her, the patience, the kindness she has for him, it's so beautiful. And I really try not to let it slip by too fast," he told People.

Stamos, who has struggled with alcohol misuse in the past and was arrested for a DUI in 2005, credits wife for helping him stay sober. "Six years ago, I sobered up and I became a better person," he said in a 2021 interview with People. "And when Caitlin came around, I recognized it immediately. I said, 'I have to be good for that to make it work.'"

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