The Truth About Jason Bateman's Marriage

Jason Bateman has been acting for nearly 40 years. From his first role on "Little House on the Prairie" in 1981 to his big Hollywood comeback in 2003 with "Arrested Development," he's gone from childhood star to celebrity A-lister — but it hasn't been an easy road for the 51-year-old actor (via Variety and Yahoo! Entertainment). On the heels of a SAG award win for his role in the Netflix series "Ozark" and Emmy nominations, Bateman could have lost it all, including his now 19-year marriage to childhood sweetheart Amanda Anka, had he not traded in his late nights of drinking and drug use for sobriety (via Emmys and Us Weekly).

Two daughters and 19 years later, he's happier than ever. Bateman told Redbook in 2013, "Being a father of two is everything I wanted. I'm a big fan of marriage and being a dad. And my wife, Amanda, makes those things easy. She spoils me; she makes the husband part simple."

Jason Bateman's wife and kids are his top priority

Their relationship may have been rocky in its early years, but Jason Bateman credits marrying his best friend with why they've persevered. In an interview with Howard Stern, he explained, "I looked around at relationships in my life that did last and those were friendships. And I wasn't sexually attracted to buddies, so I found a female buddy that I was sexually attracted to and asked her if she wanted to give it a go and that's why it's lasted so long (via Yahoo! Entertainment)."

That friendship has certainly laid the groundwork for a beautiful relationship. Even after his SAG award win for best actor in "Ozark" just last year, Bateman credited everything to his wife. He told reporters after the show, "She's got a full-time career herself, and she's able to be an incredible mom, and she's also almost a full-time dad too because I'm out of town so much." He gushingly continued, "I'm floored by that. That keeps me grounded. That reminds me that I've got a real strong example to kind of live up to what she's showing" (via People).

As if that wasn't enough, Bateman gave a glowing acceptance speech telling his family, "I love you more than I even tell you I do." He didn't hesitate to call his wife and daughters, Francesca Nora and Maple Sylvie, the "three most important people" in his life.

Some of the best Hollywood couples started out as friends

From Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds to Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, sometimes the most magical love stories blossom from friendships (via Insider). Jason Bateman and Amanda Anka's relationship also started off as platonic. The happy couple met for the first time at a hockey game when they were mere teens, according to Yahoo Sports. While it may have beginning of a beautiful friendship, that's all it was, at first. In an interview with GQ, Anka opened up about why their relationship started off that way. "I just wasn't into where he was at," the New York-native admitted. 18-year-old Bateman was living the life of a rising star in Hollywood. The Golden Globe winner was starring in the American sitcom "The Hogan Family" and partying up a storm in his free time.

Ten years later, Bateman was looking for more stability in his life. "I wanted to marry somebody who wasn't someone I had to be in any particular mood to want to be around — with close friends, you can be with them no matter what mood you're in," Bateman shared with the Daily Telegraph. "I just waited until I found a girl that really was that in my life. Amanda is and that's why it feels so effortless."

Jason Bateman's wife helped him graduate into adulthood

Just like every marriage, Jason Bateman and Amanda Anka have had their fair share of ups and downs. After four years of dating, the couple walked down the aisle in 2001. The "Arrested Development" actor was in his early 30s, but his partying days were not quite yet behind him. "It was like 'Risky Business' for 10 years," he shared with Details (via Access Online). "My parents were out of town, they left me a bunch of money, the car, and the house, and I didn't know when they were coming home."

Following yet another late night of partying, Anka forced her husband to make a choice: He could either choose his current wild lifestyle or his marriage. For the holidays that year, Anka went on a vacation to Mexico, leaving Bateman at home alone on Christmas Day. The experience was a wake-up call for the actor, and Bateman went to his first AA meeting that very day. During this milestone moment Bateman had to ask himself, "Do you want to continue being great being in your 20s, or do you want to step up and graduate into adulthood?" The rest is history. Not only does the award-winning director have an incredible career (with a net worth that's higher than you might think), but the father of two also has a thriving marriage and family. 

The 'Ozark' actor defended his wife after she accused André Balazs of sexual misconduct

After more than two decades of marriage, Jason Bateman and Amanda Anka have been there for each other in the good times and the bad. When Anka accused hotelier André Balazs of sexual misconduct, her husband was right by her side (via Us Weekly).

The incident occurred at a dinner party at the Chiltern Firehouse following the premiere of Bateman's film "Horrible Bosses 2," as noted by the New York Times. Balazs, the owner of the hotel, took Bateman, his co-stars — Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day — and their guests on a tour around the hotel. At one point, the group needed to climb a firehouse ladder in order to access an upstairs room. Despite her reluctance to climb the ladder (Anka was wearing a leather dress at the time), Balazs was persistent. As Anka was climbing the ladder, Balazs "slipped his hand under her dress and grabbed her crotch."

Following the event, the couple issued a joint statement stating, "On behalf of Jason Bateman and Amanda Anka, we can confirm that the account of André Balazs' outrageous and vile behavior on that night in London is factual," the statement read. "His actions were dealt with at the time."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).