The Truth About Lisa Vanderpump's Marriage

Lisa Vanderpump and her husband, Ken Todd, were fixtures in Beverly Hills for years prior to becoming reality television stars. The couple, natives of England, were successful restauranteurs before coming to the United States where they expanded their empire (per The U.S. Sun). Their eateries in Beverly Hills and the surrounding areas have included Villa Blanca, which closed recently; Tom Tom, a cocktail bar that is co-owned by "Vanderpump Rules" castmates Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval; Pump, an upscale restaurant in West Hollywood; and SUR, a restaurant-bar (per Bravo). SUR also serves as a home base for "Vanderpump Rules," the show that launched the careers of several 20-somethings who are now celebrities in their own right. 

"Vanderpump Rules" debuted on Bravo after Vanderpump had participated as a cast member on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" for several years, and it has been a staple on the network for nearly a decade now. Several of the original cast members have appeared on numerous seasons of the show, and the fresh faces that were cast in 2013 are all mostly in their 30s and much more established in their lives. During the run of the show, Vanderpump and Todd have served as de facto parents for their employees, and at the heart of the series' success is the couple's rock-solid marriage.

The two met at a bar he owned

By the time Lisa Vanderpump was 20 years old, she had earned enough money from her acting career to purchase her own apartment in London. One night, when picking her brother up from his job at a place called Corks (per Bravo), she found him short-handed and went to man the front door on a lark. When the owner showed up, she tried to charge him a cover fee to get in. "I was being a smartarse," she told the London Evening Standard. Rather than become offended or boot the cheeky woman from the premises, the owner, Ken Todd, was enchanted.

Todd, who had been married and divorced (per Bravo), said of the encounter, "She was like a breath of fresh air coming into my life." Vanderpump also felt that there might be some potential. "I thought, hello, he looks interesting," she shared. The couple flirted a bit that night, but then she went to the United States for several weeks. 

"It was the strangest thing," she recalled when being interviewed on the "Straight Up with Stassi" podcast. She explained, "He was so wrong for me in every sense of the word. He was 16 years older than me." She noted that while he seemed to be very into the dating scene, she was seeing someone at the time. Still, she couldn't deny their attraction. When she returned, they began their six-week-long courtship.

Lisa Vanderpump has a giant diamond from Ken Todd, but she didn't always

When Lisa Vanderpump went to the United States for several weeks after meeting Ken Todd for the first time, she had no way of knowing what would happen when she returned to England. What awaited her was a whirlwind courtship with the restauranteur that lasted for a grand total of six weeks before they got engaged.

The couple, who has now been married for nearly four decades, took some time to answer some prepared questions about their relationship for The Insider. At one point during the playful Q&A session, Todd referred to "the massive wedding ring [he] gave [her]." In response, Vanderpump asked, "That quarter of a carat? That pinprick?"

Since the presentation of that "pinprick" so many years ago, Vanderpump's ring has most definitely been upgraded. She now wears an enormous emerald-cut diamond in a double halo on her ring finger (per Glamour). According to Us Weekly, Vanderpump's current ring weighs in at a whopping 20 carats.

The couple had a lavish wedding

Beverly Hills' future power couple was engaged after six weeks and married within three months of meeting (per Bravo). Married in August of 1982, the couple is quickly approaching their 40-year anniversary. For their 36th anniversary, daughter Pandora shared a photo of her parents' big day on Instagram and it looked to be quite spectacular. The bride wore a dress that featured a ruffled neckline, puffy sleeves, and a long veil attached to a headband. The gown was definitely reminiscent of Princess Diana's bridal gown worn just the year before.

Lisa Vanderpump later shared a photo of their wedding, featuring her beloved first pooch, on Instagram for their 37th anniversary. "That was Huckleberry love dog," Vanderpump tweeted about the photo, referring to the top hat-wearing dog. "I was a baby ... @KenToddBH Cradle snatcher," she playfully added. Notably, Ken Todd, with his patented long locks, wore what ET categorized as classic British morning dress along with a red rose boutonniere. 

Vanderpump claimed that her future husband won her over because of his respectful treatment of her, as she shared on the "Straight Up With Stassi" podcast (per People). "He was 16 years older than me and he met me halfway on everything," said the reality star. "He never put me down, he never belittled me, he would take me to meetings and ask my opinion." Their relationship, as evidenced on "Vanderpump Rules," seems to still be operating under the same principles of mutual respect.

The couple has a combined total of three children

Lisa Vanderpump is 16 years Ken Todd's junior and also his second wife. Todd was previously married to Pamela Todd for a very short time in the '60s, as noted by Bravo's The Daily Dish, and had a child, Warren, with her in 1966. After their divorce, Todd had sole custody of his son, who was 2 at the time of their split. Vanderpump became a stepmom to the boy, who was 16 years old at the time of her marriage to Todd, and has praised her husband's parenting. "Warren is very much his father's son — ambitious, incredibly family oriented, and someone to be proud of," boasted the reality star in a 2011 blog post.

Vanderpump gave birth to daughter Pandora at 25, and she and Todd later adopted son Max when he was six weeks old (per The U.S. Sun).  Regarding her son, Vanderpump said on an episode of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," "I knew very well that I could have more children biologically, but the adoption was my choice."

Vanderpump revealed to Bustle that she was initially worried that having a child would limit the couple's activities, especially because their business centered on night life, but she quickly realized that it wouldn't be the case. She also described growing up in a stern British household and noted that she prides herself on the fact that she was very affectionate with her own children.

The couple still has a playful relationship

Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd's relationship, as seen on "Vanderpump Rules," definitely has a playful quality about it. During a Q&A for The Insider, the couple answered questions about their relationship, and it was clear that nearly four decades of marriage have provided a solid foundation on which they can tease each other mercilessly — without hesitation. Both parties have wicked senses of humor and don't hold back. When Todd asked his wife when she realized that she loved him, Vanderpump hilariously replied, "I think it was after we got married." She went on to say, "I think I was so desperate to marry somebody and then you came along, but then a couple of weeks into our honeymoon, I thought, 'I quite like this guy.'" 

For his part, Todd described a much quicker onset of affection for his future wife by declaring he knew that he loved her after just a few moments, saying, "You were like a breath of fresh air in my life. You make everything so wonderful." During their exchange, Ken made a joke about their lack of intimacy, to which Lisa responded sarcastically, "Is it wrong to punch your husband in the face while you're doing this interview?" 

The couple's comfort at taking fun jabs at each other is evidence of how secure they are in their relationship. There can be no doubt that their kids have great role models when it comes to marriage.

Lisa Vanderpump claims the reason for their successful marriage 'sounds cliché'

"I have changed throughout the years and have become more confident — but I have always felt him beside me," Lisa Vanderpump told Hello! regarding her long and successful marriage to Ken Todd. Viewers of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and "Vanderpump Rules" are certainly familiar with the unique and admirable dynamics of the couple's lengthy marriage. Their fierce devotion and loyalty is extremely apparent on television, and Todd, who has made regular appearances on both series throughout the years, reliably serves as a staunch supporter and protector of his wife. When she's come under fire from fellow castmates, Todd is quick to defend her and doesn't hold back.

Back in 2014, Vanderpump told Parade her thoughts about what it takes to make a marriage last. "It sounds cliché, but I think having respect for each other and being kind to one another. Of course, you have trials and tribulations like everybody does, but we have a sense of humor about things as well," she shared. "We're not taking ourselves too seriously, and I think most people watching 'Housewives' know that I do love a laugh, and I'm married to somebody that supports everything I do." Clichés aside, this couple has definitely discovered the secret for a successful long-term commitment.

They built their empire together

According to Distractify, Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd have owned an incredible 36 businesses during their time together. The couple, who seems to have the Midas touch when it comes to operating bars, pubs, restaurants, and event spaces, has really found their groove when it comes to how they work together. In an interview with Life & Style, Lisa summed up their bond by saying, "We have the same ideals and the same family values and I guess we're both religious and we both love animals and we work well together." That seems a rather simplistic summation, but perhaps it doesn't need to be any more complicated than that. 

According to Vanderpump, when it comes to their businesses, each of them has fairly defined roles at this point. Even when they were still living in England, she reported to the Evening Standard that her responsibilities were more concerned with the design of their locations and that Ken handled the business side of things. Though they have had massive success in the restaurant business, Vanderpump once noted to Bustle that it wasn't always that way. "When we got married, we were always risking things, and we definitely had financial struggles in the beginning," she said. A long way from those days now, Vanderpump and Todd have thrived. In addition to their bars and restaurants in Los Angeles, they also have two booming spots in Las Vegas, Vanderpump à Paris and Vanderpump Cocktail Garden.

The couple is friends with numerous rock stars

For a couple who built their fortune in the restaurant business, Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd have a lot of friends who are legitimate rock stars. For starters, right around the time she met Todd, Vanderpump gained the title of "video vixen" after starring in '80s British band ABC's "Poison Arrow" music video. In an interview with Bustle, Vanderpump shared, "Bill Wyman [of the Rolling Stones] was also one of our best friends; Ken was the best man in his wedding. So we went on the Steel Wheels tour in '89. We had a lot of friends from London who were in the music business. It was just a wild and crazy life."

The couple also knew Dire Straits lead singer Mark Knopfler (who purchased a home from them) and Queen's Roger Taylor before relocating to the States. Since moving across the pond, she's become good friends with former NSYNC member Lance Bass, who is often seen with her at events. 

Vanderpump may have hit peak coolness when she and other castmates of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" appeared in Lady Gaga's "G.U.Y." video several years back. But then again, maybe she had already reached peak coolness when Elton John and George Michael frequented her restaurants in England (per London Evening Standard).

Ken Todd doesn't mind if his wife flirts a little

In an interview with InStyle, Lisa Vanderpump imagined retirement. "I could easily have a chateau in a vineyard in France and a place in L.A., obviously have all my dogs and horses around, and maybe be banging George Clooney every night," she joked. Comments like that, however, don't bother husband, Ken Todd. Perhaps it's because she also said the following in the same interview about her husband: "He is incredibly kind, philanthropic, hard-working, he's been a great father, and I just have a lot of respect for him. And he loves dogs as much as I do. Any man that loves the dog rescue and lets me live with dogs is worth marrying."

Vanderpump has occasionally flirted on "Vanderpump Rules." At one point during the show, new cast member Brett Caprioni commented, "Working at SUR, I've seen a lot of beautiful women but nothing is like it when Lisa walks through" (per The U.S. Sun). Vanderpump even admitted to having an "emotional affair" with her "Dancing With the Stars" partner, Gleb Savchenko, during her time on the show. Vanderpump shared Todd's playful reaction to her shenanigans on the dance floor with Us Weekly, sharing that he said, "I see you. I see what you're up to." She added, "He doesn't put that much importance on me messing about and flirting." 

Their televised vow renewal wasn't the kiss of death

In the world of the Housewives, an on-screen vow renewal has often been followed quickly by a break-up. The so-called "vow renewal curse" has struck several couples from multiple franchises, including the "The Real Housewives of Orange County" stars Vicki Gunvalson and Shannon Beador and "The Real Housewives of New York City" star Ramona Singer. Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd, however, have managed to escape the negative outcome of a televised renewal ceremony so far. 

"Thirty years ago I stood at your side full of hopes and dreams. I was almost a child, [and] you have managed to fulfill most of those hopes and dreams," Vanderpump said lovingly during the ceremony (via People), before she followed up with the zinger, "So you can go now!" For his part, Todd reiterated the feelings he's felt for many years. "I love you," he said. "And always will." There can be no doubt that their humor, mutual respect, and love formed the bedrock of their marriage.

Despite the curse that's seemingly associated with a televised vow renewal, some Housewives like Vanderpump remain happily married.

They have a sense of humor about their sex life

When it comes to their intimate relationship, Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd are predictably comical. During the course of their time on television together, they have often joked about the difference in their libidos. "Oh, bloody hell. I'm gonna have to put out tonight," Vanderpump has joked during filming (per Screen Rant). As fans know, a huge amount of the couple's charm comes from how they're able to joke about their intimacy.

Vanderpump has famously suggested that Todd wants sex all the time and portrays herself as much less interested. She has joked constantly that she only has sex on special occasions like his birthday, though it seems she'd rather pass. "My husband calls me a sex object, he says every time he wants sex, I object," she once quipped (per Bustle). 

Despite all of her humor on the topic, Vanderpump was complimentary about Todd's lovemaking skills on the "Straight Up With Stassi" podcast (per Bravo). "Ken's a very sexy man," she said. "Ken knows what he's doing. Ken's got it going on and he's a very virile man. Very. Like a little too much!"

The couple shares a mutual love of dogs

Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd share a love of many things, but animals — particularly dogs — are at the top of the list. The couple's property, Villa Rosa, is home to a menagerie of miniature horses, swans, and lots of dogs (per Locale). The couple's most famous and beloved sidekick over the years, however, was undoubtedly their beloved Pomeranian Gigolo, aka Giggy, whom they credit for inspiring their dog rescue work (per People). Vanderpump was head over heels for the pup, but Todd was virtually inseparable from the pooch. He doted on Giggy nonstop, chose outfits for him (the dog had alopecia), and carried him everywhere. For several seasons, if Todd made an appearance on one of the shows, it was almost certain that Giggy would be in his arms. Sadly, the much-adored pup died in December 2020.

Vanderpump and Todd continue to rescue dogs through their work with Vanderpump Dogs, an organization they founded in 2016 to help improve the lives of dogs all over the world. After becoming aware of the practices against dogs at the Yulin Dog Festival in China, the couple decided to take on the dog meat trade there. They work tirelessly on legislation, spay-neuter programs, and medical initiatives, to name just a few of their causes, even as they dedicate themselves to finding homes for their rescues at their location in Los Angeles.

Ken Todd always has Lisa Vanderpump's back

One of the reasons that Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd have such a strong relationship is because their mutual support is unquestionable. Vanderpump's involvement in TV series like "Real Housewives" makes her more vulnerable to public verbal attacks, salacious gossip, and combative storylines, but Todd is always there to protect her. 

One incident had Vanderpump at the wrong end of a rude comment made by co-star Camille Grammer regarding her oral hygiene. An irate Todd quickly came to his wife's defense, saying (per Us Weekly), "To now attack her personal hygiene disgusts me." He continued, "I could put it out here that my wife's breath is as sweet as she is as, I am the one who kisses her daily I should know. I am angry as it is a vile lie."

Todd boiled over again during an altercation that occurred between Vanderpump and James Kennedy over his drinking. Witnessing a nasty exchange, Todd intervened on his wife's behalf, saying, "I told you not to come here when you're drunk. You're drunk now. The way you're speaking to Lisa? I'm giving you one warning, if you ruin my business ..." Todd's anger was palpable as he threatened the wayward DJ, "You little f**ker! I'll knock you spark out" (per E! News). 

Vanderpump has expressed her appreciation of Todd's devotion to Bravo, sharing, "I think that having that support as a partner is really an integral part of your security, when you have someone with you, like he's here with me today."

They've cared for one other through major health crises

When you get married young and stay married for decades, health challenges are bound to arise. When it comes to Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd, the last few years have seen both of them facing major health issues. "Will be off Twitter for a couple of days, concentrating on my darling husband #surgery #stressed," Vanderpump cryptically shared on Twitter in 2015, informing the world that Todd was going through something serious. Turns out that he was having a hip replacement, as reported by TMZ. Fortunately, he recovered well and was able to support his wife when she had a major mishap later on. 

In 2022, Todd watched in horror as his wife, an avid equestrienne, was bucked off of one of her horses. After being taken to the hospital and undergoing surgery (via TMZ), Vanderpump doesn't appear ready to get back on a horse anytime soon, but she updated her followers after the accident with a surprisingly chipper message on social media. "Thank you for all the well wishes and beautiful flowers, I am doing much better after surgery! 4 fractures in my leg and a badly bruised back, but I am on the road to recovery!" she wrote in an Instagram post. "I will be back in the saddle of life soon!"