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Sterling K. Brown Shares How His Wife Initially ‘Friend Zoned’ Him
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Sterling K. Brown Shares How His Wife Initially ‘Friend Zoned’ Him

Actor Sterling K. Brown has spent years playing a devoted husband and father on the hit television show, This Is Us. But in real life, his love story was almost put on pause after being friend-zoned by his wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe.

The American Fiction star stopped by the Sherri show and opened up about how his wife of 18 years initially put him in the “friend zone” before they progressed to a romantic relationship.


“She did put me in the friend zone,” he recalled to the talk show host. “But let me tell you something about that: Brown wasn’t going to stay in that friend zone.”

Because of the feelings he had for the First Wives Club actress, Brown expressed his need to give Bathe space until she was ready for a deeper commitment. “I had to stop talking to her for a minute because I had to let her know ‘Look I don’t want to be your friend. I want to be something a little bit more than that. So until you’re ready....we can just hang out for a little bit,'" he says.

Luckily, the Emmy-winner’s patient persistence paid off and the two now share a dynamic that Brown says is “almost like brother and sister and husband and wife at the same time.”

Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe’s love story dates back to their college days as students at Stanford University in 1998. In 2006, the two eloped and, in the following year, celebrated with a more extensive wedding. They are now parents of two sons, Andrew, 12, and Amaré, 8.

Now, the two are taking on a new project together as co-hosts of their upcoming podcast, We Don’t Always Agree, that’s said to give listeners a peek into their approach to topics ranging from marriage advice, parenthood, politics, and more.

“After 18 years of marriage, you don’t always agree, but you figure it out,” he says. “You make a decision every day to say ‘yes’ to your partner. And we’ve said ‘yes’ for 18 years — and we’re really, really happy.”

“We sort of approach things slightly differently. She has a different perspective as a Black woman, and I as a Black man," Brown adds.

After nearly two decades of being together, the Honk For Jesus actor says that the secret to a happy marriage is ultimately about having fun and sharing playful humor with each other. “Me and my wife laugh a lot,” he says. “We’ll be married 18 years in March, and one of the secrets to that is being able to laugh at and with each other.”

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Featured image by Matt Winkelmeyer/WireImage

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