Brooke Shields is a great example of a mid-life woman who really has it together. She seems happy with herself, her two daughters, and her husband of more than two decades, Chris Henchy. Shields’ first go at matrimony, with tennis superstar Andre Agassi, only lasted from 1997 to 1999 before they split. With Henchy, however, it looks like she has found her ideal partner.
Shields has been famous since she was an 11-month-old baby in an Ivory soap commercial. Henchy, on the other hand, seems to prefer being low-key. Here’s everything we know about Brooke Shields’ husband’s personal and professional background, the charming way he and Shields got together, and the many ups and downs that have brought them closer.
Who Is Chris Henchy?
Born in New York, Henchy grew up in Georgia only to return to New York after college. Following a stint on Wall Street, he changed his career focus to entertainment. Henchy worked for MTV, penned monologue jokes for HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show, and went on to amass an impressive list of credits as a successful television producer, writer, and show creator.
Henchy has been associated with several TV comedy series. Battery Park (2000) was produced and created by Henchy, who was a producer and writer for Life With Bonnie (2002) and Spin City (1996). He reportedly based the ABC series I’m With Her (2003), which he created with Marco Pennette, on his relationship with Shields. It aired for just one season.
Henchy was also a producer and screenwriter for films such as Land of the Lost (2009), The Other Guys (2010), and The Campaign (2012).
Shields And Henchy Met In The Sweetest Way
It sounds as if Shields swooned for Henchy immediately. In her book, Down Came The Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, Shields wrote, “To this day I believe that I fell in love with Chris the day we met, in 1999, but I would never tell him that!”
Shields brought Darla, her new American bulldog, to the Warner Bros. lot one day and was showing the pooch to friends of hers. When Darla trotted away, Henchy, who was then a writer for a show filmed at Warner Bros., considerately returned her to Shields. “We chatted and he made me laugh,” she recalled. It would not be their last encounter.
She hadn’t been divorced from Agassi for long, so Shields wasn’t even contemplating dating yet. Still, there was something about Henchy that Shields couldn’t resist, as she wrote in her book. When their paths crossed again, they began spending time with each other in a relaxed, friendly way. Their relationship grew more serious. Finally, they did begin to date.
Shields and Henchy got engaged in July 2000. To elude reporters and photographers, as well as a man who had been reportedly stalking Shields for years, they had a mock wedding on April 4, 2001. According to ABC News, the event on Catalina Island in California had all the trappings of an authentic wedding. The clever ruse fooled just about everyone. The pair got hitched for real in Palm Springs in May.
They’ve Weathered Both Infertility And Postpartum Depression Together
Shields had her heart set on having a child and being a mom. But at 36, she wasn’t sure that it would ever happen. She had undergone cervical surgery years earlier to eliminate precancerous cells. As a result, getting pregnant became much more challenging for her.
She candidly described her problems with fertility in her book. In December 2001, she was waiting to go on stage at a Hollywood fundraising event called MuppetFest. Shields was in an early stage of pregnancy at the time. While she was backstage, her cell phone started ringing. After seeing the results from some of Shields’ blood tests, her doctor gave her crushing news: her pregnancy was no longer viable.
After multiple attempts at in vitro fertilization, Shields’ eldest daughter, Rowan, was born on May 15, 2003. Her other daughter, Grier, came along “the old-fashioned way” on April 18, 2006.
After Rowan’s birth, Shields experienced severe postpartum depression. “I really didn’t want to live anymore,” she acknowledged to WebMD. She had several risk factors that may have predisposed her to the condition, such as a complication-fraught birth (Shields had an emergency C-section, plus a herniated uterus), the recent death of her father, and the suicide of her close friend David Strickland, a cast member from her TV series Suddenly Susan.
Fortunately, Shields got the help she needed. “Without therapy, I wouldn’t have understood as much, and I think that without medicine, I would not have been clear enough.”
Henchy was by Shields’ side every step of the way. She has affectionately said of him, “I’m lucky I have an amazing husband.”
They Enjoy A Harmonious Family Life Together
Despite career commitments, Shields and Henchy make their relationship and their daughters a top priority. Closer Weekly reported that in 2018, someone with knowledge of Henchy and Shields confirmed the resilience of their family bond. “[Brooke] and Chris have a great relationship. Their kids come first and they do all the things normal families do.”
Even if it’s just stealing a few precious moments together, Shields and Henchy stay connected, according to NBC. “We really have to have date night,” Shields said. “The other morning, we had an hour. And instead of getting involved as we do with our emails and the calendar, I was like, ‘Please, let’s just go have coffee out on the porch.’”
The family’s home base is in New York, although Rowan is currently a sophomore at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Both of the couple’s daughters were raised to work hard and appreciate the value of a dollar, thanks partly to summer jobs that helped them develop a strong work ethic.
Brooke Shields has a genuinely devoted spouse in Chris Henchy. He has been a rock for her through everything, including a serious accident in a gym in New York that left her with a broken femur in 2021. He is a soulmate who was definitely worth waiting for.