Since 1982, Vanna White has dazzled audiences as the hostess of Wheel of Fortune. Despite being a television mainstay for decades, White has done a good job at keeping her personal life private. Though she has been in a few long-term relationships over the years, she has only been married once.
White was married to George Santo Pietro for over a decade. He is also the father of her two grown children. Unfortunately for internet sleuths, there’s a lot of mystery and misinformation about their relationship. Follow along as we sniff out some clues about Vanna White’s ex-husband.
Vanna’s Ex Husband George Santo Pietro Is A Successful Businessman
Though there is not a ton of credible information out there about George Santo Pietro, we do know that he made a name for himself as a restaurateur and real estate investor.
According to Chowhound, Santo Pietro once owned an eponymous Italian restaurant at the Glen Centre in Bel Air (apparently the chopped salad was to die for). An unverified bio on IMDb echoed this, mentioning that the eatery was a celebrity hotspot in the 1980s. He also reportedly owned or invested in another Bel Air restaurant called Sushi Ko. The Japanese dining destination was then sold and relocated to Thousand Oaks, but it eventually shuttered—even after Gordon Ramsay did his best to revive it on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares.
Outside his restaurant and real estate investments, Santo Pietro is also a pilot. He and White even operated a lucrative private jet charter business while they were married.
Santo Pietro enjoyed so much success throughout his career that he counted Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty as neighbors. In 2007, Variety revealed that he had listed his 9-bedroom, 15-bathroom Beverly Hills mansion for $50 million. The 24,595-square-foot, Italian-style villa eventually sold in 2010 for the bargain price of $23.5 million (Fun trivia: the sale was handled by Mauricio Umansky, wife of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards.)
George And Vanna Were Married For 12 Years
Before marrying Santo Pietro, White was once engaged to former Young and the Restless star John Gibson. Sadly, the actor died in a tragic plane crash in 1986. Around the same time, Santo Pietro dated Dynasty actress Linda Evans.
Following those relationships, White and Santo Pietro were introduced by mutual friends. According to IMDb, the two went on a dinner date and a few years later, they tied the knot. (Different sources claim she walked down the aisle in different years, but the Orlando Sentinel reported that the wedding took place on New Year’s Eve, 1991, in Aspen, Colorado.)
“George was wealthy, had distinguished good looks, and was quite the charmer,” a source told Closer.
In 2002, White and Santo Pietro decided to call it quits. There’s no word on why exactly they divorced, however, they agreed to remain civil for their kids.
Following her split with Santo Pietro, White was briefly engaged to businessman Michael Kaye. An insider close to the game show hostess told Closer he was “very different from George—which was exactly what Vanna needed… low-key and a bit of a homebody, like she is.”
White eventually found love with her current boyfriend, John Donaldson. The couple has been together since 2012. “He feels like a husband,” White told Tamron Hall in January 2021. “We’ve been together a long time. I call him my husband.”
They Have Two Children Together
After White and Santo Pietro married, they went right to work on starting a family. In 1992, White made a huge announcement on Wheel of Fortune by revealing V-A-N-N-A’S P-R-E-G-N-A-N-T as the answer to a puzzle. Sadly, she suffered a miscarriage shortly after.
“Vanna told me there’s always a reason for things happening,” her father, Herbert White, told the Orlando Sentinel. “She’s taking it well; Vanna’s a trouper, and she said she’ll be trying again.”
Indeed, White and Santo Pietro went on two have two children. Nicholas “Nikko” Santo Pietro was born in 1994, and Giovanna “Gigi” Santo Pietro arrived in 1997.
Nikko’s Instagram page says he studied agriculture at Oregon State University. According to LinkedIn, he spent four years establishing a farm in Missouri before returning to Los Angeles in 2020.
Meanwhile, Gigi is an artist who graduated with a degree in photography from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2020. She’s currently a tattoo apprentice at Transitions Tattoo Studio in Huntington Beach, California. Here’s a pic of the smiling siblings all grown up from June 2020.
Even if Santo Pietro likes to keep a low profile, it looks like there’s no bad blood with his ex, and that the family he created with White is nothing less than a happy bunch.