For 33 years, Vanna White has been a staple in most American households every single night. The Wheel of Fortune presenter seems to be ageless as she shows contestants whether or not they've guessed the correct letters in the puzzle. But what most people don't realize is that Vanna White has struggled through some tragedies in her life, and she's just now starting to open up about them.
In 1982, Vanna White fell in love with American soap opera star John Gibson. The two were together for a couple years before getting engaged. Unfortunately, their whirlwind romance ended in 1986 when John Gibson tragically died in a small plane accident. White, obviously, was completely torn up about Gibson's death, but found comfort in her fans.
“It was devastating,” Vanna said. “But I got such an outpouring of fan mail, and it really did help to know that I wasn’t alone.”
But the tragedy didn't end there.
In 1989, White married George Santo Pietro, a restaurateur. According to someone close to the couple, “George was wealthy, had distinguished good looks and was quite the charmer." Together, White and Pietro found out they were expecting a child in 1992. Already having a 7-month-old son Niko, the couple was ecstatic to give him a new brother or sister.
Producers of Wheel of Fortune thought they would announce White's pregnancy on an episode of the show by using a puzzle that said "Vanna's Pregnant!" Soon after, Vanna miscarried the baby. Her heartbreak reinforced the warning of not announcing your pregnancy until after your first trimester has passed.
In 1997, Vanna and George welcomed a baby girl, Gigi. In 2002, the couple split but remained civil for the sake of their children.
In 2004, Vanna announced her engagement to businessman Michael Kaye.
“He was very different from George — which was exactly what Vanna needed. He was low-key and a bit of a homebody, like she is,” a friend of Vanna said. A little more than a year after the announcement, the couple broke off their engagement and cited "poor timing" as the reason.
Since 2012, Vanna White has been with Josh Donaldson, a contractor. The two are a match made in heaven, and Vanna has nothing but kind words for her beau.
“He is kind, understanding and lets me be me," she said in an interview.
“The biggest surprise to my fans is probably how simple I live in real life,” Vanna says. “I’m a real down-to-earth girl. I usually spend my days without makeup, wearing tennis shoes. I love the outdoors. I love waking up early when it’s quiet, going out on the balcony to hear the birds sing.”
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