Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert met as teenagers, and their young romance in the 1980s intrigued fans. While Gilbert and Lowe have been separated for decades, curiosity about the actors’ relationship has remained high to this day.
In 1984, Lowe appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. On the show, he spoke to guest host Joan Rivers about his relationship with Gilbert.
Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert | Donaldson Collection / Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images
Joan Rivers asked Rob Lowe if he was cheating on Melissa Gilbert
Lowe appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to promote his film Oxford Blues, which was released on August 24, 1984. At the beginning of the interview, Rivers alleged that she saw Lowe with a woman who was not Gilbert.
“You know I prepared for this,” joked Lowe.
Rivers followed with: “Don’t you think it’s stupid if you go to Spago with someone to go with another girl?”
“It wasn’t light,” said Lowe. “I wasn’t at my best … I called and said, ‘Melissa, I met Joan Rivers in Spago and I’m going to do The Tonight Show and I’m sure she will say something.'”
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Rivers asked more about Gilbert, and Lowe told her that he and Gilbert had been together for two years. However, he admitted that they were largely separated because of their work.
“There are so many rumors about you,” said Rivers. “That you have affairs … at 20 you have affairs with every leading actress you’ve been in a movie with.”
Rob Lowe said Melissa Gilbert was “not a saint”
Throughout the interview, Rivers Lowe continued to press for the possibility of cheating on Gilbert. Rivers brought up his alleged affair with Nastassja Kinski, with whom Lowe starred at the New Hampshire Hotel.
“It was like being close,” Lowe said of his relationship with Kinski. “Near the heart, I will say.”
Rivers asked what Gilbert thought about reading Lowe’s alleged affairs, and he replied, “Well, you know, she’s not a saint, okay?”
He continued, “I mean, there are always things that have been written about people and you never know if they’re true. There are many things about Nastassja that are not true, and me. I mean it was very disproportionate. “
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How the two actors originally met
Lowe and Gilbert began their relationship when Gilbert was 17 years old, but the two actually met several years earlier.
“I was 14, 15 years old and did a talk show on the property. And Rob came running over to introduce himself to me, ”Gilbert said in a 2020 interview with Access Hollywood.
In the interview, Gilbert revealed that Lowe used a subtle movement to impress her.
“… he told me years later that he put a script under his arm so I would know that he was also a working actor and not a kid who came up to me to speak to me,” Gilbert said.
In 1986, Lowe proposed Gilbert. The two separated a year later. Lowe is currently married to Sheryl Berkoff and Gilbert is married to Timothy Busfield.