Melanie Griffith Covers Up Antonio Banderas Tattoo With Tribute to Dakota Johnson and Family

Melanie Griffith flashed her tattoo featuring a nod to her children, including Dakota Johnson. The ink covers her old tribute to Antonio Banderas, who she was married to for almost two decades.

By Elyse Dupre Jul 11, 2023 4:54 PMTags
Watch: Antonio Banderas on Stepdaughter Dakota in "Fifty Shades"

A day with family is another day in paradise for Melanie Griffith.

And she has the ink to prove it. During a walk in Los Angeles on July 10, the actress showed off a tattoo just below her shoulder where a tribute to her former husband Antonio Banderas—his name inside a heart—used to be. Now in its place is a design featuring the first names of her four kids: Alexander, Stella, Dakota and Jesse. 

In addition to her daughter Stella Banderas, 26, with The Mask of Zorro actor, Melanie shares son Alexander Bauer, 37, with ex-husband Steven Bauer as well as daughter Dakota Johnson, 33, and stepson Jesse Johnson, 40, with ex-husband Don Johnson

The Working Girl alum, 65, and Antonio, 62, wed in 1996 after working on the 1995 film Two Much. However, they announced their divorce in 2014 and finalized it the following year.

Dakota Johnson's Best Looks

Still, since their split, Melanie and Antonio have remained on good terms and have posted pictures from their occasional hangouts on social media. In fact, the Puss in Boots star has spoken about the deep friendships that's remained since they parted ways romantically.

"Melanie is probably one of my best friends right now—the woman that I was married with for 20 years," he told Access Hollywood at the 2020 Oscars. "But she's a dear friend of mine. I love her very much."

Getty Images/ SPOT-Stoianov / BACKGRID

And Antonio is still close with her children—including Dakota, who honored him at the 2019 Hollywood Film Awards for his performance in Pain and Glory.

"I come from a family of many a marriage and I got very lucky," the Fifty Shades of Grey star said in her speech. "I got a bonus dad who over time I would realize is actually one of the most influential people in my whole life."


To look back at their bond, keep reading.

Dakota Johnson had her first acting role in Antonio Banderas' directorial debut, 1999's Crazy in Alabama, which starred her mother, Melanie Griffith. Johnson played Sondra in the movie, which didn't mark the first time she had spent time with her stepfather on a set, telling Architectural Digest that she once delivered an Easter basket to Madonna while Banderas was filming Evita with the pop star in Budapest in 1996.

Those memories are still cherished by Banderas, who previously said, "She's my daughter, I love her. I've been with her on my shoulders, traveling all around the world."

While Johnson wowed in a gold Gucci dress at the 2017 Academy Awards, it wasn't the first time she attended the major event. In 2000, a then 10-year-old Johnson accompanied her stepfather and mom to the Oscars. Wearing a purple dress and jacket, Johnson even did interviews with the couple, chatting with the late Joan Rivers, adorably turning to Griffith to ask, " it?" when Rivers asked if this was her first Oscars.

"Dakota called me Paponio, which is a mixture between papa, which is 'daddy' in Spanish, and Antonio," he told Vulture of the adorable nickname she had given him while growing up. "I am her Antonio papa, so Paponio."

Johnson got emotional when she presented an award to Banderas at the 2019 Hollywood Film Awards.

"I come from a family of many a marriage and I got very lucky," Johnson, whose dad is actor Don Johnson, said. "I got a bonus dad who I realized that, over time, is actually one of the most influential people in my whole life," she said. "When I was six years old, my mother married a man who brought an unbelievably bright light and a whole new world of creativity and culture—and one remarkably magical little sister into our family."

Tearing up, Johnson continued, "My stepfather—f*#k! Antonio Banderas burst into our lives. He was so vibrant and so fun and so funny and his English was abstract and we found it absolutely amazing. He loved my mother, and my siblings and I so big, and so fiercely and so loud, that it would change all of our lives together."

After accepting the award, Banderas returned the favor, sweetly shouting out Johnson and her sister, Stella, 25.

"I want to dedicate this to two people that I love, one is right here, Dakota, for something very simple, because you always call me papi, and still now you call me papi and I love that!" the Pain and Glory actor said on stage. "You have no idea how much I love that!"

At the 31st Palm Springs International Film Festival several weeks later, Banderas revealed to E! News that he had no idea that Johnson would be giving such a touching speech. 

"It was all a surprise," he said. "Totally. I mean, I knew that she was going to give the speech, but I had no idea whatsoever how she was going to just do her speech, she didn't tell me anything."

It was a poignant moment as it confirmed to him that the two decades they spent as a family meant just as much to her as they did to him.

"I thought and felt that all of those years," Banderas admitted. "But I knew that it was a confirmation that all of those years that Melanie and I spent together, they were years that was not only just about Melanie and me, they were about the family. They were worth it all."