by Billy Nilles | Tue., Jul. 3, 2018 12:51 PM
When Katharine McPhee and David Foster found themselves back in each other's orbit, they were both nursing broken hearts.
The pair, who just took their May/December relationship to the next level with the announcement of their engagement, first sparked rumors of a romance a little over a year ago when they were spotted out on a PDA-filled dinner date at a time when they were both finally learning how to be single again. McPhee was just out of a two-year relationship with former Scorpion co-star Elyes Gabel, a relationship that began when her marriage of six years to Nick Cokas had fallen apart. And Foster had just recently announced that, after four years of marriage and nine years together, he and his Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star wife Yolanda Hadid were calling it quits as well.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Bumble
In January of last year, a mere five months before Foster and McPhee were spotted out on that fateful dinner date at Nobu in Malibu, he admitted to Vanity Fair that, for the first time in his adult life, he was approaching his love life differently. "I tend to go from marriage to marriage—leaving one wife for another," he told the publication. "This is the first time in my adult life that I've been single. It's a very powerful feeling, but I'm not used to it. Someone said to me recently that you need to be very careful about the person you pick to spend the rest of your life with. It's kind of weird that I'm hearing that now and thinking, Oh, right."
If Foster's decision, made then at 67, to reconsider his usual romance habits seemed unlikely, then his connection to 33-year-old McPhee seemed even more so. Sure, music was a common denominator between the two, but what really could they have in common? And yet, they've managed to prove us wrong at every turn.
Six months after that night at Nobu, McPhee, who met the iconic music man back in 2006 on the set of American Idol when he served as a guest mentor during her season, igniting a relationship that involved both professional collaborations and personal run-ins, was still by his side as he celebrated his 68th birthday at West Hollywood hot spot Craig's back in November. "David and her were affectionate," a source told E! News at the time. "He had his arm around her at times and they looked happy."
While the nascent couple had yet to publicly confirm the nature of their relationship, by the time of Foster's birthday celebration, his five daughters—including Sara and Erin Foster, who were also present at the festivities—had "all accepted their relationship," our insider said.
As the pair continued to play coy, with McPhee saying she was "pretty single" and that people could "say whatever they want" about her relationship with Foster in the December issue of Health (which was released online mere days after Foster's birthday celebration in early November), they were spotted sitting courtside together at an NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies. "They seemed to be having a fun," an eyewitness told E! News. "They were chatting with the people in the seats next to them….Didn't see them kiss or hold hands but [they] certainly seemed like they were into each other and the game."
Meanwhile, daughters Sara and Erin made it clear just how cool they were with the relationship that no one would confirm actually existed, speaking to E! News a few days after the Laker game. "We love Katharine McPhee. We love our dad. We want our dad to be happy. We don't care who he dates...don't really care how old they are," Sara said, adding, "We don't know if it's her."
But by the time they were spotted sharing a kiss outside of Beverly Hills restaurant E Baldi in the beginning of December, there'd been a clear shift in the seriousness of the relationship. "David and Katherine are more serious than they ever have been, and don't care what others around them think," a source told E! News at the time. "David and Katherine have been spending a lot of time together recently and are not afraid to show affection now."
"David is usually a playboy but Katherine has made him change his ways, and he is really comfortable with her," the source added. "He tries to fit Katherine into his schedule with dinners and lunches during the week. They both love being out in public together, and are enjoying each other's company. Katherine has always had a crush on David, and she's happy that their relationship is transpiring."
A post-Christmas trip to Paris, where Foster met McPhee after she'd spent her holiday in the romantic foreign city with family, only seemed to confirm just how in love the couple had become, with the duo unable to keep their hands off one another as they strolled through the City of Lights. "They stopped on a street corner and wrapped their arms around each other to stay warm," an eyewitness told E! News. "It looked like they were very happy to be reunited in such a romantic place."
With the pair still going strong in the new year, it appeared that the words Foster had spoken to Vanity Fair a year earlier about his usual marriage-hopping and newfound power as a single person were still very much in the back of his mind, as there were no plans to approach marriage just yet. "David has not shown any interest in getting married again. He hasn't discounted how he feels about Katherine but there are no plans for them to even get engaged anytime soon," a source told E! News, adding that McPhee wasn't exactly pushing for a proposal either.
But as the first half of the year went by, with the couple attending Elton John's Oscar viewing party and walking the red carpet at the Met Gala together, Foster supporting McPhee as she made her Broadway debut in Waitress, and just the usual progression of an authentic relationship unfolding, something changed. And suddenly, marriage was just what each wanted from the other. "Katherine has been wanting this for a while now," a source revealed to E! News shortly after the pair revealed that he'd popped the question while on holiday in Europe. "David has been planning the engagement, but has kept it very secretive. Only a few family members knew about his plans."
"They are both very happy and over the moon excited," our source continued, adding, "David's children are all very accepting of Katherine now, and are very happy for their Dad."
The path to love is often winding and makes very little sense. But when it's right, it's right and when you know, you just know. And it's clear that, finally, these two do. Mazel tov to the happy couple.
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