How Wilmer Valderrama Ended Up Settled Down and Happier Than Ever
There was a time when Wilmer Valderrama may not have been the type to trust your secrets - or even his own secrets. But times have definitely changed.
The NCIS star, whose young Hollywood days were punctuated by explosive headlines about a string of girlfriends and sexual conquests, rang the doorbell in the New Year with a well-deserved perspective on priorities and what really matters.
"'Now it's just us,'" Valderrama shared a quote from the big moment he began the 2020 reveal he proposed to his girlfriend, Amanda Pacheco, who was less than a year old. He asked the question while they were on vacation in Mexico and offered a bespoke ring from Bychari that featured a pear-shaped diamond over 3 carats on a narrow pavé band and accented with details, as the jeweler put it: " Close and dear "to the couple.
And although 2020 promptly took a difficult turn for everyone (including the happily engaged celebrities), the 40-year-old actor closes the year on another, even higher grade.
2020 celebrity engagements
"# itsjustus3now," he and Pacheco revealed in his and her Instagram posts on December 21st, building on their engagement announcement with the news that they are expecting a baby together.
After a year since the March 19 meeting, this could be seen as a whirlwind. But hey if you know you know Or even if you don't know ...
"A year ago today! ... Little did I know it was just the beginning of a life full of shared adventures. #Itsjustusnow LITERALLY," Pacheco added on March 22nd, conveniently the one year anniversary of their first date (proof of that) captured by a paparazzo). The "literally" was of course an allusion to the two who had holed up at home and socially distanced themselves from the rest of the world due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring.
Although they weren't entirely cut off from loved ones.
The 70s Show: Where Are They Now?
Valderrama is known to be close to his mother Sobeida and not only set her up with an Instagram account so she can keep up with him while traveling, but also surprised her with a new house in Los Angeles last year.
Next to his own house.
“Family is everything,” he said on the Tamron Hall Show in November 2019. “They sacrificed so much for my sisters and me to get to America. They sold everything they had in Venezuela to make us come here and have a better shot. " They got the education they never had, you know ... keeping your parents informed of what you're doing is difficult. Sometimes you just get on with your life and forget to [check in] ... "
True, it gets a little easier, good or bad, when they're right next door.
"You come to this country and work really hard and I hope you mean well, right?" Valderrama recalled the emotional moment on Live With Kelly and Ryan after they shared a clip of surprise - which his mother initially thought was a joke. "Then suddenly you wake up and you can do that. It's America, you know?"
Celebrities who bought their mothers a house
But even though he joked on the Daily Show in October that he kept his NCIS detective skills sharp by letting his mother hide things he could find during quarantine, the houses are not too stacked.
"We have a bush between us," he assured Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. "But it is also [only] a bush away."
He went over and smelled the home cooking, the authentic Venezuelan arepas and their signature soup and felt like a kid again, but at the same time he added and pointed, "I know I can tell my kids, 'Go to your grandma. '"
Valderrama, he from the youthful indiscretions, had already started thinking about a family of his own. Which meant, as Ripa put it, he was a long way from his and Seacrest's "hunting" days on the LA club scene.
Amanda Pacheco, Wilmer Valderrama
Waking up one morning to buy his mother a new home wasn't sudden, but Valderrama has worked hard for his success since first showing up on the That '70s show when he was 18, he also made it a habit taking time out to celebrate his re-adopted country (he was born in Miami, but his family lived in Venezuela until he was 14 years old before moving permanently to the US): he is a regular at the USO circuit and At charities and other charitable occasions, you can always count on the hand-in-hand telethon to provide disaster relief for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston in 2017.
Talking to people who called to make donations "reminds you how special our country is," he told E! Messages at the event "remind us that the unity that people have sometimes attacked in our society cannot be broken. These moments remind us that it's not about colors and the human experience, and when we are a part of it, we can help each other to have a more present existence with one another - it's amazing. "
Pauley Perrette, Mark Harmon, NCIS, Season 15, Mario Bello, Wilmer Valderrama
The actor, who was in That '70s Show until 2006, had recently been lucky enough to join the cast of CBS' perennial crime drama NCIS (which featured 400 episodes last month). Gratitude be his name, he even thanked the "loyal network audience" who saw him grow up on his longstanding sitcom (albeit on a different network, Fox).
"Joining a cast that is still excited about coming to work every day and after 14 years they are still swinging hard ... the momentum is great," he told CBS reporters on the People's red carpet Choice Awards 2017. "I'm having a great time and Mark Harmon and I are best friends for sure."
Friendly celebrity exes
Speaking of besties ...
They're not exactly BFFs, but he seems to have refreshingly good relationships with ex-girlfriend Mandy Moore, who always stops taking a selfie for posterity when they meet (and also happens to be expecting their first child) with husband Taylor Goldsmith ). And while he and Demi Lovato split in 2016 after nearly six years, he remained her good friend and was part of her support system as she recovered from a drug overdose in the summer of 2018.
Maybe that was one of the reasons her fans weren't too thrilled to hear that Valderrama was engaged, her dream that he and Lovato might one day reunite. But a source told E! The news that Lovato was happy for her ex and that the singer on "Skyscraper" put it all to rest this spring explained Harper's Bazaar: "I'm really happy for him and only wish him the best, but we're not in the Life of the other, have not spoken in a long time, "confirmed Lovato. "But I think I needed this because I had to learn to be okay on my own. If you get into a relationship with someone at that young age and then spend six years with someone, you can't really learn about you."
This time around, Valderrama has not revealed any details about his relationship with Pacheco, a model and avid deep-sea diver, other than what he posted on Instagram as he has made it a habit to regularly give his fans glimpses of his acting world as scenes from his intense workouts keeping him running, jumping and fighting for NCIS) and activism. Feeding America and getting a vote took center stage this year, as was the online series "Six Feet Apart" he created to highlight the efforts of key workers.
After sparking dating rumors in April, he and Pacheco first appeared as a couple on the Vitamin A runway show during Miami Swim Week.
So, was he thinking of full domestication when his friend, who is a professional organizer, walked in in May and rearranged his kitchen ...?
Amanda Pacheco, Wilmer Valderrama
They traveled all summer of 2019 including trips to Paris and Tokyo. He talked about dating, the stunning Thanksgiving meal Pacheco put together for a group of family and friends, and their visit to Atlanta where he was filming the indie drama Blast Beat, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January has been. Valderrama also described dressing up with Pacheco for Día de Los Muertos as their "first annual ... celebration together", obviously an implication that there were many more to come.
Last Christmas she and Marrok, his dog, commissioned a playfully macabre family portrait of the two of them - and of course he loved it.
"ShePutAFrameOnIt," he labeled the picture.
Days later he put a ring on it.
And now, as he told Trevor Noah a few months ago, having a "built-in babysitter" next door will come in handy.
(Originally published January 30, 2020 at 3 a.m. PT)
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