“You know when you don’t know someone very well, you just meet them and you’re like, ‘Wow, you really have it going on?’… We hit it off immediately, but it took us a pretty long time to get together,” Hathaway told Vogue in October 2010, noting that despite the terrible timing, the Princess Diaries star was convinced she had found The One.
The pair first crossed paths through mutual friends while attending the Palm Springs Film Festival in April 2008. While the Ella Enchanted actress told Harper’s Bazaar UK in Febraury 2013 that she knew “from the second I met him that he was the love of my life,” she “also knew that I couldn’t have met him at a worse time.”
Prior to meeting Shulman, Hathaway dated Raffaello Follieri. They were together for four years before Follieri was arrested and charged with 15 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and money-laundering charges. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. Hathaway broke off their relationship just 10 days before his sentencing.
“I was just very honest with him,” she explained of meeting Shulman. “I took my trust out for a ridiculous joyride with him. [I told him,] ‘I believe, because I need to believe, that what just happened to me was the exception and not the rule, and that people are good and you are a good person because I feel it.’”
The Intern star ultimately took a chance on the jewelry designer — and she hasn’t looked back since.
“I was right. It was scary,” she said to Harper’s Bazaar of the duo sparking a romance. “But as the days wore on it kept on getting better and better. I found that the love I found for him made me more trusting of everyone, and the more I started to see who I had become. I had lost track of myself during those years and I actually started to see who I had become and that’s… that’s when things got tricky and ugly. Having to forgive myself.”
She added, “And he never hurt me.”
The Modern Love actress and American Dreams alum went on to get engaged in 2011 and tie the knot one year later. Since their nuptials, the couple have welcomed sons Jonathan and Jack, who were born in 2016 and 2019, respectively.
In April 2017, Hathaway revealed that she has since healed from her past heartbreak with the Italy native, but has also learned to “accept that narrative that we, as women, don’t need anybody.” Still, she is viscerally aware of everything Shulman brings to her life.
“He changed my ability to be in the world comfortably,” she told Elle. “I need my husband. His unique and specific love has changed me.”