Salma Hayek reveals she had ‘no choice’ but to marry husband Francois Henri-Pinault during surprise wedding

Salma Hayek Pinault has shared new details about her surprise courthouse wedding to husband François Henri-Pinault.

In a new cover story for Glamour, the Magic Mike’s Last Dance star revealed that she had “no choice” but to marry the French businessman, because her family actually “dragged” her to the courthouse.

“I didn’t even know I was getting married that day,” she recalled about her wedding day, which took place on Valentine’s Day back in 2009. “It was like an intervention. I don’t think I ever told this story. No, they just took me to the court. My parents, my brother, they were all ganging up on me. I had a phobia of the marriage thing.”

The 56-year-old actor recalled that she “had no choice” but to go through with the nuptials because she was so nervous.

“It was because I had said yes to the marriage, but I just wouldn’t actually show up on the day or do it,” she explained. “And then afterwards I said, ‘Oh, it’s OK. I don’t feel any different.’ And then a little bit later I said, ‘OK, this is kind of exciting.’ And he’s like, ‘Can we have a party now?’”

Salma Hayek Pinault and her husband François Henri-Pinault have been together for more than two decades. The two began dating in 2006 and welcomed their now 15-year-old daughter, Valentina Paloma Pinault, the following year.

The French billionaire is the CEO of the luxury goods company Kering, which owns well-known fashion brands including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, and Alexander McQueen. He shares two children from his previous marriage to Dorothée Lepère: son François, 25, and daughter Mathilde, 22. Pinault also has a 16-year-old son, Augustin James, from his relationship with supermodel Linda Evangelista.

After tying the knot in Paris on Valentine’s Day in 2009, the couple went on to have a larger wedding celebration in Venice, Italy. Hayek Pinault admitted to Glamour that the couple celebrates their wedding anniversary on both dates, saying: “When it comes to anniversaries, it’s fun and a surprise. I can cook, so he likes it when I cook. But I make it a surprise, something different, like the way I decorate. Or he takes me somewhere, or he hides the presents.”

Despite being together for nearly 17 years, the House of Gucci star has received criticism in the past for her relationship with the French CEO, namely from critics who think she married Pinault for money. Hayek Pinault defended her marriage to Pinault during an appearance on actor Dax Shepard’s podcast, Armchair Expert, in 2021.

“I didn’t know who he was,” Shepard told the Frida star. “I just heard or maybe read in a headline that you had married a very rich guy, maybe that’s why she married him. I don’t know. I meet him and I’m like, ‘This guy is so foxy, the confidence, his eyes, he’s so good looking and charming.’”

She replied: “When I married him, everybody said, ‘Oh, it’s arranged marriage, she married him for the money.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, whatever, b****. Think what you want.’ Fifteen years together, and we are strong in love. And I don’t even get offended, I’m like, ‘Yeah, whatever’.”

The Eternals star also shared her advice for a successful marriage. During an appearance on Jada Pinkett Smith‘s Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk in 2021, she revealed that the key to her nearly 14-year marriage is to direct attention and energy towards fixing a problem as a couple, rather than blaming one another.

“When there is conflict, we put all the energy in solving the problem - never finding who to blame or ‘You should have done this or that.’ No,” she said. “All our energy goes into: ‘How do we solve this?’”