Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg met after ending their long-term marriages. They came together and built a close-knit family while still being madly in love. Wahlberg has loved his role as a stepfather to his autistic stepson, Evan Asher, and continues to support him through his college and music endeavors.
Jenny McCarthy started her career as a model and is now an actress and one of the most loved television personalities. She met her first husband, John Asher, on the set of the movie “Diamonds” in 1999.
Things moved quickly between the two; they were married in the same year, and shortly after walking down the aisle, they welcomed their first son, Evan.
After six years of marriage, McCarthy filed for divorce in 2005, citing irreconcilable differences, but she also went into the details that drove her to the end of her marriage in her book, “Louder than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism.”
Before McCarthy’s son was diagnosed, doctors thought he had epilepsy, which his mother also believed until another doctor confirmed that Evan had autism.
The actress confessed that she could not believe what the doctor had told her, but she knew it was true. And even though it was gutwrenching, she was determined to do anything to help her son.
McCarthy did her research and found out that autism was treatable, which gave her the strength she needed to get the right help for Evan. She also reiterated that she was unaware of her son’s condition because he was still the sweet boy who loved to give her hugs and kisses.
She put her son on a wheat-free, dairy-free, and artificial addictive-free diet to cleanse his body. As she embarked on this strenuous journey, McCarthy said, hope, faith, and recovery were the driving forces that kept her standing.
While processing Evan’s diagnosis, she was also dealing with her dying marriage, but when it finally came to their separation, the former couple decided that Asher would move out of the house, and McCarthy continued to pay for her son’s medical bills alone.
At that moment, McCarthy said she did not care if she ever got married or found love again because she was focused on Evan’s recovery. “The only fantasies I wanted to imagine were Evan being able to say ‘I love you, mommy,’” she expressed.
The reality TV star remembered when Asher packed up and told their son that he would live in another house. She revealed that Evan was upset and just stared his father off.
Jenny and Donnie’s Love Story
Donnie Wahlberg, a multi-faceted musician and one of the founding members of the iconic band New Kids on the Block, first met McCarthy in 2012 and immediately fell in love with her. However, the singer only asked her out a year later when they met again on “The Jenny McCarthy Show.”
McCarthy was also quickly smitten, and by 2014, the two were married. In 2021, on their seventh anniversary, the couple decided to celebrate their milestone with a vow renewal.
Wahlberg, who is also a father of two sons, Xavier Alexandra and Elijah Hendrix, from his marriage with Kimberly Fey which ended in 2010, gushed about how wonderful McCarthy was as a mother and stepmother. He was grateful to have found a life partner to build family traditions with and still be able to show their children what love looks like.
While the couple had their struggles as single parents, Wahlberg could not be happier for his children to witness him learn from his past relationships and become the best husband and father. Now the father of three will pass down his lessons to his kids, which he feels blessed to do.
When McCarthy got engaged to Wahlberg, she announced the news on “The View.” The actress could not hold her excitement and wanted the world to know how Wahlberg popped the question.
The rapper made sure to include Evan in his proposal. McCarthy said she and her husband were sitting and admiring how happy they were together when Evan approached her.
Then Evan handed her a paper written “Will,” walked out, and came back with another one with “You,” and this is when McCarthy knew what was happening.
Evan came in with the last piece of paper where he had written: “marry.” His mother revealed that he had misspelled it, but she still found the whole thing adorable.
Then Wahlberg came in wearing a shirt with the word “Me?” printed on it and proposed with a big yellow sapphire diamond ring. By this time, McCarthy was already in tears, but what made her emotional was after she said yes, her son shouted, “I am going to have a new daddy!”
It was one of the most memorable and special moments the couple shared as a blended family, followed by the wedding where Evan also played an important role.
Wahlberg helped Evan get dressed on the big day, and the young boy was honored to walk his mother down the aisle. Evan was so proud of the role that he told his mother, “I have the most important job at the wedding.”
Since Wahlberg became part of McCarthy and Evan’s life, they have only gotten closer. The rapper has taught his stepson several things that the actress could not.
Donnie Is Jenny and Evan’s Biggest Supporter
Evan is now a grown 20-year-old, and while he has the love and support of his stepfather, his father, Asher, has also become more present in his life. Asher admitted he was not proud of how he dealt with his son’s diagnosis and wanted to be a better father since then.
Meanwhile, McCarthy shared one of the best gifts she received from her husband during the holidays, in connection with her son.
The actress, who admitted to feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of raising a child with special needs, revealed Wahlberg’s gift took off one of many things on her plate—he surprised her by offering to pay for Evan’s college tuition.
McCarthy expressed how grateful she was to have such a supportive and loving partner who understands the stress of being a single mother. “Thank you, Donnie. It was really sweet,” the actress acknowledged.
In one episode of the reality show “Donnie Loves Jenny,” McCarthy also opened up about how relieving it was to have her husband do “boy things” with Evan.
She shared that she told Evan she does not like to swim or dig holes, so she was happy Wahlberg takes him bike riding and does all the activities Evan enjoys with him.
On one occasion, Wahlberg shared a funny picture of him and a smiling Evan having dinner with a cutout of the singer Nelly. He wrote that his stepson wanted to be a special guest at the dinner table.
When Wahlberg appeared on “The Rachel Ray Show,” he spoke about the dynamic of his blended family. Now that his sons are much older— Xavier is 29, and Elijah is 21—they’ve started dating and they’ve been going to McCarthy for advice. Meanwhile, Evan comes to him whenever he’s dealing with bullying at school, which perfectly balances everything.
Host Rachel Ray could not stop talking about how adorable the couple was and brought out a cushion with their wedding picture printed on it. McCarthy gifted it to Wahlberg on their first Christmas as a married couple.
Wahlberg shared the story behind the sweet gift. He said he remembered receiving a big box for Christmas, which he thought would be something cooler like a TV, but judging from how light it felt; he could not figure out what it was.
When he opened the box, he found cushions with pictures of their children, their dogs, and family and friends. Now he has about 20 pillows in every corner of their house as special reminders of their beautiful family.
During his interview with Ray, he also shared what has kept his marriage strong for almost a decade. He reiterated that parents tend to lose focus on themselves and concentrate on work and the kids, but he advised them to put their marriage before their children and nurture it.
He jokingly made an example of doing something as simple as driving around the neighborhood to talk and kiss for the sake of spending quality time together. As much as work and children are important, Wahlberg explained that it is also crucial to still date each other, even as a married couple.
Wahlberg posted a birthday tribute on Evan’s 20th birthday and wished him the happiest day ever. Fans could not believe how grown the boy was since watching him grow up on their reality show.
The father of three loves to show love to his children; he tweeted, “I have two amazing sons. To be blessed with a third, in Evan, is a gift that I gotta thank heaven for.” On another one of Evan’s birthdays, Wahlberg called him his “ray of sunshine.”
When the 20-year-old graduated from high school, McCarthy was emotional about her son’s milestone, and Wahlberg could not have been more proud and excited for him to step into a new phase of his life. Naturally, Wahlberg did not forget to show his wife appreciation; he tweeted how much he loved McCarthy.
Besides being an amazing father, Wahlberg also has a successful music career. He broke into fame in the 1980s when he auditioned for music producer Maurice Starr.
Starr was impressed with Wahlberg’s talent and quickly made him one of the founding members of the music group New Kids on the Block.
The journey to the group’s success was rocky; the first album they released, “Be My Girl, ” was not played anywhere outside of Boston.
The second album, “Hangin’ Tough,” also took time to get noticed until one single, “Please Don’t Go, Girl,” started to receive more airplay. It moved from playing in Boston to nationally and ranked top 10 on the Billboard charts.
In 1995, Wahlberg parted ways with the band but rejoined when they rebranded to NKOTB in 2008. The new and reformed group continued to produce number-one hits and is still loved today.
Wahlberg, who’s also an actor in the film “Sixth Sense” and the TV show “Blue Bloods,” shared a video on his Instagram of his performances and how grateful he was to have NKOTB on stage. He revealed they would perform at NRG Stadium for Rodeo Huston on January 12, 2023.
Someone who is also following in Wahlberg’s footsteps is his “best stepson ever,” Evan. He recently shared the artwork of Evan’s first single, “It Doesn’t Matter,” and announced that it would be released on February 3, 2023.
McCarthy has been at the forefront of many autism foundations for several years. Over the years, many celebrities with autistic children have shared their challenging yet fulfilling journey of raising their kids, and the vulnerability of so many fathers moved Wahlberg.
At one of the events, McCarthy told a story of how she always asked the fathers to stand up at every function. She revealed that at the beginning of these meetings, almost no fathers attended, and with each year, the numbers increased exponentially.
McCarthy said this to lead to how she posed the question when her husband was in the audience and was surprised to see him sitting down. So, in front of a large audience, the actress put Wahlberg on the spot to explain his decision.
Wahlberg clarified that he did not want to dishonor his wife in any way, but after hearing how much work other fathers have put into their children’s well-being, he did not feel worthy to stand amongst them.
But he was also astonished at how accepting everyone was of him as a present stepfather. He was encouraged to stand up in the future as a representative and parent of an autistic child.