Salma Hayek is swatting down any suggestion that she married her husband, billionaire luxury goods magnate Francois-Henri Pinault, because of his incredible wealth.
The 54-year-old actress and Pinault, the 58-year-old CEO of Kering luxury group, which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, have been married in since 2009. The couple also have a 13-year-old daughter, Valentina.
Hayek addressed speculation regarding her relationship on a recent episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. According to Yahoo News, Shepherd admitted that before meeting Pinault, he questioned whether Hayak’s marriage was financially motivated.
“I was like, oh, OK, she married a rich guy, maybe that’s why she married him, I don’t know,” the actor recalled once thinking. “I meet him and I’m like, this guy is so foxy — oh my God, the confidence, his eyes, he’s so good-looking and charming and I was like, oh, this motherfucker could’ve been broke. He’s a bombshell.”
Hayek heralded her husband as “the best” and launched into an impassioned defense of her man.
“You know the thing is that in pictures, you cannot begin to guess the magic in him,” she said. “He’s made me become a much better person, and grow in such a good, healthy way.”
“And you know when I married him, everybody said, ‘Oh, it’s an arranged marriage, she married him for the money. I’m like, ‘yeah, whatever, bitch.’ Think what you want: 15 years together, and we are strong in love.”
Hayek added that she’s “offended” by such speculation. Podcast co-host and actor Monica Padman sided with Hayek, pointing out that she’s massively successful in her own right and that Pinault is subject to “discrimination” because of his economic status.
“We’re touching on a very interesting conversation,” Hayek responded. “There is a discrimination also to rich men. Immediately you think because somebody’s rich, [they] might not be a good person.
“Might be somebody materialistic, might be somebody that doesn’t have values, might be somebody that is even stupid or that doesn’t deserve it. In order to have a lot of money, you did it the wrong way, there is all this preconception.”
Hayek said she was wary of her husband’s success when she first met him.
“And I had that by the way. It was the last thing I wanted — it was not my type at all. And I came in with the preconceptions and he [melted] them all away,” she said of Pinault.
Hayek further elaborated on the issue, saying that Pinault doesn’t fit the stereotype of being “controlling” or a “workaholic” whose primary concern is money.
“My guy finishes work, no matter how hard it was — and trust me he has a lot of responsibilities — [with a] big smile on his face, happy to be home, happy to see me and the kids, make us laugh,” Hayek said.
“When we go on vacation he completely shuts off, he’s in the moment,” she continued. “And so it’s not just an insult to me — I’m not the one being judged only. ‘Oh, she’s an actor, she’s going for the money.’ They cannot begin to imagine what a joy that human being is.”
Hayek posited that people make these types of assumptions because it “gives us comfort to have these archetypes.”
“Putting things into boxes — I don’t like that,” Hayek said. “I’m a rebel.”