They have one of the entertainment industry’s longest-running relationships, and it was clear their romance is as passionate as ever when Goldie Hawn, 71, and Kurt Russell, 66, received their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame together earlier this year. “Simply put, Goldie, I cherish you. All of the stars in the sky or on the boulevard don’t hold a candle to that,” Kurt gushed, adding that there’s no one in the world he’d rather be next to than his partner of 34 years. Clearly wowed by his words, a smitten Goldie quipped to the crowd, “Did we just get married?”
The joke everyone was in on, of course, is that Goldie and Kurt have purposely avoided walking down the aisle, crediting that decision for the secret to their success. “I would have been long divorced if I ever married Kurt,” Goldie has admitted, noting that her independence is essential to her. “I wake up each morning and I really can make a choice. I don’t feel trapped. I can choose to love him or not. I can choose to be there or not. And I like that.” Though Goldie and Kurt are now having the last laugh — proving their staying power to anyone who’s ever doubted their commitment — there was a time when Goldie did make the decision to leave and found herself suddenly alone.
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“Their open relationship got complicated,” an insider told Closer about a couple of indiscretions and some public humiliation that rocked the stability of their blended family. “It led to a separation, which was a real gamechanger in the relationship. The day she left Kurt was their greatest test.” Having already said “I do” twice — to actor-director Gus Trikonis in 1969 and actor-musician Bill Hudson in 1976 — Goldie decided to just say no to another legal commitment. “When I think about my life and my marriages, they didn’t end up all that great,” she has said. “Vows are made. Vows are broken. Promises are made; promises are broken. What does a piece of paper have to do with it for me?”
That’s the mindset she was in when she fell hard for Kurt in 1983 on the set of Swing Shift. “What really got me was when I watched my kids when they’d come to the set and how he was with them,” noted Goldie, who at that time had son Oliver Hudson, 41, and daughter Kate Hudson, 38, from her second marriage. “He was such a natural,” she added of Kurt, who had son Boston Russell, 37, with actress Season Hubley, his wife from 1979 to 1983.
The two quickly fell into a relationship — but one on their own unconventional terms. “Our kids were together. We had a ball,” she recalled. “I thought, ‘There’s no reason for a ceremony.’” Instead, the two forged their own path (having son Wyatt Russell, 31, in 1986), and it’s allowed them both a lot of freedom, which they cherish. “They give each other loads of space. They chose this open relationship philosophy back when they first met,” the insider revealed, “but things got complicated.”
The couple’s respective statuses as sex symbols made their unique arrangement sometimes tricky to navigate. “Monogamy is a very tough order. We’re human beings,” Goldie has confessed. “There is, I guess, an elasticity to the relationship. Otherwise, it’s going to break, just like a rubber band.” A big snap came, in fact, in 2000, when Kurt was photographed leaving a massage parlor with a less-than-honorable reputation. Photos soon appeared in the tabloids. “Goldie’s ego was crushed,” the insider said. “She was furious and devastated. It didn’t break them apart, but Goldie never forgot that incident.”
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The couple “were having trouble communicating,” according to the insider, when Goldie took a solo trip in 2004 to India and spent some time with her friend Imran Khan, a former cricket player turned politician. “He has a reputation as a kind of lothario,” Christopher Sandford, author of Imran Khan: The Cricketer, The Celebrity, The Politician, told Closer. “He has quite a lively amorous life.” Though Imran, 65, denies any improper dalliance, Kurt was livid over Goldie’s reported intimate association with the politician during her weeklong visit. “Kurt was in a mood, yelling at his co-stars” at that time, the insider revealed. “They were both acting out a little, and he was on a jealousy kick that hadn’t really shown itself. They called an adult time-out to get some space so tempers could cool.”
When Kurt expressed he didn’t want to see her for a while, Goldie left. “She was really worried, and she headed to their house in Malibu,” the insider shared, “while Kurt stayed at their home in Pacific Palisades, CA. It was rough, but ultimately they were in it for the long haul. And their children were a big part of that decision. They weren’t about to tear up their family.” The smoke soon cleared and after two weeks Goldie returned to the man she fell in love with 21 years earlier. “It doesn’t take much for them to kiss and make up,” the insider insisted, “and their bond became stronger” after that turbulent split.
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“They move forward and don’t dwell in the past. They forgive themselves — and each other — for their failings, and they preach to their kids to be forgiving, too.” Their relationship requires constant work. “He’s such a joy,” Goldie raved of Kurt, though she added the caveat that he can be “a pain in the rearend sometimes.” And because “every man or woman will drive their partner crazy,” she said, it’s important to focus on the positives. “Love, gratitude, compassion. Fun. Laughs. Sex. If you don’t nurture that, you’re done.”
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