Heather Locklear recently stopped at a Los Angeles gas station wearing a huge diamond ring and a face mask that read: “I’m smiling.” The former Melrose Place star has a lot of reasons to be happy these days. 

In addition to marking one year of sobriety this spring, Heather, 58, is celebrating her engagement to Chris Heisser, also 58, a former motocross racer and her “favorite person on Earth,” whom she first dated in high school. “In 2017, they reconnected through mutual old friends and the spark was still there,” a pal tells Closer magazine, on newsstands now, about the 1979 graduates of California’s Newbury Park High School in Ventura County.  

Unfortunately, Heather, who has been married twice before to musicians Tommy Lee and Richie Sambora, hit a few bumps on the way to her fresh start. Last year, the actress spent a month in a court-ordered rehab after police were called to her home following a domestic dispute. Chris, who had visible bruises, declined to press charges, but Heather faced eight misdemeanor counts of battery for resisting arrest. She pleaded no contest and agreed to inpatient treatment. 

TNT and TBS 2013 Upfront, New York, USA - 15 May 2013
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

“Chris was her rock in rehab” says the friend. “They spoke daily and he sent her letters professing his love.” Heather likes that Chris, who makes a living as a contractor, isn’t famous. 

“He has inspired her to be more down-to-earth,” explains the friend. “She used to wake up at noon and have a cocktail for lunch. Now she gets up early, works out and meditates. She has started cooking again and is really enjoying cleaning her own home. It’s the simple things that are grounding her.”

To celebrate how far she’s come, Heather recently posted an inspirational quote by Maya Angelou. “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on,” it read in part. “It will be better tomorrow.”

For this story and more, pick up the new issue of Closer magazine, on newsstands now!