At the time, Roberts and Sutherland were one of Hollywood's power couples. So when the news broke that the grandest wedding of 1991 was cancelled, people were surprised.
Many would know that Julia Roberts played the role of the indecisive woman in the iconic movie Runaway Bride. But what they might not know is that she had donned the same role in her real life at some point. The actress once called off her wedding a mere three days before she was to tie the knot and before anyone knew it, she followed her heart and went on a romantic adventure with her the person she loved—her fiance's friend. Clearly, she believed that at the time, a marriage wasn't meant the right thing for her to do. So what exactly happened?
In 1991, Roberts was set to exchange vows with her Flatliners co-star Kiefer Sutherland in an extravagant wedding with 150 guests. And it was meant to be a grand affair with pomp and pizazz. According to People, "It was going to be the fantasy wedding of the decade. The four bridesmaids—makeup artist Lucienne Zammit, Julia’s agents, Elaine Goldsmith and Risa Shapiro, and actress Deborah Porter—had already picked up their $425 Manolo Blahnik shoes, dyed seafoam green to match the dresses." It also mentioned that the actress's wedding gown was a whopping $8,000.
However, all the glam and months of planning came to a halt as she didn't go through with the wedding and broke it off just a couple of days before the big day, leaving Sutherland alone. To add more drama to the fray, the Designated Survivor star moved out of Roberts' home the day of the ceremony. As for the Pretty Woman actress, she spent her wedding day with her fiancé’s friend, Jason Patric. As per People, Patric was invited to the wedding but was later uninvited. "Julia and Kiefer had a big fight over that," stated a source.
After skipping out on her ceremony, the actress was seen enjoying a turkey burger with Patric before the two then flew to Ireland, according to Yahoo. Staying at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, Roberts was seen without her engagement ring. “The engagement ring was off her finger,” stated a hotel staff, according to People. But that wasn't all. “She looked very drawn. She had lost a lot of weight. Her hair was a pale orange, like a dye job gone wrong," they added. Unfortunately for reporters who were trying to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood stars, the two of them had already slipped away to the countryside. Before long, Roberts and Patric announced their relationship.
This did come as a surprise to people as no one expected the actress to break things off with Sutherland, given how in love they looked. People Magazine even called them "Hollywood’s reigning couple." Roberts had even acknowledged her love for him to the world and while receiving the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for Steel Magnolias, the actress thanked her "best friend — my beautiful blue-eyed, green-eyed best friend, who gives me everything,” referring to Sutherland, according to Yahoo. What went wrong then?
Many may be unaware of how trouble happened in paradise for this couple; some speculate that it had something to do with Sutherland moving out of Robert's mansion into a hotel. Though he claimed he wanted time alone to research for his new role, his 24-year-old go-go dancer named Amanda Rice who accompanied him only raised questions. A few weeks later, the 24 TV show star moved back in with Roberts but before they knew it, news of his time with Rice was spreading through the media. It turns out the dancer had sold the story to a tabloid, adding that the film Pretty Woman had converted the actress into an ice princess. Despite this, Sutherland denied all the allegations and firmly stated that he did not have a romantic relationship with Rice.
After years went by, the actor said that he was upset about the fact that Patric didn't bother to tell him that he had fallen in love with his fiance. “We were friends, and I’m surprised that I never got a call from him saying I’ve fallen in love with da-da-da. Instead, I found out from a stranger," he said to Rolling Stone Magazine. But he did thank Roberts for realizing how absurd it was that they were going to do something they didn't want. “I commend Julia for seeing how young and silly we were, even at the last minute, even as painful and as difficult as it was. Thank God she saw it...I think she had courage. It wasn't what she wanted to do in the end. And i think it took a lot of courage, in amongst all of that other stuff, to be able to say, I can't do this," he said, according to Hello Magazine.
Though this drama became big news, Roberts eventually found true love with her husband, Danny Moder.