Tulsi Gabbard was married once before her current husband, Abraham Williams. Her first husband was Eduardo Tamayo. Sadly, her long deployment to Iraq was ultimately too much for her first marriage, but she and Tamayo remained friends after the divorce. She’s been happily married to Williams since 2015. Read on to learn more about her first husband and Gabbard’s comments about what happened.
1. Tulsi Gabbard and Eduardo Tamayo Were Married in 2002 in a Small Wedding Before the Justice of the Peace
Gabbard and Tamayo were married in 2002 and divorced about four years later on June 5, 2006. An article in the India Herald noted that she and Tamayo were married before a justice of the peace when she was 21, with a few family members present. “I was more into martial arts than Barbie dolls, so it never crossed my mind to think about what kind of wedding I wanted to have,” she said about her first wedding.
2. Gabbard & Tamayo Were Childhood Sweethearts, But Her Two-Year Deployment to Iraq Strained Their Marriage
She told Vogue in 2013 that she and Tamayo had been childhood sweethearts. She referred to their marriage as “young love” and said they surfed together and were best friends. “His family was like my family,” she said.
In a personal note posted online, Gabbard told her community that she and Tamayo had divorced shortly after she returned from an 18-month-long deployment in Iraq. She had served two tours of combat duty with the 29th Brigade.
She said the deployment was very hard on her husband. She wrote:
Sadly, Eddie and I became another statistic, another sad story, illustrating the stresses war places on military spouses and families.
3. Tamayo Was Self-Employed While They Were Married & Has an Uncle in the Philippines
Not much is known about Tamayo, as he stayed out of the spotlight during his marriage to Gabbard and remains out of the spotlight to this day. The only mention of his career can be found on an old article from 2004 by the Honolulu Advertiser, which lists Eduardo as self-employed.
An article in The New Yorker mentions that he has an uncle in the Philippines named Toby Tamayo. Toby Tamayo is an employee of a group that helped run a school affiliated with Chris Butler, a yoga guru who leads an offshoot of Hare Krishna. If you search Gabbard’s husband online, you may see conversations mentioning that Eduardo’s grandfather may have been Philippine Gen. Antonio Tamayo, a World War II veteran who survived the horrific Bataan Death March. Heavy has not yet been able to confirm if this is true, however. An article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer does confirm that a Toby Tamayo’s father was indeed Gen. Antonio Tamayo. It’s not confirmed, however, if this Toby is Eduardo’s uncle Toby. If true, that would have given Gabbard another veteran to look up to when she began her military service. We will update this story when we have more details. What we do know, according to Gabbard, is that she and Eduardo and his family parted on positive terms.
4. In 2011, Gabbard Said She Was Resuming Using Her Maiden Name & Paid the Cost of Reprinting Brochures & Business Cards
Tulsi Gabbard went by Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo while she was married and for a few years after they divorced. She was known in political circles by her married name, so when she returned to her maiden name, she made a personal note about it online.
In her 2011 note, she wrote in part: “I had kept the Tamayo name in the hopes that we might still have a future together. However, recently I’ve come to fully realize that that’s not going to happen. Eddie and I are still friends, and I’m grateful the Tamayo family continues to welcome me as one of their own.”
She ended by offering to personally pay for any costs the City Council would have in reprinting brochures or business cards with her maiden name.
5. Gabbard’s Now Happily Married to Abraham Williams
Tulsi Gabbard is now happily married to Abraham Williams. They had a Vedic wedding ceremony, traditional to their Hindu faith. She told the India Herald , “We try to live our lives in service to others and God in a way that has a positive impact on others around us.”
She and Williams were married in 2015 in an outdoor ceremony as the sun set on Oahu, People reported. The ceremony was spiritual, and Gabbard wore a Lacha-style traditional Indian wedding dress. The dress had a blue silk jacket and gold skirt. About 300 people attended and a Brahmin priest officiated.