Houston Astors pitcher Justin Verlander is engaged to supermodel Kate Upton. Verlander is pitching for the Astros in the ALCS against the New York Yankees, likely with Upton in the stands rooting for him. Verlander is nine years older than Upton.
The 34-year-old Verlander made his MLB debut in 2005 and spent most of his career with the Detroit Tigers. In fact, he was only traded to the Astros last month after 13 years with the Tigers. During that time, he won the AL MVP award and AL Cy Young in 2011, pitched two no-hitters and appeared in two World Series. He is still looking for that elusive World Series win though.
As for the 25-year-old Upton, she shot to fame thanks to her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition magazine. She was named their 2011 rookie of the year, then appeared on the cover of the 2012, 2013 and 2017 issues. She’s gone on to appear on other magazine covers and has begun to take movie roles. She is represented by The Lions Model Management.
Here’s a look at how they met, their wedding plans and their relationship.
1. Verlander & Upton Met During the Making of a 2012 Video Game Commerical
Verlander and Upton were dating for three years before they became engaged in May 2016. There were rumors that they started dating in July 2012, but they were seen together on vacation in St. Thomas in January 2013, E! News notes.
The relationship broke up a few months later, and Upton started dating Dancing With The Stars dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. That relationship only lasted until December 2013. A month later, Verlander and Upton were seen at a Philadelphia Flyers game together. They’ve been a couple ever since.
In February 2015, Verlander posted a throwback photo of the day he met Upton. The picture also shows them with David Price (then still with the Tampa Bay Rays) and Jay Bruce (then still with the Cincinnati Reds) during a commercial shoot.
That commercial was for the MLB 2k12 video game.
2. They’ve Been Engaged Since May 2016, When Upton Showed off Her Ring at the Met Gala
Upton and Verlander have been engaged since at least May 2016. She made it official publicly by showing off the huge engagement ring Verlander gave her at the 2016 Met Gala.
“I’m really excited, he asked me right before season started so we’ve been keeping it on the down low for quite a while,” she told E! News. “So I’m excited to finally be able to share it with the world!”
At the time, Upton said they were in no rush to get married. “We are enjoying the engagement period,” she said.
They must be enjoying that time because they still haven’t married. While on Access Hollywood in August, Upton said they are “delaying everything” because the wedding planning process is so difficult.
“Well, I would say that I am delaying everything about weddings,” she said. “The planning process is really difficult and … all of my friends, I’m like so sick of answering their questions. They’re like ‘Oh can I have this? Can I have that? Oh can I bring this plus one?’ I’m like no! You just met her!”
3. Upton Says They Don’t Have Sex Before a Game: ‘Absolutely None’
When Upton was on E!’s Watch What Happens Live in February, a caller asked if there were any special bedroom rules for nights before Verlander makes a start. It turns out there is one special rule: no sex.
“There’s no sex before a game. Absolutely none,” Upton said. “And then, also what I just found out is, if he plays too well, there’s no sex after, either. He’s exhausted. Kind of a buzzkill for me.”
Upton also addressed her infamous tweets from November 2016, when Verlander lost the AL Cy Young to Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello.
“Hey @MLB I thought I was the only person allowed to fuck @JustinVerlander ?! What 2 writers didn’t have him on their ballot?” Upton wrote. “He had the majority of 1st place votes and 2 writers didn’t have him on their ballots?!! can you pick more out of touch people to vote?@MLB… Sorry Rick but you didn’t get any 1st place votes? you didn’t win. #ByeFelicia @MLB keep up with the times and fire those writers.”
Upton said on Watch What Happens Live that her future husband loved the tweets.
“I think his first reaction was a little bit surprised that I had already sent it, but overall he loved it,” she said.
4. Nude Photos of Verlander & Upton Leaked During the ‘Fappening’ in 2014
Verlander and Upton were caught up in the infamous “Fappening,” when thousands of celebrity nude images were leaked by a hacker who obtained access to Apple iCloud accounts. Ryan Collins was sentences to 18 months in prison for his role in the leaks. Edward Majerczyk got nine months in prison for his part.
Photos of Verlander and Upton nude together and photos of Upton by herself were leaked as part of the incident. In a 2014 interview with USA Today, Verlander refused to talk about it.
“I’m not going to comment on my personal life. I never have, and I never plan on it. I keep my personal life personal,” the pitcher said. “The focus for me is on the Detroit Tigers. I don’t want to take any focus away from this team and what we’re trying to accomplish. We’re in the middle of a pennant race. We’re trying to win a pennant. And all of my focus currently is on doing whatever I can to help our team win our division.”
When asked if he could “block out” the incident and keep focused on baseball, he replied, “You can use my quote that I said no comment, my personal life is my personal life and I’m focused on baseball.”
Upton didn’t talk about it publicly until an interview with the London Evening Standard in April 2015.
“It was very difficult,” she said. “It’s an invasion of my privacy and it’s not OK. It’s illegal. People don’t have a right to look at those photos or to judge them.”
5. Verlander & Upton Spent $5.25 Million on a Los Angeles Estate Once Owned by Kenny G
During the offseason, Verlander and Upton live together at their mansion in Beverly Crest, Los Angeles. TMZ reported in December 2016 that they bought the estate, which covers 5,000 square feet, has five bedrooms and six bathrooms. There’s a hot tub, pool koi ponds, a part area and a tennis court. They closed on the home in October 2016.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the couple spent $5.25 million on the estate, which was previously owned by saxophonist Kenny G, tennis great Pete Sampras, Man of Steel producer Jon Peters and Charlie’s Angels actress Kate Jackson.
The estate was built in 1976 and also features a recently renovated kitchen. It was listed for $6.795 million in 2015.
Upton was on the Forbes 2014 Celebrity 100 list and has an estimated net worth of $20 million, Celebrity Net Worth estimates. Verlander has an estimated net worth of $80 million and is signed to earn $28 million a year through 2019.