Inside RuPaul and Husband Georges LeBar’s Famously Private Love Story

RuPaul Relishes Being in Highest Point of His Career

For more than 30 years, RuPaul has been expanding the world of drag for others by being true to himself.

And if the performer born RuPaul Andre Charles has won 14 Emmys and countless hearts and minds in the process of building an empire, so be it. But while his vibe is fearless individuality, the 63-year-old RuPaul’s Drag Race creator hasn’t been dominating the runway of life alone.

“For the love of my life, Georges LeBar,” read the dedication in RuPaul’s 2024 memoir The House of Hidden Meanings. “Thank you for the love, laughter, sweetness and kindness to the love of his life. You are my favorite.”

And while it wasn’t exactly love at first sight, RuPaul really did see his future husband from across a crowded room.

As he detailed in his book, he was newly single and out dancing at Chelsea hotspot Limelight on Jan. 24, 1994, when he spotted a man who seemed to be a head taller than everyone else on the floor. No slouch at 6-foot-4 in bare feet, the then-33-year-old “Supermodel” performer was drawn to the guy’s goofy moves, describing him as “gorgeous and a little wild, with a thick unibrow and high cheekbones.”

So RuPaul headed in his direction.

The roughly 6-foot-8 gentleman in platform shoes turned out to be Georges “with an at the end,” from Perth, Australia. He was in New York studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology after attending art school in Paris. His father was American and, one day, Georges shared, he would inherit his family’s ranch in Wyoming. And he was celebrating his 21st birthday that very night.


RuPaul asked if he could put his arms around his shoulders, not used to hugging such a tall man. Georges agreed and literally swept him off his feet.

They ended the evening talking at Florent, a nearby restaurant, and exchanged numbers. The next day, RuPaul—having an extra business class ticket no longer going to his ex—invited Georges to accompany him to London, where he was cohosting the BRIT Awards with Elton John.

RuPaul wrote that he felt “immediately comfortable” with Georges and trusted him “instantaneously,” but also realized upon arrival that his “innocent, wide-eyed” date would be no help “either getting me into drag or working as security.”

Despite all that went right on the trip, which included a jaunt to Germany on Elton’s private jet, RuPaul told Georges when they got back to New York that he thought he was too young for him. But yes, they could still be friends.

Within just a few weeks, however, RuPaul realized that he’d met a genuinely good man, someone who wasn’t anything like the guys he’d spent his own twenties chasing.

“He adored me, he admired me, he respected me,” the artist wrote in his book. “Maybe I had never felt that before from any man.”

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After Georges graduated from FIT (RuPaul put together the music for his final runway show, a mash-up of Tina Turner‘s “Disco Inferno” and Dolly Parton‘s “Baby I’m Burnin'”) he got a job as a designer for J. Crew. But RuPaul—who was traveling all over as his star rose—admittedly wanted Georges free to go everywhere with him.

After a while, RuPaul wrote, he realized their arrangement had “diminished [Georges’] sense of personal purpose,” so he asked him to oversee the renovation of their condo in Miami.

Left to his own devices in Miami while RuPaul was traveling and living part-time in Los Angeles, Georges ended up needing to go to rehab for a meth addiction, according to to the book. RuPaul wrote that he wanted Georges to move to L.A. with him after he finished treatment, but Georges wanted to stay in Florida to focus on his sobriety.

So, RuPaul told him, they’d have to break up. They still talked every day, their split not destined to be permanent, but RuPaul chose this period of his life for The House of Hidden Meanings to end on.

“The book does end when the both of us get sober,” he explained on NPR’s Fresh Air in March. “It was a natural place for the book to end there because it was such a huge change that happened, a huge change that I really didn’t anticipate. But when it did happen, it made so much sense. We split up so that we could focus on our sobriety. And ultimately, after the book, we realize we love each other so much…I couldn’t shake him loose. I couldn’t. He couldn’t shake me loose.”

Now they’ve been together for decades, through triumphs and tragedy, in sickness and in health, for richer and…for even richer than that, RuPaul’s Drag Race having turned into a global franchise.

And Georges did inherit a 60,000-acre ranch in Wyoming, so the couple split their time between there and a palatial Beverly Hills mansion, where they share a color-coded primary closet separate from the also-fabulous space housing RuPaul’s meticulously organized drag wardrobe.

Santiago Felipe/FilmMagic

“He’s so kind and funny,” RuPaul told BuzzFeed in 2015 of his longtime partner, same-sex marriage still a few weeks away from becoming legally recognized all over the U.S. when the article was published June 2. “I remember praying, ‘I want a sweet, sensitive man,’ and I got an Australian who’s just lovely.” 

And while the whole “you better work” thing applies to their relationship as much as anyone’s, the couple have tailored their coupledom to suit their needs.

“I don’t stand on ceremony, I never want to conform to anything,” RuPaul said, shrugging off a question about whether he and Georges planned to marry. “We looked into it if we could get a tax break and stuff.”

But the question, Rupaul added, was never, “Is he devoted to me? Am I devoted to him? Oh, hell yes. I never want to be like everybody else.”

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Time

Less than two years later, on the 23rd anniversary of when they met, RuPaul and Georges quietly tied the knot. Because love. And also, because taxes.

“We never wanted to do it,” RuPaul admitted to Hollywood Today Live in March 2017, revealing he was a married man. “We were looking into it really for tax breaks and financial [reasons].”

The newlywed followed up on what was then Twitter a bit later, writing, “Thank you all for the love & kindness. ‘I cry not for myself, but for those who never felt the joy we felt’~The Supremes ‘I Hear A Symphony.'” 

And they’ve kept standin’ close to each other, though Georges doesn’t care about show business at all, according to his husband. Still, the artist and designer turned rancher isn’t entirely off the radar, attending the Met Gala and the Emmys in 2019 and joining his spouse at RuPaul’s DragCon in 2022.

But overall, the fiercely private RuPaul has been content keeping his personal life largely out of the public eye.

“Some people in show business parade their relationships around like an accessory and others like to keep it separate from business and commerce,” he told the Canadian Press in 2016. “It’s perfectly fine to say, ‘I actually don’t want to talk about my love because that’s not part of the fantasy world I created in commerce.'”

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

In the meantime, he and Georges have had a ball traveling (they’re sightseeing-by-helicopter fans) and doing other non-showbiz-related activities.

So, knowing RuPaul has been happily ensconced with the love of his life for years, the fact that they have an open marriage may come as a shock.

Which isn’t an arrangement they decided on, per se. “The hoax is that monogamy is something that can actually happen,” RuPaul told Vanity Fair in 2019. “I wouldn’t want to put restraints on the person I love the most on this planet. I wouldn’t do that to someone I love, my very best friend.”

Meaning, “if you get something happening that you cannot resist and that’s going to make you happy, go for it,” he explained. “Because the truth is, I know, in my heart of hearts, like I’ve never known anything before, that man loves me more than anything else in this world.”

And it certainly hasn’t made them any less committed to each other. When RuPaul was talking to the New Yorker ahead of the March release of his book, Georges reportedly FaceTimed him from a hospital bed, where he was recovering from a minor medical procedure. “I love you,” RuPaul said before signing off. 

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Not to mention, at the time they were in the process of building a fortified compound on their property in Wyoming. “Humans on this planet are in the cycle of destruction,” RuPaul explained. “I am plotting a safety net.”

He “wouldn’t call it a bunker,” he added. “But it is designed to withstand calamity.”

To put it mildly, that sounds like a plan for two people planning to stick together, come hell or high water.

“He’s my favorite person,” RuPaul told NPR, explaining why the ending of his book was nowhere near the end of his and Georges’ story. “I’ve met so many people on this planet. I like him the most. I like him the most of anybody I’ve ever met.”

Speaking of couples who make it work, read on for more secrets of the longest-lasting duos in Hollywood:


Freddie Prinze Jr. & Sarah Michelle Gellar

We know what they’ve been doing since they moved in together. 

“Separate bathrooms,” Gellar revealed the importance of a little distance on Today. “I feel like there are certain things that should just be kept your own and they never need to know. Also, maybe, possibly, a separate shopping credit card or if you are a guy, maybe a separate gaming card so I don’t have to see how much video games cost.”

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Rita Wilson & Tom Hanks

“We learned the secret of happiness with each other a long time ago and that’s always telling the truth,” Hanks, married to Wilson since 1988, said in March 2017

But of course everyone wants to pick the two-time Oscar winner’s brain about marriage, the two of them considered a gold-standard couple in a business where romantic relationships tend to have a much shorter shelf life. 

“We give each other a natural sense of support for whatever the other wants to pursue,” he said in 2016. “Our marriage doesn’t require vast work. We have been married 28 years and dig each other a lot.” That’s their running theme. “We just like each other. You start there,” Hanks also said in 2015. (And we’ll bet various versions of that old chestnut have popped up many times over the years.)

The outpouring of concern when they became the most famous people in the world to test positive for COVID-19 in March 2020, ushering them into isolation in Australia while they recovered, further cemented their status as Mr. and Mrs. National Treasure.

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Bono & Ali Hewson

The U2 frontman had his first date with his future wife in Dublin in 1976 when they were just a couple of teenagers and they ultimately tied the knot in 1982. Fully aware of how rock stardom has taken its toll on countless marriages over the years, Bono told Entertainment Tonight in 2016, “We feel the red carpet has kept us close. If things are going around, we say, ‘Let’s do the red carpet, certainly.'”

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David & Victoria Beckham

The oft-serious-looking Victoria, married to the model and now retired soccer star since 1999, told Vogue Netherlands in 2017, “We have a lot of fun together. If I really was as miserable as I look in some of those paparazzi pictures, my children wouldn’t be as happy as they are. And I certainly wouldn’t be married any more.”

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Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally

Asked if they had any advice for other married couples, or for couples just starting out, Mullally told GQ, “‘F–k’ seems like it’s key. We have a two-week rule. We’re never apart for more two weeks. Just not being separated for Jurassic periods of time seems to help. And no children probably helps a lot.”

“Well, we’re two humans trying to get along, just like any relationship, so I’d say I get a lot of mileage out of shutting my trap and listening,” Offerman, ever the philosopher, said on Today about making it work with his wife of 14 years. “Compromise always leads to more kissing much quicker than obstinacy does.”

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Ben Falcone & Melissa McCarthy

Eleven years married, maybe, and about 16-ish years that they’d been together when they sat down with Ellen DeGeneres in March 2017, McCarthy said, “I think what should not be making me laugh maybe makes me laugh—there are certain very weird things.”

Such as Falcone’s hypochondria! “We may have seven or eight blood-pressure cuffs in our home,” McCarthy revealed.

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Matthew Broderick & Sarah Jessica Parker

“Keep talking I guess, I know how cliché that is. Too much silence is definitely not a good idea,” Broderick, who’s been married to Parker since 1997,  offered in 2014.

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Candace Cameron Bure & Valeri Bure

The Fuller House star doesn’t mind if some of the things her Russian-born husband says get by her.

“It’s probably good when your spouse speaks a language that you don’t know,” Cameron Bure told E! News exclusively in a recent interview. ‘”Cause when they get really mad, he’ll just speak in Russian and I don’t know what he’s saying—so I can’t ever be offended.”

The actress and mother of three also told us that she and Bure, married in 1996, make a point of taking a vacation every year without the kids, “at least for a weekend, because the time alone together is far and few.”

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Catherine Zeta-Jones & Michael Douglas

“Being kind, being nice, having your listening ears,” Zeta-Jones told Extra about the key to her marriage of 17 years having survived the usual ups and downs, plus health scares and a brief separation.

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Faith Hill & Tim McGraw

“Just saying, ‘yes, ma’am’ a lot,” McGraw joked in April 2017 about the key to their success. Married since October 1996, the first couple of country can’t get enough of each other.

“Well, she tolerates a lot, I think that’s probably the main reason,” he added on Today in November. But getting down to brass tacks, he said, “First and foremost you should be able to argue and you should be able to have discussions or yelling matches or whatever.”

“Yeah, those are fun sometimes,” Hill admitted. “I know how to press this guy’s buttons.

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Jada Pinkett Smith & Will Smith

“I think the secret is just friendship,” Pinkett Smith, poised to celebrate 20 years of admittedly unconventional matrimony with Smith on Dec. 31, 2017, said in July. “You have to go off and find your happiness. The hardest thing to do is being married.”

Though Smith at first chalked it up to “just not quitting” at the end of the day in 2015, he offered similar insight about the importance of taking his own path. Rather than work expressly on their relationship, the actor said, “We only ever worked on ourselves individually, and then presented ourselves to one another better than we were previously.”

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Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman

It can’t all just be the way he looks at her, right?

Well, almost. “Just love. Just love each other, lavish each other with love,” Kidman, who married Urban in 2006, gushed in 2016. “Also we just happen to like each other too. That works.”

But also, “We always consider the ‘us.’ We say, ‘Is this going to be good for us?’ It’s the simplest phrase, but it works.” Moreover, “I have an incredible husband who is so willing to get on planes and fly places, even if it’s for a night.”

They also never email and limit their texting to sexting. “Phone calls only,” Urban said on Ellen in 2013. “Which I really love…Maybe one text. Maybe one cool kind of, you know…that kind of text.”

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Annette Bening & Warren Beatty

Of course what would seemingly be the most complicated-sounding mission—how did Bening get Hollywood’s most infamous bachelor to settle down in 1992?—has one of the simplest answers.

In December 2016, Bening chalked what is now their 25-year marriage up to “respect.”

“I like respect,” she said on Today. “But also I think in some ways we’re very different, some ways we’re alike. But the differences, I think, help us and there’s some fire there.”

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for 2016 Tribeca Film Festival

Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos

“The phrase ‘this too shall pass’ is such an important phrase when you’re in your early wedding years. Every argument, every disagreement, seems like the end of the universe and it really isn’t,” Ripa, who’s always sharing her funnier marital anecdotes on Live, told AOL.com with utmost seriousness in 2015.

And, of course, as she told Andy Cohen in 2014, “We just like each other a lot. I love my husband. I think he’s awesome. We’ve been together a really long time. We try to do spicy things together all the time.”

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Hugh Jackman & Deborra-Lee Furness

“Meditation!” the couple, married since 1996, simultaneously told People.

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Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell

Partners for going on 35 years, they’re considered married in our starry eyes. 

“Love, gratitude, compassion, because sometimes every man or every woman will drive their partner crazy. Family. Fun. Laughs. Sex,” Hawn provided her laundry list to People in March 2017. “If you don’t nurture that, and remember, you’re done.”

Not getting married also helped, as far as Hawn is concerned.

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Jamie Lee Curtis & Christopher Guest

“Don’t get divorced,” the actress, who’s been married since 1984 to the mockumentary master, cracked on Today in 2015. “It’s a fascinating thing. I could write a book on marriage called Don’t Leave.”

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Kyra Sedgwick & Kevin Bacon

“I’m going to embarrass my kids—sex is important,” Sedgwick, married to Bacon since 1988, told Redbook in 2012. “Sex is really important. That desire is there.”

Bacon, talking to Entertainment Tonight in 2015, gets the last word on the subject, though.

“Whatever you do,” the actor said, “don’t listen to celebrities on advice on how to stay married. That’s my secret.” 

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