Inside Anna Wintour's long friendship with Bill Nighy

Fashion shows, theatre trips and intimate dinners WITHOUT her sunglasses: Inside Anna Wintour’s long friendship with Bill Nighy as the pair ‘confirm’ romance at the Met Gala

  • The US Vogue editor and the beloved Brit actor have been friends since 2010
  • READ MORE: Bill’s in Vogue! Anna Wintour arrives arm-in-arm with beau Bill Nighy as she confirms their romance at the 2023 Met Gala

As Anna Wintour and beloved British actor Bill Nighy arrived arm-in-arm at the Met Gala, they appeared to confirm a romance that has been rumoured for years – days after the US Vogue editor dodged questions about their relationship.

The pair, both 73, who have enjoyed a decades-long friendship, sparked dating rumours once again in 2021 following Wintour’s split from her husband of 20 years, Shelby Bryan in 2020. At the time her second marriage ended, it was reported that the editor had dumped her Texan husband because she had ‘grown bored’ with him.

By August 2021, rumours began to swirl that Wintour had found a new flame in her long-time friend Nighy after the pair were spotted having dinner together in Rome. Nighy himself has not gone public with a relationship since his split from his long-term partner Diana Quick in 2008, with whom he shares a daughter, Mary.

In 2018 Nighy even addressed the speculation that had mounted for nearly a decade, but appeared to brush it off when he said: ‘There are a lot of rumors about me and probably about Anna.’

And in an interview last year, he refused to be drawn on what he described as ‘something very close to gossip’. 

US Vogue editor Anna Wintour and British actor Bill Nighy, both 73, appeared to confirm their long-rumoured romance when they arrived at the Met Gala 2023 in New York last night

Wintour’s first marriage was to David Shaffer in 1984, who was 10 years her senior. They had two children, Charles and Bee, but by 1999 the couple were divorced and Anna began dating Shelby Bryan. 

The Vogue editor appeared to befriend Nighy around 13 years ago when they began to attend fashion weeks together – something they have done several times throughout their friendship.

In 2010 the pair looked close as they sat next to each other at the Nicole Farhi Spring/Summer show at London Fashion Week.

A photo from the event captured the pals sitting very close together as Wintour leaned behind to chat to someone in the second row. They were both smiling as they watched the catwalk show.

However at this stage, there was no indication the pair were any more than just friends – and indeed two years later they were joined in the front row at LFW by Nighy’s then ex, Diana Quick.

In January 2020, the pair put on a cosy display at the Paul Smith 50th anniversary show at Paris Fashion Week

One of Wintour and Nighy’s earliest public outings together was in 2010 at the Nicole Farhi 2011 Spring/Summer show at London Fashion Week

The trio looked pally as they sat together to watch another Nicole Farhi show at the Royal Courts of Justice in 2012.

As well as fashion shows, the pair also enjoy a mutual love of theatre – and in 2018 were spotted together in London as they watched ‘The Jungle’, a play about the refugee crisis in Calais, Page Six reported.

While Wintour and Nighy have often made public appearances together, it is perhaps their intimate dinners which have caused more speculation that they might be more than just friends.

In 2020, Page Six reported the couple had dined together at Sant Ambroeus on Madison Avenue in New York – and Wintour had even been spotted without her trademark shades.

A source told the magazine that Wintour looked ‘happier than I have ever seen her’.

They added: ‘Anna was beaming the whole time. She looked happy and in very good company. She was beautifully made-up and she was smiling so much — she had her sunglasses off the entire time!’

Wintour, Nighy and Nighy’s ex Diana Quick, from whom he had separated in 2008, looked pally together at a Nicole Farhi show in London Fashion Week, 2012

Nighy and Quick (pictured in 2012) had been together from 1982 until 2008 and share a daughter, Mary. The pair have always remained friends

Anna Wintour was with Shelby Bryan for 20 years and the pair were married for 16 years, following her split from her first husband David Shaffer

The dinner date came just days after the pair put on a cosy display at the Paul Smith Autumn/Winter 50th anniversary show at Paris Fashion Week.

As they sat in the front row, Nighy looked sharp in a navy suit and his thick-framed glasses, While Wintour kept her eyes covered with sunglasses and wore a metallic coat with a fur hood.

In one photo, Nighy put his hand on Wintour’s arm as they appeared to inch closer together. 

When the Covid lockdowns put a stop to dining out altogether, Nighy and Wintour were not spotted together for a little while, until August 2021 when they enjoyed dinner ar Pierluigi in Rome.

At the time, tongues wagged over reports Nighy had been spotted buying red roses for his dinner date ahead of meeting her. 

Just days before the pair appeared arm-in-arm at the Met Gala, Wintour dodged questions about the nature of their relationship during an interview with The Telegraph.

When asked about Nighy and speculation, she said: ‘I’m very ingrained in the British papers.

‘My dad was a Fleet Street editor, my brother [Patrick Wintour] works for The Guardian. I read them all at night online.’

Just a year earlier, Nighy gave an interview to the same newspaper in which he was asked the same questions about Wintour.

He replied: ‘I’d love to answer that. But if I did, I’d be involving the readers in something very close to gossip, and I know they’d never forgive me for that.’ 

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