Denzel Washington Recalls a Wedding Day Blunder, Says His Wife Pauletta Paid on Their First Date

Denzel Pauletta WashingtonPauletta Pearson and Denzel Washington at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Unstoppable' held at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood on October 26, 2010. (

It’s been 33 years since Denzel Washington married his wife, Pauletta, but their first date will live on.

The Fences actor stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! on February 14, and he hilariously recalled his first night out with his wife. Washington, 62, attempted to bring his wife from backstage to confirm the details, but she refused.

“She’s not coming,” said Guillermo, who had attempted to fetch her from the dressing room. “But she said she paid for the first date.”

Washington, however, remembered that fateful night differently. “Now I actually paid,” the Oscar winner told the late-night host. “She said she paid. I was gonna splurge, and we were going to take a cab.”

Unfortunately, Washington had spent all of his money on dinner. “The meter’s going, and I’m going, ‘Uh-oh, how far away does she live?’ he recalled. After a moment of hesitation, he finally admitted to Kimmel, “She paid.”

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Washington also recalled a hysterical memory from his 1983 wedding. “We were shaking so many hands, taking so many pictures, they ran out of food,” he shared.

After the reception, Washington and his bride ate at a local diner. “We had eggs or something. True story,” he mused.

In a recent interview with Extra, Pauletta revealed the secret to the couple’s longtime marriage. “Our faith. Nothing is magic, it’s just work,” she said.

“I got a good woman–that’s the first thing,” her husband added. “You just keep working at it.”

The couple will celebrate 34 years of marriage on June 25. Watch above!

About the Author

Kelly Spears
Kelly Spears
Kelly is an online news writer for The Knot. She is a professional writer who studied English at Ohio State University. Kelly is a big fan of TLC's '90 Day Fiance' and FYI's 'Married at First Sight.'