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Hollywood legend Richard Gere has seen some changes in recent years. Firstly, he married Spanish activist Alejandra Silva in spring 2018. Then the pair welcomed a son, Alexander, an interesting challenge for the actor as he neared his eighth decade. But recently word slipped out of new upheaval for the Gere family.

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Gere first got to know Silva because he’s a friend of her family. Indeed, when she first met him she was still only a child. But in 2014 when they encountered each other again, things were a lot different. Silva was a grown woman and manager of a hotel in Positano, Italy.

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At that time, a mutual acquaintance brought the couple together. And it was fireworks from the outset, with both feeling what they described as a “very strong connection.” Certainly, the meeting inspired Gere. He showered Silva with flowers, and it resulted in her agreeing to a date. Even today, Gere still pens songs for Silva.

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A Philadelphia native, Gere spent his childhood in New York state. He went to high school in the town of Syracuse, where he showed a talent for gymnastics. That ability gained him a scholarship to University of Massachusetts Amherst, but he didn’t complete his degree in philosophy. Instead, he headed for the stage, beginning his career in repertory.

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Gere’s early career in Hollywood from the mid-1970s was relatively uneventful until he broke through when he took the lead in American Gigolo in 1980. After that, he never looked back, starring in a string of huge hits, including An Officer and a Gentleman and Pretty Woman. In 2002 his performance in Chicago brought him both a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

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As well as the movie listings, Gere’s name popped up in the gossip columns from time to time. He squired actress Penelope Milford for several years, as well as Priscilla Presley and Kim Basinger, before marrying model Cindy Crawford in 1991. The marriage lasted four years. Gere wed again in 2002, to former Bond girl Carey Lowell, and remained with her for more than a decade before a dragged-out divorce.

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A Methodist as a youngster, Gere was attracted Buddhism in his 20s. Having been a student of Zen, he became interested in Tibetan Buddhism. Meeting monks and the Dalai Lama confirmed that interest, and he started to practice as a Tibetan Buddhist. That led him into activism on behalf of the Tibetan cause, which has meant he’s banned from entering China.

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For her part, Silva was born in the Spanish region of Galicia, although she grew up in the capital, Madrid, where her father, Ignacio, served as the vice president legendary soccer club Real Madrid. Silva had a career in marketing in her early 20s, working for a company in the aviation industry.

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Silva didn’t spend all of her childhood in Spain, however. She actually gained qualifications from a school in Dorset in the United Kingdom. After that, she studied marketing and advertising in her native country. However, she didn’t just utilize her talents in the world of business and also put her skills to good use as an activist.

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With a strong belief in the value of human rights, Silva found causes to promote. In 2007 she was involved in the Beautiful Life Fund with Czech model and actress Karolina Kurkova. A few years later, Silva worked with Real Madrid’s African Initiative Project to organize soccer competitions that would help disadvantaged children integrate into communities.

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Like Gere, Silva had been married before they met. She got hitched to Govind Friedland, a mining millionaire, in 2012. In fact, it was with Friedland that Silva had acquired the Hotel Villa Treville that she was managing in Positano on the Amalfi Coast of southern Italy when she and the Hollywood actor had their fateful meeting.

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About that meeting in 2014, Silva told U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail, “A friend introduced us; we looked at each other and felt a very strong connection.” Indeed, it seems that it wasn’t just the one look either. She continued, “We couldn’t stop looking at each other all night, and since then we haven’t been apart.”

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Love certainly grew between the pair, and the Spaniard shifted to New York to be with Gere. And as Silva got to know the actor better, she adopted his religious beliefs. She told Hello! magazine about converting in 2018. She said, “I’ll be eternally grateful to him. No doubt about it, thanks to Buddhism my life has changed.”

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It wasn’t completely smooth sailing, as both lovers were struggling with divorces at the time. As Silva explained to Hello!, “Love stories with a complicated beginning, where you have to overcome difficulties together, can bring you closer… In the beginning, he was more convinced than me. But from very early on, we felt that we were destined to be together.”

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Struggling with divorce wasn’t the only potential issue that the couple faced. There is quite the age gap, with Gere more than three decades Silva’s senior. But love wins out, as Alejandra told Hello!. “In this life it had to be like this,” she said. “He has promised me at least 20 good years!”

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Silva continued, “I have to confess that he has much more energy than me; he’s much more active. I find it hard to keep up with him. He’s not human! Everyone who sees you together says Richard’s crazy about you. What does he say you’ve given him? He knows I love him madly. I think I bring him stability. Above all, it helped I wasn’t an actress or a model. I never had any interest in that.”

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Silva continued, “He is the most humble, sensitive, affectionate, attentive, funny, generous man that I’ve ever met. What can I say? I’m so in love! How would you feel if each morning you were asked, ‘What would make you happy today?’ Not a day goes by that he doesn’t mention how important I am to him. I feel very lucky.”

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With a love like that, it’s no surprise that the pair got hitched. Silva reminisced about how Gere popped the question. She said, “This was really a private moment, just for the two of us, but what I can tell you is that he asked me to marry him in the most romantic hotel I’ve been to, in St Paul de Vence [in the South of France], on my birthday. I get emotional just remembering it.”

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The pair married in April 2018, and the occasion was awash with romance. Silva gushed about the wedding, held at Gere’s New York state ranch. “I feel like I’m in a true fairytale,” she said. “Without a doubt, I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.” And as you can imagine, the day was both exotic and opulent.

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The couple had the ranch done up to look like something from Indian myth, with tents brought in from Jaipur. They adorned the place with a mixture of flowers and Tibetan prayer flags. Their family guests had actually arrived to stay a week beforehand, so everyone was prepared for the occasion. However, the attendees may have been surprised at the mode of transport that the pair used to get them to their wedding.

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Gere and Silva turned up aboard a tuk-tuk. Silva told Hello!, “Richard was driving. It was very funny since nobody expected it.” She also shared what Gere had said to her seeing his bride-to-be in her wedding dress for the first time. She said that he remarked, “That I was the most spectacular woman he had ever seen.”

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Silva’s sentiment about their union was sweet and inspiring. She said, “What has united us the most is our desire to help other people who need it, our commitment to Buddhism and the Tibetan people. And he was able to see my unconditional commitment as a humanitarian, as a person, as a woman… It’s the sweetest, most romantic dream I’ve ever had. That’s why I’ve decided to stay in it!”

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And if that wasn’t enough, the pair continued the celebration of their union all the way into the following month of May. They threw a party at the Pound Ridge, NY ranch to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. And there were some extra-special guests at the bash as the couple invited some Buddhist cohorts, a group of Tibetan monks.

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When Hello! came knocking for an interview with Gere in June 2018, he didn’t hold back about his feelings for Silva. He explained, “I’m the happiest man in the universe. How could I not be?” And he was obviously keen to share his feelings with the magazine.

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The American Gigolo star went on to list some of Silva’s qualities. He said, “I’m married to a beautiful woman who is smart, sensitive, committed to helping people, who’s fun, patient, who knows how to forgive, who’s a great cook — and who makes the best salads in the world!”

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The Hollywood legend didn’t stop but listed even more desirable aspects to his wife. He added, “Alejandra meditates, she’s a vegetarian, a great mother, has the touch of an angel and she’s also Spanish — the land of kings and queens, of Cervantes and Buñuel. You can’t get any better than that.”

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In turn, Gere’s bride had plenty of good to say about their romance. She discussed it with Hello!, saying, “I feel like I’m in a true fairytale. Without a doubt, I feel like the luckiest woman in the world… What could be more romantic than a man who writes you songs every day?”

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And it wasn’t just the couple who identified the stellar romance that they were part of. Around the time of their wedding day, an insider shared with People magazine that the pair were “extraordinarily happy.” The source added, “They’re so comfortable with each other, have fun together and are looking forward to their future together.”

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However, the blessings that Gere and Silva enjoyed didn’t end there. They soon were able to say hello to a new addition to their family. The pair welcomed their son Alexander into the world in February of 2019. And it wasn’t too long before the couple let slip some more happy news on the baby front.

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In fall of 2019 the Spanish magazine Hola!, understood to have the inside track on the couple’s business, had news to share. It told the world that Silva was expecting a second child with Gere. The couple had largely kept quiet about their expected new arrival, with it due the following spring, according to the magazine.

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Indeed, the first time that she had been pregnant, Silva had said nothing about it for months. And it wasn’t until December of 2019 that she finally confirmed that she was pregnant — and even then it was in a roundabout way. She wrote on Instagram, “Soy muy feliz!… I’m so happy!”

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When Silva was ready to announce the upcoming child officially, she did so in a particularly striking way. She asked the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, to bless the baby. When he did so, she was able to post the image with the caption, “We couldn’t announce it before telling H.H. [His Holiness] Dalai Lama.”

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So in April of 2020 Gere and Silva were delighted to let the world know that they had a second child. And once again the baby was a boy. The new parents settled down to bonding with the newcomer at their Pound Ridge ranch home.

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However, although the couple had been willing to reveal the gender of their new child, there was something that they kept secret. At the time of writing, no one knows what they have chosen to call the youngster. In fact, although the birth had been announced in April, it wasn’t certain when exactly it had happened.

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Both Silva and Gere had been parents before Alexander was born. Gere has an older son, Homer, now an adult himself, whom he sired when he was married to Carey Lowell. And Silva has a boy by the name of Albert who she gave birth to during her previous marriage.

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The pair had long hoped to have a child before Alexander’s arrival. Silva mentioned to Hola! back in 2015 that she hoped that she would have a second baby. So it’s no big surprise that she now has three! And clearly Gere has been equally happy to welcome his third child too.

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Becoming a father at an advanced age might be expected to concern Gere. But it turns out that he wasn’t at all worried about it. When the question was put to him by U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times, his answer was short and sweet. He said, “Not at all. No.”

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Of course, Gere is not the only star of the Hollywood scene to become a dad at an advanced age. Charlie Chaplin holds the record, as he welcomed his son Christopher at the age of 73. Robert de Niro was also older than most, with his daughter Helen Grace coming into the world during his 69th year.

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And being a dad again doesn’t mean Gere thinks any less about his first son. Around the time he welcomed Alexander in 2019, he told the website Bang Showbiz NZ about Homer. He said, “He’s very sweet, very sensitive, very smart. He’s smarter than me, stronger than me, faster than me, taller than me, better than me. He’s great. I love him.”

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Silva has certainly brought something new to Gere’s life, including two new sons. And he totally feels the romance. Asked by Bang Showbiz NZ whether it had been love at first sight, he agreed that it was. He said, “Instant from my side. I instantly became happy just looking at her. It was one of those powerful things.”

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