When Ellen DeGeneres was a sitcom star in the Nineties, she was still in the closet.
There was a fear that if she did admit she was gay, her show would tank, Johnathon Schaech explained during aReddit AMA interview on Monday.
That is why the handsome actor – who is now 46-years-old and lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Julie and two children – was her arm candy at several red-carpet events.
They once went on dates: Johnathon Schaech explained during a Reddit AMA interview on Monday that he went out with Ellen DeGeneres in the Nineties because his manager asked him to; here they are seen in 1996
He knew he served a purpose: The star said: ‘She was scared people would not watch the show, her sitcom Ellen, because she was gay. It was an honor’
The actor, who is best known for Tom Hanks’ 1996’s film That Thing You Do!, has no regrets about pretending to be the comedienne’s date.
And he made it clear he did so as a favor.
‘My manager asked me to accompany her to events,’ he said bluntly.
‘She was scared people would not watch the show, her sitcom Ellen, because she was gay. It was an honor.’
Ellen today: The comedienne, now 58, has become a powerful daytime talk show host; here she is seen in February with President Obama
After his set-up dates with Ellen, Johnathon settled down with former Married… With Children actress Christina Applegate.
They were wed from 2001 until 2007.
Johnathon had nothing but good things to say about the blonde.
‘She’s cancer free and is an absolute hero for others and to my family,’ the star said.
His first wife: After his set-up dates with Ellen, Johnathon settled down with former Married… With Children actress Christina Applegate. They were wed from 2001 until 2007; here they are seen in 2005
Christina survived breast cancer and went on to wed Martyn LeNoble. Together they have daughter Sadie. ‘[They] have a wonderful family,’ he added.
But their split took a toll on him.
‘Being raised Catholic and having parents that are still together over 50 years, I felt I failed everyone. I thought God had given up on me,’ he said. ‘Sex, drugs, alcohol and dark nights became who I was. I knew I needed to find someone who loved me as much as I loved them. I eventually found that in my wife, Julie.’
Another ex: Schaech also was very briefly wed to country star Jana Kramer. In 2010 they were man and wife for only one month. She has gone on to marry Michael Caussin; here Johnathon and Jana are pictured in May 2010
Schaech also was very briefly wed to country star Jana Kramer.
In 2010 they were man and wife for only one month. She has gone on to marry Michael Caussin.
‘Jana and I had a wedding but we were never married. It simply came down to this: She wasn’t ready to be married,’ he said.
‘She wanted a singing career and that was what she was focused on.
Finally, happy: Schaech and his wife, writer Julie Solomon, attend the 4th Annual Saving Innocence Gala at SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills in October
‘And that it all worked out for the best.’
He also said the crooner ‘could be the fastest success ever in country music’ and is ‘happy finally.’
And he noted he is happy too.
‘I have Camden and Jules. And by that time, maybe by the time he reads – a sibling, I’m perfectly blessed. All the Christina Applegate and Jana Kramer fans should know – I’m rooting for them too,’ he said.
Schaech appears next as DC Comics character Jonah Hex in the Thursday, April 14 episode of Legends Of Tomorrow.