When Woodward first met Newman, she wasn’t impressed. But as time went on and they got to know each other, she began to develop feelings for him, too. However, both parties knew that there were three children and another wife back at home.
As much as she wanted to be with him, she also didn’t want to come between a family – but that’s exactly what happened. But as fate would have it, Jackie agreed to and signed the divorce papers.
Hollywood’s Ideal Couple
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s marriage was one for the ages. Both old and new pictures of the two show just how in love they really were, and everyone in America could see it. They were the golden couple that showed up everywhere hand-in-hand, each with a sparkle in their eye for the other. And the fact they stayed together for over five decades just goes to show the world was right about them.
But when the young stars first met in the early 1950s, Newman wasn’t exactly an eligible bachelor. He was already married when he met Woodward, but that didn’t stop him from falling head over heels.
The First Wife
The relationship between Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward started as an affair, much to the dismay of his first wife at the time, Jackie Witte. They had been married since 1950, and the couple already had three children. But when Paul first laid eyes on Joanne he didn't mind throwing his marital vows go straight out of the window.
Reports are that Woodward initially had zero interest in him, but he was enamored with her. He acted on his desire and began a relationship, which would first be an affair, with the young actress. Paul later admitted, “I’m guilty as hell, and I’ll carry it with me forever.”
Newman knew from the second he saw Woodward that he wanted to be with her, and eventually, he grew on her, too. But up until they’d come together, the two stars had led such separate lives. Woodward was raised in Georgia, where she’d been given a traditional Southern upbringing, so she was much more conservative than her counterpart.
Newman, on the other hand, was used to partying and living a much racier lifestyle. The two young stars found their balance and seemed to bring out the best in each other.
The Rumor Mill
Even though the entirety of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s relationship was built on adultery, the actor maintained that he stayed true to his second wife. His actions, however, and the accounts of multiple other people all around Tinseltown, say otherwise. Darwin Porter’s bio, "Paul Newman: The Man Behind the Baby Blues", spins a different tale about the kind of life he led.
Porter’s insiders, that contributed to his tell-all book, include playwright William Inge and Geraldine Page. In it, he lays out all accounts that came pouring off of the rumor mill about Newman, including all of the relationships he’d had with different stars while married – both male and female.