Billy Porter and husband Adam Smith split after six years of marriage

The ‘Pose’ actor and creative director met in 2009 and wed in 2017

Ellie Muir
Thursday 06 July 2023 12:07 BST
Billy Porter is carried into the Met Gala

Billy Porter and his husband Adam Smith have announced they are separating after six years of marriage.

Porter, 53, who is best known for starring in Netflix’s hit series Pose, which chronicles New York’s LGBT+ ballroom culture in the Eighties and Nineties, married creative director Adam Smith in 2017.

A representative for the actor has now told People that the couple have gone their separate ways.

“I can confirm that Billy Porter and his husband Adam Smith have made the sad decision to end their marriage after six years,” said Porter’s representative Simon Halls.

“The decision was an amicable and mutual one and was made after much consideration. They continue to love and support each other as they embark on this next chapter,” Halls added. “There will be no further comment from either party and it would be appreciated if their privacy be respected.”

The pair reportedly met at a dinner party in 2009. They broke up early on, but rekindled their romance five years later and got married in 2017, just two weeks after Porter proposed in London while on a double date dinner,

Speaking about the engagement, Porter told People at the time: “I had been planning it since late-September, early-October, just trying to figure out how to do it.”

“I secretly set it up in London, and we went to a restaurant that was on the 42nd floor overlooking the skyline.”

Billy Porter and Adam Smith pictured together in 2019

Porter wanted to recreate the scenario of how they met for the proposal.

“The plan was we’d eat dinner, I would go to the bathroom, I would come back and propose, and then dessert would come. Dessert ended up coming too quickly, but I had planted the seed with [our friends] earlier in the evening,” he continued. “When I asked them to tell their story about how they met; they did, for me to be able to then tell our story and, at the end of it, I said, ‘And with that…’ and I pulled out the Cartier ring!”

After their wedding, Porter told the publication that he finally knew what love “looks like”.

"I remember saying to my therapist, ‘Now I know what love looks like, and it just walked out the door,’” Porter said.

“I didn’t know what it looked like before, and it was after that that I realized: ‘Oh, s***, that’s the one that got away! But now that I know what it looks like, the next time it shows up, I will be ready.’ I didn’t realize it was gonna show up as the same person – but I’m grateful that it did!”

In 2017, Porter said that getting married was an important milestone for him because both he and Smith grew up believing that marriage was not possible for them.

“We both grew up in households where who we are is labelled an ‘abomination,’ “ the Emmy award winner told the publication at the time. “The thought of marriage, there was no context for it – there was no dreaming about it because there was no context to dream; it was unspoken and very clear that the sanctity of marriage was not for us.”

“So to see that come around, to see that tide turned, it still takes my breath away; I’m still trying to find the words to describe it,” he said.

Smith works in the fashion industry and is the creative director of the men’s swimwear brand The Smith Society. Porter is also known for his Tony Award-winning performance as Lola in the Broadway show of Kinky Boots.

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