Martin Lawrence, a famous American actor and comedian, has succeeded greatly.
He made a huge impact in the 90s with the Bad Boys movie featuring Will Smith. He is also well-known for his roles in movies like Big Momma’s House trilogy and National Security (2003).
Lawrence has entertained audiences with his impressive acting skills and undeniable talent.
However, he seems not to have attained similar success in his personal life. Since he came of age and throughout his career, he is known to have had close relationships with three women, which you will read below. Out of the three, he officially married two.
Martin Lawrence Wives
Martin Lawrence’s Wives, or his ex-wives, are Shamick Gibbs and Patricia Southall. His engagement with Roberta Moradfar also did not work out.
Far from it, he is not complaining or unsatisfied with how his love life turned out. The actor is enjoying the company of his children and still making a steady impact in Hollywood.
In April 2023, he earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and his family was there to witness the feat.
In the span of seven years, Martin Lawrence has been married twice and has three children. In the two marriages, he spent at most two years.
His first marriage (1995 – 1997) was to Patricia Southall, a one-time Miss Virginia USA winner. The union gave birth to Jasmine Page Lawrence.
He tried getting into marriage the third time with Roberta Moradfar, but their relationship didn’t lead to any bonds.
Let’s jump into more detail on Martin Lawrence’s wives, starting with his first.
Martin Lawrence’s relationship with Patricia Southall began in 1992.
They met when Southall worked at Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder’s media office, and Martin Lawrence was in Richmond, Virginia, for a Def Comedy Jam concert.
They dated for three years until they formally tied the knot on January 7, 1995.
Unexpected twists and security concerns marked their wedding ceremony.
Initially planned to take place at the Third Baptist Church in Portsmouth, the wedding had to be relocated to the Waterside Marriott Hotel in Norfolk due to credible threats against the event and its participants.
Their home was peaceful; the same was the marriage. The former couple welcomed their first baby, Jasmine Paige Lawrence, on January 15, 1996 – almost a year after their wedding.
Sadly, their joy of a newborn and a new marriage did not last.
In 1996, a year after “Bad Boys” was released, Martin and Patricia’s relationship began deteriorating for unknown reasons.
The fame and chance of becoming the next “Eddie Murphy” may have created a rift between Martin and Patricia.
If you wonder why celebrity marriages do not last, you have your clue.
According to Relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, It can be challenging for high-profile actors to maintain their marriages due to long shooting days, extensive travel, and numerous options for suitors.
Why Martin Lawrence and Patricia Shouthall Broke Up
The dirty linens of Lawrence’s relationship with Patricia Southall were exposed in May 1996 when police detained Lawrence after he was found wandering in the middle of a busy intersection in Sherman Oaks, California, Los Angeles.
People watched as he was drunk, mucus fell from his face, and he yelled, “Fight the power!” with a fully loaded handgun in his pocket.
Police took in the comedian and sent him to Cedars-Sinai Hospital, where a doctor diagnosed that Lawrence was “suffering from exhaustion and dehydration.”
In August 1996, actor Martin Lawrence was arrested at Burbank Airport for attempting to board a plane to Phoenix with a loaded 9mm Beretta.
He told police that he believed guns were allowed on flights. No charges were filed.
Martin Lawrence had two distinct personalities within him. On one hand, he was a loving father and a star in the movie industry. On the other hand, he was self-centered and cared only about himself and nothing else.
He filed for divorce from his then-wife, Patricia Southall, in October 1996. Patricia responded by getting a restraining order against him. She said Martin threatened to kill her and charged him with “irrational and abusive behavior.”
Martin denied her claims, saying he was taking “psychotropic” medicine and was cared for by a full-time nurse.
After their divorce proceeding was finalized in September 1997, Martin Lawrence and Patricia Southall went their separate ways. It is unclear what the final proceedings were, but Southall was contesting a prenuptial agreement and demanding $50,000 a month to care for herself.
Patricia Southall married former NFL champion Emmitt Smith in 2000 after her previous marriage ended.
Smith already had a daughter, Rheagen, from his previous relationship before meeting Southall. Together, they had three children – Emmitt James Smith, Skylar Elizabeth Paige Smith, and Elijah Alexander James Smith.
However, the couple announced their separation in a joint statement in 2020, ending their 20-year marriage, but they continue to maintain a cordial relationship as co-parents of their children.
As for Martin Lawrence, he remained single until 2010, when he met his next wife, Shamick Gibbs.
Lawrence met Shamicka Gibbs in 1997 at a house gathering where she was cooking shortly after divorcing Southall.
They kept their relationship private but later made it public, going on dates as a couple.
On November 9, 2000, Shamick Gibbs welcomed their first child, Iyanna Faith, into the world. On August 20, 2002, Amara Trinity, their second daughter, was born.
Also, Shamicka adopted Jasmine Page Lawrence – Lawrence’s daughter from his previous marriage to Patricia Southhall.
As the bonds grew stronger, Lawrence, 45, and Shamick, 35, tied the knot on 10 July 2010 in a wedding held at Martin Lawrence’s Beverly Hills mansion.
Their lush wedding was attended by 120 guests, including celebrities such as Denzel Washington and Barry Bonds. Celebrity event planner Diann Valentine organized their wedding and reception in a tent with two long tables shaped like an X.
Their daughters Amara, 7, Iyana, 9, and Jasmine, 14, were flower girls.
Why Martin Lawrence and Shamick Gibbs Broke Up
The union between Martin Lawrence and Shamick Gibbs didn’t last long, as they announced their separation in April 2012.
The representative of the couple who spoke to E! News said the couple unanimously made the “joint decision to part ways.”
The couple cited irreconcilable differences.
However, speculations were that Martins’ old habit of drinking resurfaced.
The reports say that Shamick felt unsatisfied that her husband drank and added weight.
According to an anonymous close friend of Gibbs’s, Gibbs came home one day and said she was unhappy with their marriage. She tried convincing Marting to stop drinking but replied, “If you don’t like living in a $23 million home and what I’m giving you, you should start packing.“
Neither Martin nor Shamicka have clarified the exact reason why they broke up.
Shamicka re-married Antwuan Hill, aka ACE – the founder of ACE lite services.
After his failed marriages, Martin was spotted with Roberta Maradfar, an aesthetics nurse practitioner based in Los Angeles.
Though it’s unclear when Martin and Roberta Maradfar started dating, their engagement was made public by Roberta Maradfar on 3 March 2017. Her post read;
“And I said “YES!” ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️3.31.2017 marks a huge milestone in my life #Fiance #TrueLove #LoveofmyLife #MyForever #FutureWife #M❤️R #ILoveHim #IconicJewels “
Roberta and Lawrence made a series of public appearances after announcing their engagement. On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, Martin attended the Los Angeles event with his fiancée, Roberta Moradfar, who was 38 years old. The event was for the third installment in the Bad Boys 3 action franchise.
The couple was also seen at the 17th Annual Teddy Bear Ball at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 23, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California.
Martin also took to social media to celebrate Roberta’s birth. The now-deleted post read;
“My baby @effacebyroberta
You are my #WCW
“Love the way you make my pancakes, hookin em up
With that Aunt Jemima syrup
Happy birthday Beautiful
My lil #Haitianqueen”
On December 25th, 2022, Moradfar shared a photo with a different man called “boo” by her friends in her comments.
Since then, Moradfar and Lawrence have not been seen together, although they have not announced their break up as they announced their engagement.