Setting the record straight. Sarah Shahi opened up about her romance with Sex/Life costar Adam Demos — and detailed the end of her relationship with ex-husband Steve Howey.
“From the time that our first child was born, our relationship suffered and it was hard to get back on track,” the L Word alum, 43, said of her former spouse, 45, during the Tuesday, April 4, episode of the “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast. “We were together for a very long time. We were together for 18 years. That’s not a failure. That was a long time. But the last 10 years we really did struggle.”
The former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and the Reba alum filed for divorce in May 2020 after 11 years of marriage. The former couple share son William, 13, and twins Knox and Violet, 8.
Shahi said that welcoming William in 2009 changed the dynamic of her romance with Howey. “Any flaws you have in the relationship before you have kids, if you don’t settle those things — that was my experience of, ‘It gets worse,’” she explained. “It only gets worse. You have less time for each other, you have less patience, you have less desire because you’re just so damn tired.”
The Person of Interest alum went on to say that getting the script for Sex/Life helped her realize it might be time to make a change in her personal life.
“I was going through a time where I was really sort of living in a state of unhappiness,” she recalled. “I was just questioning everything. As a wife and as a mom, you get told, ‘Well, but you have it good. You have it good.’ I just felt so unseen. … It gave me the courage to say, ‘I’m not happy. And I feel like we should as individuals have the right to be happy.’”
Despite rumors to the contrary, Shahi explained that her relationship with Howey was over before she began dating Demos, 37, who plays her love interest on the Netflix drama. Filming for season 1 of Sex/Life began in late August 2020, three months after she filed for divorce. Shahi also noted that she and the Unreal alum didn’t immediately start dating after meeting on set.
“We met each other and it was not instant,” the Fairly Legal veteran explained. “It was over time, it was getting to know him as a person and seeing how aligned our values were. … I also really respected how he talked about his mom and how he talked about women. There was just so much that I started seeing over time that made me go, ‘Oh, you’re kind of everything I’ve ever wanted.’ And that’s when we started being together.”
The Texas native added that her experience of filming Sex/Life marked the first time she’d ever been in a relationship with a costar that her character was also supposed to love. “I think that’s what made Brad and Billie so popular, was because people really felt the real sparks between us,” Shahi said. “They just shot through the lens and it infiltrated the screen.”
Netflix hasn’t yet renewed Sex/Life for season 3, but Shahi previously said that she’s up for another round of playing Billie if she’s given the chance. “If the viewership is high enough, then absolutely we’ll be able to see Billie and Brad and more stories and more conflict,” she said during an appearance on the Today show last month. “There are going to be so many other areas of exploration if we get an opportunity to come back that all rests in the lovely subscribers of Netflix.”