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Who is Jon Bon Jovi's wife? What to know about Dorothea Hurley

The frontman calls Hurley his "best friend" in the new docuseries, "Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story."
Jon Bon Jovi, Dorothea Hurley
Jon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea Hurley, at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 13, 2013, in Beverly Hills, California. John Shearer / AP
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Bon Jovi is one of the biggest rock bands in the world, and have been for nearly 40 years since their self-titled debut album came out in 1984.

In the upcoming Hulu series "Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story," out April 26, fans will get an inside look at how the band came to be — and all that's changed for its members over time.

Despite constant shifts that came with fame spanning nearly half a century, one thing stood the test of time for frontman Jon Bon Jovi’s life — and that’s his marriage to Dorothea Hurley.

Read on to learn all about Bon Jovi's wife, high school sweetheart Dorothea Hurley, who is the founder of JBJ Soul Kitchen and has a history in karate.

Who is Dorothea Hurley?

Hurley is the founder and program director of JBJ Soul Kitchen, a non-profit community restaurant she started with her husband that has been serving meals to those in need since 2009, according to the JBJ Soul Kitchen website.

The volunteer-run soup kitchen has four operating locations based out of New Jersey, the singers home state. Their soup kitchens feed anyone in need, and accept donations and volunteer work that pay it forward. The non-profit provides a place for diners from various socioeconomic backgrounds to gather together at communal tables to enjoy a homecooked meal, according to its website.

In a December 2019 interview with People, Bon Jovi credited his wife as the mastermind behind JBJ Soul Kitchen, clarifying that she "does all the work," and jokingly quipped that he however gets "all the credit."

In addition to being a skilled restauranteur, Hurley was also a former karate instructor, according to Parade.

Disney+ Hosts the UK Premiere of "Thank You & Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story"
Dorothea Hurley and Jon Bon Jovi attend the premiere of "Thank You and Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story" on April 17, 2024 in London, England. Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

1980: Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley meet.

Bon Jovi and Hurley's love story stems all the way back to when they were in high school.

In "Thank You, Goodnight," Bon Jovi recalls that he started dating his now-wife back in 1980 and was instantly "smitten." And Hurley recalls being equally smitten, sharing her first impressions of the "It's My Life" singer.

Grand Opening of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, 1995
Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley during the 1995 grand opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

"He was cute, and had beautiful blue eyes and I kind of was attracted to him," she says in Episode Three.

Bon Jovi revealed to People back in a 2020 interview that Hurley “let (him) cheat off her in history," and well, the rest is history.

Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley break up and get back together when they were young.

In Episode Three of the Hulu docuseries, Hurley recalled her and Bon Jovi breaking up and getting back together multiple times in their younger years.

“When you’re young like that, you’re trying to figure out who you are. We were dating. We were definitely a couple. We were together. And like anybody else, you’re trying to figure your stuff out," Hurley said. "So you break up, you get back together, you break up, you get back together."

During one of their brief splits in the '80s, Bon Jovi reportedly dated actor Diane Lane, who opened up about their five-month dating stint in a May 2017 episode of “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.”

Despite their periods of separation, Hurley said in the documentary that she knew Bon Jovi "was going to be something" because she saw "the potential and the drive that he had.”

1989: Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley get married and face backlash.

In April 1989, following the success of the band's album, "New Jersey," the couple secretly got hitched at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas.

The docuseries takes viewers through both Bon Jovi's and Hurley's perspectives in Episode Three, as they recall that time in their lives.

Bon Jovi reminisced about how the band had just played three nights at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California, noting that the band had both the No. 1 album and single at the time.

The interview then cuts to Hurley recalling "a big billboard (of the band) out in front of the hotel," which prompted Bon Jovi to suggest that the pair should get hitched in Las Vegas.

"I finally needed a higher high, and then I said, 'Let's elope tonight, right now, right now.' And so we went to Vegas and eloped, and then everything changed," Bon Jovi recalls in the episode.

But the singer said the news of their matrimony was met with resistance.

"It was holy hell from the minute we started telling anybody, my parents, Doc (McGhee, the band's manager at the time), the band. You'd think people would be happy for us," Bon Jovi says.

David Bryan, the band's keyboardist, talked about how the band was concerned that the lead singer's martial status was "going to turn away all the chicks," since their fans were infatuated with Bon Jovi's looks and charm.

Bryan said that the band feared that Bon Jovi and Hurley being married was ultimately "going to hurt the career (of the band)."

Bon Jovi himself admitted that "there were a lot of broken hearted young girls in the world," but in the end, he knew being with Hurley was what mattered most.

"I'm a hopeless romantic, and she's my best friend," Bon Jovi says in an older interview.

Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley share four kids.

In addition to their long-lasting marriage, the pair share four kids together: one daughter, Stephanie, and three sons, Jesse, Jake and Romeo.

Jesse Bongiovi, Jacob Bongiovi, Dorothea Bon Jovi, Stephanie Bongiovi, and Jon Bon Jovi
Jesse Bongiovi, Jacob Bongiovi, Dorothea Bon Jovi, Stephanie Bongiovi, and Jon Bon Jovi at Apollo in the Hamptons on Aug. 3, 2019, in East Hampton, New York. Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

The couple have celebrated many highs and also lows of parenthood, most notably when their daughter, who was 19 at the time, was arrested following a suspected heroin overdose and charged with drug-related violations.

More recently, the couple has publicly celebrated their son Jake's engagement to actor Millie Bobby Brown in April 2023.

CORRECTION: (May 2, 2024, at 7:14 a.m. ET): An earlier version of this story had an image of Jon Bon Jovi and a woman identified as his wife Dorothea Hurley. The woman has since been identified as singer Fiona Flanagan, and the image has since been replaced with an image of Bon Jovi and Hurley.