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Meet Salma Hayek's Husband, François-Henri Pinault – 6 Interesting Facts About Their Relationship
Salma Hayek and husband François-Henri Pinault

Meet Salma Hayek's Husband, François-Henri Pinault – 6 Interesting Facts About Their Relationship

What happens when a sizzling Hollywood star meets a billionaire French businessman at a gala in an Italian palazzo? One guess!

Salma Hayek may be best known for her film and acting skills, but she should be known for her relationship goals with her husband François-Henri Pinault.

For nearly 30 years, the stunning Salma Hayek has been an always-game presence in a variety of Hollywood films. Be they guns-a-blazing thrillers (Desperado, Fair Game), comedies (Grown Ups, Fools Rush In, Like a Boss), dramas (Ask the Dust, House of Gucci), arthouse pictures (Timecode, Americano), action comedies (Wild Wild West, Bandidas, After the Sunset), horror excursions (From Dusk Till Dawn, Tale of Tales) or even the inevitable Marvel Comics Universe entry (Eternals), Salma has proven to be a talent who can hop, skip and jump her way around all manner of genre offerings.

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And from the career beginnings appearing in telenovelas in her native Mexico to her subsequent conquest of Hollywood and the international movie marketplace, the lady has clearly demonstrated that she likes to work.  A lot!

Salma has also grown into a significant force behind the camera, having spearheaded and produced the hit TV series Ugly Betty and the animated adventure Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, among other projects. Most remarkably, she spent more than 10 years developing and then producing the biographical drama Frida, the award-winning examination of the life of artist Frida Kahlo, in which she also starred and garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

But while she lives her life in the spotlight of the media, Salma Hayek's husband François-Henri Pinault prefers to work behind the cameras.

Salma & François-Henri Have Been Together 16 Years

Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault smiling at the camera while on the red carpet.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images

We’re always interested in checking in on the magnificent Ms. Hayek to see what she’s up to. And we have to say that her latest sexy star turn in the third film of the Magic Mike franchise, Magic Mike’s Last Dance, was everything we hoped for and more.

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So busy is the prolific Salma Hayek that we weren’t surprised when she revealed she was caught completely by surprise when she met and fell in love with the man who would become her future husband, French businessman François-Henri Pinault.

"I found a man better than any man I could ever in my life imagine existed,” announced Salma in a 2011 interview with Latina Magazine. “He found me, actually. I wasn’t even looking!"

So who exactly is the man that exceeded Salma Hayek's husband dreams?

Fashion Mogul François-Henri Pinault Leads Luxury Group Kering

Actress Salma Hayek and husband Francois-Henri Pinault dressed in black suits looking serious.
Marc Piasecki / Getty Images

The son of French billionaire François Pinault, François-Henri Pinault is the CEO and chairman of the luxury fashion group Kering, home to brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta, Brioni and other high-end couture lines that Salma has undoubtedly slipped into over the years.  

Pinault’s father François was CEO of Kering before he turned over the company to his son. (During his tenure, the company was known as PPR for “Pinault-Printemps-Redoute.”) Currently, the senior François is considered to be one of the worlds’ richest men, placing at #30 on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.  

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Not that the son is doing shabbily or has all that much to worry about at this point, beginning with the fact that he’s married to one of the world’s most beautiful movie stars!

François-Henri is also the president of the holding company Groupe Artémis, the Pinault family investment company, whichowns the luxury auction house Christie's, French winery Château Latour, Stade Rennais Football Club, and Paris's Théâtre Marigny, amongst other holdings. The Pinault family’s interests also extended to media, in which they own the French weekly political and news magazine Le Point, a part of the French newspaper Le Mode, and the French television network TF-1.

How Did Salma Hayek Meet François-Henri Pinault?

According to Forbes, the Pinault family is worth $34.8 billion.

At 60, billionaire François-Henri Pianault is considered to be one of the world’s leading businessmen and fashion magnates, but he has also developed a prominent reputation as a philanthropist.

In 2009, Pinault launched the Kering Foundation, which aims to combat violence against women in Europe and Asia. A leader in supporting survivor-centered services, the foundation has also implemented programs to break the cycle of violence with future generations. According to Vanity Fair, the foundation has benefited more than 140,000 women by 2016. That same year, Kering received the Gender Equality European & International Standard label, which is given to companies who take a proactive approach to gender equality.

Salma Hayek sunbathing in red bathing suit while on vacation.

Closer to home, after a devastating 2019 fire caused extensive damage to Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, Pinault pledged €100 million (the equivalent of about $113 million) to the reconstruction of what is considered to be one of France’s great historical buildings.

A gorgeous palace was actually the backdrop of Pinault’s first encounter with Ms. Salma Hayek.

Hayek and Pinault met in spring 2006 at a gala being held at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice—a grand marble palace owned by Pinault's family. For years, Hayek wouldn’t offer more info about their meeting beyond that vague detail, announcing in an interview with Town & Country that, "It's such a romantic, amazing story, but it is mine. I don't want to vulgarize it by making it into a story to make myself interesting.”

Their Daughter Valentina Paloma was Born in 2007

Francois-Henri Pinault with his and Salma Hayek's daughter.

But it didn’t take Salma too long to gush of how sparks began to fly when they first met and that it all began with a “silly” conversation.

"It was so silly. We started talking about football. We're both crazy about soccer," Hayek recounted in an interview with the Associated Press. "And then we started talking about science. We love space and physics, and he was so smart and charming and funny.”

"Nobody had talked to me about those things the first time I met them. It's not normally the typical conversation, she adds. "I realized, this person—so different from me—is my perfect match."

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François-Henri was married once before in the mid-Nineties and had a son and a daughter with his former wife, along with later sharing another son with his former girlfriend, supermodel Linda Evangelista. For her part, Salma had never been married before.

“I wish I knew [when I was younger] that I was going to fall crazy in love with the perfect man,” she says. “I was so worried, and I dated some people I shouldn't have dated.”

Salma and François-Henri welcomed daughter Valentina Paloma in September 2007, a year-and-a-half after their first meeting. Around the same time they revealed they were expecting a child, the two formally announced their engagement.

François-Henri and Salma Were Married in 2009

Actress Salma Hayek kissing husband Francois-Henri Pinault while they both laugh.

Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault made it official in the City of Love itself, Paris, France, on Valentine’s Day, 2009, in a private ceremony at the 6th Arrondissement City Hall.

But as Hayek and Pinault were not ones to let a genuine reason for a celebration slip away, they had a grander ceremony a couple of months later at Venice’s renowned opera house, the Teatro La Fenice.

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The guest list at the pair’s second wedding, which found the bride wearing a $434,000 Balenciaga wedding dress, included the former president of France Jacques Chirac and actors Penelope Cruz, Woody Harrelson, Ashley Judd, Charlize Theron and one of Hayek’s former boyfriends, Edward Norton. The night before the wedding, the couple also hosted a masquerade ball (it is Venice, after all!) at the famed Punta Della Dogana art museum.

The inflation-adjusted price for the 2009 wedding weekend? $4.8 million!

Then, in 2018, Pinault surprised Hayek with a third ceremony. This time around, they renewed their vows on the lush tropical island of Bora Bora.

In 2018, They Renewed Their Vows in Bora Bora

Actress Salma Hayek and husband Francois-Henri Pinault kissing and celebrating their anniversary.

Interestingly, Salma seriously considered stepping away from work after Valentina was born, but was encouraged by her husband to continue pursuing her career.

"I said, 'I don't think I want to work anymore,'" she recalled in an interview with Allure. "And it was François who said, 'Oh, no, you're going back to work.'”

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After some back-and-forth—the kind that married couples usually engage in—Salma recounts that her husband said, “Well, you have to. We're not putting up with some lazy girl in the house. That's not who I married... I don't want to be deprived of your work. I want to watch it, too. And the world has not seen the best of you yet. So you cannot stop until some of that is put out!”

“And he was right,” Salma admitted.

Years later and after several decades of professional success, satisfaction and fame, Salma considers her marriage to Pinault to be her "biggest accomplishment."

"Home is where my husband is. Everything outside of the family nucleus is an adventure that you’re living together."

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