IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The highs and lows of John Estrada’s love journey
While his marriage to Priscilla Meirelles has been shaken up for revival—as the Brazilian beauty queen put it—John Estrada seems dedicated to proving his devotion to his wife. The actor surely has his way of assuring Priscilla of his commitment to their family, which should be a contributing factor to why their marriage has been able to withstand hurdles for 12 long years now.
Their relationship has been highly publicized since their confirmation as a couple in 2007, but the pair are no stranger to being in the limelight, especially to John whose previous relationships were definitely a topic of discussion among showbiz fanatics.
From his falling-out and eventually civil relationship with his ex-wife, actress Janice de Belen, his third-party speculations-hounded relationship with former actress Vanessa del Bianco, to rumored romances in-betweens, John had a quite colorful journey prior to meeting his endgame in Meirelles.
In the set of “Palibhasa Lalake,” one of the longest-running sitcoms in the 1980’s, John met Janice who was a guest star in the show. The actor admitted he was a huge fan of the actress because growing up, he watched her as Flordeluna in the 1980’s TV series of the same name.
In a 2012 interview for the now-defunct show “Showbiz Inside Report,” John said that it took them a while before becoming close friends. Eventually, then 19-year-old John and 24-year-old Janice would get married in 1992 as the actress was pregnant with their first child, Inah.
The couple welcomed three more children together, namely Moira, Kaila and Yuan, before they went through a rough patch and legally separated in 2001. The annulment of their marriage was granted in 2004.
John and Janice, who consider themselves as not “the best of friends” but are “very civil” to each other, made headlines again in 2013 when the actress spoke against the actor’s supposed lack of child support. At the time, she also alluded to the cheating allegations against John, which some speculated to be the reason behind their separation.
The said cheating controversy involved John and Vanessa Del Bianco, his fellow TV host at the 1998 noontime show “Magandang Tanghali Bayan.” The pair was accused of having an affair while the actor was still married to Janice.
John and Vanessa eventually went public with their relationship. However, the two were reportedly not seen together as much, because the actress-model took a hiatus from show business and flew to her hometown in Canada in 2002.
The pair had gone their separate ways in 2006, with the actor noting that they mutually decided to break up because of priorities and the distance between them.
Once again single, John was then romantically linked to Gretchen Barretto in 2007 after a photo of them kissing made rounds on the internet. The actors were photographed while having their cozy moment at the birthday party of fellow celebrity Rufa Mae Quinto.
The photo sparked controversy in the showbiz scene given that at the time, Gretchen was already in a relationship with her partner Tony Boy Cojuangco. Gretchen’s then-talent manager, TV host Boy Abunda, addressed the issue and confirmed that Gretchen indeed kissed John. Boy further disclosed that the photo was taken by John’s friend using the actor’s phone, but the TV host stressed that the actors were not having an affair.
John later apologized and took the blame for the incident, which he pointed out to have rooted in “a thoughtless moment and bad judgment to even take those photos.” He also noted that the kiss had no malice and that they were just “good friends” who were enjoying Rufa Mae’s birthday party.
The actor also came to Gretchen’s defense and said he has been friends with her since the 1990s, and that she did not “deserve all the ugly talk.”
A few months after the kissing controversy with Gretchen, John made public his relationship with his-now wife Priscilla. The couple got engaged in 2009 and exchanged “I dos” at a beach wedding in La Union in 2011.
The event was attended by celebrities including Richard Gomez, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Anjo Yllana, Randy Santiago, Ai-Ai delas Alas, Ogie Alcasid, Gabby Concepcion, and Kris Aquino. John’s four kids, with whom Priscilla shares a good relationship, were also part of the wedding entourage. A year later, the couple welcomed their daughter Anechka.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly in their marriage until recently when Priscilla dropped a cryptic remark about a “female that entertains a married man.” The beauty queen confirmed that she and John had been having marital problems caused by “many reasons,” but later clarified that they are not fighting.
Speculations linking John to one Chiyo dela Vega, a social media personality from Cebu, then arose but Meirelles did not immediately confirm or deny this speculation.
Priscilla, meanwhile, stressed that “transformation is happening” in their relationship as a “consequence” of certain actions she opted not to elaborate. EDV