Melissa Rivers, the 55-year-old actress and television host, daughter of the late comedy legend Joan Rivers, recently shared the exciting news of her engagement to attorney Steve Mitchel. The couple, who got engaged last month, opened up exclusively to PEOPLE about this significant step in their relationship.
A Shocking Twist
Expressing her surprise, Rivers mentioned, “It’s a big step for both of us, and I’m still in complete and total shock, even a month later, but beyond happy.” Despite having a significant presence in the public eye, Rivers managed to keep this life-changing event under wraps until now.
Unexpected Love at a Mental Health Event
The couple first crossed paths at a Didi Hirsch Mental Health and Suicide Prevention event, where Melissa serves as the Co-Chairman of the board. Steve, attending as a friend’s plus one, approached her—a rarity for Melissa. They’ve now been together for about a year and a half, a testament to the unexpected nature of their connection.
Change Of Heart
Having been married before to John Endicott for five years until their split in 2003, Rivers had been vocal about her reluctance to walk down the aisle again. However, her perspective shifted, and she admitted, “All of my friends are joking that I had a pretty good run and almost got to the finish line of staying single for the rest of my life.”
The Proposal in Mexico
The engagement unfolded during a vacation at the One & Only Mandarina Resort in Mexico. Reflecting on the day, Rivers humorously noted, “The whole day was a comedy of errors, starting with that it was Friday the 13th.” Despite the initial mishaps, Mitchel popped the question during a beachside dinner. However, the proposal had an unexpected twist as Melissa was distracted by a boat in the water. “I was totally absorbed in trying to figure out why the boat was doing this and not paying attention to my surroundings,” she recalls.
A Meaningful Ring
Mitchel had secretly collaborated with one of Rivers’ dearest friends, Peter McNeal at McNeal and Grunberg, to custom design the engagement ring. Reflecting on the thoughtful gesture, Melissa expressed, “It makes the ring so much more meaningful knowing that all of the people I love were involved.”
Before officially proposing, Steve Mitchel sought approval from Melissa’s 22-year-old son, Cooper Endicott. Cooper, supportive of the relationship, humorously advised not to rush to the altar, saying, “Great, but let’s not rush to the altar too fast, we don’t want to freak her out!”
Taking Baby Steps towards the Future
While the engagement has brought immense joy to Melissa Rivers, she emphasizes that the couple isn’t rushing into wedding plans. “We’re taking baby steps. We haven’t planned anything yet. If we do a ceremony and party, I can’t imagine it being any time before 2025,” she revealed. The decision to take it slow reflects the couple’s intention to savor the engagement period before delving into wedding preparations.
A Second Chance at Love
Reflecting on her unexpected journey to a second marriage, Rivers shared, “It’s something that I never believed in my heart of hearts that I would ever do. But, apparently, hell freezes over and pigs do fly.” The actress, known for her humor, added, “I didn’t see it coming, and it’s really not easy to pull a fast one on me. Once Steve shoved some smelling salt under my nose from passing out, I said yes.”
Looking Forward To the Future
As Melissa Rivers embraces her role as a fiancée, she exudes happiness about the future with Steve Mitchel. While the engagement was a surprise, the couple is savoring the moment, with no immediate plans for a wedding on the horizon. As they navigate this new chapter, Rivers seems excited about the journey ahead, expressing her joy and satisfaction with the relationship and the approval she imagines her late mother, Joan Rivers, would have had for both the engagement and the ring.
Melissa Rivers’ engagement marks a heartwarming chapter in her life, showcasing that love can unexpectedly find its way even when least expected. As the couple takes their time to plan their future together, fans and well-wishers eagerly anticipate the unfolding of this love story that combines humor, surprise, and a touch of serendipity.