The NCIS: Hawaii star, 41, admitted during the season 1 reunion of The Ultimatum that she had “mixed feelings” about contestant April Marie looking through boyfriend Jake Cunningham’s phone. “There was a time in my life when I did it,” she recalled to the shock of her spouse, 48.
“You did it too! I’m actually surprised you figured out my password, [which] was a good one,” Vanessa, who wed the 98 Degrees musician in July 2011, said during the reality TV special, which dropped on Wednesday, April 13.
“I remember we went to a therapist and she was like, ‘If y’all are going through each other’s phones then you shouldn’t be together,’” Vanessa added. “I was like, ‘You’re right. I need to trust this man and he needs to trust me.’”
The former Total Request Live host and the Masked Singer alum started dating in 2007 after his breakup with ex-wife Jessica Simpson. (The fashion designer, for her part, eventually moved on, marrying Eric Johnson in July 2014, with whom she shares daughters Maxwell, 9, and Birdie, 3, and son Ace, 8.)
“He was literally in a very public marriage and a very public divorce, and I had to go through all that s–t very publicly and it was very hard for us,” Vanessa recalled of her early courtship with Nick during an April 6 episode of The Ultimatum. “It wasn’t until the moment that he was like, ‘I’m gonna let it go,’ and I said, ‘I’m gonna let it go,’ and we truly committed to each other. We literally fell deeper and harder than we ever could.”
The Love Is Blind cohosts guide six long-term couples who are at turning points in their relationships on the show. After one person in each couple issued an ultimatum, they began a “trial” marriage with one of their new costars. By the end of the three-week experience, each contestant had to decide whether to reunite with their original partner or move on with someone new.
The married couple — who share sons Camden, 9, and Phoenix, 5, and daughter Brooklyn, 7 — understand the Ultimatum’s premise all too well after they briefly split in 2009 ahead of their eventual reconciliation and marriage. Nick and Vanessa have since been open about their “lucky” life as a family of five.
“I’ve never felt more at home than I do in Hawaii,” the Twist of Christmas actress exclusively told Us Weekly last month. “Honestly, I constantly tell [Nick] how lucky I feel that we get to be here as a family. I feel like I’m meant to be an Air Force brat, like, traveling all around the world. I’ve never really felt like I was home until here. … It’s beautiful. The kids are, like, out playing.”
The Ultimatum season 1 is now streaming on Netflix. It’s already been renewed for a second season.