Sean Hannity and Wife Separated Years Before Confirming Split: Looking Back at Their Relationship

The Fox News anchor and the former journalist, who share two children, divorced more than a year ago

Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity. Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage

Earlier this week, Sean Hannity and Jill Rhodes confirmed their split after over 20 years of marriage.

The two separated years ago and their divorce was finalized more than a year back.

In a joint statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, the former couple said, "Sean and Jill are committed to working together for the best interests of their children. Amicable agreements were entered into over four years ago between Sean and Jill. They maintain a close relationship as parents to their children."

"Neither will have any further comments and ask for sake of their children that their privacy be respected," the statement concluded.

The Fox News anchor, 58, is currently the host of his namesake political commentary program, which debuted in 2009, and hosts a nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Sean Hannity Show. He and his former journalist ex-wife, 57, share two children: son Sean Patrick, 21, and daughter Merri Kelly, 18.

Read on for a look back at their relationship.

They met in Alabama.

In 1991, Hannity, a college dropout from Long Island, New York, who went on to establish himself as a national conservative voice, was working his first major radio gig at WVNN in Huntsville, Alabama. It was there that he met Rhodes, then a political columnist for the Huntsville Times.

"She was really talented — gifted, but I really just fell in love with the little picture in her column," he told Newsmax in 2011.

Speaking to PEOPLE in 2002, the then-couple recalled the early days of their relationship, when Hannity would call her up to solicit story ideas. Intrigued by his frequent voicemail messages, she attended a 1992 mayoral debate he had set up. There, she told PEOPLE, "I looked at his face and I said, 'That is the man I'm going to marry.' "

They wed in 1993.

According to Newsmax, after Hannity accepted an offer to do a talk-radio show in Atlanta in 1992, he asked Rhodes to move in with him. She agreed, but said there would have to be a ring first.

"Everyone that she worked with at her newspaper warned her not to marry me," Hannity told the website. "'You mean that guy on the radio?' Because it was Huntsville, Alabama, and I'm Sean, the New York talk-radio [guy]."

Even their pastor advised them against the marriage after he and Hannity got into a debate during a pre-marital counseling session, Hannity recalled: "He said, 'You're crazy to be marrying this guy,' because I started arguing about how the church has become too liberal. And I think she left that meeting in tears."

They went on to wed in 1993, and Hannity told Newsmax the same pastor performed wedding ceremonies for many of their friends.

"Eighteen years later," he added at the time, "we're the only ones still married."

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He dedicated a book to her.

In 2002, Hannity dedicated his first book, Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism, to Rhodes and their kids.

In the acknowledgements, he wrote, "The most important acknowledgement I make is to my family — my wife, Jill, and my two children, Patrick and Kelly, to whom I dedicate this book."

"They are the ones who put up with the long work hours I needed to invest in this project," he continued. "They are the ones who make it worth doing — and make my life complete and happy on more levels than I can explain. I am blessed to have them in my life."

They were a private couple.

Over the years, Rhodes was not seen at various Fox News events alongside Hannity.

Rhodes also does not appear to have a public Instagram or Twitter, and photos of the family are not publicly available. As for Hannity, he does not use his social media accounts to share personal news or updates.

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