On Tuesday, T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach teased their much-awaited (ok, maybe just to me and some other messy people) upcoming podcast that drops next week, Amy and T.J.
It's hard to believe that it has been an entire year since their scandal. And it's not just a podcast (which they will produce together), they have an overall deal for more content with iHeart that they signed for (allegedly) $1 million. So how did they get here? How did two veteran journalists who were last seen co-hosting the third hour of Good Morning America turn into the messiest people of 2023 for the second year in a row?
Amy and T.J have been staging a comeback quietly for months. They started to be more open about their relationship on Instagram, which I think was more about them proving the public wrong, but it could have been to tease new content. On November 1st, Amy’s caption was a promo for the upcoming podcast and a nod to them being Instagram official. It also had a cringe hashtag of #silentnomore. Which really boxes them into having to talk about their relationship.
I actually think that their relationship is going to last because their histories match up pretty well.
Both have been married twice and have been relatively open about their personal lives. Many know T.J. from his work at CNN or his show on BET before he got to Good Morning America. He was married to his first wife Amy Ferson, until they divorced in 2006 before he started at CNN. Their divorce was said to be contentious and they have two children together. Then he dated Chili from TLC in 2007 after his divorce. No real controversy there except for the fact that he clearly likes being in the spotlight. He married lawyer Marilee Fiebig in 2010 and they have a daughter.
Amy had an interesting journey in her marriages. According to her memoir, her first marriage was characterized by her mother pressuring her to walk down the aisle when she knew she didn't want to. After having two children with her first husband and subsequently divorcing, she met and married actor Andrew Shue on her birthday in 2010. During their courtship, she wondered if Andrew was too intense, but rose above her intimacy issues and ultimately decided to marry him.
They faced ups and downs, including Andrew’s father dying in 2013, and her busy work schedule. That same year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and revealed it in November on GMA with Andrew by her side after doing her mammogram live on the air. She continued to be open about her cancer journey, and about how it affected her marriage to Andrew. At that point, they had been married for over three years and it was another hurdle to deal with. They overcame it through therapy, but Amy talked about becoming overly reliant on Andrew and resentful of his work travel. Plus, she continued to work a lot, which Andrew disagreed with. Amy survived aggressive stage 2 breast cancer and celebrated being cancer free and marked her 10 year diagnosis anniversary last month.
Now back to T.J. and how their worlds collided. In 2014, he joined Amy at ABC and she told PEOPLE magazine how delighted she was, saying "[They] said, 'Hey, we want to bring on a co-anchor. What do you think of T.J. Holmes?' And I almost fell out of my chair. My God. You couldn't have picked a better person to ask me what I thought of, because we've been trying to figure out a way to work together for literally the last five years."
The first of the many side-eyes I’m about to give.
Following his second marriage, T.J. fancied himself somewhat of a marriage expert and would often speak out. Entertainment Tonight leaked T.J.’s 2014 audition tape where he sang the praises of marriage, saying it gets a bad rap:
“I think everyone should get married, and you’re better off by doing so.”
Once he started at ABC, and reflective of Amy’s words about him joining, their chemistry was evident, and they really portrayed what people like to call a work marriage. (Note: I disagree with work marriages. What the hell is a work marriage? It’s inappropriate! Go home!)
Then on Facebook in March 2020, T.J. outdid himself with a #decadechallenge post dedicated to his anniversary with Marilee. I can’t do it justice by describing it, so I’ll put the whole thing below:
“This particular #decadechallenge is a little late, but ... 10 years ago, Marilee Fiebig married me. And despite my best efforts, she remained married to me the past 10 years. That’s not hyperbole. I’m not being dramatic. I gave her plenty of reasons, excuses, and opportunities to walk her fine ass out the doooooooor. But instead, with her built-in black woman superpower, she showed a grace and patience that’s incomprehensible. Asking her for another 10 years would be asking too much. Another 10 months? That may even be a stretch. If she gave me another 10 weeks, I should consider myself lucky. If she puts up with me another 10 days, I’d be grateful. But if she would even spare another 10 minutes of her time for me today, I should consider myself blessed. This is MARILEE FIEBIG HOLMES, y’all. And I, T. J. Holmes, do solemnly swear ... that I .... was HER #decadechallenge.”
A sonnet of struggle love. Truly my worst nightmare: a man congratulating me for tolerating hell and attributing it to my strength as a Black woman.
So what was allegedly going on behind the scenes while he was putting out these declarations about marriage?
Last December, The Daily Mail reported that he had a 3 year affair with Natasha Singh, an ABC producer based in L.A. Apparently Natasha and T.J. would confide in Amy (omg), who knew about the affair and when Marilee found out about it, she and T.J. agreed to work on their marriage while Amy remained friends with Natasha and even celebrated her 49th birthday with her in 2022. In January 2023, they reported another affair he allegedly had with an intern 13 years younger than him in 2015. This one sounds bad, the source calls him a predator and it reportedly went on for a few months.
Back to him and Amy. In September 2020, T.J. officially joined GMA3 as a co-host with Amy. They talked about going on double dates with their spouses together and ran the NYC Marathon together in 2022. Now 2022 is when everything went down. We all found out about it in November when The Daily Mail leaked the pictures of them at the cabin, then those notorious pictures canoodling at a bar. According to sources, both of their marriages were over. T.J. and Marilee had separated sometime in mid-2022 but spent T.J.'s August birthday together in the Bahamas and she was apparently blindsided by the couple. Amy seemed to be farther along in her separation from Andrew, as they put their property on the market in September 2022.
Speaking of Andrew, a year before all this, T.J. introduced him when he and Amy were promoting their book on GMA3, calling them two of his favorite people and characterizing their marriage as a love story like none other. Why did T.J. do this to himself?
Anyway, we are supposed to believe that nothing was going on between these people and that they organically fell in love after their marriages were over– but obviously we don't. The big fallout was when ABC took them off the air and investigated them. I was shocked that they both ended up losing their jobs and I was really disappointed that Amy did. She didn’t have a record of affairs at work like T.J. did and I loved her work at ABC, especially at 20/20.
There were rumors this year about them pitching a talk or reality show so this iHeart deal must be the result. I'm confused about why they have to work together but perhaps they think that in order to rebuild their image it's better to have a united front. I don't doubt their skills or chemistry, but I'm not sure how open they are going to be about something they went to such lengths to conceal, or if the public is even interested at this point.
It makes me think of Larsa Pippin's podcast with her boyfriend Marcus, Michael Jordan's son. To me, it seemed like it was launched to reintroduce their scandalized relationship and fell flat. However, T.J. and Amy are media professionals. Hopefully they will keep it light on the pop culture and heavy on the personal topics and relationships. I don't particularly enjoy T.J.'s prior reflections on relationships as they seemed vastly different from his reality, but Amy seems to be pretty transparent. It’s hard to tell how much people want to hear from them, but I’m curious enough to check it out, even if it’s just for Amy.
Attached - Amy and T.J. running the NYC Marathon together earlier this month.