“We had a wonderful love affair,” FitzGerald, 49, told the Irish Independent in an interview published on Sunday, May 16, of the pair’s beginnings.
The landscape designer and The Wire alum, 51, met while attending Trinity College Dublin when FitzGerald was living in a “tiny room on campus” and West resided in a “garret flat on the top floor of a building on Mountjoy Square.”
FitzGerald said that although the English actor’s apartment was “falling down,” the duo frequently went out to the roof to “look over Dublin [and] read poetry to one another with the mountains in the distance.”
The couple’s road to a long-lasting romance, however, wasn’t without its bumps. After going their separate ways following graduation, they reunited in the early 2000s. West already had a child, daughter Martha, now 23, with ex-girlfriend Polly Astor, when he and FitzGerald rekindled their romance.
“I sure as hell did it the hard way,” FitzGerald, who married West in June 2010, said. “By then I was about 32 and I had decided to put everything into my work but falling in love was wonderful.”
The Ireland native noted that “there’s something about having lived a full life before settling down” that made her feel like she could “throw myself into family life and having babies with gusto.”
She joked that the pair “really went for it,” having four children in seven years. FitzGerald, who shares Dora, 15, Senan, 13, Francis, 12, and Christabel, 5, with her husband, added that their relationship wasn’t always easy, but they are in a good place now.
“It’s had its ups and downs of course, like everybody, but we are totally devoted to each other and to our full, vibrant family life together,” she explained.
FitzGerald’s comments come seven months after West made headlines for kissing his Pursuit of Love costar James, 32, in Rome. Photographs showing the Downton Abbey alum packing on the PDA with West and riding a scooter around the Italian city with him were released in October 2020.
The following day, West and FitzGerald posed for photos and kissed outside their Wiltshire, England, home shutting down rumors that their relationship was in trouble.
“Our marriage is strong and we’re very much still together,” the duo wrote in a note that they handed to reporters at the time. “Thank you.”
Earlier this month, James broke her silence on the scandal, telling The Guardian, “Ach, I’m not really willing to talk about that. There is a lot to say, not now, I’m afraid.” Following the drama, the Cinderella actress was photographed kissing musician Michael Shuman, sparking relationship speculation in February.
West and James are now gearing up for their movie press tour, with a source exclusively telling Us Weekly this month that West has “prepped” James for their work engagements and they “won’t be answering any questions about their affair.”
Now that West and his wife “are going strong,” the insider added that the Affair alum would “like to keep it that way without having the past come and haunt them.”
While it is an “awkward” situation for both actors, the source explained that “everyone’s hoping the relationship between Dominic and Lily can remain professional.”