Actress Julianne Moore, singer/songwriter Robert Pattinson, and actor John Cusack are among the famous people who recently had their DNA tested as part of a betrothal ceremony. The actress and the musician were allegedly betrothed back in 2011, but held off on making it official until September 2017. The couple’s shared DNA, reportedly obtained from a saliva swab, was enough to satisfy the requirements of a British judge who presided over the mock-wedding ceremony as part of the Guinness World Record for “World’s Longest Wedding Ceremony.”
The ceremony was a publicity stunt, part of a betrothal campaign by dating app Happn. The app’s co-founder and CEO Klaus Neuwirth posted a photo of the judge’s certificate on his Instagram page, along with the hashtags “#betrothed” and “#guinnessworldrecord.”
Neuwirth, who is a German national, has a history of publicity stunts related to his product. The dating app that he launched in Germany in 2014 was originally called “Gefühl” (German for “feeling”) before being rebranded as Happn. One of Neuwirth’s previous stunts was to pay off all of Germany’s credit card debt in one fell swoop by converting it to cryptocurrency. He also offered cash rewards to those who submitted videos of themselves singing.
The Common Ancestor
The reason why the judges decided to approve the marriage proposal is because the three celebrities share a common ancestor. Irishman James Moore was the father of Julianne Moore, and Scottishman William Pattinson was the father of Robert. When they were both young, William left Ireland for the US, where he eventually settled. He later married an American woman and had a family with her. Finally, he returned to Ireland and had more children with his first wife. James and Robert’s great-grandfather was a direct descendant of William Pattinson, making them half-brothers.
According to the Irish Genealogical Society, the name James was “very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries in the United States,” with many families using it as a first name or middle name. It is now considered “a very difficult name to research” because many James Moores were born after the turn of the 20th century. For the same reason, it’s also difficult to trace the ancestry of Robert Pattinson and Julianne Moore.
Another interesting fact about the marriage proposal and the ensuing ceremony is that the three couples exchanged wedding rings. While it is not uncommon for celebrities to have matching jewellery, this is the first time that three couples have been documented as wearing matching rings. (There is no information available about whether or not they are actually set to be married at the end of the year.)
It is well-known that Robert Pattinson and Julianne Moore have been dating for many years. In fact, they were first introduced to each other by their shared agent, Ian Lloyd, back in 2011. The following year, Moore starred in the independent film “Still Alice” with Pattinson in the leading role. (The film was named after real-life Alzheimer’s disease sufferer Alice Howland.)
The two have remained together ever since and have two children, daughter Stella and son Henry. (Moore’s mother is Scottish and her father is Irish.) Despite their on-screen chemistry, it appears that it has not always been easy for the couples to balance their busy schedules. In 2016, they had to deny reports that they were engaged after Pattinson spent several months living in Italy with his family.
John Cusack and Mila Kunis were married in a lavish ceremony in July 2014, after dating for three years. The couple have one child. (Kunis’ parents are Polish, and her mother is French.) While the ceremony was relatively discreet, many insiders were still surprised to see Kunis wearing a wedding dress, as prior to the ceremony she had not disclosed that she was pregnant.
Given the foursome’s shared DNA, it’s not difficult to imagine that some celebrities could potentially be great uncles or great aunts. It is possible that the courts may yet approve another wedding for two of these prominent couples.