Denise Van Outen smiling

Inside Denise Van Outen’s colourful love life: Divorce, broken engagement, sexting scandal and being ‘back to square one’

Denise has had many well-documented relationships

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Television star Denise Van Outen has remained a popular public figure since becoming a household name, whether that be due to her career or eventful love life.

The former Big Breakfast host, who is making an appearance on tonight’s Celebrity Gogglebox (July 5), is no stranger to a high-profile relationship, many of which have been well-documented.

Jay Kay performing on stage
Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay and Denise were engaged (Credit:

Denise Van Outen was engaged to Jay Kay from Jamiroquai

From 1998 until 2001, Denise was in a relationship with Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay. In 1999, the pair got engaged. At the time, Jay said (via BBC)” “No one else is like her at all. She’s bonkers and makes me laugh, I wouldn’t want anyone else.”

However, Denise and Jay Kay never tied the knot as they called their whole romance off in 2001.

We hardly get to see each other.

He previously explained: “If Denise and I get to spend five days together it’s a bonus. We hardly get to see each other because of our schedules.” He added: “We may go out once in a while and when we do we always get recognised. Some people notice Denise and haven’t got a clue who I am.”

Jamiroquai’s 2001 hit single Little L is said to be about his relationship with the Essex-born presenter.

“Jay and I are still really good friends and people are speculating so much about why we broke up,” Denise explained following their engagement.

“The reason was work-related but we’re still both happy and still speaking to each other.”

Denise Van Outen, Lee Mead and their daughter Betsy smiling
Lee and Denise share a daughter, Betsy (Credit:

Denise started a family with ex-husband Lee Mead

In 2009, Denise married actor Lee Mead, who she divorced in 2015 but had already split from in 2013. A year after they walked down the aisle, they welcomed their daughter, Betsy.

In an open letter for The Sun in 2023, Denise stated that she was “adamant” that she didn’t want her split from Lee to impact Betsy.

“You were just three and we both had a duty of care to make everything the best it possibly could be,” she said.

“To be honest, it was never too difficult — me and your dad have always had a great deal of respect for each other and co-parenting came naturally.”

“Even now when he drops you off after you’ve stayed at his, he’ll usually come in for a cuppa, so you can see that our relationship is genuine,” Denise continued.

Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall smiling
Eddie and Denise’s split was messy (Credit:

Her relationship with Eddie Boxshall ended badly

Denise and commodities trader Eddie Boxshall hit things off in 2014. During their relationship, they lived together in Chelmsford. However, things turned ugly when they split in 2022.

At the time, Eddie admitted to sending up to 20 sex texts to other women behind Denise’s back.

“I broke her trust. I’m deeply sorry,” Eddie told The Sun after getting caught.

The Celebrity Gogglebox star revealed that Denise found out after discovering the content on his iPad.

“She was in a rage, screaming obscenities at me, that she didn’t want me in her life any more, and my life was going to be ruined without her,” he said.

“Then she physically helped me out of the house.”

Denise Van Outen and Jimmy Barba on the red carpet
Jimmy and Denise’s relationship was short-lived (Credit:

Denise moved on with Jimmy Barba

Soon after Denise’s messy split from Eddie, she moved on with property developer Jimmy Barba.

However, by November 2023, she announced that they had split.

“We have decided to part ways but we remain great friends and our families and children are still in touch,” she told The Sun.

“It was a really tough decision to make but Denise knew it was best to end things with Jimmy as the romance ran its course,” an inside source revealed.

“She’s had a rough few weeks and has thrown herself into work to get over it. Everyone loved and knew him, which made the decision even harder. She feels like she is back to square one now, but she had to follow her gut,” they continued.

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Denise Van Outen's Ex Lee Mead Still Comes Round for Dinner | Loose Women

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Fabio Magnocavallo
Freelance Writer