Who is Richie Sambora dating? A look at his relationships as Bon Jovi wishes ex-bandmate 'had his life together'
Sambora, 61, had left the band in April 2013 citing 'personal reasons'. He had spent over three decades with Bon Jovi
The rift between rock legends Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora isn't hidden from fans and critics alike. The two musicians, who spent over three decades together as part of Bon Jovi, have spoken about each other publicly – usually in an attacking tone – multiple times since Richie's 2013 departure from the iconic band. Now, in a new interview with YouTube channel Rock Antenne, Jon has once again spoken about his former bandmate stoking fresh controversy.
During the interview, the 58-year-old frontman of Bon Jovi was asked if there was anything he'd change about his career to which Jon replied saying, "There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish that Richie had his life together and was still in the band. In a weird way, it's because of his inability to get it together anymore that we went on and wrote (the 2016 album) 'This House Is Not For Sale'". Talking about Richie's exit, Jon further added, "Maybe we would have gotten lazy...I don't know where we would have gone, but through all that pain and heartbreak came this." Sambora, the 61-year-old former Bon Jovi guitarist, famously left the band in April 2013 citing 'personal reasons'. He had spent over three decades with Bon Jovi.
Following Jon's comment, friends of Richie rushed to defend the guitarist. According to the Daily Mail, a close friend of Richie slammed Jon for back-handed comments saying the singer is trying to 'become relevant' by talking about Richie. The close friend who, according to Daily Maid, also called Jon a "low-class rockstar", said, "This is a desperate attempt to discredit Sambora for leaving Bon Jovi when Sambora was forced to leave the band in 2013 because his daughter truly needed him. History has proved she did need him and Ava has gone on to be a straight A student, now in grad school and staying out of the limelight."
Richie, in 2016, talked about his departure from Bon Jovi saying, "I mean, I really needed to take some time to be with my daughter. She needed me, and I needed her, actually." Both Richie and Jon, over the years, have attacked each other since 2013. When Jon alluded that Richie's exit from the band was a result of his substance abuse, the guitarist defended himself saying, "It's getting more and more difficult every day to not just sit here and say something…Because all I can say is this – it's for personal reasons." He further said, "Enough with the trash talking! I don't have any major problems in life right now. I love my fans and I feel bad for them at the moment. Bottom line. My opinion is Jon wants to see if he can pull off stadiums by himself. He is making it very difficult for me to come back." Trying to end the controversy, Richie added, "Jon needs to stop talking about me publicly," reports Daily Mail.
News television personality Megyn Kelly also came to Sambora's defense tweeting in response to an article about Jon's comments. She wrote, "What a low-class attack on the guy who made you a star, Jon Bon Jovi. Richie Sambora is the most genuine, kind, giving friend, dad, human there is. No one has a bad word re: him-except you, always you. Guess you need att’n for your new album? Sad." Sharing an article titled 'How Richie Sambora Helped Megyn Kelly's Son After Teacher's Death', she further added, "This is who Richie Sambora is, and he very much "has his act together", Jon Bon Jovi, as you well know."
What a low-class attack on the guy who made you a star, Jon Bon Jovi. @TheRealSambora is the most genuine, kind, giving friend, dad, human there is. No one has a bad word re: him-except you, always you. Guess you need att’n for your new album? Sad. https://t.co/yXylMVwmfA— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) October 5, 2020
This is who @TheRealSambora is, and he very much “has his act together,” @jonbonjovi, as you well know.— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) October 5, 2020
“How Richie Sambora Helped Megyn Kelly's Son After Teacher's Death” | https://t.co/MQpodo0gIm https://t.co/lZMLqymSRC
Richie Sambora's dating history
Richie was married to actress Heather Locklear with whom he shares daughter Ava Sambora, 23. The two married in 1994 but divorced in 2007 citing irreconcilable differences. In the years following their highly publicized divorce, Locklear struggled as there were 911 calls placed over concern about her mental health and safety, a DUI arrest, medical facility visits and a domestic violence arrest.
Richie has been in some high profile relationships with singer Cher (for a year starting 1989), actress Denise Richards, fashion designer Nikki Lund, and guitarist Orianthi.
'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star Denise Richards, who was previously married to Charlie Sheen, was accused of breaking Richie's marriage to Heather Locklear. Speaking about the issue to US Weekly, Denise said she did date the husband of a former friend (Heather) but did not "break up a marriage." The couple began dating in 2006 and split in 2012. Talking about the break-up, Denise said, "We aren't dating, but as a lot of people have seen, I stay very friendly with my exes. All of them. We went through a lot. Years ago we both lost our parents at the same time and were going through other stuff, so we'll always have a bond with each other and we will stay good friends forever."
Richie dated designer Nikki for five years from 2008 to 2013. He had a highly public falling out with her which involved a lawsuit by Richie against Nikki for alleged extortion of more than $150,000, defamation and illegally recording a phone call. He accused her of trying to frame him for making death threats. The guitarist said that he dished out wads of cash – first $50k, then $45k, then $35k and finally $25k – to keep her and her publicist, Sean Borg, from going public with claims he threatened them. When he cut them off, Lund unsuccessfully tried to get him prosecuted.
According to Richie, Nikki secretly recorded him – and then edited the tape – to make it appear he was threatening to kill her. According to his lawsuit, the relationship fell apart after the former Bon Jovi guitarist invested $4 million into their joint-fashion venture, Nikki Rich. He accused Nikki of using the company as her personal piggy bank and, ultimately, driving it into the ground.
Richie dated guitarist Orianthi from 2014 to 2018. According to TMZ, the two met through music legend Alice Cooper, Orianthi’s former employer. He was instantly interested in Orianthi – who has played guitar for Prince and Michael Jackson – and asked Cooper "who the hell is that?"
The two, who performed as the duo RSO, broke-up amicably and released a statement to TMZ saying, "Thank you to all our fans who have bought the new RSO record and attended our shows, we love and appreciate you all. We love and support each other but are taking the summer off to focus on family and other endeavors. We will regroup in the near future with our music. Peace and love to you all and thank you for your continued support."
As per reports, Richie is currently single.