Salma Hayek doesn’t speak about her personal life often, but she made an exception when discussing her marriage to François-Henri Pinault, the billionaire CEO of Kering. Hayek, who wedded Pinault 10 years ago and has a daughter with him—11-year-old Valentina Paloma—recently addressed her detractors who she says are “intimidated” by her. She had some heavy words about them too.
“A lot of people are very shocked that I married who I married,” she told Town & Country. “And some people are even intimidated now by me. But it’s another way of showing racism. They can’t believe this Mexican ended up in the life that she has, and they’re uncomfortable around me.”
Regardless of other people’s thoughts on her relationship, Hayek is thankful for her marriage. “[Pinault] is the best husband in the world,” she added. “I get to be who I am with him, and I don’t feel that somebody tries to limit me.”
She then teased a reveal of how the couple first encountered each other, ultimately deciding not to share the story. “I’m not going to tell you [how we met]. It’s such a romantic, amazing story, but it is mine,” she said, which is totally fair. She and Pinault are entitled to their privacy. “I don’t want to vulgarize it by making it into a story to make myself interesting.”
While we may never know how the pair found their way to each other, Hayek has talked about their proposal before, which she says reaffirmed their equality as individuals within their relationship. When saying yes, Hayek added the caveat that she wanted to continue to remain financially independent, as she told Allure in 2015. “I have a system in my life that I’ve chosen, where my expenses from before the marriage are my expenses,” she shared, before adding his response to her demand: “And he goes, ‘I know. That’s why I want to marry you.’ Maybe that’s also part of what works great in my marriage,” she adds. “I still have my independence. But he likes it....And I get a lot of respect from him.” That she chooses to remain financially independent in a marriage to a billionaire? That deserves respect from everyone else too.