Skip to main content

Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert was in a relationship with actor Rob Lowe for nearly seven years. However, life wasn’t exactly a fairytale for the two. Gilbert and Lowe had an interesting kind of love — they wanted desperately to make things work, but infidelity on both sides created a messy relationship. And there were a number of alleged affairs between the two of them over the years.

Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert
Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert | Time Life Pictures/DMI/Getty Images

Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe dated for nearly seven years

Gilbert and Lowe first met when they were only teenagers. The two were about 17 when they were first introduced, and there was instantly a spark. “I fell instantly, hopelessly and stupidly in love,” she wrote in her memoir, “Prairie Tale,” according to Today. “We went from first date to instant couple. I felt like I was starving for Rob.”

Lowe and Gilbert went through difficult times in their relationship, though he eventually proposed. She said yes, only to learn shortly after that she was pregnant. And according to Gilbert, Lowe broke up with her upon learning he had fathered her child. Gilbert later had a miscarriage.

“I had lost my baby and my relationship with Rob … and it hurt like hell,” the actress wrote.

Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe
Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe | Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Rob Lowe reportedly cheated on Melissa Gilbert with two women

There were rumors of infidelity within the couple’s relationship — and it wasn’t one-sided. Lowe reportedly had an affair with actress Nastassja Kinski while the two were filming “The Hotel New Hampshire.” Gilbert only realized that Lowe and Kinski were involved with each other after calling his hotel. Gilbert confronted Lowe, and he eventually admitted to stepping out on her. Ultimately, though, she forgave him.

Lowe allegedly also cheated on Gilbert with Princess Stéphanie of Monaco. The two first met in 1983, though since Lowe and Gilbert’s relationship was all over the place, it’s hard to tell if Lowe actually cheated on Gilbert, though the rumors flew. Lowe wrote in his tell-all book that the princess was actually dating someone else as well; she reportedly called her butler and asked him to remove her current boyfriend’s belongings before bringing Lowe back to her apartment. Lowe’s fling with the princess didn’t last long, and he and Gilbert were together shortly after.

Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe
Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe | Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

What Melissa Gilbert Told Rob Lowe She Was Doing When She Was Cheating on Him

Melissa Gilbert allegedly had affairs with Tom Cruise and Scott Baio

Though Lowe had admitted to cheating, Gilbert wasn’t entirely innocent, either. She also admitted to stepping out on Lowe, partly because she wanted him to feel what she felt when he cheated on her.

Gilbert and actor Tom Cruise dated briefly prior to her longtime relationship with Lowe, but according to Today, Gilbert reportedly cheated on Lowe with Cruise at one point. And that wasn’t the only time. The actress also admitted to having an affair while filming “Sylvester.” She and the associate director, Frank Capra III, hit it off while filming; since Lowe wasn’t able to join Gilbert on set, temptation won out, and she cheated with Capra.