Melissa Gilbert Once Said Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie of Monaco Fell in Love Because ‘They Were Virtual Look-Alikes’

Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert and Rob Lowe dated on-and-off for about five years — from the time they were 17 until the Oxford Blues actor proposed. During one of their “off” periods, Lowe dated Princess Stephanie of Monaco. In her memoir, Prairie Tale, Gilbert wrote that Lowe and his new love interest were bound to be gaga for each other because “they were virtual look-alikes.”

Princess Stephanie of Monaco; Rob Lowe
Princess Stephanie of Monaco; Rob Lowe | Chris Carroll/Corbis via Getty Images; Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images

Why Melissa Gilbert ‘could not have cared less’ about Rob Lowe and Princess Stephanie of Monaco

Lowe and Princess Stephanie spent 10 days together in Paris, where they fell madly in love, “which shouldn’t have shocked anyone since they were virtual look-alikes,” wrote Gilbert.

Around the same time, Lowe had made it known in an interview with Joan Rivers that the princess was his “fantasy woman.” Stephanie reciprocated via the press.

Naturally, tabloids reached out to Gilbert to learn her reaction.

“Assuming that I must be heartbroken there was another princess in my love story, they asked if I was okay,” she wrote.

Gilbert told her publicist to say that she had no comment.

“But truth be told, I could not have cared less,” she wrote.

Gilbert had fallen in love with her own prince, an agent she met at a party named Alan Greenspan.

“I would pinch myself whenever I thought about Alan,” wrote Gilbert. “Not only was he breathtakingly handsome, he was also a kind, warm, generous, funny, easygoing guy. I’d lucked out.”

Melissa was crushed when her best friend wanted to throw a party for Rob and Princess Stephanie

Though Gilbert writes that she “could not have cared less” about her ex’s new relationship, it hurt her when her best friend, Katie Wagner, asked about throwing a party to celebrate the couple.

“I was bothered, though, when Katie called me one day after Rob’s royal romance had hit high gear, with tabloids reporting that he and Stephanie had exchanged rings and were already planning to wed (not true),” she wrote. “She wanted to throw a party for Rob and Stephanie, and she asked, ‘Is that okay with you?'”

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

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Gilbert told her friend to do what she wanted. But she wishes she would have said: “Dude, are you crazy? That’s the most hurtful thing you’ve ever said to me.”

The question created “a distance” between Gilbert and Wagner.

“I was pissed,” she wrote. “Here was my best friend, a girl I let myself trust, and she was suddenly as swept up by the whole stardom thing as anyone else.”

Rob asked Melissa to marry him after he and Princess Stephanie broke up

Eventually, Lowe’s whirlwind romance with the princess ended. When it did, it wasn’t long before he called up Gilbert. Once he convinced her to talk with him, he got down on one knee and proposed. Gilbert, still with Greenspan, told him she needed to think about it. She ended up saying yes, but the two split for good before ever getting married.