Most people know Martin Lawrence as a comedian turned actor who knows how to create compelling characters and of course make audiences laugh. Lawrence initially started out as a stand-up comedian performing on the circuit before eventually snagging a high profile hosting opportunity for Russell Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam” series that aired on HBO. 

Simultaneously, Lawrence was also starring in his hit Fox network series “Martin” which ran from 1992 to 1997. And of course, there were appearances as a host on Saturday Night Live, and his wildly popular match up with Will Smith in the “Bad Boys” franchise, along with countless comedy movies where he either starred or was a leading co-star. 

But along the way, Martin Lawrence can count quite a few loves within his personal life with a few that rose to the level of marriage. He’s not only fearless with his on-screen personality, but he’s willing to gamble when it comes to love too. Specifically, the comedian has walked down the aisle twice before and has had long engagements. So, he’s no stranger to nuptials and all that it entails. Let’s take a look at Lawrence’s romantic CV and see who he was once married to, and if anyone is holding the number one spot in his heart right now. 

Who Is Patricia Southall?

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Martin Lawrence’s first trip down the aisle was with former beauty queen and entrepreneur, Patricia Southall (now known as Patricia Smith). She is a Virginia native hailing from Chesapeake and graduated from James Madison University with a degree in journalism. Pageant fans may recognize her as the 1993 Miss Virginia USA winner who represented her home state at the 1994 Miss USA pageant. 

According to sources, Southall met Lawrence in 1992 while she was working for then Governor Douglas Wilder’s media office. At the time, Martin Lawrence was in Richmond for a Def Comedy Jam concert in the city. The two later tied the knot in 1995 and had a daughter, Jasmin Page Lawrence, in 1996. However, this wasn’t a romance that was meant to last and the two went their separate ways after divorcing in 1997. 

Still, love wasn’t done with Patricia Southall. She is now the wife of former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith. The two married in 2000 and have three children together — two sons and a daughter. Together the couple are parents and step-parents to a combined 5 children: 3 that they share with each other and one each from previous relationships. 

Who Is Shamika Gibbs?

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Although Lawrence’s second marriage was almost just as short as his first, this doesn’t show the full picture. Shortly after divorcing Patricia Southall in 1997, Martin Lawrence began dating Shamika Gibbs. Even though there was a 10-year age gap between the two, their total relationship spanned roughly 15 years. 

The two share two daughters who were both present as flower girls at their intimate wedding in 2010. Even though the marriage ended in 2012, reality fans might recognize Shamika Gibbs for her time on the VH1 series “Hollywood Exes.”

A High Profile Engagement

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Long-term relationships seem to be Martin Lawrence’s calling card as he was most recently linked with Roberta Moradfar. She’s a nurse practitioner and the host of the perfume podcast, “On That Note.” Sources aren’t entirely clear on when the two first met, but paparazzi photos show the two of them paired up frequently starting in 2014. In March 2017 Moradfar announced their engagement on social media posting a close up picture of her engagement ring and captioning it “And I said YES!”

However, this was a long engagement that ultimately went nowhere as the two eventually went their separate ways. It’s rumored that some time during 2022 the two called it quits, but no one knows for sure when the breakup occurred. While neither one made an overt post addressing the breakup, Moradfar let the public know that her and Lawrence were over when she posted a snap of her and her new boo on Christmas Eve 2022 and captioned it “Santa brought me an early present.”

Still, it seems like there’s no ill will between the former couple as both Moradfar and Lawrence still follow each other on social media and Roberta even left a kind message on the star’s 55th birthday. 

Who Is Martin Lawrence Dating Now?

Marriage aside, the funny man has been linked with some eye-catching love interests over the years. This includes MC Lyte and Lark Vorhees — who made a guest appearance on his comedy series “Martin.” These days, it looks like Lawrence is keeping a low profile. So, if he is currently linked with anyone, everyone is being very quiet about it. Instead, the star is channeling his attention into his career. This includes later “Bad Boy” franchise installments as well as the “Martin: The Reunion” special which came out in 2022.