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'It took courage!' Kiefer Sutherland praises Julia Roberts for cancelling 90s wedding

They were the It couple of their day - Hollywood's sweetheart Julia Roberts, in the first flush of her Pretty Woman fame, and her bad boy lover Kiefer Sutherland.

But she ditched him just three days before their huge 1991 wedding, instead spending the day with his friend, her new lover Jason Patric.

Now, 25 years on, Kiefer has revealed he has no hard feelings towards his ex - in fact he thanks her for showing such 'courage'.

'I think she was being realistic for herself. I think that's much better,' he told Jess Cagle during The Jess Cagle Interview on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network. 

'It took courage!' Kiefer Sutherland praises Julia Roberts for cancelling their 90s wedding in a new interview... but doesn't mention that she left him for Jason Patric; the two are pictured at the Young Gungs II premiere in 1990

He doesn't even mention Patric, instead blaming his and Julia's 'youth' - she was just 23 when she ditched him, while he was a year older.

'We were young and we were both very much in love, we had decided that we wanted to get married, but then this other thing kind of took over,' said the now 49-year-old.

'She was arguably the most famous woman in the world, and this wedding that was supposed to be something between the two of us became something so big.


Moved on: Julia and Jason Patric dated for just a year after she ditched Kiefer to be with him; the two are pictyred at the premiere of Rush in 1992

The couple's planned nuptials were to have taken place on June 14, 1991 on 20th Century Fox's Soundstage 14, which was being decorated like a garden paradise.

One hundred and fifty guests had been invited to watch the Flatliners co-stars wed, including Patric - who had become Kiefer's friend when they co-starred in The Lost Boys and later in Beast.

The bridesmaids had picked up their seafoam green dresses and dyed to match $425 Manolo Blahnik shoes, while Pretty Woman star Julia's $8,000 custom-made two-piece gown was waiting to be collected at the dress shop.

Hollywood's It couple: Julia and Kiefer at the Oscars in 1991; weeks later she ditched him three days before their wedding day, after a go-go dancer sold her story 

But with just days to go, Julia got a friend to call Kiefer and tell him it was over, according to reports at the time. 

Days later she jetted off to Ireland with Patric, with the press in hot pursuit.

Kiefer told Jess Cagle that their wedding had become bigger than the two of them.

'And then, in the middle of that, I think she had the courage – it wasn't what she wanted to do, in the end,' he said.

'And I think it took a lot of courage, even amongst all of that other stuff, to be able to say, "I can't do this."'

A year earlier, Julia had ended her engagement to her Steel Magnolias co-star Dylan McDermott to be with Kiefer, who at the time was still married to Camelia Kath, the mother of his only child.

What a handsome pair: The couple are seen at the Sleeping With The Enemy premiere in 1991; but behind the scenes their romance was not a simple one

When Julia picked up her 1991 Golden Globe for Steel Magnolias it was Kiefer she thanked, dedicating the gong to my 'best friend — my beautiful blue-eyed, green-eyed best friend, who gives me everything'.

However despite the very public love story, behind the scenes their relationship was not so straightforward. 

Months before their wedding while 'doing research for a role' Kiefer moved out of Julia's multi-million dollar home and into a seedy hotel where he hung out with a go-go dancer who went by the name of Raven.

As they are today: Kiefer says he has no hard feelings toward Julia, who he thinks showed 'courage' by ending their relationship

Raven - real name Amanda Rice - later sensationally sold her story after Kiefer moved back in with Julia, which can only be imagined to have caused friction.

Julia then spent five days in the Cedars Sinai hospital, a stay that was blamed on the flu.

And despite his relatively young age, Kiefer also had an already troubled history with alcohol - he received his first DUI arrest in 1987.

But Kiefer didn't mention the drama as he talked to Cagle, saying simply: 'I'm going to leave it at that.'

Old pals: Kiefer shows pictures of his then newborn daughter Sarah to Jason Patric in 1988

Iconic: Kiefer and Patric in The Lost Boys in 1987

Following his ill-fated romance with Julia, 24 star Kiefer went on to marry Kelly Winn in 1996, separating three years later. He has also had a subsequent long-term relationship with Bo Derek.

Meanwhile Julia's relationship with Patric was short-lived. Now 48, she also had a short marriage with Lyle Lovett which ended in 1993, before marrying cameraman Danny Moder in 2002. The two have three children.

Perhaps surprisingly, it appears Kiefer and Patric even managed to salvage their friendship - the two starred on Broadway together in 2012.

Patched things up: Perhaps surprisingly, it appears Kiefer and Patric even managed to salvage their friendship - the two starred on Broadway together four years agoi; they are seen in 2013

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