Rhea Durham, born July 1st, 1978 in Lakeland, Florida, is an American Fashion Model, married to actor Mark Wahlberg (Marky Mark). The couple has four children together, Ella, Michael, and Brendan, and Grace Margaret.
The pair met during a press junket in New York City, and dated for 8 years before making things official in 2009. According to Mark their first date was in a Church. It was important for him to share his faith with Rhea, a move that made a lasting impression. Durham was raised a Christian, Wahlberg a Catholic. She has since converted to Catholicism and the couple was married at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills. The ceremony was a private, small, family gathering, and by request of the couple, none of the wedding photos were published.
CAREER Rhea Durham was discovered at a mall in Lakeland Florida at 15 years old by Model Scouts, a modeling agency in Florida. She wasn’t at the mall for the contest, “just passing through” she told a local newspaper. The next year was spent travelling to New York and Paris after winning a $100k modeling contract, attending casting calls and photo tests. She began to achieve noteworthy success by 1996, landing runway appearances in Milan and Paris. During this time she also focused on her studies, and finished her high school diploma by correspondence course.
In 1997, she pulled in over $500k with ads for Giorgio and Carolina Herrera’s new 212 fragrance, as well as a 6-page spread in Vogue. Rhea Durham has graced the covers of some of the most prolific fashion magazines in the world, including both the British and American versions of Elle, French Vogue, and Italian Marie Claire.
Social Media Controversy Husband Mark Wahlberg is no stranger to modeling, well known for a Calvin Klein ad he was featured in. When that famous campaign was recreated for singer Justin Bieber, Rhea Durham started some controversy with her comments online.
“My baby was the 1st and the best and not to mention…..wow the retouching,” Rhea tweeted. “Mark Wahlberg Calvin Klein ads—google search that’s the real….ain’t gonna lie. Just gonna say this…did you ever hear the song #aintnuthingliketherealthingbaby.”
The comments sparked a backlash on Twitter from Justin Bieber fans worldwide, leading Durham to later clarify “No hate! Just saying the original was the best that’s all.” She even went as far as referencing One Direction singer Harry Style while trying to backtrack on the comments “Hey! Guess what??? I love Justin! My husband loves Justin! My daughter loves Justin!! And Harry (but that’s another story) it’s a love fest.” She continued, “I’m not censoring how I feel about my husband! That’s my Man…..sorry! One day Justin will have a wife too and she’ll do the same!”
Not one who is shy about voicing her opinions on social media, Durham also publicly criticized Este Lauder for choosing Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashians half-sister, as their new face, tweeting “As a model who worked her a** off to get to the top, I find it unfair to many that Kendall Jenner just ‘rose to the top’ from her name. . . . I mean really, the new face of Estée Lauder??? Ridiculous on many people’s parts!”
She also had an issue with People magazines choice of Chris Hemsworth as “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2014, tweeting “@peoplemag what’s up with not ‘making’ Mark Wahlberg the sexiest man alive?????”