All About Penn Badgley’s Wife, Domino Kirke

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Penn Badgley and Domino Kirke met in 2014, and were soon dating seriously, drawn together by their connections to the entertainment industry, mutual friends, and living in New York City. Kirke is not herself an actress, but she is the sister of Jemima and Lola Kirke, known for their respective roles in Girls and Mozart in the Jungle.

Three years after meeting they were married and went on to welcome a child in 2020. Here’s what’s known about Kirke and her relationship with the You star so far.

Who is Domino Kirke?

Kirke is the daughter of Simon Kirke, known as the co-founder and drummer of the band Bad Company, and Lorraine Kirke, a vintage shop owner and interior decorator. Though her family is obviously drawn to performance, Kirke studied to become a doula and reiki practitioner, and is the co-founder of Carriage House Birth, which provides services for pregnant women. In 2021, she and Joanna Griffiths released a book about the experiences of postpartum moms titled Life After Birth: Portraits of Love and the Beauty of Parenthood.

But she does sing and act as well! She attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School to study music, and went on to form a band called DOMINO. In 2017, she released an album with Mark Ronson titled Beyond Waves, and has toured. One of her songs is featured in Lena Dunham’s film Tiny Furniture.

She self-directed a music video for the song “Half Blood” about half-siblings, inviting her half-brother, her husband, and his half-sister, Jen, to appear.

“I wanted to understand that connection in other half siblings too, so I invited friends and strangers alike to take part and tell their stories,” Kirke told PAPER.

In 2009, she had her first son Cassius with musician Morgan O’Kane.

How did Badgley and Kirke meet?

They were first spotted together in New York City in the summer of 2014 but had reportedly been dating for a few months. On his podcast, she later stated that they met in a meatball shop and Kirke offered to let him stay at her place when she heard he was couch surfing in the city. He said no, but they exchanged numbers.

“I was sort of getting used to being a single mom, maybe a little too used to it,” Kirke said. “I had a really good thing with my kid and we were like this little team. Penn and I were dating, but it wasn’t nearly as serious as it is now, of course. I didn’t think marriage was in the cards for us.”

The couple have both embraced the Baha’i faith, which Badgley has credited as part of why he was ready for marriage when they started connecting.

“I don’t think I could truly value human love until I developed divine love,” Penn told People in 2018. “[Domino and I] very much had a romantic beginning, and I think that you discover in marriage that what sustains a marriage for decades—there are less and less people who can tell us this—but I think it has something to do with [divine] love.”

When did they get married?

The couple had two different ceremonies in 2017, first a small civil ceremony in Brooklyn with dinner at Maison-May in February and then a larger reception in June at Domino’s mother’s home in Waccabuc, New York.

“My first wedding was more of a civil ceremony with about 40 people that were able to join us in a pinch,” Kirke said, according to People. “The second one was more planned. 200 people came from all over the world. It just felt necessary to have both.”

Some celebrity guests included Mariska Hargitay, Zac Posen, Debra Messing, and Heidi Klum.

She told i-D in 2017, “I got married and it was a bit of a whirlwind I wasn’t expecting for the next phase for Penn and I. To be honest, it came as a huge surprise, and it happened after the record was made so it’s been a very busy year.”

Since their marriage, Badgley has talked about fidelity and how that has changed how he feels about taking roles with intimate scenes.

In an episode of the podcast Podcrushed in 2023, he revealed, “I asked Sera Gamble, [the] creator, ‘Can I just do no more intimacy scenes?’’This was actually a decision I had made before I took the show. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it publicly, but one of the main things is, do I want to put myself back on a career path where I’m always [the] romantic lead? Fidelity in every relationship—especially in a marriage—is important to me.”

He elaborated in a later interview with Variety, saying he almost turned down the role because of the show’s sex scenes.

“It’s not a place where I’ve blurred lines. There’s almost nothing I could say with more consecration,” he said. “That aspect of Hollywood has always been very disturbing to me—and that aspect of the job, that mercurial boundary—has always been something that I actually don’t want to play with at all. I didn’t tell anybody that. But that is why.”

Do they have kids?

In addition to Kirke’s son Cassius Riley, Kirke gave birth to her first child with Badgley on August 20, 2020, a son named James.

In a now-deleted Instagram post, Kirke revealed that the couple had experienced two miscarriages in a row before she became pregnant with their son.

“I stopped trusting my body and started to accept the fact that I was done,” wrote Kirke. “As a birth attendant, I’ve seen and heard it all. It takes everything I’ve got to detach lovingly from the losses I’ve been present for and be in my own experience. When I was pregnant at 25, I knew nothing. I had no community. I dove in blissfully unaware about birth and its mysteries. Now, with 10 years worth of experience to pull from, I treasure my birth community and the knowledge I have.”

She added to her future child, “You’re already teaching us how to stay in the day in a way we’ve never had to, little one. Thank you.”

Badgley later talked about how becoming a dad changed how he approached his role in You, playing a psychopathic murderer.

“The funny thing is I was curious what my new fatherhood, how that would influence my experience with Joe and acting with him, and sometimes it was almost not helpful because I was having such a light and joyful experience—still am—and Joe is so petrified,” he told Access. “He’s so scared, and of course I can identify with the fear, but he’s just so morbid in his obsessive, sort of like self-preservation, primal instinct that sometimes I almost found it harder as a result, you know what I mean? It really depended on the scene.”

What else have they said about one another?

In 2019, Badgley wrote a loving tribute to Kirke for her birthday, sharing a sweet video of her walking in the snow.

In a 2020 Actors on Actors video interview for Variety with his former co-star Chase Crawford, Badgley shared that he and Kirke watched his famous show Gossip Girl together.

“I watched with my wife, with Domino, before we got married,” he stated. “It must’ve been six months after we met. She had never seen it, and that’s the last time I can remember seeing an episode.”

In an interview with Glamour UK, Kirke discussed “getting used” to being married to a big celebrity, despite her connections to other celebrities in her own family.

“I didn’t watch Gossip Girl, so I didn’t really know what all the fuss was about when I met him,” she said. “So I’m still sort of—getting used to this, and I think he is too, because he was always part of this ensemble. So this is new for him. He’s the star[of You], the shining star of all of it. I think it’s a learning curve for us, for sure. It’s very unnatural to be known as well as he’s known right now. It feels kind of strange when we’re out and about to have the amount of people come up to us—it’s pretty crazy, actually. So, I don’t think it ever feels normal or healthy, so we’re all just getting used to it.”

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