Miranda Lambert may have expected the coverage of her surprise marriage to 27-year-old New York City police officer Brendan McLoughlin to be more universally celebrated.
Instead, fans are wondering about a report that McLoughlin cheated on his former fiancee and got another woman pregnant, as well as questions about whether he was the young male dining companion at the center of the recent Nashville steakhouse fight during which Lambert dumped salad on a woman’s lap.
There appears to be still more challenges to the country star’s newlywed bliss. Lambert, 35, and McLoughlin reportedly will live apart and have to make due with a commuter marriage, while he’s being reassigned duties in the NYPD because of all the media scrutiny.
Let’s back up.
On Saturday, Lambert took to Instagram to announce, “in honor of Valentine’s Day,” that she got “hitched” to McLoughlin.”I met the love of my life,” she wrote. “My heart is full. Thank you Brendan Mcloughlin for loving me for…. me.”
TMZ reported that McLoughlin was an NYPD officer assigned to the Midtown South precinct in Manhattan, where he walks foot patrol in Times Square. Us Weekly also said that the handsome 5-foot-11-inch McLoughln once was an aspiring model.
Another TMZ report said his Times Square duties may have brought him into Lambert’s orbit and led to their whirlwind romance. Lambert and McLoughlin reportedly met when she came to New York to appear on “Good Morning America” on Nov. 2. The ABC show’s studios are near Times Square.
TMZ said that the idea that the two-time Grammy winner was dating a police officer and was serious enough about him to get married came “out of nowhere.”
The gossip site furthermore questioned whether McLoughlin was with Lambert and her mother on Feb. 10 when the singer got into a heated argument with other diners at the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill in Nashville. During the argument, Lambert reportedly walked over to the other diners’ table and dumped salad on the lap of a woman.
“It’s possible, but hard to tell, that the male friend is her new husband, Brendan,” TMZ said, publishing photos from the incident.
It’s not clear what sparked the brouhaha, but TMZ said the altercation had something to do with Lambert’s male friend (McLoughlin?) being insulted by a joke made by an older male diner in the men’s restroom. The beef continued into the dining room and included Lambert “mouthing off” at the male diner and dumping the salad.
Police were called, but Lambert and her party were gone by the time officers arrived.
But the salad fight may not be the only possible controversy surrounding Lambert and her new husband — her second after divorcing Blake Shelton in 2015.
Us Weekly reported that McLoughlin cheated on his ex-fiancee, Jackie Bruno, and got another woman pregnant. That other woman, Kaihla Rettinger, gave birth to McLoughlin’s baby in November 2018 — around the time he apparently met Lambert and began his romance with her.
The cheating claim comes from Jackie Bruno’s mother Carol Bruno, who told Us Weekly that her daughter was “blindsided” by his infidelity.
“She was engaged to Brendan and he cheated on her and got another girl pregnant,” Carol Bruno told Us Weekly. “It’s all true.”
“She was thrown for a loop, she had no clue,” Carol Bruno said about her daughter. She told Us Weekly that Rettinger contacted her daughter, a professional soccer player, to tell her about her pregnancy.
“(Brendan) tried to deny it and then begged her to stay with him,” Carol Bruno added to Us Weekly.
Lambert previously dated musician R&B musician Anderson East for two years and then Evan Felker of the net-folk group the Turnpike Troubadours. But in August 2018, Lambert confirmed her breakup with Felker to The Tennessean, saying she was “happily single,” according to Us Weekly.
In addition to McLoughlin’s previous relationship drama, he and his new wife may face other challenges in their first year of marriage. TMZ reported that the couple won’t share a home base but will be splitting their time between Nashville, where Lambert has a 400-acre estate, and New York City, were McLoughlin will continue his police work for at least a year.
Speaking of his job, TMZ added that McLoughlin is being reassigned from his foot patrol duties in Times Square. Sources told TMZ that McLoughlin has been temporarily reassigned to a more covert position — driving top police officials around — because the media, including reporters and photographers in news trucks, were hounding him while on duty.
But McLoughlin’s work may not be the only thing keeping him in New York City for the time being, TMZ added. He also has a new baby with ex-girlfriend Kaihla Rettinger, and it remains to be seen if and how that child will be integrated into his new life with his country star wife.