He is currently riding high in the rom-com Bridget Jones’s Baby.
But Patrick Dempsey was once accused of domestic violence and the details will shock fans of the former Grey’s Anatomy star.
The Sun on Sunday has pulled old court files from his 1994 bitter divorce from ex-wife Rochelle “Rocky” Parker.
Parker – who was 26 years older than Patrick – was 47 to his 21 when they married in 1987.
But their May-December romance soured in the mid-90s and she accused the future Dr McDreamy of abuse.
“While we were on the set of his (1987) movie Can’t Buy Me Love, he beat me up because he claimed he ‘wanted to see what it was like to beat up a woman!’,” she alleged in the legal documents.
“I now suffer from arthritis in my hand from where Respondent injured me.”
She went on to say: “The physical abuse included Respondent breaking my finger when he rushed me to a van and closed the door on my finger.”
Dempsey, now 50, denied the allegations and in 2006 Parker withdrew the claims.
She died of lung and throat cancer at the age of 74 in 2014.
The two actors met back in 1984 when they appeared in a touring production of the Neil Simon play Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Dempsey was 18 at the time. Parker – in real life a widowed mother-of-three – played his aunt.
She says even she was stunned by their unconventional romance.
“I don’t know how it happened,” she said in an interview. “I thought it was insane when a young cousin of mine got involved with an older woman years ago.
“Then it happens to you. You certainly don’t look for it, but it teaches you to never say never.”
Parker quit acting and went on to manage her young husband’s career. But she filed for divorce in 1992 amid claims that he cheated on her.
More recently Dempsey has faced problems in his second marriage to make-up artist wife Jillian Fink.
In January 2015 he announced that they were splitting after 15 and a half years and three children together.
They have since reunited and are making another go of their marriage. He told People magazine this month that marriage therapy and lots of sex helped them to reconnect.
He said: “You’ve got to keep at it. You’ve got to communicate and stay open and not get lazy.
“And not give up. And lots of sex!”