Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker's Relationship: All About the Actors' Marriage and Family (2024)

When Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker met on the set of Soul Food in the early 2000s, sparks flew immediately — even though they were both in relationships at the time.

In 2020, Kodjoe told Fox Soul their coworkers predicted an eventual romance between him and Parker, but he didn't make a move until season 2 of the series. The actor said he knew their connection was special, so he went to therapy for several months to be a better partner for Parker before making the relationship official.

"When I met her and had gotten to know her and fell in love with her, I knew that she was gonna be my wife," Kodjoe said. The pair got married in 2005 and have continued to work together, costarring in the 2022 film Safe Room, co-hosting a talk show and working on an athleisure brand.

Boris Kodjoe Says He Doesn't Believe in 'Work-Life Balance' — How Fitness Keeps His Family Strong

Now, the Station 19 actor and the And Just Like That… star are the parents of two children. They welcomed their daughter Sophie Tei-Naaki Lee in 2005 and their son Nicolas Neruda in 2006. The family collaborates on the Kodjoe Family Foundation and have attended charity and Hollywood events together.

Parker and Kodjoe haven't been shy about singing each other praises. In a 2019 interview with PEOPLE, they both showered each other with compliments.

“He's exactly who his persona is, kind, loves being a husband and father,” Parker said. “An incredible human being who thinks of others. He's just authentically good.” For his part, Kodjoe added, "She's drop-dead, smashingly gorgeous and sexy. She's intelligent. She's confident. The fact that she's so comfortable with who she is, that to me is everything."

Here is everything to know about Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker’s relationship, including their family life with kids Sophie and Nicolas.

They met on the set of Soul Food

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Kodjoe and Parker fell for each other while working together on the Showtime drama Soul Food. The actor reminisced about getting to know his now-wife during his 2020 interview with Fox Soul. “At first, we were friends,” he said. “We were coworkers. She taught me a lot.”

The Love & Basketball cast member pointed out that, at the time, he was new to the industry, and Parker had far more experience. She helped him work on his scripts — particularly sections where the German actor needed translating.

Kodjoe revealed that when they crossed paths, they were seeing other people. “After season 2, we made it official, but we took our time because we both knew how precious that was,” he shared. The former model said that he completed eight months of therapy before asking Parker out, partly because he didn’t want to repeat bad habits.

“When I met her, right away I thought she was super special and obviously drop-dead gorgeous and talented and all that,” he told the outlet. “I knew that she was gonna be somebody special in my life."

In 2011, Parker spoke to Denim Magazine about her early experiences with Kodjoe. “When Boris walked into our first rehearsal, I thought of him as the really hot guy that got to play my boyfriend in the first couple of episodes,” she said of his original recurring role. “But for some reason, we connected and found it easy to talk to each other and laugh and be comfortable ... and then I married him.”

They got married in Germany

Kodjoe and Parker exchanged vows in his hometown of Gundelfingen, Germany, in 2005.

During a March 2023 conversation with PEOPLE, the couple recalled their “magical” wedding at a 900-year-old venue. “We walked from the church to his Oma's house, and it was literally like we were Hansel and Gretel,” Parker said. “I thought I was in a storybook.

They wore traditional German clothing for the occasion, and the actress arrived at the church in a horse and carriage, which Kodjoe thought was “awesome.”

The Code Black star also recalled that his grandmother assembled a 30-foot-long dessert table. “If you know anything about German desserts, it's just the best ever,” he said. “There were cakes, tarts and pudding. Just the most amazing desserts.”

In March 2024, Kodjoe shared the secret to the couple's long-lasting marriage.

"You just can't give up," he said while appearing on TheJennifer HudsonShow. "If this is your person, you can't give up on them. You got to crawl through the mud together. You got to fight those fights together."

They share two children

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Kodjoe and Parker have two kids: Sophie, born in 2005, and Nicolas, born in 2006.

“Once you become a parent, you’re introduced to a whole new level of emotion,” Kodjoe told PEOPLE in 2007. “I want them to do well and conquer the world for them, like Superman.”

Parker opened up about motherhood to Essence in 2008. “I’m just so in love with my children and I feel like they have stretched me places where I never knew I could go,” she said. “I feel like a better person because I have to be.”

Both kids are often featured on their parents’ Instagram accounts, and they each have their followings, too: Sophie has more than 25,000 followers, while Nicolas has over 10,000.

According to her bio, Sophie is part of Howard University’s class of 2027. Nicolas is a talented athlete and played for Germany’s U16 National Basketball Team at the 2022 Junior Olympics and the U16 European Championship, per Kodjoe's Instagram.

They started a foundation in honor of their daughter

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Kodjoe and Parker’s daughter was born with spina bifida, a congenital spine disorder. “We have gone through so many different emotional levels with Sophie,” Kodjoe told PEOPLE in 2009, four years after her birth. “We had the fear of her dying to paralysis. All kinds of different monsters attacked us.”

Their personal experience inspired them to start the Sophie’s Voice Foundation to raise awareness about the condition and fundraise for a new surgical procedure trial. “The success has been incredible,” the father of two added.

In 2019, Kodjoe and Parker changed the organization’s name to the Kodjoe Family Foundation after Sophie had some thoughts about the original name.

“A couple years ago, I think [Sophie] was 11, she said to Nicole and I, ‘I understand why you started the Sophie’s Voice Foundation. Did you ever think about me not necessarily wanting to be defined just by one thing?’ ” Kodjoe shared on the Tamron Hall Show in 2021. “And we were like, ‘Whoa. I’m so sorry.’ ”

The foundation helped to establish The Center for Spina Bifida Research, Prevention and Policy at Emory University in 2011 and has since expanded its focus to include causes important to their children.

They have an athleisure line

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The couple relaunched Parker’s athleisure brand, Gymwrap, in February 2023. The actress had initially dreamed up a workout headband years earlier, and she and Kodjoe expanded the line by adding more accessories, jackets, tops and leggings.

He told PEOPLE that he loves seeing his wife in business mode. "I admire her and her brain for how creative she is and the ideas that she comes up with," he shared. "I'm in awe when I just watch her navigate these kinds of environments."

Restarting the brand was a family affair: Sophie also got involved. “She's really a production person and a great photographer,” Parker told PEOPLE. “She helped curate the shots with the props and the models.”

They enjoy working together

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The pair met on set and have collaborated multiple times since Soul Food. In 2015, they briefly hosted their own Fox daytime talk show, The Boris and Nicole Show.

We have a great professional relationship because that’s how we met,” Parker told PEOPLE. “So I think the beginning [of our show’s foundation] is all there, but we’re going to learn as we go and have great guests and be thrown for a loop and recover.”

Kodjoe called the show a “new chapter” in their relationship and careers. “We’re talking about everything that we’re passionate about, whether it’s current affairs or parenting, love, relationships, special needs,” he added. The show received a four-week test, per The Hollywood Reporter but was not picked up.

Kodjoe and Parker also costarred in the 2022 Lifetime thriller Safe Room. The movie, which follows a widow and her teenage son, was Kodjoe’s directorial debut. “It was great that the tables were turned for once, because usually she directs me,” Kodjoe joked to PEOPLE.

“I knew this was something he really wanted to do and to see him finally doing it was really exciting for me,” Parker told PEOPLE in 2022. Her husband added that they have a “fluidity together” and a “secret language” on set.

They frequently "embarrass" their kids

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Kodjoe and Parker's kids have shared their thoughts on their parents' romance on social media. In 2021, Sophie took a video of her parents embracing in an airport and wrote, “Guys rly? In the airport?”

Parker reposted the video on Instagram with the caption, “We have been in 2 different cities for too long.” Their daughter expressed her dismay in the comments section. “I filmed this. Why am I tagged mother? I already lived the trauma," she quipped.

Shortly after, Kodjoe told PEOPLE that “everything embarrasses” his kids. “Just walking out the door embarrasses them, because we have the wrong shoes on, the wrong outfit or whatever,” he said. “We can't worry about that. We've got to live our life.”

Discussing his feature in the 2022 PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive issue, Kodjoe said, “I'm honored and proud.” His family’s reaction was another story. “But my kids are embarrassed and mortified, so I can't tell them,” he joked.

They’re romantics

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Romance is important to Kodjoe and Parker, who have talked about how they keep the spark alive in their relationship.

“We don't see each other that much. We're always working,” Parker told PEOPLE in 2022. “We save all the spark for when we see each other,” Kodjoe concluded.

In another interview with PEOPLE that same year, the actor shared he gifted his wife a sound bath for her most recent birthday. “I had a lounge singer in our front yard serenade her and a chef cook her a meal on the terrace,” he said. Kodjoe noted that the experience was completed with a massage therapist, a henna artist and a nail technician.

Based on his own success, Kodjoe shared some of his marriage advice with PEOPLE in 2014: “[Treat] your wife like she's still your girlfriend. You have to water the plant every day, not just once a week. [Give her] surprises, little gifts, notes, texts, flowers. Just little things, but do them consistently."

They share lots of family moments on social media

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Kodjoe and Parker frequently document their family life on Instagram. In the summer of 2023, Parker shared a carousel of photos on Instagram from their family trip to Germany. The post included pictures of the couple and their kids enjoying the city of Freiburg.

Kodjoe offered his followers a glimpse into another special day with a photo of him and his daughter at her high school graduation in June 2023. “I’m so proud of you Soph and I’m so excited to see your next chapter,” he wrote. “Enjoy this moment. I love you.”

Family time is a priority

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Kodjoe and Parker have said that spending quality time with their family is the most important thing.

“We always cook dinner every night at home and we don't have electronics around the dinner table,” Kodjoe told PEOPLE in February 2023. “When we gather, we don't play on our phones. We engage with each other. Even in the car when we're driving together, the four of us, there's no phones. We talk to each other. I think that's the most important part.”

The family enjoys staying active together, too. According to Kodjoe, they go hiking and zip lining on vacations and do cold plunges at home. That has “been our new thing as a family,” the former athlete said.

In August 2019, Kodjoe doubled down on his parenting philosophy. “I don’t believe in work-life balance, I believe in priorities,” he told PEOPLE. “I put my wife and my kids first and everything else sort of falls into place around that."

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker's Relationship: All About the Actors' Marriage and Family (2024)
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