Inside Kat Von D’s complicated love life

Kat Von D always seems to be grabbing headlines for one reason or another, whether it’s for drama with her beauty brand, her feud with frenemy Jeffree Star, or her overtly complicated love life. As it stands, the makeup mogul has had nearly a dozen public relationships since starring on LA Ink, and the majority of them did not end well. That is, unless you consider a flurry of shade-filled MySpace posts and tabloid side-eye a happy ending. Hey, at least it’s not boring!

By Von D’s own admission, the reality star didn’t always know how to pick ’em. During an episode of Anna Faris’ Unqualified podcast, she openly admitted that she had dated “nothing but jerks” before meeting her husband, Prayers frontman Leafar Seyer (a.k.a. Rafael Reyes). She hadn’t even been taken out on a proper date — ever. We relate, but today that all seems like water under the bridge. In her words, the mother of one has found her “soul’s mate, my mind’s twin, my best friend,” and two years after the fact, they still appear to be going strong.

Here’s a look back at Kat Von D’s complicated dating history. After four engagements, the star finally settled down. 

Kat Von D grabbed the bull by the handlebar moustache

It all begins with Oliver Peck, Kat Von D’s first husband-turned-tattoo rival. Some of his greatest hits include his alleged attempt to edge out Von D’s tattoo shop by opening his own a few blocks away (per TMZ) and a blackface scandal that forced him to drop out of Ink Masters. The pair was married from 2003 to 2007, and it was apparently not a happy union — at least according to Peck, who doesn’t seem bitter in the least. Just kidding! If you looked up bitter in the dictionary, you’d probably find Peck’s handlebar mustache. 

Over the years, the former Ink Master has proven that he has no problems trashing his ex in the tabloids. “She’s done nothing but screw over every friend she’s had,” he told InTouch. “She cheated on me, got messed up, and left me.” The press release, which was published in full by HuffPost, goes into excruciating detail. There, Peck claims that fame changed his former wife, and she spent much of their marriage “drinking until she was throwing up every day” and being all around “destructive.” Eventually, he found out that “she was having an affair,” and that was the end.

Overall, Peck claims that Von D was “the most self-centered person [he’s] ever been involved with.” Then again, this is coming from a guy who wore blackface, and — as TMZ so eloquently put it — “look[s] like a cartoon super villain.” So… 

From matching tattoos to MySpace feuds

After Kat Von D’s split from Oliver Peck, the star made a pit stop over to some rock ‘n’ roll royalty. In 2008, she found herself swept away by Roy Orbinson’s son, Alex Orbison (aka Orbi). Thus began a decade-long trend of dating musicians, but this first time, Von D seemed particularly taken. According to TMZ, the pair got matching tattoos of each other’s names about a month into their short-lived relationship — a clear harbinger of their dramatic ending to come.

Von D’s relationship with Orbi is, in many ways, a relic of the MySpace generation. The drama wasn’t splashed across the pages of Perez Hilton. Rather, Orbi allegedly aired his grievances on the ill-fated social network like it was Festivus. According to 2008 reports from Oh No They Didn’t and TMZ, who captured the blog post before MySpace went bust, the musician likened his paramour to “a parrot with no brain or emotion.” He claimed that she “begged” him to propose, called him her “soulmate,” “abused” him, then “fell in love with someone else” right in front of him. This was all after his dog died and his grandmother died within the span of six months. Talk about timing. On to the next. 

Kat Von D broke Nikki Sixx's heart

Motley Crue drummer Nikki Sixx and Kat Von D — who dated for more than two years — seemed serendipitous, at least in that rock ‘n roll, covered head-to-toe in tattoos sort of way. The pair basically looked like the opposite sex versions of each other, and this one didn’t end in flames as they seem to be on relatively good terms. Sixx even included a tribute to his ex in his New York Times bestselling book, This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through The Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx.

“I felt that being nice and kind to the relationship was important, and I know all things come to an end eventually, and when it did, I didn’t feel that it was my job to point fingers,” he told Us Weekly.

Sixx clearly has come a long way since the hurt because at the time of their split, Von D left him utterly broken-hearted by quickly jumping into a relationship with Jesse James, who’s best known as Sandra Bullock’s philandering ex. “You know, it’s hard when you [were] just told by someone you dated for two-and-a-half years that you’re the love of their life … and then they move on so quickly,” he told TMZ in 2010. You know what they say, you can’t hurry love — or maybe you can.

Were Kat Von D and Benji Madden an item?

Kat Von D might have swiftly moved on from Nikki Sixx, but while the pair was still dating, the makeup mogul may have gotten a little taste of the lifestyles of the rich and the famous. Right now, we’re trying hard to imagine a world where Good Charlotte’s Benji Madden didn’t unexpectedly end up with Cameron Diaz, an A-list actress whose body is completely devoid of tattoos (at least, visible ones). There was nearly an alternate timeline where the LA Ink star made the pop punker her ultimate tat daddy. Now that we’re thinking about it, that may have been where everything went wrong. Can they Cloverfield us out of here?

According to TMZ, in 2009, Von D was spotted “snuggling” with Madden on a park bench in Hollywood while she was still publicly dating the hair metal legend. Honestly, the paparazzi photo looked a little suspicious, but it disappeared from headlines just as quickly as it came. Can we get a Motley Crue cover of Good Charlotte’s 2007 hit “Keep Your Hands Off My Girl?”

Once a cheater, always a cheater

Kat Von D’s torrid relationship with Jesse James only lasted about a year, but it was quite the whirlwind of a year. According to People, the Monster Garage star popped the question in January 2011 after around six months of dating. But the pair called off the engagement — twice — before they had the chance to say “Happy New Year.” So what went wrong? The same thing that went wrong with James’ marriage to Sandra Bullock. The dude was reportedly a very prolific cheater.

Now that MySpace is merely a ghost of its former self, Von D had no other way to reveal the drama than through Facebook — and boy did she spill that tea. The month after her split went public, the makeup mogul claimed that James had cheated on her with 19 other women. “I deserve a big fat ‘I told you so,’ from everyone,” she wrote (via Us Weekly).

Years later, on Anna Faris’ Unqualified podcast, Von D kindly — albeit slightly — reduced the number of James’ alleged side chicks, a small reprieve that he didn’t necessarily deserve. “I don’t even know how it’s physically possible to f**k so many people,” she said, adding, “The first batch of emails that I found were about 18 confirmed people that he had sex with during the one year that we were together.” Honestly, through all of this, we can’t help but wonder, what was Sandra Bullock thinking? 

What's with all the Nazi stuff, Kat?

Kat Von D has made some curious choices when it comes to dating. We mentioned how her first husband Oliver Peck was wrapped up in a blackface scandal, but she’s also been known to get involved with men who are weirdly into Nazi stuff. According to CNN, in 2010, a photo surfaced of Jesse James wearing a “German Nazi hat” and doing a Nazi “salute.” His lawyer told the publication that it was a “gag gift” from his “Jewish godfather” — though we wouldn’t exactly call that most people’s sense of humor.

Beyond that, her current husband, Leafar Seyer, has a swastika tattooed on his throat, which we’re guessing looks great in his wedding photos. He tried to claim to Tttism that it wasn’t “political” and that he also has a Star of David tattoo, as if the pair cancel each other out. By the way, he’s not Jewish.

Von D’s lovers aren’t the only ones with neo-Nazi links. She had a scandal of her own in 2008 when TMZ published pictures of a headshot she allegedly signed with an anti-Semitic message to her former boss. The reality star’s publicist claimed it was forged, but years later, she still felt a need to come out and say that she wasn’t anti-Semitic. According to USA Today, she called the accusations “extremely offensive and super-hurtful,” a phrase she may want to think about directing to her husband’s throat.

Kat Von D's engagement to Deadmau5 was DOA

After the ultimate betrayal, Kat Von D found love again — and was subsequently betrayed in exactly the same way. At least, that’s what she says. Following her broken engagement with Jesse James, the makeup mogul fell into the arms of Joel Zimmerman (aka Deadmau5). The pair dated on-and-off for about a year, with the DJ proposing on Twitter before the ring was even finished being made, according to the Daily News. He apparently just couldn’t wait.

Just like their engagement, we got to watch this couple’s split play out on social media, too. Six months after Deadmau5 got down on a virtual knee, the pair was surrounded by breakup rumors. That’s when Von D ominously tweeted, “Cheating on your loved one is the most hurtful thing one could do. I hate to have to admit, that this relationship is indeed over.” So Deadmau5 cheated? Not so fast.

In a lengthy Facebook post, the DJ admitted that the pair originally split in November 2012 before reconciling and getting engaged the following month. He was intimate with another woman while the couple were broken up, but Von D was apparently aware and they moved past it. “At the end of June, it was clear that the relationship was not working and we mutually ended the engagement,” he wrote. “I was not, at any point, unfaithful to Kat during our time together.” The third engagement is unequivocally not the charm.

Kat's nice guy rebound after catching Deadmau5 in a trap

When Von D’s game of Kat and Mau5 was over, it was clear the tattoo artist was sick of drama. That is, quite honestly, the only conceivable reason she’d go out with Tom Green, who’s best known for his hits “Daddy Would You Like Some Sausage?” and “The Bum Bum Song.” Okay, admittedly, Green seems like a really nice, low key guy — which is exactly why the whole thing seemed out of left field.

Green isn’t Von D’s typical bad boy, but he has had a rather random relationship history, including his short-lived marriage to Drew Barrymore. According to Perez Hilton, they newly-rumored couple was spotted out on a movie date the month after she ended her engagement to Deadmau5.

The first time around, nothing much came of Green and Von D’s unlikely love, but this wasn’t the end. Three years later, they reportedly rekindled their romance when — you guessed it — Von D needed another rebound. According to the Daily Mail, things kicked back up when she split from Jackass’ Steve-O, and at the time, Green was a solid enough maybe-boyfriend to help her when her car broke down. Sadly, Von D wasn’t over bad boys just yet (if ever).

Kat Von D dated a Jack*ss, twice

Tom Green wasn’t Kat Von D’s only repeat relationship. The star also dated Steve-O twice — once in 2007 and again in 2016. This is a shock considering the way it seemingly ended the first time around. Perhaps the ill will died with MySpace, along with the long lost demos of our high school band and the memories we had with our middle school Top 8s.

According to Oh No They Didn’t, the Jackass star was notably bitter after breakup #1, posting one of their private conversations on his personal MySpace page in a scathing blog post titled “Kat Von D’s Lies Catch Up To Her.” In it, he accused the makeup mogul of sleeping with numerous men — including what appears to be fellow Jackass star Bam Margera and rumored fling Ville Vallo — while she was still married. He also claimed that Von D did, indeed, write the anti-Semitic message that caused a tabloid stir in 2008, even though she’s ferociously denied it. “She’s on record lying about a lot of things,” he wrote, adding, “I don’t care, I’ve moved on now. I’m a happily married Family Man.”

Apparently, he didn’t move on that much because the pair rekindled the romance nearly a decade later. According to ET, they lasted just three months.

All that ex ink

An engagement is temporary, but a tattoo is forever. Kat Von D’s complicated dating history wouldn’t be complete without all the permanent reminders, and we’re not talking about the tabloids. The star is a major fan of getting ink to commemorate her relationships. Think about it: she only dated Alex Orbison for about a month before permanently affixing his name to her body, but he’s not the exception, he’s the rule.

Most egregiously, Von D’s famed face ink is a tribute to Nikki Sixx. According to Mirror, the stars represent Motley Crue’s song “Starry Eyed.” In other words: she has to think about her ex every single time she looks in the mirror, unless she uses some of her famed Lock-It tattoo foundation to cover it up.

Most of the time, it doesn’t seem like she sweats her relationship misses. Rather, the tattoos remind her of the good times. When she split from Jesse James, she told TMZ that she wasn’t removing his tattoo, a ribcage portrait of the star as a child, because it was “more than just a portrait, it has a lot of meaning.” Getting cheated on with 19— sorry 18 different women is certainly enough to make a girl change her mind, though. The following year, she went through the painful process of getting it removed.

Kat Von D loved Leafar Seyer so much, she married him twice

Following her split from Steve-O, Kat Von D took a year to date around. During that time, she was linked to her first non-celeb, undercover animal rights investigator Cody Carlson. They hit the red carpet together at the Hidden Heroes Gala (Kat’s vegan and even planned to feed her child an animal-free diet). According to Revelist, she also reportedly dated her longtime friend, artist Kevin Llwellyn. Neither of these relationships stuck, but they did eventually lead her to the one. 

When Von D fell for Prayers singer Leafar Sayer, she fell so hard that she married him twice — and it all happened within months of the couple being Instagram official. Hey, the girl moves fast. In February  2018, she showed off their wedding bands and matching manicures. Four months later, the tattoo artist married her boo a second time in an elaborate gothic-themed wedding. According to Brides, there was an “all-black dress code,” and Von D wore a red, long-sleeve gown with devil horns. The whole thing looked pretty wild, particularly the person holding her lengthy veil in a full-on, latex-looking bondage suit. Were those her bridesmaids? Did they catch her bouquet? Sayer also wore a veil, but his didn’t need extra hands. Who said second weddings couldn’t be big?

Leafar Seyer made Kat Von D change her mind about having kids

There was a time in Kat Von D’s life when she didn’t want children. In a 2012 interview with Dr. Drew Pinsky, the tattoo artist revealed, “I’ve known since I was seven years old that I was never going to have kids … I just always imagined myself as this worldly, travelled gypsy lady … It’s not what I want … and I don’t want to put my body through it.” Fast forward six years, and the star completely changed her tune. True love will do that.

Three months after the couple’s February nuptials, Von D revealed that she was pregnant with a boy, who they planned to name Leafar after her husband’s stage name. Though it seemed like she was finally stepping away from the drama, it took all but a month for her to spark internet outrage when she announced in a now-deleted Instagram post (via Page Six) that she had the “intention of raising a vegan child, without vaccinations.”

According to ET, the baby came in December — and yes, he was vaccinated. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Von D claimed she wasn’t “an anti-vaxxer at all” and was just “completely uninformed.”

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