Australian Celebrities

What happened to former MasterChef judge Melissa Leong and her ex-husband?

She split with her husband after three years of marriage.
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She kicked off her new gig as MasterChef judge in 2020, and for Melissa Leong, the year was a pivotal one from both a career and personal life perspective.

Melissa announced her separation from her husband Joe Jones in December of that year, almost four years after they tied the knot in California.

WATCH: Masterchef Australia’s Andy, Melissa & Jock on the AACTAs Red Carpet.

The then 38-year-old shared the news of their shock split via Instagram late 2020, writing that the “time had come” for the pair to part ways. 

“It has brought us such happiness to walk together, but the time has come for Joe and I to part ways and walk on, apart,” she captioned a black-and-white snap of the two on their wedding day.

“We ask for your kindness and consideration for our privacy, we will not be making any further comment as our private lives have, and will always remain exactly that. We wish you peace at the end of such a challenging year for all.”

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“The time has come for Joe and I to part ways and walk on…” (Credit: Instagram)

The couple seemed to be going strong – after landing her dream gig as a judge on MasterChef Australia, Melissa made special mention of her “awfully hot husbando” on Instagram for being “one of the best things to ever happen to me”.

However, Joe, who is a chef, bartender, and owner of Melbourne cocktail bar Romeo Lane, later admitted that Melissa’s demanding filming schedule had taken a toll on their relationship.

While marking their third wedding anniversary, Joe wrote that he and Melissa were unlikely to “see a lot of each other today”.

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Melissa and Joe announced their split in December 2020. (Credit: Instagram)

“Mel is in the depths of one of the most challenging, defining career moves of her life,” Joe wrote in the post, explaining that her 6 am call times, along with his work commitments, meant they were unlikely to celebrate the milestone together. Joe then added that things “aren’t always easy”.

“[B]ut I sort of believe the hard parts of your life overlapping and trying to dissolve your comfort is what living really is, and even if it gets heaps harder,” he concluded the post.

In another Instagram post, he also eluded to the fact that everything was not as perfect as it seemed: “There have been the best and worst times since then,” he wrote.

Adding further speculation to what could have caused their split, Melissa described their life together as “a non-stop blockbuster of action” and “drama” in a post about their anniversary. 

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Melissa described their life together as “a non-stop blockbuster of action” and “drama”. (Credit: Network Ten)

The former couple eloped at Joshua Tree National Park in California in February 2017, after dating for only five months. 

Just months before they parted ways, Melissa spoke to TV WEEK in June last year and revealed she and Joe first met at his bar, before meeting again at a function 18 months later and hitting it off.

They then got engaged after just three months of dating – and married two months after that.

“When you know you know,” she said at the time. 

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