Mika Brzezinski, the high-powered TV personality, author and political commentator, got engaged to her on-screen partner, Joe Scarborough, in 2017 at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes, France. They then got married in November of 2018 in Georgetown, where they had a small, intimate wedding.
The couple, whose combatively coy chemistry as co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show had often sparked rumors for a while leading up to tying the knot. They finally revealed the news of their engagement in a Vanity Fair exclusive, after they’d already been "work spouses" since 2007. Both were in relationships with other people for the bulk of that time, but their chemistry was undeniable. (Scarborough, a former Republican representative, divorced his wife in 2013, and Brzezinski and her husband split up in 2015).
“Everyone talks about how there was always something there. Over the past year and a half, I realized I had to face these feelings and that it was time to stop putting them in a box,” Brzezinski said in the Vanity Fair interview after their engagement. “It was not an easy process, and it was not an easy set of decisions for either of us. It was something I couldn’t deny anymore.”
Though the pair doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye on many of the issues debated on their show, Scarborough claimed their oft-contentious work relationship was one of the reasons he knew they could make marriage work.
“I was talking to a friend a couple months ago, asking if (marrying Brzezinski) was stupid. Am I making a terrible mistake?” he told the magazine. “They said that no, that we had extraordinary training on getting through difficult times together, and it’ll only make us a stronger couple and stronger in married life.”
He added that, as coworkers, he knew that “we were forced, no matter what disagreements we had, what misunderstandings we had, to work through it and get right with each other by 5:59 a.m.”
While it's generally considered common wisdom to avoid romance in the workplace, Brzezinski and Scarborough pose an interesting argument for how working together could actually prime you for another kind of successful partnership.
That said, there was a time when conflict wasn't so easily brushed aside by the co-hosts.
In her 2011 book “Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, And Getting What You're Worth,” Brzezinski revealed, according to Jezebel, that Scarborough was initially making 14 times as much money as her for their work on “Morning Joe.”
"It was my fault, ultimately, that I was in that position, because I accepted a deal that wasn't right for me," Brzezinski said in a TV appearance while promoting the book, according to Jezebel. She recalled she'd first begun to feel their income inequality happening on set when Scarborough could afford to fly his entire family to whatever their filming location happened to be; Brzezinski, meanwhile, was forced to leave her two daughters at home.
After four tries, Brzezinski was eventually able to negotiate her way to a higher salary with MSNBC President Phil Griffin, a process she details in "Knowing Your Value." (Though, reportedly, she's still making about $4 million per year less than Scarborough, according to salaryandnetworth.com.)
But what began as a grossly unequal dynamic for Brzezinski is culminating in a totally commensurate coupling. All it took was setting some boundaries.
“You have to be doing something you love, and that actually does strengthen the relationship,” Scarborough recently told NBC said. “You need to be able to close the office door or put down the phone and have a dividing line between your professional life and your personal life because it can consume both."
Both Brzezinski and Scarborough have children from previous marriages — Joe has three sons and one daughter, while Mika has two daughters — and, altogether, they now make one big family.