Strange Things About Mark Zuckerberg's Marriage

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are the definition of a power couple. Together they run the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), an organization dedicated to supporting "science through basic biomedical research and education through personalized learning," according to its website. Making matters even more impressive? The couple pledged to invest $3 billion of its own money over the next decade to fund its efforts. Dang.

Of course, there's more to Chan and Zuckerberg than their philanthropy, like their marriage, and if you look closely at their relationship, there's a good chance you'll find a few things odd about it. Want some proof? Look no further than the fact that Zuckerberg tried to talk business with Chan as she labored with their first daughter, or the rumor that they drew up a relationship contract prior to their May 2012 wedding. Strange stuff, right? But wait, there's more! Here's everything you need to know about Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg's bizarre marriage.

Love at first full bladder

If you're one of those people who assumed Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg's first meeting was awkward, you were right on the money. The couple — who met while students at Harvard University — first bumped into each other at a house party while waiting to use the bathroom. How romantic. "He was this nerdy guy who was just a little bit out there," Chan told The New Yorker. "I remember he had these beer glasses that said 'pound include beer dot H.' It's a tag for C++. It's like college humor but with a nerdy, computer-science appeal." (Fingers crossed Zuckerberg has since ditched those glasses.)

Things didn't improve on their first date because Zuckerberg didn't seem to share Chan's studious values. "On our first date, he told me that he'd rather go on a date with me than finish his take-home midterm," she told Today. "The type-A first child in me was appalled."

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It's not uncommon for celebrities to have prenups, especially when a lot of money is involved, and Mark Zuckerberg's fortune as of July 2018 comes in at a cool $81.6 billion. Interestingly enough, however, Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan didn't opt for a traditional prenup before they tied the knot in May 2012. Instead, the couple reportedly signed a relationship contract with some odd terms.

The informal contract — supposedly drawn up in 2008 when Chan first moved in with Zuckerberg — outlines that the couple enjoy "one date per week" and "a minimum of a hundred minutes of alone time." Additionally, the outings can't take place at Zuckerberg's apartment or at the workplace. News of the alleged document surfaced in the 2008 book, Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0. Chan and Zuckerberg have never denied or confirmed the claims, which is trés interesting.

Their wedding was a little too casual

Considering Mark Zuckerberg has a boatload of money, one would think he'd go all out for his wedding, but Zuckerberg barely spent any cash (at least by a billionaire's standards) on his May 2012 nuptials. 

Let's start with Priscilla Chan's engagement ring, shall we? An expert told the Daily Mail that Chan's "simple ruby ring" is likely worth $25,000, a drop in the bucket of Zuckerberg's vast fortune. Many people were disappointed by the choice, a sentiment the couple likely ignored given the low-cost theme of its wedding. Chan chose a $4,700 lace gown designed by Claire Pettibone for her special day, and the nuptials took place in the bride and groom's backyard. As for the food? Guests feasted on Mexican food and sushi from local restaurants in their resident city of Palo Alto, Calif. We have to wonder if the couple mutually decided on the casual affair or if one party put their foot down about spending. Either way, we think it's pretty cool that Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong performed for free at the reception.

Wedding day drama

Speaking of the wedding, the special event supposedly hit a bunch of unnecessary snags due to Mark Zuckerberg's poor planning. The surprise nuptials (yep, the couple kept the ceremony secret) took place during Facebook's Initial Public Offering (IPO), which is when a company sells its stocks to the public for the first time. An IPO is a huge deal for any company, but it unfortunately doesn't come with a definitive timeline.

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg revealed that his chief financial officer, who was in charge of the IPO, had no clue about the wedding, and when it just so happened that the pivotal move had to occur one day before the wedding, Zuckerberg freaked out and asked him to reschedule. "He told me that May 18 was the day it would be ready so it needed to be that day," Zuckerberg wrote. Understandably, the predicament put a lot of stress on Zuckerberg and Chan's big moment. One has to wonder why Zuckerberg didn't clue in his co-workers if he knew a scheduling conflict was possible. Why risk it, right?

Business talk in the delivery room?

The last thing a person probably wants to do when they're giving birth is talk business, but Priscilla Chan reportedly faced this predicament during the delivery of the couple's first daughter, Max, in December 2015. Chan revealed that as she labored with Max, Mark Zuckerberg asked for her opinion about a letter they had written in anticipation of the launch of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. "I was in the hospital, in active labor, and Mark has a copy of the letter he wanted me to look at. 'Does this make sense? Should I move this paragraph up?'" she recalled. "And I said  —  'Honey, we're done. The baby is here. The letter is complete.'" Someone give Chan an award for patience, stat.

Although Zuckerberg probably shouldn't have prodded Chan about work during this special moment in her life, at least the delivery went smoothly. And one can only hope Zuckerberg learned his lesson by the time Chan gave birth to their second daughter in August 2017.

Through sickness and health, but not congressional hearings

In April 2018, Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress after news broke that the private info of about 87 million users was shared with political data firm Cambridge Analytica, which was a violation of Facebook's policies. An app created in 2014 invited Facebook users to take a personality quiz, and the results got into the hands of Cambridge Analytica. The situation was especially controversial because Cambridge Analytica has connections to former White House advisor Steve Bannon and Republican Robert Mercer, suggesting that something possibly nefarious went down in the 2016 presidential election.

Considering what was at stake for Zuckerberg, one would probably assume that Chan was by his side during the two-day hearings. Nope, Chan was MIA throughout the entire ordeal. The most likely explanation for her absence is her busy schedule — not only does Chan co-run the Chan Zuckeberg Initiative, but she's also the mom of two young kiddos. It might not have been possible for her to take the trip, even if she wanted to.

When you marry a man, you marry his hoodie

You don't have to be a fan of Mark Zuckerberg's to know that he loves his hoodies. In fact, the most famous photo of Zuckerberg shows him sporting a Harvard University hoodie, a look that hasn't evolved much throughout the years. While many fashionistas might bemoan Zuckerberg's predictable wardrobe, Priscilla Chan seems find with his odd (at least, odd for a billionaire) clothing choices. "I'm pro-hoodie. He wears a fresh hoodie every day so that pretty much meets my lowest barrier for him," Chan told Today. "He has graduated to a nicer hoodie. The main quality about this hoodie that's nicer is that it's softer, so he's really excited about that."

Chan's only rule? Zuckerberg needs to dress up for special occasions. "I'm happy with whatever he wants to wear, as long as it's appropriate for where we're going. So he can't wear it to weddings. And he can't wear it to baby showers. But he can do whatever else he wants." Hey, at least Chan loves Zuckerberg for who he is.

She's missing from his biopic

Biopics are supposed to be based on real-life events, but Hollywood is notorious for approaching this term loosely. Take The Social Network, a 2010 movie about Zuckerberg's evolution from geeky Harvard student to Silicon Valley tech mogul. Although it's true that Zuckerberg was enrolled in Harvard before Facebook skyrocketed him to international fame, his behavior at the elite school was largely fabricated in the film. An area that particularly bothered Zuckerberg was how producers completely ignored his love story with Chan.

In one memorable scene, Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) gets dumped by his love interest (Rooney Mara), a situation he handles by creating a website that callously rates the attractiveness of Harvard women. This supposed revenge site apparently evolved into Facebook — a plot point Zuckerberg denies. He called the movie "hurtful." In a live Facebook Q&A, he said the idea that he "somehow decided to create Facebook to, I think, attract girls," was bogus. "One important piece of context is, the woman who I'm married to, who I've been dating for more than 10 years, and I've known for more than 10 years, I was actually dating her before I even started Facebook." 

That's got to feel kind of strange for both Zuckerberg and Chan. Can you imagine watching that kind of film unfold with your significant other, knowing that audiences around the world are watching too?

About that awkward case of mistaken identity

When Zuckerberg traveled to Washington, D.C. in April 2018 to testify before Congress, his executive assistant, Andrea Besmehn, accompanied him. There's even a photograph of the two leaving Florida Sen. Bill Nelson's office on Capitol Hill, an image that appeared in numerous news outlets. The snap was taken by the Agence France-Presse and later licensed to Getty Images, a well-known photo agency based in Los Angeles, Calif. Everything about that photo was fine, except for one thing: the caption. "Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (R) depart US Senator Bill Nelson's, D- Florida, office on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2018," it said (via Slate).

Did you catch the error? Yep, Besmehn was misidentified as Chan. Although mistakes happen, we think it's pretty odd that a famous couple like Zuckerberg and Chan would have to deal with a case of mistaken identity. According to The Huffington Post, "The mistake is particularly frustrating considering other recent errors the agency has made identifying celebrities of Asian descent." Let's hope this drama was a learning lesson for everyone involved.