Sandra Bullock and Bryan Randall never married but exchanged ‘vows’ on the beach in the Bahamas in an intimate ceremony witnessed by friends and family in December 2017, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Exclusive video obtained by this publisher shows the couple dancing the night away following the ceremony, which was not legally binding and involved no officiant but instead saw Bullock, 59, declare herself to the man she called ‘the love of my life’ and him profess his love in return.
It was just three years before and a world away from when Randall would receive his devastating diagnosis with ALS, the illness to which he succumbed at the weekend.
Dressed in a kaftan, her hair in braids, and wearing flip flops on her feet, this was the low-key affair that Bullock, who had no desire to remarry following her divorce from Jesse James in 2010, wanted.
Sandra Bullock and longtime partner Bryan Randall can be seen dancing during an intimate non-binding ceremony in the Bahamas in 2017, in video obtained by DailyMail.com
Although the couple never married, the two exchanged ‘vows’ as a way to ‘seal the deal’ and commit themselves to each other, sources say
The couple’s two-week trip to Three Bees Villa on Harbor Island was a celebration of their union as well as Randall’s birthday later that month on December 31
For his part Randall, his white shirt open at the neck, also in flip flops, with baseball cap pulled low and in casual black pants, appears entirely caught up in his ‘bride’ and the moment.
According to one friend: ‘They really did this for the children, to kind of seal the deal and show them this was a forever thing. After the ceremony Louis (13) and Laila (11) started calling Bryan dad.’
The ceremony marked the culmination of a 14-day trip to Arpaud Busson’s Three Bees Villa on Harbor Island.
The exclusive retreat owned by the French financier, who was once married to Elle Macpherson and later fathered a daughter by Uma Thurman, is a favorite place for Bullock and her family.
One guest who was there explained: ‘It was Bryan’s birthday on December 31 so it’s like they wanted to celebrate everything all at once.’
In recent months rumors had swirled that the couple had broken up or that their relationship was on the rocks, stories to that effect had bubbled up just days before the announcement of Randall’s passing.
Today, DailyMail.com can reveal that while Randall’s illness put a strain on their union they were ‘more together than ever’ at the time of his death.
In fact, Bullock had been secretly overseeing and funding the round-the-clock care required by her partner of eight years, who spent his last months ‘closeted away’ in her Beverly Hills home.
One insider told DailyMail.com: ‘Sandra kept Bryan hidden away in the back of the house. It’s so big that you could conceal what was going on with him but towards the end she really didn’t let people into the home beyond the doctors and nurses who were looking after him.’
The source said: ‘It was quite convenient for them to have these rumors that they’d broken up because it helped conceal what was really going on. It was easier to let people assume they hadn’t seen him because they were no longer together.’
The Hollywood actress first met Bryan – a model-turned-photographer – in 2015, after he photographed her son Louis’s birthday. They are pictured together in 2018
The private couple (pictured at the world premiere of Oceans 8 in 2018) had kept their relationship – and Randall’s battle with ALS – out of the spotlight
In fact, the couple was struggling with the new and bleak reality of Randall’s illness – a sickness for which there is no cure and a degenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, sufferers usually die of respiratory failure within two to five years of diagnosis though a small percentage can survive up to ten years.
Randall is understood to have been ill for three years.
One source told DailyMail.com: ‘The relationship was absolutely strained by it, and it was really hard for the children.
‘He had been living in one of her Malibu properties for a while just because it was nicer for him to be there, by the ocean, and I think some people assumed they had split because it looked like they were living separately, but there weren’t.
‘She’d have the house stocked up with everything he needed, and his nurses would go there.’
The couple met when Randall was hired to take photographs at a birthday party for Bullock’s oldest child, Louis, in 2015.
He was the first serious relationship for the actress since her split from ex-husband James, who cheated on her.
Bullock and Randall went public in October 2015 when he was on the actress’s arm at the premier of her movie ‘Our Brand is Crisis.’
According to those within the couple’s circle, they were all but inseparable from there on in, with Randall accompanying Bullock to press junkets, movie premieres and becoming a firm fixture on set when she was on location filming.
Bullock has two adopted children — son Louis, 13, and daughter Laila, 11 — and Bryan has an adult daughter named Skylar from a previous relationship (seen in 2018)
Randall began his career as a model (pictured) before becoming a photographer
Randall in a 1992 shoot from his fashion days, before he stepped behind the camera
But the first public indication that all was not well came in 2020 when, a source revealed: ‘Bryan didn’t travel with Sandra to Vancouver where she was filming The Unforgivable.
‘Until then he had traveled everywhere with her along with her trainer, the nannies, security, and the children. They tended to travel by bus when possible.’
Randall was once again absent from his lover’s side during filming for The Lost City which took place in the Dominican Republic, May to August 2021.
That December, Bullock appeared on ‘Red Table Talk’ and referred to Randall as ‘the love of my life,’ but there was no sign of him in March 2022 when she presented ‘The Lost City’ at South by Southwest in Austin, where her production company Fortis Films is headquartered.
During this time DailyMail.com understands that Bullock also introduced strict Covid testing protocol which was still in place at her Beverly Hills residence at the time of Randall’s death.
According to one insider: ‘She just stopped letting people in the house. All the testing was done outside, at the pool house, two, even three times a week.
‘It was a huge undertaking, and the general understanding was that it was because Bryan was in there, in the back of the house, receiving care.
‘It was a horrible situation. It got so the children and even Sandra wanted him out of the house at some times. He was seeing a psychologist too at one point – I don’t know if that was because of the progression of the illness or the mental toll of coping with it.
‘I don’t think Sandra necessarily knew the kind of man she was letting into her world when she met Bryan but there came a time when it was really too late.’
Bullock, who married Jesse James in 2005, had no desire to remarry following their divorce in 2010
Randall’s troubled past came out soon after his romance with Bullock became public as he was accused of being a one-time deadbeat dad and drug addict.
He was in rehabilitation for drug abuse when his then fiancée Janine Staten was pregnant with their daughter, Skylar, in the early 1990s and according to multiple sources was not present during Skylar’s early life.
Court documents show that at one time he was ordered to pay ten months in backdated child support totaling nearly $2,000.
However, relatives have since said that he ‘manned up to his responsibilities as a father,’ after heroin addict Janine died of a drugs overdose leaving him as the guardian for his daughter who was then 14.
According to an insider Skylar, now 30, has long had a difficult relationship with her father but she recently visited him at Bullock’s Los Angeles home and had made peace with him before his death.
The source said, ‘He was on oxygen and all sorts of medication. His mother and his daughter visited a few months ago at different times and it felt like they both knew it might be the last time they saw him.’
Meanwhile under Randall’s influence, according to a friend, Bullock’s social circle dwindled.
The friend said: ‘She stopped throwing her annual Easter parties, they used to do big Thanksgivings and Christmas in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but she really has a very small group of friends these days and when she does see them, she goes to their homes.
‘She wouldn’t let anyone come to her place anymore unless it was outside by the pool.’
DailyMail.com has been told that among the very few exceptions to that rule were Randall’s close friend, actor and star of Lost, Josh Holloway and his wife Yessica, who stayed at Bullock’s house and visited with him earlier this year.
But for the most part the only regular visitors to the house were members of the team of medical experts, including specialists, highly skilled nursing staff and ultimately hospice care.
The source said: ‘It was just a horrible situation for them all but she didn’t abandon him no matter how tough it got.’
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): Details of fatal disease there is no cure for
What is it?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurogenerative disorder which impacts the nerve cells in the spinal cord and the brain, according to the Mayo Clinic. It gets progressively worse and causes significant muscle control loss in people who have it.
There is no cure for ALS and the disease is fatal, but it progresses at different speeds in patients.
The first signs of ALS are twitching of the muscles, weaknesses of the limbs and problems with swallowing and speaking. Progressively, it deteriorates muscle control and impacts an individual’s ability to breathe, move, speak and eat.
ALS symptoms correspond with where nerve cells deteriorate in each person, and could lead to issues walking, tripping, and weakness of the knees, ankles and hands.
It can also lead to problems with muscle cramps and twitching in areas including one’s tongue, arms and shoulders. People with ALS have experienced untimely spells of laughter, tears and yawns, as well as changes to one’s thinking process or behavior, according to the clinic.
Among the risk factors researchers have established for ALS include genetics, as about 10 percent of people diagnosed with it were passed down a gene from a relative, which is called hereditary ALS, according to the clinic. Kids of people who have hereditary ALS have a 50 percent chance of having the gene.
Age is also a factor as the risk of getting the disease trends up toward the age of 75, with the most common range of people who have it between 60 and 85. In terms of gender, men are diagnosed with a higher rate of ALS prior to the age of 65, according to the clinic.
Other factors that have been linked to ALS include smoking and exposure to toxic substances. The clinic reported that military personnel have been diagnosed with ALS at a higher rate.
There is no known cause of ALS, according to the Mayo Clinic, and heredity plays a factor in a small number of cases.
Lou Gehrig was one of baseball’s preeminent stars while playing for the Yankees between 1923 and 1939. Known as ‘The Iron Horse,’ he played in 2,130 consecutive games before ALS forced him to retire. The record was broken by Cal Ripken Jr. in 1995
Lou Gehrig’s Disease
As well as being known as ALS, it is frequently referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Lou Gehrig was a stalwart first baseman for the New York Yankees between 1923 and 1939. He was famous for his strength and durability, earning the nickname ‘The Iron Horse’ with a record-setting streak of 2,130 consecutive games.
In a July 4, 1939 speech on Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium, the ballplayer famously said, ‘For the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.’
His popularity and fame transcended the sport of baseball. He died two years after his diagnosis on June 2, 1941.