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Jon Bon Jovi on 40-Year Love Story with Wife Dorothea: "I Was Immediately Drawn to Her"
The rocker and his high school sweetheart on keeping their marriage strong, quarantining with all 4 of their kids and starting a food bank to help others.
As the coronavirus went from a looming crisis to a terrifying reality, Jon Bon Jovi went from rock star to protective parent.
"I said, 'We've got to get out of town. We've got to get all the kids back,'" Jon recalls of a March conversation with wife Dorothea Bongiovi.
As the pandemic began to devastate New York City, and the pair, both 58, left Manhattan with their youngest son, Romeo, 16, to shelter in their Red Bank, N.J., home and regrouped with their older children, Stephanie, 27, and Jesse, 25, who were traveling for work, and Jacob, 18, then away at boarding school.
"We spent more time in that house than we have in over a decade," Jon — whose new Bon Jovi album, 2020, drops Friday — says of the time the family spent quarantining in the mansion where he and Dorothea raised their older kids.
Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: Jon Bon Jovi and Wife Dorothea streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Jon Bon Jovi and wife Dorothea with their kids, from left: Jesse, Stephanie, Romeo and Jacob
Despite the isolation, he’s grateful for the family movie nights, tiedye parties, baking and friendship bracelets.
"For about a month, our whole family was intact. Then the big kids finally said, 'We're out,' and made a run for it," Jon recalls of spending time with Stephanie, a camera operator on a TV show; Jesse, who runs Hampton Water Rosé; Jacob, now a freshman at Syracuse; and Romeo, who is back in high school in Manhattan.
"Our focus has always been family first and making sure that people are doing well," adds Dorothea. "We like each other. We spent a lot of time together, and it was more than we have spent in many years, but it was nice."
While they enjoyed their family time, Jon and Dorothea are also "definitely looking forward" to becoming empty-nesters when their youngest son, Romeo, graduates — or, "As Dorothea says, graduating the 12th grade for the fourth time," Jon says.
Jake Chessum Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Bongiovi
"Yes! I might finally get out of high school!" Dorothea quips, adding: "Just not being stuck to a schedule and being able to travel [will be nice]. But we like to see our kids. It's not like we're going to disappear."
For more on Jon Bon Jovi and wife Dorothea, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.