VANNA & PAT'S WHEEL OF PAIN!
Game show king & TV queen can’t consummate their decades-long love
FOR 36 years and more than 7,000 Wheel of Fortune shows, Pat Sajak and Vanna White have kept a sexy secret — they’ve been carrying a torch for each other!
Amazingly, the game show legends pulled back from the brink of a fullblown affair in 1986, four years after first teaming on Wheel.
Earlier that year, Vanna, then 29, was devastated by the planecrash death of her fiancé, actor John Gibson.
Shortly after, Pat, then 40, split with his first wife, Sherrill, and he and the blond letterturner began looking at each other with longing.
“From day one, there were sparks between them,” notes an insider. “They developed a close bond very quickly, and they were always right on the edge of taking things further.”
And the two had plenty of opportunity — with no partners to stand in their way.
“Pat and Vanna knew this was the time to see what they had together,” a friend dishes. “They talked for weeks about it, but in the end, they decided it was the wrong path to travel.
“When they were first teamed up, they didn’t know if they were going to last a year in their jobs. But Vanna and Pat eventually realized they had something successful together professionally.
They believed adding a romance to the mix could wind up blowing up in their faces.”
The game host went on to marry model Lesly Brown in 1989, mom of his son, Patrick, 28, and daughter, Maggie, 24.
Vanna wed restaurateur George Santo Pietro in 1990, father of her son, Nikko, 25, and daughter, Giovanna, 22.
Vanna and George split in 2002, and now, she’s been dating building developer John Donaldson for nearly seven years.
Still, sources tell GLOBE Pat, now 72, and Vanna, 62, have felt the pangs of unrequited love ever since they were first paired in 1983 — and those feelings continue to this day!
Pat has revealed early on in their Wheel of Fortune ride that the pair would huddle during their two-and-ahalf hour lunch breaks to down margaritas at a local Mexican restaurant near the taping studio.
They also shared other after work get-togethers and weekend getaways with just the two of them.
But he was married to Sherrill and Vanna was engaged to actor Gibson — and they decided to stay pals.
Now, the insider says, “Even after nearly four decades, there is still some romantic tension there.
“They are best friends. But you can tell both of them know in their hearts they could have had something more, and they believe it would have been wonderful.”