Sarah Shahi shares her kids with actor Steve Howey
Sarah Shahi doesn't want to miss a moment with her children: William, Violet and Knox.
The L Word alum welcomed her three kids with Shameless star Steve Howey, whom she married in 2009 and split from in 2021. Since then, she's taken on a variety of roles in Hollywood and grown as an actress and a mom.
For two seasons, Shahi starred in Netflix’s Sex/Life as Billie Connelley, a “stay-at-home wife and mother living in the suburbs" who used to be "a free-spirited wild child living in New York City” according to the show’s synopsis. But for Shahi, the role has been more than just a job, telling PEOPLE it was “a very personal journey” for her.
"There are many ways in which Billie and I were oddly similar, and even just the timing of my own personal divorce when I was doing the show," the Red, White & Royal Blue star explained. “I'm a single mother. I'm having to co-parent. I'm divorced. I'm also in a new relationship. So yeah, there's a lot of ways in which I definitely have a Billie inside of me.”
"I was somebody who, my work very much is a part of me, and I felt like if I didn't go back to work after my first was born, I wasn't presenting my full self to my child," she explained. "And so I just feel like that again, it's just another example of how she's sort of exerting her independence and her personality and all of it's ways."
Here’s everything to know about Sarah Shahi’s children: William, Violet and Knox.
William Wolf, 14
Shahi and Howey welcomed their first child, son William Wolf, on July 8, 2009, at their home in Los Angeles. The newborn weighed 8 lbs., 6 oz. and measured 21 inches in length.
Before her son was born, Shahi told Baby Couture magazine she planned on taking a break from acting after she gave birth because “mothers have one of the most important roles and responsibilities in our society.”
She added, “I’ll go back when I feel the time is right. Films will always be there, but you can’t get this time back with your baby.”
William has made brief appearances on his father’s Instagram over the years, including a heartfelt picture of the actor holding his son as they looked out on the water from a boat. In another post, Howey appeared to bring his son to the set of his action movie Range 15. William’s athletic side has also been featured on his dad’s social media, including a photo skiing down a hill, as well as a snap of Howey coaching his little league baseball team.
Over the years, William has appeared on red carpets alongside his parents, including the L.A. premiere of 2016’s Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. William also made several solo appearances with his mom, including at the 2019 premiere of Stuber and Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, as well as the 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
When Shahi appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show in October 2022, she shared a hilarious story about how her son started dating his first girlfriend. The actress explained that the relationship unfolded over the course of a couple of days, including some sweet anecdotes of teenage romance.
Despite some of the awkwardness that came along with having his first girlfriend, Shahi noted, “But look, compared to what some other 13-year-olds could be doing these days, I’ll take that.”
Violet Moon, 8
Shahi and Howey welcomed twins Violet Moon and Knox Blue on March 1, 2015, at their home in Sherman Oaks, California.
Violet is the older twin and was born two hours earlier than her brother, Knox. The couple made the decision to have another home birth after watching the documentary The Business of Being Born.
Howey explained to PEOPLE, “You have more control during a home birth and with hospital births, there is a system in place and we didn’t like the whole system. [Sarah] did not like the idea of being injected with stuff and having a c-section.”
Howey said that when naming their younger children, the couple “went through a bunch of different names” before deciding to make Violet’s middle name Moon, after Shahi’s mom's maiden name.
“Moon is the English translation of Sarah’s mom’s name. [We] were going to name her Moon, but we decided that was better as a middle name," he shared. "We liked Ruby and Olive — we liked colors for a girl — and then I came up with Violet.”
Shahi has been open on social media about being an “incredibly private person” when sharing pictures of her children.
Over the years, she has given glimpses of her children, including a sweet throwback snap taken after the birth of Violet and Knox, with William sneaking into the shot. Howey also posted a cute selfie featuring his daughter when she was 4, while Shahi covered Violet’s face with a heart emoji to mark Christmas Eve in 2020. Shahi and Violet also made a rare red carpet appearance in L.A. at the 2022 Daytime Beauty Awards.
Knox Blue, 8
Shahi and Howey’s son, Knox, was born after his twin sister, Violet, on March 1, 2015.
Howey described his youngest child’s name as “old timey,” explaining, “Names are tough because one person loves it and another person hates it, but these kids were not going to be named Steve or Michael or anything like that.”
Over the years, Knox has seldom made public appearances with his parents. Still, Howey has shared several snaps on social media featuring his youngest son, though his face is often concealed, including a series of silly photos taken with his siblings posing with various animal masks. Shahi also posted a snap of her three kids enjoying some pool time with their father, in which Knox rests on a pool float with his brother and sister.
Although he's growing up away from the cameras, he's had the opportunity to support his mom and her projects. During an appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show in 2023, Shahi reflected on her stunt scenes from Black Adam and what it meant for her to share the end result with Knox and his siblings.
“I’m very proud because when I took my children to the premiere, it was just this moment for me because, as a mom, you miss out on a lot of firsts sometimes, and you don’t get those back,” she explained. “So for me to be able to share that with my children and for them to watch the movie, they can say, ‘That’s my mom.’ That was everything to me.”
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