Dragons' Den star Steven Bartlett opens up on rarely-seen girlfriend and refusing to date for 10 YEARS over 'toxic' past

DRAGON’S Den star Steven Bartlett has been notoriously private about his love life, but he's finally revealed all on his "loving relationship" with his stunning girlfriend Melanie Vaz Lopez.

The 29-year-old multi-millionaire businessman met influencer Melanie on Instagram in 2016 after bonding over one of the entrepreneur's relationship videos. 


They were together for a year until Steven ended their romance, claiming he couldn’t commit to her between “seven in the morning and nine o’clock at night” due to his hectic work schedule – something he now regrets.

Earlier this year, he flew to Bali to win the French entrepreneur back.

After spending four days on the tropical island together, Melanie fell for him all over again, and the pair have been together ever since.

And now, in an exclusive interview with the Sun, Steven gushes about how his relationship is his greatest achievement, especially as he never thought he’d find love due to his parents’ “toxic” relationship. 

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“Getting myself into a loving relationship with a wonderful woman has totally been my greatest achievement,” he says.

“I wasn't sure if that was going to be possible for me, because what I learned about love at a young age was not very good. It was quite toxic.”

He continues: "My early experience would be my parents shouting at each other a lot, so I thought relationships were going to be difficult. I kind of avoided relationships until I was about 25.

"But after doing a lot of work, I eventually found someone that I fell in love with and I've been mature enough to keep that relationship strong and grow with it.

“I think that's what I'm most proud of, because it's probably the hardest thing."

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Work 'cost' star in relationships

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Steven originally broke up with Melanie to focus on his careerCredit: SOCIAL MEDIA

Steven dated Melanie for a year before he ended things to focus on his career. 

The businessman had previously admitted his busy work life can often mean he hasn't got time to focus on relationships. 

He explained: "The way it is with me, between the hours of say seven in the morning and nine o' clock at night, I am in the zone, I've got total tunnel vision. 

“I honestly do not realise that there's anyone else outside of my business and rooms I sit in that exists in terms of my personal and private life.

"So if my family or girlfriend text me, or message me during the day, the chances of me engaging in that meaningfully in that period is virtually impossible. 

“In the evenings I'm often consumed with the day and I find it hard to switch off and engage with other relationships and that also costs those relationships."

'I was a very insecure kid'

Ecologi ambassador Steven was born in Botswana to a Nigerian mum and a British dad. 

They moved to Plymouth, Devon, where they “struggled financially in a nice, white, middle-class area”.

And Steven says it was his insecurities that have driven him to where he is today – the owner of £300million business Social Chain, a Sunday Times Bestseller, the youngest Dragon ever, the host of number one podcast Diary of a CEO, and a net worth of over £68million.

"I was a very insecure kid because I was pretty much the only black kid in an all white school," he says.

"We were the poorest family in my area. 

“I think watching my parents scream at each other every day about money, I thought money would solve a lot of problems in life. 

“So part of the reason I had ambition was I was insecure. Although I think ambitious and insecure are the same. I don't know how to tell the difference."

First Dragon DJ

And, as if Steven hasn’t got enough on his plate with a new series of Dragon’s Den, his podcast, books and businesses, he tells us he’s going to be DJing this summer too – in house and hip-hop music.

He says: "I've been learning to DJ for a long time in my house and having lessons and so I wanted to do really cool, underground, private shows where I invite a couple of hundred people and then I'll do some festivals. 

“I've been asked but I'm gonna make sure I'm ready first.

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Steven was speaking as part of climate action platform Ecologi's 'Power of Possible' campaign for Earth Day 2022.Visit ecologi.com.

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