Taylor Kinney, who plays Lieutenant Kelly Severide on the popular NBC drama Chicago Fire, temporarily left the show in Season 11 due to a personal matter. He returned to the series in Season 12, but his character’s absence had a significant impact on his relationships, both on and off screen. In this article, we will explore Kinney’s role on Chicago Fire, his real-life romances, and the possible reasons for his departure.
Kinney’s Character on Chicago Fire and Real-Life Relationships
Kinney has been portraying Severide, the leader of the Rescue Squad at Firehouse 51, since the show’s debut in 2012. Severide is a skilled and courageous firefighter, who often puts his life on the line to save others. He is also a loyal friend and a passionate lover, who has had several romantic entanglements throughout the series.
One of his most notable relationships was with Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo), a fellow firefighter and instructor at the Fire Academy. The two got married in Season 11, after overcoming many obstacles and challenges. However, their marriage was tested when Severide left for an arson investigation training program in Alabama, without telling his wife the truth.
In real life, Kinney has also been involved in some high-profile relationships. He was previously engaged to pop star Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta), whom he met on the set of her music video for “You and I” in 2011. The couple dated for five years, before calling off their engagement in 2016.
Kinney later married Caitlin Murphy Miles, a former Miss USA contestant and actress, in 2019. The couple welcomed their first child, a son named James, in 2020. Kinney and Miles have kept their relationship private, and rarely share photos of each other on social media.
However, in January 2024, rumors surfaced that Kinney and Miles had split, and that he was dating Ashley Cruger, a Chicago-based model and influencer. Cruger posted a selfie with Kinney on her Instagram account, sparking speculation among fans and media outlets. Neither Kinney nor Miles has confirmed or denied the rumors, and their current marital status remains unclear.
Kinney’s Return to Chicago Fire After Year-Long Absence
Kinney made his comeback to Chicago Fire in the Season 12 premiere, titled “Barely Gone”, which aired on January 18, 2024. The episode addressed Severide’s return to Firehouse 51, and the tension that his absence had created between him and his wife.
Severide had been away for almost a year, working on a series of arson cases across the country. He had lied to Kidd about his whereabouts, and had become obsessed with his work. Kidd had to fly to Alabama, and convince him to come back home.
However, Severide’s return was not a smooth one. He immediately resumed his investigation into a serial arsonist, who was targeting firefighters. He also clashed with Shawn Barber (Michael Trucco), a new member of the squad, who had a history with Kidd. Severide’s dedication to his job, and his lack of communication with his wife, put a strain on their marriage.
Severide eventually solved the arson case, and arrested the culprit. He also reconciled with Kidd, and expressed his desire to keep working on arson cases, without jeopardizing their relationship. Kidd supported him, and they agreed to work on their issues together.
Possible Reasons for Kinney’s Absence
Kinney’s departure from Chicago Fire in Season 11 was not planned, and was due to a personal matter that he had to deal with. According to a source close to the production, Kinney took a “leave of absence” from the show, and the writers had to adjust the scripts accordingly.
The exact nature of Kinney’s personal matter was never revealed, and he did not comment on it publicly. However, some fans speculated that it might have been related to his family, his health, or his marriage. Some also wondered if he was considering leaving the show permanently, or pursuing other career opportunities.
The showrunner of Chicago Fire, Andrea Newman, addressed these rumors, and confirmed that Kinney was returning to the show “full-time” in Season 12. She also said that Kinney was a “critical part of 51”, and that his character’s struggle with arson cases would be a major storyline in the new season.
Taylor Kinney is one of the main stars of Chicago Fire, and his character, Kelly Severide, is a fan favorite. His temporary exit from the show in Season 11 was unexpected, and caused a lot of speculation among viewers. He returned to the show in Season 12, but his character’s absence had consequences for his personal and professional life. Kinney’s real-life relationships have also been a source of interest and controversy, especially his recent rumored romance with a Chicago model. Kinney has remained silent on these matters, and has focused on his work and his family.