Mark Wahlberg and His Wife, Rhea Durham, Open Up About Dropping Eldest Child Off at College

Mark Wahlberg and his wife, Rhea Durham, are used to having a full house after having four children – two daughters and two sons – between 2003 and 2010. Unfortunately, their days of having four kids in the house are officially over now that their eldest child, 19-year-old Ella Rae Wahlberg, is off to college

Wahlberg talked about this moment four months ago in an appearance on Live! With Kelly and Ryan. “My 18-year-old, now I literally have no authority over her until she realizes she needs me financially,” he said, adding that she’s ‘really focused on academics, which is great’ and that it ‘took her a while to get there.’

Now, that day has finally come and the Wahlberg-Durham household is down to three. The couple certainly seems to be feeling all the emotions lately. As for Ella, she chose Clemson University as her college of choice, where she was dropped off this week to begin the next significant chapter of her life. 

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Mark Wahlberg wasn’t alone in going public with his thoughts on sending his daughter off to college. His wife, Rhea Durham, recently took to Instagram to express the emotional rollercoaster she’s been on. “On my way home from my first college drop-off. The emotions are running wild,” she wrote. 

She shared a photo of herself inside an airplane – Clemson University is located in South Carolina and the Wahlberg-Durham household is located in Las Vegas, more than 2,000 miles away. The 44-year-old mother of four had a twinkle in her eye as if she was holding back tears – which she very likely was. 

Wahlberg and Durham started dating in 2001, more than two decades ago, and had their first three kids by 2008 – 19-year-old Ella, 16-year-old Michael, and 14-year-old Brendan. They finally decided to tie the knot on August 1, 2009, and welcomed their fourth child (second daughter) Grace five months later. 

The happy couple is going to see their lives change drastically over the next five years with the other three children following closely behind their sister. Michael is just a few years out, while Brendan and Grace will get there before the turn of the decade. At that point, the couple might become empty nesters!

Mark Wahlberg Recently Moved His Family From LA to Las Vegas

In October of last year, Mark Wahlberg revealed he decided to move his family out of Los Angeles and into Las Vegas in search of a better life. He felt Vegas had much more to offer him, his wife, and his children – who have interests to be an equestrian, a basketball player, and a golfer (not including Ella).

Wahlberg left behind a beautiful mansion in LA that he originally listed for nearly $90 million – though he eventually dropped the price down nearly $10 million. It makes for a good flip, considering he purchased the home for just north of $8 million. It’s a 30,500-square-foot estate that has just about everything.  

In giving that up, Wahlberg purchased a piece of land in Summerlin, Nevada – a short drive from The Strip – for nearly $16 million. “We came here to just kind of give ourselves a new look, a fresh start for the kids, and there’s a lot of opportunity here. I’m really excited about the future,” he said back in October. 

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As for his plans in Vegas, Mark Wahlberg believes it could be a Hollywood 2.0 in a few years. He not only wants to build a state-of-the-art studio in his home but wants to build a shoe factory and a separate factory for his sports apparel company, Municipal – which he founded nearly three years ago.

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