Thursday, January 20, 2022

Destiny’s Child Star Michelle Williams on Her Swirl Engagement to Chad Johnson

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*Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child has revealed exclusively to PEOPLE that after a year of dating, she is engaged to boyfriend Chad Johnson.

Williams and Johnson met at a spiritual retreat in March of 2017, and have been building a strong relationship ever since through conversations on Instagram, over text message and via FaceTime calls.

They took their romance public in July; on March 21, Johnson popped the question with a  5-carat engagement ring; and the couple plan to wed this summer, per the report.

But just who is Michelle’s handsome vanilla stallion?

Get the scoop about Mr. Johnson via PEOPLE below.

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Chad Johnson and Michelle Williams
Austin and Nicole Barkis / Barkis and Co.

“Since 2006, Johnson has run Elevate International, a nonprofit that serves urban youth and families with spiritual retreats. It was at a 2017 retreat for adults that Johnson met Williams.

“I was in a horrible, dark place,” says Williams who had recently ended a relationship and opened up about a cheating ex on The Real. “I just needed to go somewhere where I could get a message of hope and restoration, rejuvenation — get connected to God.”

Johnson has helped raise his two nephews, who are 15 and 16 years old, and he says starting a family has been “The biggest desire in my life is to have a wife and kids.”

“I was getting ready to turn 40, she’s in her late 30s,” Johnson says of his life before he met Williams. “Neither of us have been married, had children, and I think you just get to a place sometimes where you’re just so career-driven, so focused on what you’re doing at the moment, that it’s kind of a comfort zone. … Both of us were in very similar places on a personal level.”

Chad Johnson and Michelle Williams
Austin and Nicole Barkis / Barkis and Co.

Williams and Johnson’s relationship grew for nearly three months before they officially began dating in July of 2017. She explains why she initially kept their relationship private:

“I didn’t even tell any people I was talking to Chad. I wanted to treat this relationship differently because obviously, all my past relationships have failed. I didn’t want to talk about another relationship that possibly wasn’t gonna go anywhere,” says the singer, who didn’t start to introduce her new beau to friends — including fellow former Destiny’s Child members Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland — until they were Instagram official.

And they received blessings from Beyoncé’s mom, too.

“This is my newest favorite couple. They are evenly Yoked. A fine young man. A gorgeous young lady inside and out,” Tina Knowles Lawson captioned an Instagram post with the pair in September.

Ms. Tina’s new favorite couple is proud to share their interracial relationship with the world.

“I’m white, she’s black,” says Johnson. “What a special time for our relationship to be on display in that respect with the tension in the world and in our country.”

Michelle and Chad want people to take away a special message from their relationship.

“Don’t lose hope in love,” says Williams. “I do think you should not focus so much that if you’re not in love that you get depressed about it. … Just don’t lose hope. But definitely, be doing what you can do to make yourself a better person for the person that possibly is on the way for you.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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