The “Empire” star and the ex-NFLer were first seen together in late 2015.
Taraji P. Henson and Kelvin Hayden at the Super Bowl in 2016. Photo Credit: Getty Images/WireImage/Kevin Mazur
“Empire” star Taraji P. Henson is engaged to former NFL pro Kelvin Hayden.
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“I said yes y’all!!!” Henson, 47, who plays formidable family matriarch Cookie Lyon on the Fox music-industry drama, posted on Instagram Monday morning, alongside a close-up of her engagement ring on her hand, and a dessert plate in the background with “Congratulations” written out in chocolate.
“He started with the Cartier love bracelet,” she continued, “BUT that was my #Mothersday gift and then he dropped to his knee and I almost passed out!!! #sheisofficiallyoffthemarket and she is sooooooooooooo HAPPY!!!!!! #GODIS,” Henson wrote, followed by an engagement ring and three kissing emoji.
Chicago native Hayden, 34, who played for the Indianapolis Colts from 2005-2010 followed by one-year stints with the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears, has not commented on social media.
Henson — whose long and prolific career includes a 2008 Academy Award nomination for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as well as two Emmy nominations — has never married. While a junior at Howard University, she became pregnant with her son Marcell, 24, whom she wished a happy birthday in a Sunday Instagram post. His father, Henson’s high-school sweetheart William Johnson, was killed in Washington, D.C., in 2003. Hayden does not appear to have been married previously.
The two were first photographed together publicly in December 2015 during a beach outing, and Henson confirmed the relationship two years later, telling Essence magazine’s “Yes, Girl!” podcast, “I’m happy in my personal life. Finally it has happened to me!” Without mentioning Hayden by name, she acknowledged the beach photos were “all over The Shade Room [celebrity-news website] anyway.”
She added, “You know, I’m not the type to blast my personal business, but you know, I think that it’s important for people to know that I’m happy. I’m very, very happy. I just am. We’ve been together for two years. And no one would really know that because I don’t blast my info like that but I’m very happy.”