It's been two years since Taraji P. Henson was first spotted holding hands with Kelvin Hayden, a muscly NFL veteran who's in his early thirties, while on vacation in Miami. Still, even though he's also appeared on the 47-year-old Empire star's Instagram feed, Henson hasn't confirmed anything's happening between the pair of them until this week, when she finally admitted she was dating the mystery man on Essence‘s Yes, Girl! podcast—though perhaps not exactly of her own volition. "It was all over The Shade Room anyway," Henson said, referencing the celebrity gossip site whose Instagram has a cult following.
It wasn't just her invasion of privacy, though, but also what seems to be genuine joy that led Henson to take things public. "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," she said. "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."
Hayden, who's from Chicago, was first drafted into the NFL in 2005 with the Indianopolis Cults, whom he stuck with until 2010 before spending a year with the Atlanta Falcons and finishing up his football career with the Chicago Bears between 2012 and 2014. These days, as his Instagram consistently illustrates, he's clearly still a fan of the sport, as well as one half of the NFL veterans running KÄRPAĀ DĒEM, a Chicago-based gym.
As of this month, though, he's also had a new responsibility: being the "daddy" of his new family with Henson, ever since he gave her the early Christmas gift of a bulldog puppy, which Henson then named after her boyfriend, "K-Ball."
Henson might not be one to blast her personal business, but she has given Hayden several coded shout-outs on her Instagram. In addition to K-Ball, Henson also counts "#ZaddyBear" among her nicknames for him, which definitely seems like a frontrunner if their family ends up being joined by any more pups from Big Boi's kennel.
Taraji P. Henson Gets Down to "I Will Survive"—With a Few Embellishments: