Michelle Williams and her longtime beau Chad Johnson announced their engagement to the world on Thursday!
Williams and Johnson spoke exclusively to People Magazine about their love story–revealing they’ve actually been secretly engaged for over a month.
“We could not contain this any longer!” Williams said to the outlet, clearly tinged with excitement!
The pair revealed that they got engaged on March 21 in Pebble Beach, California, almost a year after they first met. They plan to get married later this summer.
In March of 2017, the two were guests at a spiritual retreat in Arizona, run by Johnson. Johnson, 40, is a pastor and life coach who also serves as the chaplain for the Pittsburgh Steelers and L.A. Dodgers.
In a recent interview with “The Real” Williams, 37, shared that she was in the midst of a depression and had just ended a relationship prior to meeting her now-fiancee.
“I was in a horrible, dark place,” Williams said, 37. “I just needed to go somewhere where I could get a message of hope and restoration, rejuvenation — get connected to God.”
The two instantly connected, and remained in contact after Johnson’ close friend encouraged they keep in touch. But, a flirty text from Johnson almost ended the romance before it even began.
“I tried to roll in with some mac daddy game — and I tried to flirt a little bit and said something like, ‘How about you and I connect sometime?’ And right away, she texted right back with one word and six question marks behind it: ‘Connect??????’” Johnson said. “I thought she had dissed me. So I was embarrassed, and I didn’t reach back out to her because I thought I’d ruined the friendship.”
However, a week later Williams sent Johnson a DM, responding to an Instagram story Johnson posted him with his nephews.
“The rest is history,” Johnson said. Their texts morphed into calls and spending quality time together. The two went on to share their first kiss last July while in the Dominican Republic for a wedding. There Johnson revealed his true intentions for Williams.
“I told her, ‘I’ve been looking. I don’t want to look anymore. I’m done. My search is over,’” Johnson recalls of the magical moment.
“What kept drawing me and drawing me at first was I felt like I could be myself,” says Williams, who pointed out that Johnson refers to her by her birth name. “My first name is Tenitra; my middle name is Michelle. I felt like I could be Tenitra: just ratchet, I didn’t have to have on any makeup, if I had to have on my hair bonnet — he just made me feel very safe in being myself.”
Johnson planned the whole proposal secretly–earlier in March he flew to her hometown of Rockford, Illinois to ask for her family’s blessing and recorded the whole affair.
A few weeks later the two were enjoying time together in Pebble Beach when Johnson brought up their first failed text exchange.
“We were replaying the whole text message, recreating the moment,” Johnson says. “I was like, ‘Hey, what about if you and me connected?’ She sent me back a text saying, ‘I’ll check my availability.’ And I signaled over to the waiter, and she brought out the iPad and played the video of me being on the proposal tour.”
“I started weeping and wailing when I see all these special people,” Williams said after she watched the video of Johnson’s video with her family. “Towards the end of the video, something in my head said, ‘Pull yourself together! He’s about to propose! Stop all this crying!
Johnson presented Williams with a 5-carat diamond from L.A. jeweler Denis Mahgerefteh. “I was just losing it!” Williams said.
Both hope that their interracial love story inspires.
“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.”
As far as whether Williams’ band mates make an appearance, the answer is definitely.
“We’re wanting all of our friends and family to be there. So it’s looking good!”
Congrats to the lovebirds!