When A Sistah Misses The Signs: Famous Women Who Married Down-Low Men And Didn’t Know It (And A Few Who Did)
These women and their partners started off like the perfect couples. Like many, they were happy, and felt like they had the whole world in front of them. But that was until the women found out their man was gay. Some did during their marriages, others did after the fact, one found out when her husband messed around with her stepfather. Ouch! Either way, it’s clear that some folks just aren’t who they say they are and when you’re in love, what might seem obvious to somebody else is hard for a sistah to see. Hey, you live and you learn. Here are nine women who have been involved with gay and bisexual men at one time or another.
With all the men that were ogling over the beautiful Jackée Harry during the years she was on 227 and when she tried her luck at her own show with the short-lived Jackée, who would have known that she would end up with Elgin Charles? Yes, Elgin Charles from the also short-lived VH1 reality show Beverly Hills Fabulous with the sleek pressed hair and flamboyant personality. Harry and Elgin Charles (aka Elgin Charles Williams), were married from 1996 to 2003, and even checking out early photos of the two as a couple, with his chest all out in his shirts and smile extra wide, I just don’t know how their union happened…
But no hard feelings though! Harry and her ex-husband are great friends even after divorce, as she made numerous appearances on his reality show, and the two have even gone on talk shows together to give tips on how you too, can score a great weave.
Another gorgeous woman, Dreshcher also found herself in a marriage with a man who…well, preferred to be with a man. Married from 1979 to 1999, she didn’t know this during their relationship, but he came out after they split. Drescher told The Huffington Post that she ended the marriage and when she did, he was actually devastated, but it was possibly the best thing for him because he figured what and WHO he really wanted. And she wasn’t as devastated as you would think:
“When I wrote the New York Times bestseller, ‘Cancer Schmancer,’ that was when he came out. He told me that he had been dating men and I said, ‘Okay well whatever makes you happy.’ For me it relieved a little bit of the guilt for having left him.”
And they’re actually the best of friends now. And if that wasn’t enough, the situation helped them both make a lot of money, because she turned the situation into the popular TV Land sitcom, Happily Divorced.
Dwight Eubanks And His Wife
To be clear, Dwight Eubanks, known as a huge hairstylist in Atlanta and for his time on Real Housewives of Atlanta, is bisexual, but in 2009 he was out in these streets celebrating a new engagement. This engagement was with a woman. And yes, we were just as confused as you. Dressed in his and her furs, the woman (who would not be named) seemed smitten with Eubanks, and the two were even pictured kissing. However, Eubanks made it clear to Essence that he definitely plays for both teams, and that he actually gets more love from women. Maybe that’s why he decided to settle down with a real, live woman:
“I get more play from women than men,” says Dwight, who recently celebrated his fiftieth birthday with a circus theme and male and female models to escort him through the room. “I can’t get a date with a man, but the women are knocking my doors down. They just love you when you can be real about who you are.”
Since leaving RHOA, we haven’t seen much of Eubanks or his fiancée, who is probably his wife now, but if they like it…congrats to them!
A famed director for both screen and stage, Vincente Minnelli married darling Judy Garland, and the two were together from 1945 to 1951. If the last name sounds familiar, it’s because Vincente Minnelli is the father of Liza Minnelli. While they came off as a happy couple during the time (this was the second of Garland’s five marriages), according to a biography on his life, he lived as an openly gay man before making it big in Hollywood, where he felt he needed to hide his sexuality. So it was widely rumored that he was into men while the two were married. Sadly, this wouldn’t be the only man Garland married who was speculated to be gay or bisexual, because her fourth husband, Mark Herron was also discovered to be gay…
And why would someone think Liza Minelli’s stepfather, Mark Herron, was gay? According to reports, back in the day while Herron was married to Garland, he had an affair with Minelli’s husband at the time, Peter Allen. Yikes! Where is Jerry Springer when you need him? In an interview with Newsweek, Minnelli opened up about being too young to realize he wasn’t who she thought he was, but making an effort to stay close to him:
“Honey, I was 17 when I met him. But I was the last one to see him before he died because we stayed friends, and that was tough.”
It is also rumored that her last husband, David Gest, might be gay as well, but he has said that it’s just not true. Whatever he is, all we know is their wedding was an uncomfortable mess and the divorce was even messier.
You knew it was coming. Jonathan Plummer was the inspiration behind her book and the movie, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and when McMillan was showing him off to the world, she looked genuinely enamored with the guy. But after getting married in ’98, they were getting divorced in 2005, after Plummer admitted to McMillan that he was gay all the way. And boy don’t we know that things got ugly. They both came on to Oprah’s show in 2010 to talk about how things fell apart, and McMillan wasn’t hiding her disgust for the man. It made for great television, but it was definitely sad. After the fact, she tried to sue him for allegedly trying to ruin her reputation in the public eye, including making her seem like a homophobe:
“When I was ready to run him over, it wasn’t because he was gay. I never hated his guts because he was gay. … And that was one reason why I sued, because I hated the idea of being known as a homophobe. Jonathan deep down inside knew I wasn’t homophobic. I have too many gay and lesbian friends. Too many.”
But as she told Oprah, moving forward, she’s no longer angry about it, has found peace with Plummer (and she dropped that suit) and says she can trust men again. “As my mother would say, one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole tree.”
Okay, so Fishel wasn’t married to Lance Bass of ‘N Sync fame. But the star of Boy Meets World was said to have dated Bass for a year and seemed to be very much in love with the guy. And for her, after he came out six years later, she says she never saw any real signs that he wanted to date guys while they were together, but was happy that he was able to come out. As for why she didn’t know, blame it on the same thing Liza Minelli did–age. Here’s what she told OK! Magazine:
“I was a little naïve because I was 17. I didn’t really have a lot of experience in relationships, but my mom had actually suspected and had said something to me after we broke up. She asked me if I thought it was a possibility, and at first my reaction was like ‘Nooo!’ And then, the more I thought about it, I was like ‘hm, maybe.’”
There’s nothing worse than finding out your husband is actually gay than to learn so in the midst of a public scandal. That’s exactly what happened to Dina McGreevey, born Dina Matos, the former first lady to former New Jersey governor, James McGreevey. The governor found himself in a flurry of mess when it was found out that he was having an affair with a man, and he decided to resign from office in 2004. Like many women betrayed by their public official husbands, Matos stood by him during his press conference announcement about resigning. But boy oh boy did she run for the hills after the fact. Their divorce was messy, as she tried to get alimony (but was denied), and after the fact, she wrote a book about her life, where she made it clear that had she actually known McGreevey was gay, she wouldn’t have married him and definitely wouldn’t have had a child with him. To promote the book, she even went on Oprah, where she said their whole relationship, and McGreevey as a person, was “choreographed.”
While Al Reynolds never came out and said he was gay, it has been speculated by many from day one that he is either bisexual or gay. While they started like a fairytale for Star, with homeboy even proposing to her at the 2004 NBA All Star Game in front of Denzel and Pauletta Washington, and Jones milking the wedding for endorsements on The View, they just weren’t a good fit for one another. In the end, it was speculated that they split because Jones felt Reynolds was trying to ride her name, as a source told the Enquirer the following:
“I think Star felt Al had spent their marriage riding her success while she did all the heavy lifting. She resented it. Deep down, Star is a very old-fashioned woman who believes a man should support her emotionally, physically and financially. She now believes Al failed her.”
He has since been seen with his homies, aka, the “Basketball Wives,” and trying to come off as a major playboy, even though at one time claimed he was still in love with Star.