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48th NAACP Image Awards

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When singer, actress and TV personality Adrienne Bailon started dating gospel singer Israel Houghton, we had a lot of questions. As it turns out, so did she.

If you’ll recall, at the time that their relationship started in 2016, he was thought to still be married to Meleasa Houghton, whom he wed in 1994 and had four children with. So by the time Israel and Adrienne were first spotted together frolicking in the ocean, people were concluding that he was stepping out on Meleasa with her. What we didn’t know was that, according to reports, the longtime couple had separated in 2015 and their divorce was finalized in February of 2016. Adrienne knew that he’d told her he was divorced and available, but once the Internet started whispering, she told the ladies of The Real this week that she had to do some investigating to make sure he was telling the truth.

“Thank God for the Internet these days! Things get confusing and you get to clarify. Like me!” she said. “When I first started dating my husband, people thought he was married. That was a lie.”

“If you’re being real, you want to talk to the man and you’re like, ‘You got me out here looking crazy. Let me see the paperwork,'” she said. “Crazy thing is, he and his ex-wife actually filed under their initials and not under their names. So when Page Six and a lot of these other news outlets went to go look for divorce documents, they couldn’t find them because they were under their initials for privacy. Ha ha! But it was true!”

Adrienne said she even had her publicist do some digging because the pressure from the public to figure out what was really going on was getting to her.

“You got me stepping to this man like, ‘Did you lie to me? Did you have me out here looking crazy?!’ That’s a real conversation to have,” she said. “I was like, we need to do some investigating. So my publicist, who was me and Jeannie’s publicist at the time, called me and was like, ‘Aye, there is nothing there.’ I looked over I said [to Israel], ‘They said there’s nothing there!’ And it was that they were under their initials and when they found them, they had been filed so long back and he just chose to disclose that the marriage was over way later once children and everybody was like settled, months and months later. But hello! Investigation come through! I needed to know.”

This is the most in-depth Adrienne has gotten about the confusing, early stage of her relationship with Israel, because when people were assuming they were having an affair, she used her platform on The Real to set the record straight, confidently.

“Yes, I am dating. His name is Israel Houghton, as some of you guys may know,” she said. “And I think I’m more than anything so grateful that I have a platform like this where I can be with my girls. The show is called The Real. It is a place to speak about the truth and honesty and be real about things. So with that being said, this man pictured here is not married. Praise God!”

As for Israel, he also put out a statement defending Adrienne from any stories that she was the cause for the end of his marriage.

“My marriage had been over for quite some time before going public with my divorce announcement,” he wrote on Facebook. “Where I shared, or as some have pointed out ‘over-shared’ my failure in my marriage…From over 5 years prior. It seems to be simple math that I had not even yet met Adrienne during the time my marriage was falling apart.”

“It deeply saddens me that an innocent party would be dragged into this situation that I have taken personal responsibility for,” he added. “Adrienne is a woman of integrity & character…Most of all she is a true friend, and she should not be blamed for my past indiscretions.”

It is interesting though that Adrienne, more than three years and a walk down the aisle later, wanted to clarify this now. But hey, guess that’s just her keeping it real.


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