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After four years engaged to fiancé Nick James, actress Tika Sumpter says the pandemic has her ready to tie the knot. Like ASAP.

In a conversation with ESSENCE, the beauty didn’t share what was behind her and James waiting all these years to tie the knot, but she did say that a celebration encompassing family and friends is something she’s now been craving after so much time in quarantine.

“I’m ready now. We’ve been engaged for like four years [laughs]. Like, literally, once this pandemic [is over] I want to have a party. I’m like, yo, we all deserve a party. You know what I mean? Like, we deserve a party,” she said when asked about wedding plans. “I’m more about just, family’s getting older, some family members passed away from COVID complications, so more than ever now it’s about just getting family and friends — that to me is like, life. Experiences is life. Stuff is great, it’s nice, blah blah. But being with the people you love? So hopefully next year. We’re going to plan it this year and then hopefully have it next year.”

Sumpter announced the engagement news in 2017, sharing that James, her Haves and Have Not co-star whose identity at the time she kept under wraps, went all out for the Christmas holiday the year prior.

“Yeah, I’m engaged,” she shared on The Real. “He did all of these amazing things. I went on a little hunt in the house. And I was like, ‘Oh, he’s going to propose.'” He tricked her initially, with the gift she was hunting for being “a Peloton bike he bought me.”

“I was like, ‘Oh, that’s cool!'” she laughed. But James did surprise her by writing a special message hidden by their newborn daughter Ella, which led to his proposal.

“It was just simple,” she said at the time. “And just awesome.”
“It’s been burning a hole in his pocket for a while,” she added. “So he was like, ‘I wanted to do this now.'”
Sumpter and James have reportedly been together since 2016, which is when they welcomed their daughter, who was born in October of that year. When news came out that she was expecting and wasn’t sharing who the baby’s father was, the Mixed-ish star went on to tell Fit Pregnancy in 2016 that she had no interest in hearing anyone’s negativity at that time.

“I didn’t want to hear, ‘Who’s the dad?’” she said. “Social media can be harsh, and I’m a mama bear, protective of my family. So that’s why I waited to tell people, including some of my friends.”

They eventually went public, and Sumpter, who is mama bear, is about protecting her man, too.

“Don’t come after my dude like that,” she told us at MadameNoire about critics of her interracial relationship in 2018. “I’m a nice girl but I’m going to say something back. At least once. At least one time. And so when somebody tries to play me and then play him, I’m like naaaah, I can’t pass on that one. So I just say again, love is love and you fall in love with who you fall in love with. I’m not in your relationship. I could care less. You go have fun with whoever you love or you like or who you don’t like.”

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