We all may recognize Taraji P. Henson as Head Mom In Charge, Cookie Lyon on Fox’s hit musical drama series Empire, but the 47-year-old has spent the last 26 years building her resume in film and television. Henson has garnered a name for herself in the industry through hard work, dedication and her sassy, spirited attitude.
The mother of one sparred no detail of her life in her 2016 autobiography, Around The Way Girl where she details her struggles with becoming a serious actress in Hollywood all the while being a young single, penniless mother. While Henson has kept it more than real about her life’s struggles and rise to the top, the Golden Globe winner has also had her fair share headlining romances that can be a movie in itself.
Let’s take a closer look.
William Johnson 1986-1994
In Henson’s 2016 autobiography, Henson went into great detail about the turbulent relationship she had with her deceased ex-William Johnson. During their relationship, Henson revealed that while Johnson was considered to be the love of her life, her relationship with him was at times volatile and that she was a victim of Johnson’s physical abuse. Despite the couple’s turbulent and hostile relationship, Henson gave birth to her only child, a son named Marcel. Johnson’s life came to an untimely end when he was murdered when their son was just toddler, forcing Henson to raise their son on her own.
Tyrese Gibson 1995-2002
View this post on Instagram
It’s been a journey…….. Those of you who have stood with me through it all will be blessed and rewarded heavily……… EVERY set back is a set UP for even more amazing blessings to come……. I’ve always been in a league of my own a true eagle…….. Just wanna Say thank you for every prayer and every moment of you spreading good on my name………. Life changing announcements soon to come…. God bless you… #NewTeamCreatesNewDreams real legends are over comers just remember I said it….. I’ve never desired a “microwave” career…… It’s about longevity and the journey……. I’m here for it…. The devil gave me his best shot……. Gods favor reigns and covers his children… Remember….When they count you #OUT, Gods plan….. Will always count you in…. The spirit of thanksgiving and receiving the miracles that Gods favors promises and breakthroughs is here!!!
Actor and singer Tyrese and Henson not only dated on and off for seven years, but the two’s on-screen chemistry proved to be just as strong when they starred in the 2001 urban drama, Baby Boy. The couple’s relationship came to an end only one year after the movie’s release, with Henson saying in her book that their relationship was eerily similar to that of their characters in Baby Boy and that the relationship was just too unhealthy.
Hill Harper 2002-2005
Henson’s next relationship was with fellow actor Hill Harper. The couple dated for three years but broke things off in 2005 for unknown reasons.
Henson’s next relationship was with rapper and activist, Common. Henson and Common secretly dated from October of 2005 up until February of 2007. The two later revealed, (Common in his memoir, One Day It’ll All Make Sense and Henson during an episode of The Wendy Williams Show), that the pair were indeed an item in the past. After their time working on the “Testify” video together, Henson and the rapper began dating. The union came to an unexpected end due to timing, and it’s being said that the pair called it quits due to Common’s difficulty dealing with the death of a friend, former roommate and producer J. Dilla.
Lamar Odom 2008-2009
Henson’s next fling would be with NBA baller, Lamar Odom. Before hooking up with Khloe Kardashian, Odom and Henson dated from October 2008 to June 2009.
Henson moved on a few months later and got her cougar on when she dated Canadian rapper and actor Drake. The pair’s fling was very short lived and only lasted for a few months.
Michael Ealy 2012-2013
Henson dated her Think Like A Man co-star, actor Michael Ealy from 2012 to 2013. But the couple quietly broke up.
Kelvin Hayden 2015-Present
In 2015 Henson began dating football player, Kelvin Hayden. The 47-year-old became engaged to the 34-year-old on May 14, 2018 after it was revealed that Hayden popped the question after two years of dating.