Niecy Nash is opening up about her marriage to Jessica Betts and her sexuality. The actress and Masked Singer host sat down on a new episode of Red Table Talk and got candid about her love life and her past relationships.
Nash surprised many when she revealed in August 2020 that she’d tied the knot with Betts, after previously being married to two men, and having finalized her divorce from second husband Jay Tucker earlier in the year.
Speaking with Jada Pinkett Smith and her Red Table Talk co-hosts — Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris — Nash revealed that she’d never dated a woman before she sparked her relationship with Betts.
“I met the most beautiful soul I had ever met in my entire life. And after spending time together, I was like, ‘Oh honey, this fits me like an old pair of jeans I’ve had in my closet my whole life,'” Nash shared of her romance with her new wife. “There was something that [made me feel] like, ‘I don’t want to be away from this energy,’… I felt like I was in a situation where my soulmate.”
Nash was first married to Rev. Don Nash from 1994 to 2007, and then got remarried to Tucker in 2011, however she said when she was with Betts, “it was the first time in my life I had ever felt fully seen. And it changed me.”
Nash went on to explain that her kids were surprised by their romance.
“My daughters were like, ‘Wait what?!'” Nash recalled. “[But] my children were able to meet Jessica before they knew we were dating, so they were able to meet her and form their own opinion about her as a person. And they all were like, ‘Oh my god, she’s so cool!’ They were exchanging numbers. They already liked her.”
When it came to Nash’s mother, however, things were a little different “because of her generation.”
“I have never doubted for one second that my mother loves me. I felt like her fear was, ‘How will you be received? How will I be perceived?'” Nash said.
“I come from a long, long line of women who felt like their identities were wrapped up in whether or not they had a man. Blind, crippled, crazy, married or lazy, get you one and keep one. It makes you validated to have a ‘him.’ So you put a lot of stock in that. It doesn’t really matter about your happiness,” she shared. “Thank god for therapy because we are all in it, and been in it, and it’s a process.”
Looking back at her past romances, Nash admitted, “When I married my first husband I was looking for a savior. I had experienced a lot of childhood trauma.”
“I won’t tell you I didn’t love him, but I will tell you I needed saving. I stayed in that marriage for 17 years to a large degree, in the latter years, because we had a church together and it this weight on me that [told me], ‘You can’t divorce, you are a Christian.'”
“A lot of people say, ‘I stayed for my children,’ but I left for my children. Because I wanted them to see what real love looked like,” she added.
“I feel like my second marriage, I wanted partnership and I also wanted to be married and I met a man who wanted to be married and we said, ‘Let’s give it a go!'” she shared. “I don’t have a mean or bad thing to say about anybody I married because they were all kind people they were just different.”
During the interview, the group were joined by Betts, who sat next to Nash and the pair smiled and held hands as they reflected on their relationship.
Betts opened up about falling in love with Nash, and shared, “I knew something was special about her and I knew that I wanted her when I desired nobody else.”
When it came to the question of how she identifies, Nash said, “Labels are such an interesting thing.”
“A lot of people have said, in the beginning, ‘Niecy Nash has finally come out,’ and I said, ‘Come out of where?’ I wasn’t in anywhere,” she said. “I wasn’t living a sexually repressed life. I loved the boys I was with when I was with them. Now this is who I love. I wasn’t living a lie or trying to make myself like a man. I liked him, I liked him real good.”
“If I had to label myself in this moment I would label myself with the term ‘free,'” Nash added.
This new episode of Red Table Talk drops Wednesday at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET on Facebook Watch.
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