Lupita Nyong’o Addresses Rumors of Past Romance With Janelle Monáe

Lupita Nyong'o cleared the air on internet speculation that she dated BFF Janelle Monáe in the past: "She has magnetism that they were obviously picking up on."

By Gabrielle Chung May 22, 2023 11:31 PMTags
Watch: Lupita Nyong'o Talks ROMANCE RUMORS With Janelle Monae

No mystery here: Lupita Nyong'o is a fan of Janelle Monáe.

The Oscar winner and the Glass Onion star have been BFFs since first meeting at the 2014 Met Gala, sparking romance rumors with their close friendship over the years. Though Lupita is currently dating boyfriend Selema Masekela, she can totally see why people shipped the two as a couple.

"She has magnetism that they were obviously picking up on," Lupita told Rolling Stone in its new cover story about Janelle, who came out as pansexual in 2018. "She is that enigmatic. People are curious about enigmatic people."

Noting that she was "not surprised" by the dating speculation, Lupita continued, "I don't mind being associated with her in any capacity."

In fact, the Black Panther actress couldn't help but to gush over the multi-hyphenate for being "extremely gifted."

"It's built into her spirit," she said. "Her openness creates intimacy onscreen. It's really cool to see her move from one thing to another and do it with such mastery."

Janelle Monae's Best Looks

However, as the 40-year-old noted, "Just because you're a close friend of hers doesn't mean you get to know everything about her. I think that's what makes her interesting as an artist."

Indeed, Janelle is an enigma—and she prefers it that way. After all, the singer is very protective of details about her love life.


Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Belvedere Vodka

"I have a policy and agreement with myself—that is a part of my life that I want to keep private," the 37-year-old—who identifies as nonbinary and uses both she/her and they/them pronouns—explained to Rolling Stone. "I can talk about my identity, I can talk about my sexuality. I can talk about all things Janelle Monáe without having to go into detail. You know what I mean? It's not necessary."

Janelle added, "I'm not obligated to share my story. Nobody's obligated."

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