Kiss and Not Tell?

Did Lupita Nyong’o Just Plead the Fifth on Dating Janelle Monáe?

Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o and multi-hyphenate Janelle Monáe first crossed paths at the 2014 Met Gala, and the dating rumor mill has been churning ever since. Over the years, the two have been inseparable and publicly adorable, but for the most part, they’ve been silent—when it comes to those rumors. Now, Nyong’o is finally addressing them.

During their initial meeting on the red carpet, Nyong’o was still new to the world of Hollywood. She was fresh off her breakout role in 12 Years a Slave, for which she nabbed the Academy Award for Best Actress. Nyong’o looked back on this time in a new cover story for Rolling Stone.

“This world is still extremely new to me and unbelievable,” she said. “[Janelle] came up to me and just gave me the realest hug. I think we may have swayed to the music. She was just like, ‘I’m so proud of you, and just thank you for being you.’”

“At some point, [Janelle] asked me for my phone, put her number in and said, ‘Let’s stay in touch,’” she continued. “She was like, ‘I really mean it. If you need anything, I’m here for you.’”

Afterwards, the two icons became very close, and their fans were looking—respectfully.

Nothing was ever confirmed—and honestly, it seems like nothing ever will be.

While Nyong’o didn’t flat-out say they were never involved, she did say she gets why people would make that assumption. “[Janelle] has magnetism that they were obviously picking up on,” Nyong’o said. “She is that enigmatic. People are curious about enigmatic people. I was not surprised. And I don’t mind being associated with her in any capacity.”

Back to the rumor mill, folks. In the meantime, Nyong’o is currently dating TV host Selema Masekela. Monáe largely keeps their private life private, but they came out as pansexual in 2018 and non-binary in 2022. Although they are open about their gender and sexuality, Monáe warned in their cover story, “You cannot project onto artists. You have to understand that experiences will be had and people will change and evolve and not be the person you look up to.”

They’ve also recently displayed their undeniable “magnetism” in the joyously queer music video for “Lipstick Lover.” The song is the latest single off Monáe’s upcoming fourth studio album, The Age of Pleasure, which will drop on June 9th.

Don't forget to share:

Read More in Culture
The Latest on INTO