2015 was a pretty fantastic year for Taraji P. Henson.
The actress became a cultural phenomenon for her portrayal of Cookie Lyon on the FOX hit Empire and racked up the honors along the way, including a People’s Choice Award nomination. But while the professional success was unprecedented, it also sparked some serious interest in Henson’s life away form the cameras – particularly when it came to her dating life.
That interest reached some seriously high levels last week when Henson was spotted with football player Kelvin Hayden in Miami. Hayden, a 32-year-old Chicago native, previously played for both the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts, but is currently a free agent.
However, while the two were close in the photos, Henson was quick to deny the relationship. She told Wendy Williams during Pittbull’s New Year’s Revolution, “Yeah, you can’t believe everything you read. Until you hear it from me, it’s false.”
This isn’t the first time, Henson has been linked to someone publicly. She was rumored to have dated Tyrese Gibson, Michael Strahan and even Lamar Odom. Still, despite the gossip, Henson says she hasn’t lowered her standards. She told Steve Harvey:
Henson has never been married, but had to deal with relationship tragedy when her son’s father was murdered when Marcel was just three years old. At the time she had just $900 to her name and since has fought for her role and ever check she’s earned. It’s that drive that has shaped what she’s looking for when it comes to relationships. Henson explained to Page Six:
[It’s] hard to maneuver when you’re in show business. It shrinks the search pool. I don’t want an actor. I want a life partner. A real one. I had a guy, but cut to the chase… he was starstruck. They fall for the lady on-screen.
Face it, I don’t wake up looking like Beyoncé. I think I’ll have to start hunting abroad. Maybe get off the Northern Continent. I know you just cannot have two narcissists together.
Henson is slated to appear at the People’s Choice Awards on Wednesday night where she is nominated for Favorite Dramatic TV Actress.