Tyrese Gibson’s new wife is a real-life hero. Samantha Lee is a social worker who fights for children and human trafficking victims. Lee was first named in a TMZ report that came less than 24 hours after Gibson made the announcement of his nuptials on Facebook. The pair got wed in secret on Valentine’s Day, according to the actor. Lee is a native of New Jersey and the couple met through mutual friends, so says the TMZ report. She also goes by the name Samantha Schwalenberg.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. TMZ Says Lee ‘Lives Comfortably on a Hefty Salary’
TMZ reports that Lee “lives comfortably on a hefty salary.” The site adds that Lee handles “cases for the Division of Family and Children Services” in Georgia.
According to her LinkedIn page, Lee is the “night/weekend” advocate for Project Safe Inc. Her role includes, “Crisis Intervention, Hotline, Shelter Operations, Case Management, Documentation.” Lee got her Master’s in social work from the University of Georgia. She first graduated from the school with degree in psychology in 2012.
For their part, Tyrese mentioned TMZ on his Facebook page for getting the story about his wife right. Though he added, “Should I say… Thank you?”
2. Religion Is a Huge Part of Lee’s Life
On her Facebook page, Lee regularly posts long, thoughtful posts about the role of religion and God in her life. In August 2015, Lee wrote about life and death saying, “I think the Devil does a pretty good job of convincing us that there’s nothing after death…that this life, that’s it. I am writing you all to tell you that I know that it doesn’t stop there. We should not fear death, just like we should not fear birth.”
Lee is from Dayton, New Jersey, and according to her Facebook page, she now lives in Athens, Georgia. People magazine had reported that Tyrese and Lee were first seen out together at the 33rd Annual UNCF Mayors Masked Ball at Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta in December 2016.
3. In Addition to Her Legal Qualifications; Lee Is Also a Trained Bartender
In 2014, Lee got a certification from the Professional Bartending School of Atlanta. Her certification is in mixology and bartendering.
While at the University of Georgia, Lee competed in the Miss Latin UGA pageant in 2011. When asked what item she would bring to a desert island, Lee said, “If I had a journal, it would be like my friend.” The article notes that when Lee said this, members of the audience began to shout, “Wilson!”
4. Gibson Received Abuse From Haters for Referring to Lee as His ‘Black Queen’ in the Wedding Announcement
The TMZ report mentions the “haters” who have been criticizing Tyrese for referring to Lee as his “black queen.” The gossip site adds that Lee’s ethnicity is, “Ecuadorian, Jamaican … and African-American.”
In his announcement, Gibson said:
We’re so grateful and humbled by your outpouring of love! We appreciate all of the prayers and well wishes…. Life’s a trip…. Cause sometimes when you pray you get #exactly what your heart desires…….I got #MyBlackQueen I didn’t just marry her I married my daughters new example.
While Gibson has responded to the haters by deleting photos of his nuptials from social media. He then posted this image:
5. Tyrese Had Recently Made Amends With His First Wife Following Their Rough Divorce
After Tyrese made the announcement of his wedding, rumors began to spread that he had remarried his ex-wife, Norma Mitchell. The couple were married for two years, divorcing in 2009. They have a daughter together, Shayla. In 2015, Gibson accused Mitchell of leaving the country without telling him with their daughter. Facebook posts from Mitchell indicate she had gone to Israel. In an interview with Madame Noire, Mitchell said there as “physical and emotional abuse in my marriage [to Tyrese].”
Tyrese had said that the couple had got married partly for immigration reasons, Mitchell is from London, England. During the summer of 2016, Tyrese posted photos with Mitchell and said the pair had reconciled: