Shantel Christine Jackson is the longtime girlfriend of rapper Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. The couple met through a mutual friend and have been dating since 2014.
Nelly is competing on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars on ABC.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Shantel Jackson Was Raised in Miami & Started Modeling as a Teenager
Shantel Christine Jackon was born in July 1985 and raised in Miami. According to her “Miss Jackson” website, she grew up with two older and two younger siblings. She and her siblings are of Black American, Caucasian and American Indian descent.
Jackson explained in an interview with Nine5Four magazine that her career as a model got started because of a chance encounter. “I was on the Metrorail one day and a guy comes up to me gave me a card and said his friend is an agent and that I should call her. So I did.” Jackson said she started filming commercials and posing for catalogs when she was 16.
After graduating from high school, she attended Miami Dade College and the University of Miami. She wrote on her website that she studied acting and psychology but did not clarify whether she earned a degree.
Jackson’s early success enabled her to buy a house. According to a search of Miami-Dade County property records, Jackson still owns a home in Opa-Locka, a suburb of Miami, that she purchased in 2005 for $162,000. She appears to have bought the house with her mother. The co-owner is listed as Emil Jackson.
2. Jackson Is a Business Owner
Inspired by a love of fashion design, Jackson became an entrepreneur. She currently operates a company called Fanci Goods, which sells magnetic lashes, makeup tools and accessories. In July, Nelly made a cameo on Jackson’s Instagram page to help promote a Fanci Goods sale.
According to Florida Secretary of State business records, Jackson registered the company with the state in 2018. The paperwork noted that the company was a “woman’s brand, dealing with online sells and wholesale of clothing, apparel, accessories and all other legal acts permitted.”
Jackson also created a line of orthotics called “Shoe Gummi” that are meant to be worn with high heels. Jackson explained to Footwear News in August 2020, “I’ve always been obsessed with heels for as long as I can remember. Sporting them for 7 to 10 hours a day, I just had to figure out a way to make them more comfortable for myself.”
Jackson’s businesses appear to be performing well. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Jackson’s estimated net worth was about $3 million as of 2019.
3. Jackson Pursued Acting & Appeared on the E! Reality Series ‘The Platinum Life’
Jackson pursued acting professionally but has only a handful of credits on her IMDB profile. In 2012, she landed a small role in the action movie Freelancers starring 50 Cent, Robert De Niro and Forest Whitaker. Jackson was also credited in three short films in 2016.
Jackson had more success in the world of reality TV. She appeared in two episodes of Nelly’s docuseries Nellyville, which aired on BET in 2014.
In 2017, Jackson was asked to join the cast of the E! reality series The Platinum Life. The series featured the wives and girlfriends of Hollywood musicians. The cast included Ne-Yo’s wife, Crystal Smith; songwriter Eric Bellinger’s wife, La’Myia Good; and rapper Kid Ink’s wife, Asiah Azante. But the show failed to catch on and aired for only eight episodes in 2017.
4. Jackson & Nelly Have Been Together Since 2014 & She Has Publicly Discussed a Desire to Have Children With Him
Jackson and Nelly were introduced by a mutual friend in 2014. He explained to Entertainment Tonight in 2017 that he feels their romance works because they had a chance to establish a friendship first. “Being friends first, I think, is something important. Then, I feel like you come into a situation that’s genuine. I think some of my past relationships, I don’t think everybody came into them genuinely. And when you don’t come into them genuinely, sometimes it festers and sometimes you end relationships for the wrong reasons.”
Jackson and Nelly are not engaged and do not have children together, but both topics have been on Jackson’s mind in recent years. She opened up on The Platinum Life about her desire to marry Nelly and have children together. In one episode, Jackson tried on an engagement ring worth $200,000. In the clip, told her friend that Nelly had “baby fever” at the time but Jackson wanted to be married before having children.
In another clip from the show, Jackson talked to Nelly over the phone about freezing her eggs. Nelly expressed surprise at the idea and reassured Jackson that her “eggs ain’t old”.” Nelly added that he preferred to have a child the natural way but that he would support Jackson if she decided to freeze her eggs.
5. Jackson Was Previously Engaged to Floyd Mayweather
Jackson was previously engaged to professional boxing champion Floyd Mayweather. But the pair never made it down the aisle and their split was not friendly. The legal battle that ensued afterward also made headlines.
Jackson filed a lawsuit against Mayweather in September 2014 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. According to court documents referenced by Boxing Scene, Jackson sued Mayweather for invasion of privacy, assault, battery, harassment, and infliction of emotional distress, among other charges. Jackson was represented by renowned attorney Gloria Allred.
Jackson, through her attorney, detailed in court documents that the relationship with Mayweather had been on a downward spiral for several months when she became pregnant with twins in November 2013. Jackson shared a sonogram with Mayweather but did not tell her family about the pregnancy. In January 2014, the “pregnancy terminated” and she let Mayweather know. Soon after, Jackson said, she began spending time with Nelly and that Mayweather was not happy about it.
In May 2014, Mayweather posted the sonogram on Facebook and Instagram. According to TMZ, he wrote in the caption, “The real reason me and Shantel Christine Jackson @missjackson broke up was because she got a abortion, and I’m totally against killing babies. She killed our twin babies.”
During a news conference to discuss the lawsuit, Jackson read a prepared statement. The Los Angeles Times published a portion of it:
I loved Floyd deeply, but he continued to disappoint and intentionally hurt me. I have been embarrassed and humiliated more than I can ever imagine by Floyd, whom I once called my best friend and fiancée. It was with a heavy heart that I finally realized the only way to set the record straight and achieve justice for what he has done to me, is filing this lawsuit.
According to court documents, a trial court denied Mayweather’s request to reject the case. But in 2017, an appeals court reversed that decision.
Mayweather later filed suit against Jackson as well. He accused her of stealing money and using his credit cards, according to The Blast. He also said Jackson recorded phone calls with him without his consent.