Vernon Davis, the former tight end who won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, hopes to tackle a new type of competition on season 29 of Dancing With the Stars.
Who will be cheering on Davis as he steps onto the dance floor? Is he married or dating anyone? Davis asked girlfriend Kayla Sortor to marry him in 2018 with an extravagant proposal on the beach. But the couple has kept the relationship largely out of the public spotlight and it was unclear when or whether they still planned to tie the knot.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Vernon Davis Proposed to Kayla Sortor With a Team of Skydivers
— Vernondavis85 (@VernonDavis85) July 17, 2018
Davis told USA Today Sports that he planned the proposal several months in advance. On July 17, 2018, he took Sortor for a walk along the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. A team of four skydivers flew down onto the beach and approached the couple. Davis told Washington Football he acted as confused as Sortor as the skydivers walked toward them.
The skydivers removed their flight suits to reveal white T-shirts underneath. The shirts spelled out the question, “Will you marry me?” Davis then got down on one knee to present Sortor with a massive ring. He had also arranged for a videographer to capture the entire experience.
Davis and Sortor’s coordinated white outfits were also part of the plan. Davis explained to USA Today that he had told Sortor that one of his former teammates was hosting a party and that the dress code was all-white. “She got dressed, knew we had to be at a certain place at a certain time. Bada-bing, bada-boom.”
2. Davis & Sortor Are Not Married & Have Kept Their Relationship Out of the Public Eye
Davis and Sortor have not publicly announced a wedding date since the grand romantic proposal. Davis has not even given any indication that he and Sortor are still together. He does not often post about his personal life on social media.
Davis’ first Instagram photo was shared in October 2019 and his account does not include any pictures of Sortor. The last time the couple was photographed together in public appears to have been in March 2019, when they attended the grand opening of Shaquille O’Neal’s restaurant in Los Angeles.
In an interview with Niners Nation in April, Davis explained that he was staying busy during quarantine by exercising, practicing lines for virtual auditions and working on his production company. He did not mention Sortor at all.
— Vernondavis85 (@VernonDavis85) January 1, 2018
3. Sortor & Davis Met in 2016 When She Was Working for the Federal Government
Sortor was born in December 1991 and raised in Maryland. She earned an associate’s degree from Anne Arundel Community College in 2011 and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland College Park in 2014, according to her LinkedIn account. Sortor also has a master’s degree in organizational communication from Bowie State University.
Davis and Sortor met at a bar in Washington, D.C. sometime in 2016, according to entertainment firm My Publicist Inc. According to Sortor’s LinkedIn page, she was working at Fort Meade in Maryland for most of that year. She wrote on the page that she worked in security for a federal government agency, but she did not provide more details.
In August 2020, Sortor started a new job as a strategic communications specialist with Centauri, a technology company that specializes in national security software. She listed her current city as El Segundo, which is in Los Angeles County, on her LinkedIn page.
According to the Washington Times, Davis still calls Washington, D.C. home. But he has publicly talked about his desire to have a successful acting career now that he has retired from football. It’s possible he could be planning a permanent move to the west coast once Dancing With the Stars wraps. Stay tuned.
4. Davis Was Previously Engaged to High School Sweetheart Janel Horne
Davis has never been married but he has been engaged in the past. He was previously engaged to his high school sweetheart, Janel Horne, and they were together for about 15 years. They both attended Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. Heavy reported in 2016 that Davis and Horne had three children together, including a daughter named Valleigh and a son named Jianni. The Washington Times reported that as of May 2020, Davis’ two sons were 12 and 6 and his daughter was 8.
Horne was beside Davis when he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2006. The Washington Post reported at the time that Horne was the one taking pictures after Davis got the call, while Davis and his grandmother, Adaline, both cried hysterically.
Horne and Davis’ life on the west coast included a large house in San Jose. The three-story Mediterranean-style home included more than 7,000 square feet of living space, six bedrooms, a billiards room and an entertainer’s backyard complete with an outdoor kitchen and spa. Davis sold the house for $2.375 million in early 2018, according to the Los Angeles Times.
5. Horne Accused Davis of Cheating on her With a Younger Woman
Davis was in the headlines in May 2016 for all the wrong reasons. Horne accused him of cheating on her with a 20-year-old woman in an Instagram blast.
In Touch Weekly shared a screengrab of the post, which included side-by-side photos of Davis and the woman with whom Horne believed he was having an affair. Horne wrote in the caption: “when you give a man your all, 15 yrs, 3 kids, and you sacrifice your life and then he cheats on you with a 20 yr old child and lies (sic) on you @vernondavis85.” The post was later deleted and Horne has either deleted or suspended her accounts.
Davis’ did not publicly comment on the accusation. According to the New York Daily News, Davis posted a Bible verse from Leviticus 19:11 on his Instagram account: “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie to one another.” He also wrote, “When people do these things we should hold hands and pray for them. #Letshelpthem by #praying.”