Anne de Paula is the girlfriend of Joel Embiid, as of October.
De Paula, a Sports Illustrated model, has been seen with Embiid on several occasions, though neither the model nor the Sixers player have referenced one another by name.
Here’s what you need to know about De Paula:
1. Embiid & De Paula Were First Seen as a Couple in October
De Paula and Embiid were first seen together in China in October, when the Sixers participated in the NBC China Games. She can be seen in the video above at the very beginning, right before the camera pans away to focus on Embiid.
Three weeks after that, Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin posted a not-so-subtle Instagram of Embiid kissing de Paula at a game. Rubin added a tongue-in-cheek caption, writing, “What a lovely couple!!!!! Congrats on your engagement!!!!! @joelembiid @annedepaula_ THIS IS WHAT WINNING ON EVERY LEVEL LOOKS LIKE!!!??”
Though they don’t tend to post photos of one another, a CBS local affiliate in Philadelphia reported that de Paula posted an Instagram Story of her courtside seats at a Sixers game, adding the heart eyes emoji to her post.
2. De Paula Is a Model Who Won the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search
De Paula has a prominent social following, as a model who has been featured in the famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She rose to fame after winning the 2017 Sports Illustrated model search. After she won, de Paula took to Instagram to celebrate, writing in part,
“With the biggest smile on my face I say: I AM IN THE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED 2017! Is an honor for me to work with such an iconic magazine…Shoot for SI has always been a dream of mine and now I can say that I am living it.You all made me the happiest girl in the world, I have no words to describe this feeling. Much love for this american family that welcomed me in the best way possible.”
De Paula has over 160,000 followers, and often posts photos of her modeling and bikini photo shoots.
In December, Embiid credited his relationship as the main reason why he’s no longer as active on social media, telling ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon, “I don’t even remember the last time I really posted anything on social media. I’ve been really busy with my girlfriend, just hanging out with her.”
3. De Paula Was Previously in a Relationship With Danny O’Donoghue
Prior to her current relationship, de Paula dated 39-year-old Danny O’Donoghue, the lead singer for Irish band The Script.
De Paula and O’Donoghue were together for around three years, starting when de Paula was 20 years old.
4. Embiid Talked About His Relationship to GQ, Though He Hasn’t Referenced Her by Name
In an expansive interview with GQ in October, writer Clay Skipper shared that Embiid’s apartment was filled with food when he arrived, and Embiid explained, “My girlfriend is coming.”
Embiid did not reference de Paula by name, but he did tell GQ that she’s “pretty big at what she does.”
Embiid added, “[When you’re dating in the NBA], You gotta do your background check, You don’t want to be that guy marrying a girl that someone else in the NBA has been with…. I’m sure some guys end up getting married to women that have been around. And maybe on the court they also get told, ‘Hey, I f*cked your wife.'”
5. Neither Embiid or De Paula Have Posted About One Another on Social Media Yet
Neither Embiid nor de Paula have directly posted about one another on their social media channels yet.