Just Friends? Lupita Nyong’o Dishes About Relationship with Janelle Monáe

by Xara Aziz
Left: Big Stock Photo Right: Big Stock Photo

Could it be that Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o and Janelle Monáe had a thing back in the day? Well, according to a recent Rolling Stone feature, it could have been so.

In the publication’s latest cover story, the 40-year-old star gushed about Monáe’s mystery, which she said intrigued her.

“She has magnetism that they were obviously picking up on,” Nyong’o told Rolling Stone about Monáe. “She is that enigmatic. People are curious about enigmatic people.”

The 40-year-old actress met the 37-year-old Primetime songstress during the 2014 MET Gala and they’ve been friends ever since. Nyong’o admits that she is aware people have questioned whether she and Monáe are either friends or “fraaaands,” but it is clear she is unbothered by the rumors.

“I don’t mind being associated with her in any capacity,” Nyong’o said.

The Oscar award-winning actress is currently dating TV host Selema Masekela and says she has no problem praising the Hidden Figures actress, who she says is “extremely gifted.”

“It’s built into her spirit,” Nyong’o said. “Her openness creates intimacy onscreen. It’s really cool to see her move from one thing to another and do it with such mastery,” adding that “just because you’re a close friend of hers doesn’t mean you get to know everything about her. I think that’s what makes her interesting as an artist.”

Monáe was quoted in the magazine as well, stating that “I have a policy and agreement with myself — that is a part of my life that I want to keep private.”

In January, Shine My Crown reported about Monáe opening up about her gender identity.

“I’m not this arrogant person that thinks that I have all the answers,” the Antebellum star explained during an episode of The Jess Cagle Show.

The Grammy-nominated artist said that she prefers to be referred to as she/her or they/them pronouns, but if she could really choose, she would like to be identified as a “free ass mutha f*cka.”

“I think it’s all about just honoring your truth and your authenticity — whatever that may look like,” she said. “For me, it’s about making sure that I’m also saying to people, ‘Further investigate who you are.’ Allow yourself to discover something new about yourself. Open up your mind to different possibilities. And listen — listen to folks who are saying, ‘Hey, this is who I am. This is how I feel inside and outside.’”

 She added: “I think all of it, to me, is important as we evolve as humanity, as we understand more about gender, as we understand more about sexuality. So I’m just keeping an open mind about it all.”

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