Niecy Nash opens up about decision to live her truth and marry partner Jessica: ‘I do what I want’

Jessica Betts (L) and Niecy Nash (R) at the Critics Choice Awards red carpet

Award-winning Dahmer star Niecy Nash has opened up about her decision to marry partner Jessica Betts, despite being warned that she “wouldn’t work again” if she did.

Nash married singer Betts in 2020 in a surprise wedding nearly a year after splitting from ex-husband Jay Tucker. Since then, the pair have been refreshingly open about their love story, although Nash doesn’t label her sexuality and does not refer to Betts as her wife.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Nash reflected on her decision to wed Betts and live authentically.

“I wanted to get married and felt it would’ve been a disservice for me to live anything other than my truth, come what may,” she explained. 

“So regardless of the outcome, it would’ve been harder on me to try to hide my life or step away from the life that I wanted, than it would’ve been for me to stand flatfooted in it.

“I’m just a person who does what I want to do,” she added. “I’ve worked long enough, I’m old enough, I’ve maturated emotionally. I do what I want to do.”

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Nash also revealed that she shared her concern about losing work with Dahmer creator Ryan Murphy, who told her in no uncertain terms that he would keep hiring her.

“Ryan and I had a conversation very early on when the world found out about Jessica and me being married, and I told him some of the things that I was told and he said, ‘As long as I’m alive, you’ll have a job. You don’t worry about that’.”

At last week’s Golden Globes ceremony, Ryan Murphy honoured Nash for “choosing love not fear,” even though she was told “her community and her industry would abandon her”.

The actress also scooped the award for best supporting actress in a limited series or movie made for television at the Critics Choice Awards on 15 January for her emotionally charged performance as Glenda Cleveland in the hit Netflix series.

Screenshot showing Niecy Nash as Glenda Cleveland in Dahmer
Niecy Nash as Glenda Cleveland in Dahmer. (Netflix)

Despite becoming one of the most-watched shows in Netflix’s history, Dahmer has been steeped in controversy since its release last year, with family members of the victims saying the show exploited their trauma. 

Nash addressed the controversy in her Vanity Fair interview, saying the role of Glenda was “the most difficult job I’ve ever had to date”.

“Conversation is good,” she added.

“I think it invites dialogue, but I also think that were it not for this project, there are many people who just would’ve been nameless and faceless while everybody knew who Jeffrey Dahmer was and what he did. Had you ever heard the name Glenda Cleveland before this?

“So the conversation is all right because, at the end of the day, we’re standing in the light of the truth being told. You don’t have to like it, but it wasn’t a lie.”

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