Lupita Nyong’o addresses longstanding rumours of past romance with Janelle Monáe

Lupita Nyong'o (L) and Janelle Monáe (R) pictured together. (Getty)

Lupita Nyong’o has addressed the long-standing rumours of a romance with Janelle Monáe.

This has already been quite a year for singer Monáe. Fresh off her performance in Oscar-nominated murder mystery Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, she looks set to become one of the sounds of the summer with her long-awaited album The Age of Pleasure, which is released next month.

As she catapults back into the spotlight with her joyous queer Black music video “Lipstick Lover”, her best friend, Black Panther star Nyong’o, has taken a trip down memory lane.

The pair first met during the 2014 Met Gala, just after Nyong’o landed her Oscar for 12 Years a Slave. They quickly became friends, and, over the years, rumours have persisted that they are romantically involved.

In a recent cover story in Rolling Stone, Nyong’o said that she totally understood why people would think that.

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Lupita Nyong'o (L) and Janelle Monáe (R) together in 2016.
Lupita Nyong’o (L) and Janelle Monáe. (Getty)

“She has magnetism that they were obviously picking up on,” Nyong’o began. “She is that enigmatic. I was not surprised. And I don’t mind being associated with her in any capacity.”

Nyong’o, who is currently dating television host Selema Masekela, also reminisced on meeting Monàe for the first time when she was still new to Hollywood.

“This world is still extremely new to me and unbelievable,” she continued. “[Janelle] came up to me and just gave me the realest hug.

“I think we may have swayed to the music. She was just like, ‘I’m so proud of you, and just thank you for being you’.

“At some point, [Janelle] asked me for my phone, put her number in and said, ‘Let’s stay in touch’. She was like, ‘I really mean it. If you need anything, I’m here for you’.”

Despite their close friendship, Nyong’o admitted she still doesn’t “know everything” about Monáe.

“Just because you’re a close friend doesn’t mean you get to know everything about her. That’s what makes her interesting as an artist.”

Monáe came out as pansexual in 2018 and non-binary in 2022, and has been a consistent advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Despite being vocal about their sexuality and gender identity, they are fiercely private when it comes to their personal life.

“I have a policy and agreement with myself, that is a part of my life I want to keep private,” Monáe told Rolling Stone.

“I can talk about my identity, I can talk about my sexuality. I can talk about all things Janelle Monáe without having to go into detail. It’s not necessary.”

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