Claws star Niecy Nash and singer-songwriter Jessica Betts met in 2015, but they didn’t start dating until four years later.
The pair formed a strong friendship via social media over their shared love for music. In 2016, Betts shared an Instagram video of Nash raving about her music.
“Jessica Betts is an artist that feeds your soul,” Nash said in the clip. “Get into it. I love you, Jessica!”
The duo made it official in 2019 after realizing that their relationship wasn’t purely platonic.
“Not only was it challenging for me to realize I’m having feelings for a woman that I’ve normally had for a man, but it was compounded by the fact that this is my friend,” Nash recalled during a 2022 interview with Essence. “I thought, ‘What I do not want to do is anything that would allow this person to not be in my life for the rest of my life.’”
In 2020, the couple announced their marriage via Instagram by sharing a photo from their intimate backyard ceremony. Two years later, Nash shared with OK! that she still considers Betts her best friend.
“The best part is [I’ve] never been in a relationship with anyone who I was friends with first,” the Scream Queens alum shared. “And so it was just like, ‘Oh, wait a minute, both of these things are the same thing? I love it here!’”
Keep scrolling for a complete timeline of Betts and Nash’s romance:
Nash and Betts first connected via social media over music. The twosome formed a friendship while Nash was still married to ex-husband Jay Tucker.
Betts made an appearance in the season finale of Nash’s series Claws. The twosome shared videos together while on set in June 2018. One featured Nash saying, “When you get to hang out on set with your homegirl,” before she panned the camera to Betts as they shared a laugh.
After four years of friendship, the pair officially started dating.
Nash was in New Jersey shooting the 2022 film Beauty, so the pair made plans to hang out. The couple revealed to Essence in 2022 that their first hangout was actually scheduled before Betts had a date with someone else. During their second dinner date, Nash realized she had feelings for Betts.
“I was nervous at dinner, because I felt something,” Nash recalled to Essence. “I could not wrap my head around it. I was trying to see if I was off, ’cause I wanted to keep the night going. And the night turned into the rest of my life.”
The duo announced their marriage via Instagram in August 2020. They had an intimate backyard wedding under a large tree in Ventura County, California.
“I got a whole wife,” Betts captioned a photo from their wedding.
Nash shared the same photo and wrote, “Mrs. Carol Denise Betts.”
The duo became the first same-sex couple to grace the cover of Essence magazine.
When asked about their relationship, Nash declared that she is the happiest she’s ever been.
“It’s to be accepted for the truth of who you are, all the way around, good, bad or indifferent,” Nash explained to Essence. “I feel like the love that I receive from her is custom, as opposed to off the rack. I feel like the assignment happened in the spirit realm before we ever knew about it.”
“I feel like my wife answers for the both of us,” Betts added. “Because I absolutely feel fully seen. I feel like all of me is accepted.”
Betts and Nash attended the NAACP Image Awards in February 2023. Nash won Best Actress in a TV Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special for her role as Glenda Cleveland in Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
Days later, the couple walked the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Nash donned a custom Vera Wang gown while Betts wore a Dolce & Gabbana suit.
Betts and Nash attended the 54th annual Emmy Awards together, and Nash gave her wife a shout-out while accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Anthology Series or Movie for her role in Dahmer.
“I’m a winner, baby!” Nash started before giving thanks to “every single person who voted” and her “better half who picked [her] up when [she] was gutted from this work.”