California senator Kamala Harris, who is poised to be the first female vice president of the United States come January 2021, has done a lot over the course of her career. But before she decided to really dive into California politics, Harris was known in certain circles for something other than her knack for public policy — dating Montel Williams, famed daytime talk show host.
Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff were set up on a blind date in 2013, per Entertainment Tonight. At the time, Harris was already California’s attorney general. Just less than a year later, the two were married in a courthouse wedding in August 2014. Kamala also became a stepmom to Emhoff’s children from another marriage, Cole and Ella, and they’ve been one happy family ever since. Kamala wrote in a 2019 essay for Elle, “Cole and Ella could not have been more welcoming. They are brilliant, talented, funny kids who have grown to be remarkable adults,” she wrote of her stepchildren. “I was already hooked on Doug, but I believe it was Cole and Ella who reeled me in.” But before all that, Harris was on the dating scene with some pretty high-profile people, including Williams.
The two were always on the red carpet together
Just after Montel Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he was spotted on the red carpet with Kamala Harris and his daughter, Ashley, at the 2001 Eighth Annual Race to Erase MS in Los Angeles, per Inside Edition. At the time, Harris worked for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. A picture of the three of them ran in both Ebony and Jet magazines at the time, with both outlets identifying her as Williams’ girlfriend.
It didn’t last long. According to The Daily Mail, by the next year, Williams was making the rounds with a new woman on his arms, and he eventually married his third wife, Tara Fowler, in 2006. When the pic of them together resurfaced during Harris’ campaign, Williams went on social media to address the “news.” He wrote, “@KamalaHarris and I briefly dated about 20 years ago when we were both single. So what? I have great respect for Sen. Harris. I have to wonder if the same stories about her dating history would have been written if she were a male candidate?”
Now that she’s shattered the glass ceiling when it comes to being the first female VP, maybe people will be less concerned about her dating life. But at least Williams can say he dated a trailblazer.
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