Who Is Niecy Nash’s Wife? All About Jessica Betts

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Niecy Nash and her wife, Jessica Betts, have already made history.

In March 2022, the Claws actress appeared alongside Betts on the cover of Essence, making them the first same-sex couple to grace the cover of the magazine. The sultry cover featured Nash and Betts posing topless and locked in an embrace. In their interview, the couple talked openly about their union.

“I feel like the love that I receive from her is custom, as opposed to off the rack,” Nash said.

Nash and Betts wed in August 2020, nearly a year after the actress split from her ex-husband, Jay Tucker. News of their wedding came as a surprise to fans, as the couple chose to keep their relationship and engagement private.

During an interview on E!’s red carpet pre-show at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards in January 2024, Nash said that her secret to a happy marriage is to “skinny-dip often and drink lots of champagne.” True to her word, that’s exactly how she and Betts celebrated after the actress took home the award for outstanding supporting actress in a limited or anthology series or movie for her role in Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

“The Betts are celebrating this Emmy win by going skinny-dipping in an indoor pool and having champagne. Tonight was amazing,” Nash shared in an Instagram reel that she posted from the hotel suite the couple stayed in after the ceremony.

Here’s everything to know about Niecy Nash’s wife, Jessica Betts.

She’s a musician

Kris Connor/BET/Getty

According to her website, Betts grew up in Chicago and started singing early in life, and at 16 she signed with a record label. She eventually moved to New York City, where she later met Nash, to pursue a music career. Betts performs both original music and covers, singing a blend of gospel, reggae, rock, pop and R&B.

Aside from being a talented singer and songwriter, Betts is also a gifted guitarist — and she taught herself to play.

In August 2021, she shared a throwback video of her performing on the N.Y.C. subway. “New York subway- A express train,” she captioned the post. “65 mph – Taught myself how to play while living n New York.. Just me and my 🎸.”

She was on a reality TV show

After releasing her first single “Get Up” in 2000, Betts competed on the reality show The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott in 2005. The reality singing competition, hosted by the “Work It” rapper, aired on UPN for just one season.

Betts won The Road to Stardom, but it didn’t propel her career forward. In 2012, she told Ebony why she didn’t capitalize on her win. “I think after the realization of winning the show, I had to take time to find myself,” she said. “I took the time to work on myself personally, professionally and in order to be successful, I knew I had to get my s— together!”

She’s tried her hand at acting

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In 2018, Betts acted alongside her future wife when she landed a small part on Nash’s TNT comedy Claws.

For Claws‘ season 2 finale, Betts shared a behind-the-scenes video of the pair on set. In the video, Nash was wearing her character’s wedding dress while Betts sat next to her, singing and playing guitar.

But that wasn’t the only time that the couple shared the screen. Nash was featured in two of Betts’ music videos, including “We Drip” and “Catch Me,” which included Nash in a wedding dress and an audio recording of their wedding vows.

In May 2022, Nash and Betts began working together on the Fox game show Don’t Forget the Lyrics. Nash is the show’s host, while Betts plays in the band.

The pair also worked on Nash’s ABC drama The Rookie: Feds, where the two played lovers. Betts appeared in three episodes in October and November 2022, then returned for an appearance in April 2023.

On April 14, 2023, Nash and Betts posted a promo for an episode in a joint post. “Relationships are about timing, so is it finally Simone and Dina’s chance to give this a shot? 😍,” Nash wrote in the caption. “Don’t miss the return of guest star @jessicabettsmusic on Tuesday’s all-new #TheRookieFeds!”

She and Nash were friends first

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The pair first connected on social media in 2015, initially bonding over music. Eventually, they struck up a friendship.

“I never saw her as someone I would date,” Nash told PEOPLE in 2020. “But we began to see each other in a way we never had before.”

Going from platonic to romantic wasn’t a smooth transition, however. During an appearance on Red Table Talk, Nash shared that she was reluctant to date at first. “I was fearful that our friendship might not survive it,” she said. “I never want [Jessica] to not be in my life, so I don’t know what the running rules are.”

In the end, Nash decided that she simply didn’t want to be without Betts, adding, “I just know that this is the most beautiful soul I’ve ever met in my life, and you mine.”

She’s the only woman Nash ever dated

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Prior to dating Betts, Nash had only ever been in relationships with men.

The actress was married to Don Nash, a pastor, from 1994 to 2007. Together they share three children: Dominic, Donielle and Dia. In 2011, Nash married electrical engineer Jay Tucker before filing for divorce in 2019.

In September 2020, Nash opened up about her sexuality. “I don’t feel like my marriage is my coming out of anywhere, but rather a going into myself and being honest about who I love,” she told PEOPLE. “[My marriage] has absolutely nothing to do with gender and it has everything to do with her soul.”

She’s an advocate for LGBTQ+ representation in music

In 2022, Betts spoke to TheGrio about the importance of LGBTQ+ representation in hip-hop. “My wife and I, we say all the time, representation matters, it really does,” she said. “Because now I know that little young girl or that little young boy will see themselves in someone who is like myself, someone who is like my wife, or anyone! It’s important to see yourself.”

The year prior, Betts performed her song “Catch Me” at the GLAAD Media Awards.

“Love has no gender,” she said in an interview with The Advocate in 2021. “It has no boundaries. And a person, regardless of whatever race or sex they are, should be free enough to love who you want to love and be very unapologetic about it.”

She proposed first

Amy Sussman/WireImage

According to Nash, she and Betts proposed to each other on the same day — but Betts beat her to the punch.

Nash told PEOPLE that it came as a surprise to her, as they’d been irritated with each other all day.

“[Jessica] was like, ‘You know what? You’ve been getting on my nerves all day. But if anybody is going to get on my nerves, I want it to be you,’ ” Nash recalled. “Then she said, ‘You are absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me. Marry me, Cora.’ That’s her nickname for me, is Cora.”

After Nash said “yes,” Betts realized she didn’t know what usually happens next. Nash continued: “I was like, ‘Well, we’re non-traditional people. Hold on one second.’ I went upstairs and then I came back down because I had a ring for her. And then I asked her to marry me. So we both proposed to each other the same night, which is weird but fun.”

She married Nash in August 2020

Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts.
Robert Ector for REP Publishing

On Aug. 29, 2020, Nash and Betts tied the knot in the backyard of their California home. The pair said “I do” in front of 24 friends and family members.

Aside from those closest to the couple, their relationship was not public knowledge. Nash never announced their romance, or their engagement, and instead opted to share the news only after they wed. Two days after their wedding, Nash posted a wedding photo and wrote, “Mrs. Carol Denise Betts 💍 @jessicabettsmusic #LoveWins🌈.”

While talking to Entertainment Tonight, the couple shared their plans to renew their vows in 2023.

“We love so many people, but we couldn’t have all the people we love there,” Nash said of their 2020 wedding. “A lot of [Betts’ family] couldn’t come out because we were in the pandemic. So I’m looking forward to doing the vow renewal.”

In August 2023, Nash and Betts celebrated their third wedding anniversary with a trip to the Cayman Islands and tickets to Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour.

“Happy Anniversary my love‼️ Wow 3 years ago you changed my name and my life! Thank you for this amazing ride… We are just getting started!” the actress wrote on Instagram.

She and Nash have attended several high-profile events together

On Feb. 25, 2023, Betts and the Claws actress attended the NAACP Image Awards. Nash won best actress in a TV movie, limited series or dramatic special for her role in Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

“I want to thank you right now, JB, for holding me down during the filming of this show that was so difficult,” she said during her acceptance speech.

A day later, the couple walked the red carpet at the SAG Awards. Nash stunned in a custom Vera Wang gown, while Betts donned a Dolce & Gabbana suit.

Nash feels “richer” for marrying her

In a March 2024 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nash called Betts “the most beautiful soul I have ever met in my life.”

“I feel richer. And, if I’m being honest, literally and figuratively,” she said. “I’m not going to tell you that I’ve never been loved before, but being loved the way that makes you feel completely satiated is a different thing. Being loved in a way where you are completely open and fully seen is a different thing, and it’s in those spaces and places that allows me to thrive in my business and in my professional life. Its is definitely a delicious double dip.”


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