Queen Latifah is an incredibly successful entertainer. From her beginnings as a rapper to becoming a massive Hollywood star, Latifah has navigated it all while keeping her preference and personal life shrouded in secrecy. While rumors of her being same-gender loving have been around since the beginning, Latifah came from an era where queer musicians opted to keep their personal lives quiet. In the age of social media and after 30 years of unprecedented success, Latifah has allowed some light to be shed on her family situation. This includes her partner Eboni Nichols and their 3-year-old son.
Queen Latifah was one of the pioneers of female hip hop in the 90s. The rapper came into the music industry in a bold and unique way. While women in Hip-Hop were becoming more sexualized and raunchy, Latifah stood by her morals and wanted to be taken seriously as a businesswoman and lyricist. Songs like “U.N.I.T.Y.” affirmed her mission as a public figure, while records like “Come Into My House” showcases her queerness in artistic and cultural ways. Her film and television roles would primarily portray her as straight characters with boyfriends or husbands. However, Latifah always carried herself as a more masculine woman than some of her Hollywood counterparts. This really helped her shine when she played the role of Cleo in Set it Off, her first time playing a lesbian role on screen.
Queen Latifah has been a public figure since the 90s, but she’s always kept her relationships private. Behind the scenes, Latifah was linked to a few people. It was rumored that she dated Mary J Blige’s ex-husband Kendu Issac for years in the ’90s though that is not confirmed. Other sites even say that she had an encounter with Debbie Allen, which has also not been confirmed.
However, one relationship we have some proof around is her union with fitness instructor Jeanette Jenkins. Jenkins and Latifah are rumored to have dated for a few years, with things getting pretty serious. They were first linked to each other publicly on a yacht in 2010 owned by Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. Latifah can be seen in a one-piece swimsuit and shorts rubbing sunscreen on a bikini-clad Jenkins. The pair get very close and embrace in certain shots.
Jeanette even appeared on Latifah‘s talk show to discuss healthy eating habits and how to measure one’s success. The pair’s chemistry seemed tame, with the exception of some shifty eye contact. Latifah uncomfortably flexed behind Jenkins as the instructor tried to focus on her segment without laughing at her rumored girlfriend’s poses. “What a beautiful couple,” commented one fan. Another noted how they “stared” at each other around the 19-second mark. By 2014, it was reported that the pair had separated, and Jenkins had moved on to a much young man and was “no longer a lesbian.”
Following their split, Latifah found her current life partner, a choreographer named Eboni Nichols. Nichols and Latifah met on the set of Dancing With the Stars. Nicholas has worked as a professional dancer for the likes of Beyonce, Usher, and Jennifer Lopez. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Dance from California’s Chapman University.
She is very accomplished in her field and has worked extensively on D.W.T.S. as well as films like Jumanji, Girls Trip, and Office Christmas Party. The couple has been incredibly private, but insiders note that Eboni did have a child in 2019 that she is raising with Latifah. Their son’s name is Rebel, and he is currently three years old. A source said at the time, “Latifah has never been so full of life! Eboni and the baby have given Latifah something very special to live for.”
Latifah has always been clear about her desire for privacy. While it may just come with the terms of being a ’90s female rapper (Missy Elliot, Da Brat, and MC Lyte have all been rumored to be queer and closeted), others believe Latifah does it so her film roles have more anonymity. In 2008 she told the New York Times, “I don’t have a problem discussing the topic of somebody being gay, but I do have a problem discussing my personal life.”
Despite all of this, the happy mother and wife made sure to shout out to her family while accepting a lifetime achievement award at the B.E.T. Awards last year. During her speech, she said, “Eboni, my love. Rebel, my love. Happy Pride!” Back in 2019, blogger B. Scott revealed the birth of Queen Latifah’s son, Rebel with her long-time partner, Eboni Nichols. In his reporting, B. Scott stated he doesn’t expect Latifah to make any public comments on her growing family, as she’s always been a very private individual. Despite his reporting, until recently no one has seen her son.
Queen Latifah was spotted last weekend at Erewhon Organic Grocers in Studio City with her son. The images were published by the DailyMail and have been spreading across social media. In the images Queen Latifah is seen holding a grocery bag with her three-year-old walking on her left side. Of course, many people were surprised to learn Queen Latifah has a child.
Some were also impressed she was able to keep him out of the spot light for the past three years. Congrats to Queen Latifah and her growing family.