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Tika Sumpter Weds Co-star Husband after She 'Tamed His Ego' & Hid Her Pregnancy for 7 Months

Gaone Pule
May 18, 2022
03:40 A.M.
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"Nobody's Fool" star Tika Sumpter met her second husband, Nicholas James, on set. The pair are an interracial couple. Sumpter and James are newlyweds, and she dished on their low-key courtship behind the scenes.

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Actress Tika Sumpter, who played Candace Young on "The Haves and the Have Nots," met her future spouse, actor Nicholas James, on the show's set in 2015.

James played his recurring role of Officer Justin Lewis in the Tyler Perry television series from 2016 to its final episode in 2021.

Tika Sumpter and Nicholas James during Tyler Perry Studios Grand Opening Gala - Arrivals at Tyler Perry Studios on October 5, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. / Source: Getty Images

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His now-wife has been part of the TV show since its inception in 2013 for eight seasons. In July 2021, Sumpter revealed to Rolling Out how she connected with her co-star-turned-husband, James, on the series:

"I remember seeing him and thinking, 'OK, he's cute.' We saw each other a few more times, and I realized, 'OK, it's more than just cute. I kind of like him.'"

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Sumpter shared she tried flirting with James to give him signals, but he was not attentive to her efforts. The television host had another chance to so do at a party where she smiled at him and attempted to make conversation. James was still oblivious.

Finally, a friend brought her attempts to his attention, telling him Sumpter liked him. "He was clueless, and to be honest, I was running out of ways to show him," she admitted.

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When the pair eventually decided to pursue their relationship, they tried to keep it under wraps for a while until they knew what they had. Sumpter disclosed they would steal kisses in between scenes and sneak into each other's dressing rooms.

That was until they failed to hide their romance when James came out of her dressing room with her makeup on his nose one day. Their mutual friend, Tyler Lepley, noticed the makeup and told James that it was not his makeup, asking who he had been kissing.

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"It was obvious because my makeup is brown and his is not. So, after that, we pretty much were public," said Sumpter. The couple kept their relationship a secret for two years. James revealed that when Sumpter came into his life, "my entire world turned upside down."

In August 2016, Sumpter made a surprise reveal by sharing a photo of her growing baby bump, disclosing that she was pregnant with their first child together. It was after she kept the pregnancy under the radar for months.

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In June later that year, Sumpter revealed James as her fiance and as the father of her daughter, Ella-Loren. In an Instagram post, she complimented him for being a good father to their child. James returned the tribute days later when he posted her birthday tribute, calling Sumpter his soulmate.

In June 2021, James posted a photo of his soon-to-be wife with their daughter on the lawn. The "Prom Night" star captioned his post by singing Sumpter's praises.

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"This woman! Makes my heart flutter! She's taught me so much about myself, about my faith, and yes, she's tamed my ego!" he captioned his post.

Though the couple seems madly in love, they have had to endure some unkind treatment from social media trolls because of their interracial relationship.

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In October 2018, MadameNoire reported that several Black men attacked Sumpter for her relationship with James on social media.

Those men typically call Black women dating white men "bed wenches" and other hurtful names. Sumpter responded to the trollers with grace telling them to "do better" and wished them luck in finding happiness.

When one user commented: "You betrayed me like this??" Sumpter replied: "Betray? Never. I'm just a girl who met a boy and fell in love. I hope you find someone and do exactly that."

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The producer tweeted again, saying people like projecting their issues on others. She then posted a photo of her snuggling up to James in response to the backlash, writing: "The kid in the picture looks super sweet. Do better."

In an appearance on "The Real" in February 2020, Sumpter said in society; Black women get the flack for dating men out of their race. In contrast, if other people do it, it becomes acceptable, which is a double standard, saying:

"Social media can be harsh."

WHY SUMPTER KEPT HER PREGNANCY A SECRET

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While she and James have started their own family, the couple experienced heartbreak in early 2021 when Sumpter suffered a miscarriage. The unfortunate incident occurred when the star was on location for a role in Vancouver, Canada.

She and James had been trying for a second child and were hopeful when she missed her period. Not long after, happiness turned to sorrow when she began experiencing stomach pains and realized something was wrong.

Sumpter told SELF in May 2022 that being physically apart from her loved ones made the experience even more traumatic because no one was there to tell her that everything would be alright. "It's not a big deal. People have miscarriages every day," she said.

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When she had her first child, she kept mum about it for seven months. Of her decision to stay quiet about her pregnancy, Sumpter told People in December 2020:

"She's my first child, and I wanted to experience every moment of this pregnancy for myself and enjoy it without everybody else being in it with me."

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The mom of one did not want everyone continuously asking who fathered her baby and whether or not if she was romantically involved with him:

"I didn't want to hear, 'Who's the dad? Are you with the dad?' Social media can be harsh, and I'm a mama bear, protective of my family."

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Though she managed to keep it away from everyone, her boss Tyler Perry knew it instantly. When Sumpter was five months pregnant, the billionaire texted her asking if she was expecting:

"When I was five months, Tyler Perry texted, 'Are you pregnant?' Inside I was thinking, 'Oh my god, how did he know? I wrote back, 'What are you talking about? You're crazy!'"

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Sumpter eventually told Perry, and he was happy for her. She and James welcomed their bundle of joy, a daughter named Ella-Loren, in November 2016.

The new mom shared a photo of her infant child on Instagram several weeks later, showing her little feet, and captioned it: "Love at first sight. Ella-Loren."

SUMPTER AND JAMES'S CHRISTMAS DAY ENGAGEMENT

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The "Sonic the Hedgehog" star dropped a bombshell during an appearance on "The Real" in January 2017, where she revealed that she got engaged.

The singer divulged that her then-fiance proposed on Christmas Day, and even though she suspected he would ask her to marry him, he managed to throw her off to keep it a surprise. Sumpter described the moment as simple and thought-out.

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He made her go on a hunt in the house, and she found a Peloton bike he bought her, and she appreciated it. James pulled out a letter behind their newborn daughter when she thought her surprise was over.

"He was like, 'Ella has something to say to you.' And it was just this letter of beauty. And then he proposed," Sumpter recalled on the daytime talk show.

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In a birthday tribute in December 2019, Sumpter revealed James is her best friend and her biggest cheerleader, adding she feels safe around him. "Thank you for being the epitome of love," she wrote.

In March 2022, she gushed over her fiance, saying she was grateful for the "Fired Up" star. "You have no idea the amount of love, patience, kindness, care, and understanding this guy has shown. So grateful for you," she captioned her post.

SUMPTER IS PROTECTIVE OF HER DAUGHTER ELLA-LOREN

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Just as she is protective of her relationship, the "Ride Along" star also shields her daughter away from publicity. Sumpter shared she is well aware of the downside of fame and social media bullying.

So, she prefers keeping her child's life private to keep her peace so that she does not always have to defend her family from people constantly.

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In an interview with Us Magazine in April 2021, Sumpter got candid about parenting during quarantine. She revealed her best support system is her partner, James, whom she refers to as her "Forever Valentine," stating:

"I have an amazing support system, which is my fiance. And he had a little more patience than I did."

SUMPTER AND JAMES' 'SOULFUL' WEDDING

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In February 2021, Sumpter revealed to Essence that she was ready to walk down the aisle with James after being engaged for four years. Especially after being cooped up under lockdown amid the ongoing pandemic:

"I'm ready now. Once this pandemic is over, I want to have a party. We all deserve a party."

When speaking further on wedding plans, the "Mixed-ish" star shared she is more about family because some are getting older and some loved ones have passed away because of COVID-19, so now more than ever, that is her main focus.

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When she told her mother, Janice Acquista, that she was pregnant, Sumpter revealed to Fit Pregnancy that she found it hard to believe that her daughter was expecting.

One of the first questions Acquista asked was whether Sumpter was getting married. "I'd love to, but maybe in a year or so," the "Southside with You" star stated, adding:

"Our relationship is not dependent on a ring. I love him to death, and he loves me to death, and that's all that matters."

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Sumpter and James officially became husband and wife when they married on May 14, 2022, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico," per Brides. "We're excited to be together and continue the journey. We both walked down the aisle with clear eyes, knowing that the wedding wasn't just for the party. It was really for us," said the bride.

The couple held their ceremony and reception at Chileno Bay Resorts & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection. Sumpter stunned in a strapless wedding gown designed by Galia Lahav and a flowing veil. The groom donned a pale blue custom-made Franc Milton suit.

The outdoor oceanfront ceremony took place shortly before sunset, and the reception was held in an on-site restaurant. Sumpter shared she wanted not only for her and James to have a memorable night but also for the guests to have a wonderful vacation experience.

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When speaking about being a wife to James, the "Sparkle" star admitted it would be fun to finally call James her husband and hear him call her his wife.

"I think we just cemented what we already are, and all of our friends were witnesses to that.," Sumpter said of the couple's new life together. She mentioned the importance of family and friends and that all involved in their wedding coming together made her dream come true.

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Meanwhile, her spouse took to Instagram and stated that his heart was whole and that the experience had changed him, adding he could not remember a time when he was this happy. "I'm married to the best woman, mother, and human I have ever met!" James wrote.

In addition, photographer Jana Williams shared that the newlyweds' nuptials were moving, soulful, and authentic and described the pair as stunning inside and out.

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