Lupita Nyong'o Says She's 'Not Surprised' About Janelle Monae Dating Speculation

The Oscar winner is addressing past speculation that she was romantically involved with Janelle Monae.

Lupita Nyong'o is setting the record straight about her relationship with Janelle Monáe

The 40–year-old Oscar winner and the 37-year-old singer-actress became close after meeting at the 2014 Met Gala, sparking rumors the two were dating. Lupita – who currently dates Selema Masekela – understands why people thought the two were together. 

"She has magnetism that they were obviously picking up on," Lupita tells Rolling Stone in its new cover story about Janelle, who came out as pansexual in 2018. "She is that enigmatic. People are curious about enigmatic people."

Lupita says she was "not surprised" by the dating rumors, noting, "I don't mind being associated with her in any capacity." She labels the GRAMMY-nominated singer as "extremely gifted."

"It's built into her spirit," she shares. "Her openness creates intimacy onscreen. It's really cool to see her move from one thing to another and do it with such mastery."

However, the Black Panther star notes, "Just because you're a close friend of hers doesn't mean you get to know everything about her. I think that's what makes her interesting as an artist."

Indeed, Janelle is an enigma -- and she prefers it that way. After all, the singer is very protective of details about her love life.

"I have a policy and agreement with myself -- that is a part of my life that I want to keep private. I can talk about my identity; I can talk about my sexuality," Janelle, who identifies as nonbinary and uses both she/her and they/them pronouns, tells Rolling Stone. "I can talk about all things Janelle Monáe without having to go into detail. You know what I mean? It’s not necessary."

She adds, "I'm not obligated to share my story. Nobody's obligated."

As for Lupita, the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star and the TV host Masekela took to Instagram in December and revealed they're in a relationship. They each posted the same video, which showed them snapping their fingers and changing into new outfits. The post, set to Iniko's "The King's Affirmation," also included sweet captions from each of them.

The actress wrote, "We just click! 💘 @selema #thisismylove #nuffsaid." Masekela captioned his, "Hearts are synched. My whole and actual love @lupitanyongo. ❤️❤️❤️." For good measure, Masekela added, "#outkickedthecoverage 😉."