Meet Rich Paul: the sports agent superstar reportedly engaged to Adele
Over the weekend fans were sent into a tizz as Adele sported a huge diamond ring on her wedding finger during her Las Vegas show.
Although the global hitmaker has previously denied the piece of jewellery, which she has been wearing since last year’s February Brit Awards, was an engagement ring - gossip site Deux Moi reports that she is engaged to her beau Rich Paul, though neither party have yet to confirm the claims.
According to a “very reliable source” the couple, who started dating in September 2021, are planning to get married this summer. Considering Paul is a high flying sports agent currently writing a memoir about his distinguished life via Jay Z’s publishing house, Roc Lit 101, and Adele is a generation defining artist who counts Beyonce and Lizzo as friends, it’s likely to be the A list event of the year.
“I’ve never been in love like this. I’m obsessed with him. I definitely want more kids,” she divulged in her cover shoot interview for UK Elle Magazine last August. In fact, the Someone Like You singer was even batting away wedding rumours back then. “I’m just in loooove! I’m happy as I’ll ever be. I might as well be married,” later confessing of her now-confirmed engagement ring: “I’m not engaged. I just love high-end jewellery, boy!”
However it appears the notoriously private couple wanted to keep the news a secret until closer to the date. As rumours of marriage and babies set the internet alight, we go inside the remarkable life of Rich Paul.
From selling sports jerseys from his car to representing the world’s biggest sports stars
Born in Ohio, Cleveland, Paul began his career selling vintage basketball jerseys from his car boot. However, it was a chance meeting with LeBron James in 2002 at an airport, where the young hustler was rocking a Houston Oilers jersey that turned the basketball player’s head, which gave him his big break.
“That was the initial connection. And then the attraction was probably because I was fly. It takes a special kind of person to acknowledge somebody else’s fly,” explained Paul in an interview with GQ. “Fly could mean work, fly could mean dress, fly could mean knowledge and expertise. Him not being so into himself allowed him to see that flyness. That was the initial attraction.”
He went on to sell him a Magic Johnson jersey, and the two deepened their relationship over many years. So much so that James drafted him to work under his then-agent Leon Rose at Creative Artists Agency. “One thing people don’t realize is: It wasn’t like I woke up the next day and was LeBron’s agent. He observed. He watched me sacrifice. He watched me develop capabilities. He watched me fail, not get certain guys and things like that.”
Adele and Rich Paul - In pictures
Ever the entrepreneur, Paul stepped out on his own in 2012 and founded the agency Klutch Sports Group. He took James along with him, as well as his Los Angeles Lakers teammate Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors player Draymond Green, and Lonzo Ball of the Chicago Bulls, to name a few. The cut-throat businessman has negotiated over $1 billion worth of deals and has a networth of $120 million, which earned him a spot on the top ten most powerful people Forbes list in 2020.
His meteroic rise through the sporting world has caught the attention of American rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z, who will be releasing Paul’s memoir via his entertainment company Roc Nation.
“Lucky Me is more than my story,” Paul revealed in a press statement. “Lucky Me is the story of every young Black man who grew up like me. I want to use my story to uplift and inspire those who lived this and educate those who didn’t. I cannot tell you what it means to partner with my friend and mentor Jay-Z on this project. Lucky Me was the name of the book before I even spoke with Jay because his music was my life’s soundtrack.”
Their dancefloor meet-cute and public debut
So how did one of the most successful sports agents end up with one the best selling female artists of our generation? Well, it all started seven years ago when the two met on the dance floor at a mutual friend’s party. “He was always there, I just didn’t see him,” she later told Vogue. It wasn’t until spring 2021, around the same time that her father passed, that the two reconnected.
The first time they were officially spotted together as a couple was courtside at the NBA finals last July. Despite sitting next to each other and having “their eyes on each other almost as much as they did on the game”, as per an eyewitness account on Entertainment Tonight, the international musician didn’t intend to make their relationship status public.
“I didn’t mean to go public with it. I just wanted to go to the game. I just love being around him. I just love it. “He was like, “What are people going to say?” and I was like, “That you signed me. As an athlete. You’re my agent”, and he was like, ‘Okay, cool’.”
It was ESPN’s Brian Windhorst who first confirmed the relationship on a late-night podcast called The Hoop Collective show, but by July 20 Page Six confirmed that Adele and Paul are “100 percent” dating to fans globally. As for the pair, they made it Instagram official on September 19 after the Rolling in the Deep singer posted a photo dump featuring a black and white photobooth shot of the two.
Inside their jetsetting life together
Last May the duo moved into a $58 million LA mansion that was the former home of actor Sylvester Stallone. The 18,587 square-foot home was initially listed for $110 million and features eight-bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, a pool and 3.5 acres in an inclusive neighbourhood where Denzel Washington, Magic Johnson, Justin Bieber and the late Sumner Redstone also reside.
Although the two are notoriously private, ââAdele opened up about the relationship during an intimate interview with Oprah Winfrey. “He’s hilarious. He’s very, very smart. It’s quite incredible watching him do what he does. And just the easiness of it. It’s been very smooth.” The singer also said that the relationship is the first time she "loved [herself] and been open to loving and being loved by someone else.”
The 34-year-old has also revealed on BBC Radio Four’s Desert Island Discs that she’d definitely like “a couple more kids” with Paul. At the moment, she shares one nine-year-old son Angelo with her ex-husband, Simon Konecki. “I would definitely love a couple more kids,” she continued. “It would be wonderful.”
In an interview with E! News, Paul opened up about balancing fatherhood and entrepreneurship when he was young, and how he wants to be "a more patient dad" if he has more kids. The 41-year-old doesn’t speak publicly about his kids often, and many fans were quick to point out his comment came just after Adele said she wanted another baby during her BBC Radio 4 interview.
Considering her twice-cancelled Caesars Palace Las Vegas residency is full steam ahead until the end of the month, the two might have to wait for a tad longer before they welcome any new babies. Nevertheless, with eight bedrooms the couple are well primed to welcome another baby or two over the coming years.