Taraji P. Henson’s fiance “surprised the heck out of everybody” with his romantic proposal!
ET’s Leanne Aguilera caught up with the Empire star at Fox’s upfront presentation on Monday, and the 47-year-old actress spilled all the details on how her beau, former NFL pro Kelvin Hayden, popped the question.
Henson announced her engagement with a sweet Instagram post on Sunday, but admitted to ET that it took her a moment to catch on to Hayden’s big surprise. “He takes me where we had our first date, I didn’t put that together. I didn’t put it together until we went into the party room after we ate, and I saw a violinist, ’cause he was trying to say it was his friend’s birthday — which it was, on Friday — ‘Oh, Ronald’s gonna have a little get-together in the back room.’ And I was like, ‘Aw, that’s perfect. We’ll already be there.’”
“I go back there and I go, ‘Ronald’s not into violins, what’s going on here?’” she continued. “And as I’m putting the dots together, I turn around, he’s on his knee and then the river of tears just started and my lashes ended up on the floor.”
The actress added that the proposal adds another special milestone to Mother’s Day weekend for her. Her 24-year-old son, Marcell, was also born over the holiday weekend.
Henson told ET that Hayden — a 34-year-old Super Bowl champion who played for the Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears over his nine-year career — did a great job with the ring, which she showed off in her engagement announcement.
“It’s perfect,” she gushed. “It’s not too big. It’s not too gaudy. It’s just perfect. He did great.”
As for the wedding specifics, Henson said she’s starting to plan, but wants to take a moment to savor life with her fiance first.
ET also caught up with some of Henson’s Empire co-stars, who couldn’t have been sweeter about seeing their Queen Cookie happily betrothed.
See more on Henson in the video below. Empire returns for its fifth season this fall on Fox.