After dating for nearly a year, pastor Chad Johnson popped the question March 21 while on vacation in Pebble Beach, California, dropping to one knee and presenting Williams with a stunning 5-carat rock from L.A. jeweler Denis Mahgerefteh.
Although Johnson — a pro sports chaplain — and Williams, 37, have only been together for a year, the singer’s beau has been saving up for her engagement ring for more than a decade.
“On my 30th birthday, everybody came and celebrated me. The next day, I woke up alone. I was so lonely. I had a little pity party. My personal life was lacking so much, and I was living so single,” recalls Johnson, who turns 41 in July. “So as a response to that moment, I opened up a ring account, and for 11 years, I put $150 into a ring account.”
Adds Johnson: “Every month I’d put money into that account; I would just say, ‘My wife’s coming; this is for my wife.’ I did that for 11 years.” Still, he admits it wasn’t always easy: “At six, seven, eight years in, I wanted to pull that money out and spend it on a sports car!”
But Johnson remained frugal. He met Williams in March 2017 at a spiritual retreat he was leading, they took their relationship public last July, and a few months ago, Johnson went ring shopping.
“When I had the moment that I knew Michelle was it, I was so excited to get that money and go buy that ring,” he says. “There’s so much in that ring. That’s 11 years of my belief in my wife coming for me.”
The Believe By Michelle Williams founder says she was “weeping and wailing” when Johnson proposed — and the singer says her fiancé “did a very good” in selecting the perfect diamond.
“I saw this ring in February — a friend of mine is a wedding planner from London, and I just saw this ring, and it stood out to me! And I took a screenshot of it like, ‘God, I would really like something like this.’ But how do you tell your man to make sure he gets the right ring?” Williams says.
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“But I was like, no, whatever he gets me … But then the ring that spoke to me is almost identical to the ring Chad had already purchased and designed! It’s kind of like God was showing me, this is what’s to come,” she adds. “It was really, really crazy.”