All About Minka Kelly, Trevor Noah's Reported Girlfriend

All About Minka Kelly, Trevor Noah's Reported Girlfriend
All About Minka Kelly, Trevor Noah's Reported Girlfriend
Savannah Walsh
·15 mins read


If multiple reports are to be believed, there's a surprise new celebrity couple this summer. Minka Kelly, 40, is dating The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, 36, People reports. A source says the pair has been quietly seeing each other for "several months" and are quarantining at Noah's New York City apartment. They have yet to confirm the rumors themselves. Until they do, here's a few things to know about Kelly, her most famous roles, and what's known about her and Noah's private romance.

She's a successful actress who has played Jackie Kennedy and a Charlie's Angel.

If Kelly looks familiar, that's because she's had a long-running film and TV career. On the television side, she's appeared in episodes of Jane the Virgin, Parenthood, and was one of the three leads of ABC's short-lived Charlie's Angels reboot. Kelly's most recent TV role came courtesy of the DC superhero series The Titans.

As for her film career, Kelly played Autumn at the end of the popular romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer and starred alongside Leighton Meester in the horror movie The Roommate. In 2013, she joined a long list of actresses, including Natalie Portman and Katie Holmes, who've played Jackie Kennedy when she appeared in Lee Daniels' The Butler.

She's most known for her role on Friday Night Lights.

Above anything else Kelly has done in her career, she's perhaps best known for starring as girl next door Lyla Garrity on Friday Night Lights. Her character was a cheerleader for the Dillon Panthers football team and involved in a passionate on-off relationship with Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch). Kelly left the series in 2009 after four seasons spent playing the role.

Last October, she reflected on the show's 13th anniversary on Instagram. Kelly recalled moving to Austin for filming with no expectations that the project would be a hit. "There was no way a show about football - that was already a movie - about a player who breaks his neck in the pilot episode is going anywhere but a job is a job amirite!" she recalled, adding, "But it wasn’t about football. It was about relationships, family, humanity, love and loss. It was about longing to fit in and wanting to get out. It was about life in a small town and how a community comes together in good times and bad. Little did I know I hit the proverbial jackpot and the show would go on for 5 years. I’m forever grateful."

She comes from a famous musical family.

Kelly was born in Los Angeles to a pair of entertainment industry parents. Her father is Rick Dufay, a guitarist for Aerosmith in the '80s. Her mother was Maureen Kelly, who was reportedly a Las Vegas showgirl prior to her daughter's birth, according to Entertainment Weekly. Kelly even told the outlet that she had spent time playing at Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler's house as a kid.

She didn't always want to be an actress.

Although Kelly has made her mark in several TV shows and movies, acting wasn't her first love. She told Men's Health in 2008 that she originally envisioned herself in the medical profession. "I moved to California not to pursue acting but to get out of Albuquerque," she said, referring to the New Mexico city she grew up in. "I started working right away. I had four jobs." One of those jobs was as a surgical assistant, according to the outlet.

But when Kelly attended her first acting class, her plans changed, she recalled. "It was the most amazing thing I'd ever experienced. I'd just been going so fast, I didn't realize that I had put on this whole mask of a person to survive since I was 16. Class was the first time anyone had ever called me on it. And I loved it. I knew acting was what I had to do with my life," she explained.

Another passion of Kelly's is cooking. In June 2015, she finished a six-month culinary course at the New School of Cooking in Culver City, California, ABC News reported. Kelly celebrated the accomplishment on Instagram.

She and Trevor Noah are reportedly in a "very serious" relationship.

While news of Noah and Kelly's reported relationship just broke, sources indicate their romance is far from a fling. "They're very happy. It's a very serious relationship," an insider told People of the surprise pair. An Us Weekly source reiterated that Kelly and Noah started dating "well before quarantine started." And an E! News source said the couple was "getting serious" while living in Noah's New York City apartment, where he's been virtually hosting The Daily Show.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

As for social media, this sequence of events tracks. Both Kelly and Noah follow each other on Instagram and have "liked" some of each other's posts, dating back to November 2019. Noah's last serious relationship was with model and real estate agent Jordyn Taylor from 2015 to 2018, according to Us.

This isn't the first time she's dated a famous man.

Prior to her relationship with Noah, Kelly has been linked to several celebrities. In 2005, she dated Scrubs star Donald Faison, according to E!. She was in a relationship with Chris Evans first in 2007 before they reunited again in 2012, 2013, and 2015, according to Us Weekly. There were even reports of a brief fling between she and John Mayer before they split in 2008.

Photo credit: James Devaney - Getty Images
Photo credit: James Devaney - Getty Images

Kelly was also spotted getting cozy with Wilmer Valderrama in 2012 and again in 2016 before calling it quits. Her most long-term public relationship was with former New York Yankees player Derek Jeter. They amicably parted ways in 2011 after three years together, People reported.

Photo credit: Chris McGrath - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris McGrath - Getty Images

Most recently, Kelly dated Little Fires Everywhere star Jesse Williams for about eight months before they split in early 2018. When asked what it was like to have constant attention placed on her personal life during a 2016 radio interview, Kelly said she took it in stride. "I think it comes with the territory. It's a small price to pay for the extraordinary life that I live," she explained, per E! News. "I think if they're paying attention, that must mean there's something [I'm doing right]."

She's also a jewelry designer.

When she isn't acting, Kelly has begun collaborating on a jewelry collection. Last year, she partnered with ethical fashion label ABLE to create her own line of earrings, necklaces, and rings. “I first started collaborating with ABLE in 2009, after I lost my mom in 2008 [to colon cancer], because they create jobs for women who don’t have the opportunity [otherwise],” Kelly told People. The company trains and employs women subject to poverty or the commercial sex industry, according to its website. You can shop pieces from her collection here.

She's a passionate advocate for racial equality and reproductive rights.

One of the reasons Kelly and Noah's relationship remained under-the-radar is they've made no appearances on each other's Instagram pages. Recently, Kelly has been devoting her social media presence to amplifying Black voices. In the last few months, she's participated in the #PassThePlatform movement and demanded justice for both Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor.

View this post on Instagram

What more can be said in a moment like this. I have this impulse to say something but what new is there to be said? It’s all being said by people more eloquent than I. I also have the impulse to not take up more space than I already do and make way. But I have to ask: at what point and what will it take for us to agree that black life matters? When and what will it take for this basic need for us all to understand the bare minimum of..just..mattering? Rustin Sheskey wasn’t fearing for his life when he attempted to murder Jacob Blake shooting him in the back SEVEN times while his babies watch from the back seat. My heart breaks at the thought of their lives now forever changed by this trauma. How will they ever get that visual, that sound, out of their minds? They won’t. This isn’t politics. This isn’t partisan. This is basic humanity. We’ve lost the plot. Not obeying a police officer should not be a death sentence. Resisting arrest should not be a death sentence. How can we say it isn’t true that white life obviously matters more than black life when 17 year old Kyle Rittenhouse walking towards police, holding the AR-15 just used to murder two people isn't even stopped. He lives to see another day. Tucker Carlson and the like justify this as protecting property? You cant tell me he crossed state lines to protect anything. He crossed because he knew he’d be able to get away with murder, confirmed by police tossing bottled water from their vehicles saying “we appreciate you being here”. Lest we forget Travon Martin was also 17 and was deemed a suspect and criminal while holding a bag of skittles. His black life, it appears mattered less. I’m just so sorry. Black lives matter. Black lives are essential.

A post shared by Minka Kelly (@minkakelly) on Aug 27, 2020 at 10:55am PDT

Kelly has spoken out about other societal issues in the past. In April, she penned an Instagram post about Netflix's Tiger King, where she discussed the dangers of keeping big exotic cats in captivity. Last May, Minka got candid about her experience having an abortion, after 25 white, male lawmakers signed a law significantly limiting access to the procedure in Alabama. Amidst the #MeToo movement in 2017, sparked by sexual assault allegations against disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, Kelly shared her own incident of harassment involving Weinstein.

View this post on Instagram

When I was younger I had an abortion. It was the smartest decision I could’ve made, not only for myself & my boyfriend at the time, but also for this unborn fetus. For a baby to’ve been born to two people — too young and completely ill equipped — with no means or help from family, would have resulted in a child born into an unnecessary world of struggle. Having a baby at that time would have only perpetuated the cycle of poverty, chaos and dysfunction I was born into. Forcing a child to be born to a mother who isn’t ready, isn’t financially stable, was raped, a victim of incest (!!), isn’t doing that theoretical child any favors. For those of you insisting abortion is murder, and to Rep. Terri Collins who said “an unborn baby is a person who deserves love and attention” — forget bringing up the mother might be in need of some “love and attention.” What do you think happens to these kids who end up bouncing around in foster care, live on government assistance because the mother has no help, can’t afford childcare while she works a minimum wage job, and is trapped in a cycle of trying to survive on the meager government assistance so many of you same pro-lifers are determined to also take away. If you insist on forcing women to carry to term, why do you refuse to talk about comprehensive sex-ed, the maternal mortality rate, free daycare, paid maternity leave? Our lives, traumas & family planning is for no one to decide but us. Certainly not a group of old white men. Speaking of men... With all this punishment for women I wonder where all the punishment is for the men in this scenario. By looking at the photo of all the men who are making this mess, I find it hard to believe that if it were the autonomy of a man's body, health and life in question, I cant help but be certain we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place. I appreciate seeing men speak up on this issue - women do not get pregnant alone. Lest we forget, outlawing abortion has never stopped women from attempting it. @abortionfunds @yellowfund & @EmergeAmerica @emilys_list @runforsomethingnow who work 2 elect pro-choice candidates. #YouKnowMe

A post shared by Minka Kelly (@minkakelly) on May 16, 2019 at 5:48am PDT

View this post on Instagram

I met Harvey at an industry party. The following day, my agent said he wanted to see me for a general meeting. The location was set for his hotel room. I wasn’t comfortable with going to his room & said so. The following day, we sat down with an assistant in the hotel restaurant. He bullshit me for 5 minutes re: movies he could put me in, then asked the assistant to excuse us. As she walked away, he said, "I know you were feeling what I was feeling when we met the other night” and then regaled me with offers of a lavish life filled with trips around the world on private planes etc. IF I would be his girlfriend. Or, “We could just keep this professional.” All I knew was not to offend this very powerful man and to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. I told him while flattered, I'd like to keep things professional. He said “Fine. I trust you won't tell anyone about this.” I said “Of course not. Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me,” - the only way I could think to shut it down gracefully and excuse myself. I immediately told my agent what happened. We marveled at his audacity, reinforced my instinct not to offend him & laughed at how glad I was to get out of there. Neither of us were that surprised as this wasn’t far off from the day-to-day bullshit of being an actress. I'm sorry for obliging his orders to be complicit in protecting his behavior, which he obviously knew was wrong or he wouldn’t have asked me not to tell anyone in the first place. For making him feel ok about the gross things he was saying and that I felt my only route was to say I was flattered. For not insisting that my reps never allow anyone to take a meeting in a hotel room (with him or anyone else), because I honestly don’t know what might have happened if I’d just showed up as originally scheduled. I am appalled for all the women being told these occurrences are in any way their fault. No more Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood does not solve the problem but maybe the more voices sharing their stories and adding support to the countless women and men who have suffered through abuse of power, the less it will be tolerated.

A post shared by Minka Kelly (@minkakelly) on Oct 13, 2017 at 8:03am PDT

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