Charlamagne tha God (born Lenard Larry McKelvey) has carved out a high-profile niche for himself on the radio. He is a co-host of the popular radio program The Breakfast Club, which has been nationally syndicated since 2013.
The show has welcomed celebrities for chats that are fun and freewheeling about hot-button topics of all kinds, from politics to hip-hop. Charlamagne and his colleagues never sidestep being provocative.
The Breakfast Club’s website states that early in his career, Charlamagne drew inspiration from renowned talk show hosts like Bill O’Reilly, Arsenio Hall, and Larry King. Wendy Williams was one of his most helpful professional mentors.
You might want to know more about Charlamagne’s behind-the-scenes life with his wife, Jessica Gadsden. She is a gym instructor, fitness coach, personal trainer, and volunteer. Here’s the low-down on her and their relationship.
They’ve Been Together Since High School
Charlamagne and Gadsden were sweethearts years ago, back when they were students at Berkeley High School in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. They have been together for 23 years. Charlamagne was 16 when he began taking Gadsden out on dates.
They Tied The Knot In 2014
Charlamagne and Gadsden got married on September 6, 2014. They share four daughters. “I’m four for four when it comes to girls,” he once quipped.
Information about the kids—even ordinary details like their names and birthdays—is hard to come by because Charlamagne and Gadsden prefer to keep their family’s life private.
“First of all, I’m not raising my kids via social media,” he said on his podcast. “I never felt like that was a place for my family to be. I don’t knock anyone who does it, but I don’t want my family on Facebook or Twitter. That’s something I chose not to do.”
It was actually one of their girls who gave them a push to get hitched. She innocently asked why Mom and Dad did not have identical last names. That question made Charlamagne pause and reconsider.
“When you have your seven-year-old daughter asking why you and mommy don’t have the same last name, that affects you as a man. It made me think, ‘Well, why don’t we? What’s stopping me from taking that next step?’’’
They Don’t Have A Prenup
The pair dispensed with the idea of getting the document that loads of celebrities automatically spring for: a prenup. Most affluent famous people want to safeguard their wealth and set some conditions for their relationship, especially if things go sour later on.
Not Charlamagne. He felt that his connection with Gadsden was so reliable, and they had been partners for such a long time, that a protective legal agreement was just not necessary for them.
He has also spoken of all the times Gadsden was in his corner when he needed someone to be there for him. According to BET, Charlamagne didn’t want to seem ungrateful or suspicious of such a loyal, patient wife by getting a prenup. As he put it, “What the f*ck I look like doing a prenup?”
Divorce will never be an option on the table for this couple either, according to Chalamagne. “I don’t even gotta knock on wood that sh*t ain’t happening,” he said.
Gadsden Supported Him Financially During Career Struggles
It seems like Gadsden hasn’t ever failed to go to bat for her man, even when the chips were really down money-wise.
“When I was getting fired from radio, four times, she was the one going to work every day and paying the bills,” Charlamagne said appreciatively.
“When we were getting evicted, she was the one going down to the courthouse, explaining to the judge why we couldn’t get evicted.”
His driver’s license happened to be suspended when he was initially trying to get a foothold in the radio industry. Gadsden was there on the spot to drive him to a radio station so he could apply for a job.
They’ve Weathered Rape Allegations Together
Despite their seeming dedication to each other and to their kids, there have definitely been challenging times along the way for the McKelveys.
When Charlamagne was 20, he was accused of criminal sexual conduct for an incident that occurred in 2001 with a 15-year-old named Jessica Reid.
He told DJ Akademiks that he threw a party to celebrate his cousin’s high school graduation. One of the girls who attended the get-together claimed afterward that she had been raped.
“There ain’t nobody else they could pin it on,” Charlamagne said of himself. He denied having committed the crime; DNA evidence did not prove that he was responsible.
According to The Blast, Reid was “uncooperative” with authorities. They consequently felt that obtaining a conviction for Charlamagne on the criminal sexual conduct charge was highly unlikely.
The charge was reduced to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He pled guilty and got three years’ probation.
Charlamagne Tha God Was Embroiled In Controversy After A Discussion Of Rape Culture
In July 2018, Charlamagne found himself in the center of a red-hot furor. The question of whether drunk sex constituted rape came up on The Breakfast Club.
He called Gadsden during the broadcast and asked her, “Did I rape you the first time we had sex with each other?” Gadsden responded, “That’s not what happened, we both know what happened and I was not passed out.” She said she was coherent at the time of their encounter.
However, an old interview came to light, which seemed to contradict what she said. In that previous interview, Charlamagne said, “It’s a lot of things guys did especially when we were young that were rape that we just didn’t consider rape.”
He also said he asked Gadsden if he raped her on that first occasion and he said she replied, “I mean in hindsight, yeah…”
Charlamagne tha God and his wife, Jessica Gadsden, have endured plenty together, including major successes and scandals. They have hung in there with each other for years, and are showing no outward signs of walking away from their marriage. On the contrary, the hardships they have gone through seem to have only strengthened their relationship.