Jonathan Bennett, who became everyone’s favorite crush thanks to his break-out role in ‘Mean Girls,’ feared losing his legions of female fans when he came out.
Jonathan Bennett is proudly living his truth these days. He’s engaged to Jaymes Vaughan and the couple have teamed up with KAY Jewelers to design ‘Our Ring by Jaymes & Jonathan’, one of the first same-sex engagement / wedding ring offerings by a major retailer. But, for many years Jonathan lived in fear of coming out — and what it might do to his career as a Hollywood heartthrob.
“I was afraid that I would lose it all,” Jonathan, 39, told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY while discussing his decision to come out in 2017. “I mean, for decades everyone tells you you’re going to lose all your teenage girl fans [if you come out] they’re all gonna hate you. And if you lose them, then no one will watch your movies, so no one will cast you. And that is the harsh truth of what you hear.”
Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for Jonathan. “To be honest quite the opposite happened,” he shared. “The girls that I have that are fans from Mean Girls just fell even more in love with me as a person, because they saw the real me. And when you see the real person, meaning their true authentic self, it’s hard not to love them.”
Not only did Jonathan’s fans become more loyal, sharing his truth actually led to more work, not less. “I got cast in the first gay storyline on Hallmark Channel, and started paving the way, and opening the doors for so many more people in those types of movies. You think you’re never going to work again, and actually they’re like, ‘oh, you are going to work, and you’re going to work more.’”
And, it’s not just Hollywood that Jonathan wants to make more inclusive. He and his fiancé Jaymes are determined to change the wedding industry for their LGBTQ+ community too.
“With the ring we’ve designed and being on the cover of The Knot we are trying to take away the ‘otherness’ of the LGBTQ+ community, and not only Christmas movies and Hallmark movies, but in wedding magazines and jewelers and engagement rings. We’re going after the major players, and taking away the ‘otherness’ of it.”
When Jaymes proposed to Jonathan last December he struggled to find the perfect ring — so he reached out to KAY Jewelers to create a custom design, with the hopes of eventually being able to offer it to everyone in the LGBTQ+ community. “That’s been my plan all along,” the 37-year-old T.V. host explained to HollywoodLife. “That’s why I first reached out to KAY when I was trying to find a ring to propose to Jonathan and I couldn’t find anything.”
“I knew, thanks to social media, that KAY is so incredibly inclusive and celebratory of our community, because I’ve seen them posting for years about stuff. And I decided that’s who I want to partner with in creating something that would exist beyond just for Jonathan and I, but that would exist for our community. And from the jump, I feel like I’ve had their support,” he raved.
The beautiful engagement and wedding band that Jaymes designed for his love Jonathan is the inspiration behind their collaboration with KAY. The brushed 14K white gold band has 1/2 carat of round cut diamonds adorning the profile on one side of the ring.
“This ring is your engagement ring and the diamonds face out. And then it flips at your wedding ceremony and then the wedding band faces out and the diamonds face you,” Jonathan explained. “As we’re planning our own path to our wedding we just wanted to do what we can to open doors up in the industry. Our whole goal in this is to change the industry and make it more inclusive.”
Now that Jonathan and Jaymes are engaged, they say Pride Month hits a little different. “It means that I live my life with my fiancé, as loudly and proudly as I can, to give hope and a representation of love for a younger versions of me,” said Jonathan.
Jaymes echoed the sentiment. “As you get older you realize more and more how important pride is because it’s about that visibility,” he shared. “It’s about giving hope to those who aren’t out yet, those who haven’t found themselves yet, those who are maybe out, but don’t have the hope.”
“It really is about hope, about going out there and living your life as loudly proudly, and doing it with pride. Pride is a celebration right, so to celebrate who we are and that is so important,” he added.
As HollywoodLife previously reported, in addition to planning their wedding the busy couple is also running their LGBTQ+ travel company, OUTbound Travel.
“Our Ring by Jaymes & Jonathan” is available now, exclusively on KAY.com.
Lady Gaga Stuns In Bodysuit, Sparkly Tights & Massive Platform Heels While Out In NYC
Lady Gaga made quite the statement when she rocked a bodysuit with glitter tights & sky-high platform heels while in NYC on July 28.
Ava Philippe, 21, Looks Just Like Mom Reese Witherspoon As She Rocks A Crop Top On Lunch Date With BF
Reese Witherspoon’s mini-me Ava has stepped out in a pair of ripped jeans a crop top for a lunch date with boyfriend Owen Mahoney.
Reese Witherspoon‘s daughter, Ava Phillippe looked like the spitting image of her A-list mom when she stepped out for a lunch date with her boyfriend Owen Mahoney in Los Angeles on July 27. Ava, 21, opted for a pink crop top and a pair of ripped, blue jeans as she styled her blonde tresses in loose waves. She also accessorized with white sneakers, oversized sunglasses, an animal print handbag, and layered gold jewelry.
Meanwhile, her beau cut a casual figure in graphic, tie-dye tee, black jeans and white sneakers. Ava most recently forced fans to do a double take when she posted a selfie of her and Owen, in which they totally resembled Reese and her dad Ryan Phillippe. “The bats were feeling shy…so here’s a pic of us instead,” she captioned the sweet photo.
The eldest child of the Oscar winning-actress wore a red polka dot dress with spaghetti straps. She styled her hair in beachy waves and opted for natural makeup for the daytime outing. “These two,” the Walk the Line star responded in the comments section, adding heart eyes emoji. Ava and Owen were first spotted together on the beach two years ago in Los Angeles, and have been going strong ever since.
Reese, who is also a mom to sons Deacon Phillippe, 17, and Tennessee, 8, recently told actress Tracee Ellis Ross for Interview magazine that she shares a special bond with her three kids. “My gosh, I’ve been crying a lot this week. I’ll have memories of my kids when they were little, or I’ll remember my favorite English teacher from high school, and I’ll just burst into tears,” she said.
The Draper James designer continued, “That makes me want to cry, the idea of having a long relationship with adult children. I never expected the kind of relationship that I have with them, but it’s so rewarding to be able to have kids that you can process life with a little bit, and they help me understand the complexities of what it means to be a human now.”
Paris Hilton Pregnant & Expecting 1st Child with Fiancé Carter Reum — Report
A baby is on the way for Paris Hilton and Carter Reum! The socialite is pregnant with her first child, according to a new report.
Paris Hilton is pregnant! The 40-year-old socialite is a mom to be, Page Six confirmed on July 27. Paris will welcome her baby boy or girl with fiancé Carter Reum, whom she got engaged to in February 2021. The couple has yet to confirm the news themselves, but HollywoodLife has reached out to a rep for Paris for comment.
It’s no secret that Paris has wanted to be a mom for a long time. In January, she revealed that she had started undergoing IVF treatments to have a baby (or babies)! “I can pick twins if I’d like,” Paris explained. “[Carter and I] talk about [getting married] all the time and planning our babies’ names and all of that. I’m really excited to just move on to the next step of my life.” She also decided to freeze her eggs back in 2018 while she was engaged to Chris Zylka.
Paris has been dating Carter, an entrepreneur who has invested in various well-known startups, since the end of 2019. They sealed the deal on their relationship when Carter proposed on Feb. 13 while he and Paris were celebrating her 40th birthday on a private island. The couple shared the news of their engagement with Vogue for a Feb. 17 interview. “I am excited about this next chapter and having such a supportive partner,” Paris told the mag. “Our relationship is one of equals. We make each other better people. He was absolutely worth the wait.”
For the proposal, Paris was wearing a white dress with a plunging neckline and thigh-high slit, while Carter wore a white suit when he got down on one knee and presented the birthday girl with a massive, emerald-cut diamond ring. There were also family members on the island, including Paris’s sister, Nicky Hilton, to help the lovebirds celebrate afterwards. Now Paris and Carter are on their way to parenthood. Congrats to them both!