The Untold Truth Of Jeannie Mai

You may know Jeannie Mai as a former Dancing With the Stars contestant who had to cut her ballroom journey short after being diagnosed with epiglottitis (via People). The 41-year-old announced her departure from the ABC reality show explaining, "It saddens me that I will not be able to continue with the competition on DWTS. My doctors discovered a health concern with my throat which requires immediate attention and surgery."

But there is a lot more to know about Mai outside of her turn on the popular dancing program. She co-hosts The Real talk show on ABC alongside Garcelle Beauvais, Adrienne Houghton, and Loni Love. The Emmy Award winning daytime chat fest is in its seventh season. About the show, Mai told TV Insider she hopes to help others live a stress-free life, adding, "As women, we're always inundated by some type of gossip from somebody else. We're inundated with how we're supposed to be, how we're supposed to dress, what our weight's supposed to look like."

Mai also serves as a sideline correspondent for Holey Moley, a mini-golf competition that airs on the same network.

Jeannie Mai began her career in the beauty and fashion world

Before she was a co-host of a nationally syndicated talk show, Mai was a makeup artist, working on the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker (via TV Over Mind). She then parlayed her desire to be in front of the camera into a hosting gig on The Style Network show How Do I Look? The series saw Mai helping "fashion victims" revamp their look, and then reveal their makeover to friends and family.

"I am so blessed to have a moment in these women's lives to help them recognise their worth," Mai said about her role on the show (via She added, "I love getting to know the guests and hearing their backgrounds, struggles, and achievements." She also explained how she grew to love fashion, saying, "My mother taught me at a very early age the difference between fashion and style. Fashion is what you can buy, style is what you must have. My sense of personal style comes from my upbringing, my personality, and my mood I want to project to the world. It's what we teach on this show."

Jeannie Mai is engaged to a rapper

Mai and rapper Jeezy have been dating since 2018, according to Oprah Mag. The couple became engaged in April of 2020.

Mai previously found herself embroiled in a scandal for saying she wanted to "submit" to her man (via Us Weekly). She went on to clarify, "That doesn't mean that in this case Jay makes all the decisions for us. That doesn't mean that when he says, 'How are we spending our money?' or 'Where are we moving?' that I just say, 'Yes, sir' or 'Yes, your honor,' Like, it's not that. It's a, 'You know what? I think that we would do best here, I want to do this,' and he takes the decision. He formulates it with our overall vision, and he leads us and I like to submit to that."

She further explained, "I don't want to lead in our household and in our marriage. I want him to lead, and I have all the essence of what I bring as a wife to make that decision, but that I love that my husband will be the man that leads. I like that structure in a marriage and I look forward to that because, girls — it's tiring being the boss of me. It's tiring leading all the time in my life."

Mai stood by her stance even after facing backlash on social media (via Page Six). Ultimately, Mai answered her critics while speaking to Tamron Hall, saying, "This is my life."

Jeannie Mai was previously married

Her engagement to Jeezy wasn't the first major relationship for Mai, who was previously married to Freddy Harteis. They wed in 2007 and stayed together for a decade (via Cheat Sheet). It seems starting a family was the major sticking point for the couple, with the former fashion maven explaining, "Before we got married, I was very clear about the fact that I probably would not have kids, just because I've never felt that. And now, getting older, he definitely seems like he wants kids, and he actually came out and said that he wants children."

Mai calls Harteis "the best man I know" and admitted about their split, "If you guys have friends that have been divorced, it is one of the most traumatic things that can happen because you just feel like you failed, you feel embarrassed of all those people that were there at your wedding." In fact, she thought she would not wed again — it seems Jeezy changed her mind.

Jeannie Mai cares deeply about causes

According to her bio on The Real's site, the daughter of first generation immigrants is deeply committed to various charitable causes. She serves on the board of Dress for Success, and frequently travels to Asia to volunteer her time to those who are less fortunate than she. Mai is also dedicated to fighting against human trafficking, telling Forbes, "Selling the commodity of humans has to be the biggest business out there, as it is the most lucrative. I cannot go to sleep at night, unless I know that I am using all of my platforms to fight human trafficking."

Mai works with NightLight International to help victims of human trafficking gain jobs, explaining, "Jobs give people a sense of independence, security and self-confidence. And this can essentially help victims survive for the rest of their lives." The accomplished TV host notes that abuse in her childhood drove her to help others.