The Truth About Tatyana Ali's Relationship With Ex Jonathan Brandis

Tatyana Ali was just 11 years old when she nabbed the role of Ashley Banks on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," per Screen Rant. As a result, aside from being catapulted to international stardom, Ali grew up in front of our eyes during the show's successful '90s run. 

These days, the actor is settled down with husband Dr. Vaughn Rasberry. People confirms that the happy couple welcomed their first son, Edward "Aszi," in September 2016, followed by another boy, Alejandro Vaughn, in August 2019. 

According to Us Weekly, Ali and Rasberry initially met on dating site eHarmony back in 2014. They reportedly communicated solely by letter before even chatting on Skype.

Rasberry, who is an English professor at Stanford University, popped the question in March 2016, and they tied the knot just a few months later, in July. Although the "Fresh Prince" star has clearly found her prince charming, it's worth noting that she dated fellow actor Jonathan Brandis for a significant chunk of time back in the day.

Tatyana Ali wondered whether Jonathan Brandis was under too much pressure

As the Daily Mail notes, immediately following "Fresh Prince," Tatyana Ali appeared in several high-profile projects, alongside releasing her debut album, "Kiss The Sky," in 1998. 

However, the actor then stepped back from the industry, earning a degree in African-American studies and government from Harvard University in 2002. 

Just one year later, Ali's life was shocked when her ex-boyfriend, fellow actor Jonathan Brandis, whom she'd been involved with for six years previously, sadly died by suicide. Brandis was just 27 years old and had a promising career ahead of him following roles in the likes of "Ladybugs," "seaQuest DSV," and the "IT" miniseries. 

In a 1996 interview with People, prior to their split, Brandis gushed about Ali. "I love her tremendously," he said. Although not much is known about why they split, it doesn't appear to have been acrimonious.

There's little written about Ali's reaction to her ex's death, either, beyond gossipy speculation, but the OC Weekly reports that she wondered aloud in an interview whether his stratospheric rise might have been a contributing factor. 

"When you've been on covers of magazines for years, when that stops happening, what's your identity?" Ali said. 

However, Greg Brandis, the late actor's father, suggested in a 2021 interview with People that his son was "probably bipolar." "I look back now, and in his twenties, he showed signs of manic depression," Greg said. "I hope that anyone suffering can go get help."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.