The old adage “fools rush” in may be a lighthearted reaction many have when they hear of an overnight romance gone sour, but in the case of Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson, their whirlwind romance is nothing to joke about.
In less than two years, Glory went from falling in love with a female WNBA first round draft pick as a heterosexual woman to becoming a wife, mother, and victim of domestic abuse trying to piece her life back together. The circumstances of the recent years of her life are confusing, but probably best explained in this piece by Cosmo in which Glory finally tells her side of the tumultuous story, including the fact that she’s not now, nor has ever been, a lesbian.
Johnson and Griner connected at a basketball camp in Las Vegas in 2013. Johnson noticed that Griner — drafted first overall that year by the Phoenix Mercury — found excuses to hang around her. One night, when a group of friends went to see Cirque du Soleil, Griner made her move, sitting next to Johnson and putting her arm around her.
Ordinarily, Johnson would have brushed off such a move from a woman, she says, but on this night, she went with it. With the buzz from a round of tall cocktails and the acrobats flying in the dark, the evening felt “pretty romantic,” she says. “I wasn’t thinking about her being a female. She was just somebody who was showing me a really, really good time.”
More drinks flowed after the show, and Griner escorted Johnson to her hotel room in the wee hours. In the room, things got interesting. “It was really awkward because what do you do when you’ve never been in this situation with a female before?” Johnson says. Griner, deep-voiced with dreadlocks and size-17 feet to anchor her lofty frame, put Johnson at ease with her swagger. “We finally laid down and were about to go to sleep. Of course, there was a little bit more that happened,” Johnson says. “As I was getting more and more comfortable, more and more was happening.”
The next morning, the women looked at each other and smiled. “It was literally a moment like, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” Johnson says. The two went their separate ways but met up again later after a game in Tulsa. They went home together — then missed a flight with their teams the next morning. Their names were blasted on the airport intercom, and their secret was out. By the summer of 2014, Johnson says, they were a couple.
Some people wanted to define her. “Not a lot of people understand it. They wanted me to be a lesbian who converted from being straight,” she says. “It just doesn’t work for me like that.” She remains straight, she says. She simply fell for an individual. “I’ve had men that needed to step up more as a man than Brittney,” she says. “I was set.”
Glory goes on to discuss her unexpected and very public proposal, saying “Was I ready for it? Probably not. What am I going to say, no? All the cameras are in my face.” The relationship continued to be characterized by one hasty decision after another, as Cosmo reports, “In Arizona in the spring of 2015, the women went to counseling and marched forward, starting IVF, buying a house, and moving two of Johnson’s sisters in as nannies. The pair still argued, especially when Johnson questioned or challenged Griner, she says.”
Eventually those arguments turned physical, as the whole world would later learn, but the couple still marched down the aisle May 8, and not long after Glory found out she was pregnant. On June 4, the pair announced their pregnancy to the media. On June 5, Brittney filed for an annulment on the grounds of fraud and duress.
Johnson now finds herself in a financial fix, Cosmo reports. She makes half-pay while on leave from the WNBA and will make no pay overseas or from endorsements while off the court. Meanwhile, she says she is stuck with bills for the IVF, wedding, and furniture for the Phoenix home, among other expenses. A judge denied a request from Johnson for temporary spousal support, but she could potentially file for child support. Separately, a judge denied Griner’s annulment request, meaning the two would need to divorce. …
Still, she says she has no regrets about marrying the person she loved. “I followed my heart,” she says, pausing for a moment. “After all the things that she put me and my family through, I should hate this person. But at the end of the day, I still worry about how she’s taking all this.”
Fools do indeed rush in.