Photo: Getty
  /  10.13.2022

It’s a big week on the “Big Facts” podcast as entrepreneurs Toya Johnson and her fiancé Robert “Red” Rushing stopped by to discuss a slew of topics ahead of their wedding on Oct. 15,  including their early beginnings as friends and eventually a couple, running a business, and much more.

The two began dating in 2017 after meeting in Las Vegas through a mutual friend. It would be only three years until wedding bells started ringing for them. The couple also share a 4-year-old daughter named Reign Ryan Rushing, whom they welcomed a year into their relationship.

Red revealed he knew the “Tiny and Toya” star would someday become his wife following a devastating family tragedy. On July 31, 2016, Toya’s brothers, 31-year-old Joshua Johnson and 24-year-old Ryan “Rudy” Johnson, were shot in New Orleans while inside their vehicle in the city’s Seventh Ward. Antoine “Tweezy” Edwards was ultimately convicted of the crimes. He received life in prison in 2019. The heartbreaking news also came just days after she filed for divorce from her second husband and veteran A&R, Mickey “Memphitz” Wright, following five years of marriage.

“When she lost her brothers…’cause we were just kicking it. It’s cool, I like her. You know, we getting to know each other,” Red explained. “But when she went through that, just being there with her and the time we spent after that, that’s when I was like, ‘That’s the one.’”

The same could be said for Toya, who shared, “During that time, he was very on it.” Red was very supportive and even attended the funeral of her brothers, unbeknownst to the television personality. The entrepreneur even assisted the mother of two’s guests after they were left stranded without transportation. “Red took care of it, made sure they got there. He didn’t even tell me he was coming,” she said. “Came, paid his respects, and dipped and was with me. Took me away.”

Toya continued, “I was having a really hard time — I lost two brothers at the same time, so it was hard for me to just wake up in the morning…He stepped in. Just made sure I was busy all the time…We was traveling, we were doing things, and I was like, ‘He solid.’” The star noted the two had not yet made things official between them. “We were just friends,” she added. “We kicking it, getting to know each other and stuff, and then I was like, ‘He different.’” She also stated Red’s family-oriented values sealed the deal for her.

The famous couple got engaged in 2019. The event was broadcasted on VH1’s “T.I. & Tiny: Friends and Family Hustle” in 2020. Initially, the businessman said he wanted to avoid the cliché of proposing on reality TV. However, after coordinating with the show’s producers, Red pulled off an extravagant proposal made for television. The pair took a helicopter ride over Atlanta, where they took in the stunning city views. The 2 Commas Clothing brand owner later popped the question with “Toya, will you marry me?” painted on top of the building where they landed.

The small screen star took a moment to praise her man and the care he gives to their family as well as the G.A.R.B. boutique owner’s extended family. Following the death of her brother Joshua, Toya took in his daughter Jashae. “The way he stepped up for my niece is what really made me just be like, ‘Damn, this man different.’” That’s not even my daughter; that’s my niece,” she explained. “He do everything for my niece like it’s his — and Reginae [Carter]. It takes a village, and the village is definitely there, and I love how he loves my niece like that’s our kid. She’s never left out. She’s never feeling like the stepkid. You’ll never think that’s our niece in our house — that’s our daughter.”

The famous businesswoman explained the gesture was “huge” to her while highlighting the courage it takes to raise and provide for a child that isn’t yours biologically. “Teach her stuff. It be little stuff,” she noted. “Like how a daughter is supposed to be with a father…That s**t is just different nowadays, and we need that in our community — more of that.”

Yet, family isn’t the only business Red and Toya are handling. The two are big promoters of healthy lifestyles through their Weight No More fitness program aimed at fighting obesity in the community. They often travel to different areas and host fitness boot camps for all ages.

Toya stunned fans several years ago with a total body transformation after giving birth to their daughter. For Red, a former athlete, his health became a priority after his father was diagnosed with colon cancer. “I started going to the appointments with him and hearing the doctor talk about eating, working out, [and] about ‘All Black men will eventually go through this,’ so that’s when I started working out,” he explained. “We’re about to be a huge brand. It’s going on a level I couldn’t even [have] thought of,” Red said of the Weight No More program.

Like always, if you liked what you heard, be sure to stay tuned every week for new episodes of “Big Facts.” Also, don’t forget to watch the latest show here.

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