Fri, Jan 12 11:50 AM |Entertainment

Watch: Taraji P. Henson Explains Why She Decided To Go Public About Her Relationship With Retired NFL Baller

Taraji P. Henson quietly dated former NFL star Kelvin Hayden for two years, but only recently confirmed they are in a relationship. The "Empire" star recently dished on why she finally decided to go public with the information.

The "Proud Mary" star revealed her relationship with Hayden in December while chatting with Essence's podcast "Yes, Girl!"

Taraji explained, "It was all over TheShaderoom anyway. You know, I’m not the type to blast my personal business, but you know, I think that it’s important for people to know that I’m happy. I’m very very happy. I just am. We’ve been together for two years. And no one would really know that because I don’t blast my info like that but I’m very happy."

The actress has now opened up about her decision to finally share the news.

During her interview with Extra’s AJ Calloway, Taraji explained she normally likes to keep her romances on the down-low, but felt comfortable now.

Taraji shared, "It wasn't even about talking about my life, I just had a question, they asked me if I was happy and I said 'I'm very happy' and they ran with it, did all the research."

"So it wasn't like, 'Let's sit down and talk about my life!' No it wasn't," Taraji laughed. "But I am very happy."

She said, "It’s very serious. I did, I confirmed it. It’s fine. They asked me if I was happy and I said yes and they just ran with it. Y’all know how it is. When you’re in love and you feel secure with it, once you start talking, the floodgates are opened."

Taraji also discussed her boyfriend and the new puppy he bought her for Christmas during her interview on "Kelly & Ryan."

Kelly Ripa asked Taraji what she got for Christmas, gushing over the puppy Kelvin bought for her.

Christmas came early!!! Thank you #ZaddyBear I ❤️u so much!!! y’all Meet #K-Ball!!! Thank you @pitfallkennels_lilbrotha @therealbigboi he is going to get soooooooooo much love!!! 💋💋💋

Ryan Seacrest said, "They say they do have a lot of gas, those dogs specifically."

Taraji replied, "Yes! They do. And they snore and they snort. So my boyfriend came home one day and K. Ball was by the bed sleep and he was like, ‘Babe, I thought that was you.’ [Taraji said to Kelvin] ‘And when he passed gas, I thought that was you!’"

Kelly jokingly stated, "You know what’s great though. You can now pass gas and blame it on the dog."

Taraji adds,"And he asks me all the time, ‘Babe, was that you or K. Ball?’ And I’m like, ‘K. Ball!’"

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