Who Is Ben Simmons' Ex-Fiancée? All About Maya Jama
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NBA star Ben Simmons and television personality Maya Jama had a whirlwind romance.
Although it is unknown how exactly the Brooklyn Nets forward and the Love Island host met, they reportedly began dating in spring 2021. By that December, they were engaged. The former couple kept much of their relationship and engagement private, sharing only a few social media posts and public moments before their eventual split in August 2022.
Following their breakup, the NBA star has since moved on with actress Eiza Gonzalez, with sources confirming their relationship to PEOPLE in February 2023. In addition to Simmons, Jama has been linked to other high-profile men, including rapper Stormzy.
So, who is Ben Simmons' ex-fiancée? Keep reading for everything there is to know about Maya Jama.
She is a host and presenter
Jama is a notable host and presenter in the U.K. Currently, she is hosting season 9 of the popular reality dating series Love Island. She also hosted the hit BBC Three competition series, Glow Up: Britain's Next Make-Up Star, during its third and fourth seasons. Her other hosting credits include The Circle UK, MTV's True Love or True Lies, Maya's FIFA World Cup Cities, and the Brit Awards, among other televised specials and series.
She started her career in radio in 2014 when she hosted #DriveWithMaya, a weekday radio show on Rinse FM. She then joined BBC Radio 1, where she presented Radio 1's Greatest Hits on Saturdays and co-presented every Friday. Between 2018 and 2020, she had her own self-titled show on BBC Radio 1. She left the network in May 2020, per BBC.
She is a businesswoman
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In addition to her career in hosting, Jama owns the beauty brand MIJ Masks. The line features masks and patches that are vegan and cruelty-free.
"MIJ Masks are for every face and any moment. Whether I'm heading to a shoot, slouching on a plane or prepping for a night with my huns, you'll find me treating my skin to some well-deserved TLC," she wrote on the brand's website. "I live for a high-quality, high-performance face mask, so it's amazing to be able to produce a range that has style and substance, for everyone out there. This is your skin having a lovely time."
Aside from her beauty endeavors, she is also an ambassador for Adidas, in addition to appearing in campaigns for Gap, Kurt Geiger and European JD Sports. Jama also launched two clothing collections for PrettyLittleThing.
She planned to get into acting before the pandemic
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jama planned to launch her career in acting. She told The Evening Standard that the pandemic shifted her mindset and she instead wanted to travel more.
"The way things have gone on and how long it [the pandemic] has been going - it has got to a stage now I just am yearning for life experience, which is not possible right now," she explained. "I have been working since I was 16 … pretty much most days. And not really having longer than a week or two off ever. I would love to travel and explore and be able to find my adult self."
She and Simmons were first linked in spring 2021
Although it is unclear when exactly the NBA superstar and television host started officially dating, rumors began swirling that the two were an item in May 2021, after Jama posted a photo of herself wearing a pair of red NBA shorts, which fans speculated to be Simmons'.
Their budding relationship came a little over a year after Simmons' second split with Kendall Jenner, and a year after Jama and Stormzy's breakup.
Her first public outing with Simmons was at Wimbledon
The private couple stepped out publicly for the first time on July 5, 2021, at the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament. Simmons and Jama attended a pre-tennis match lunch together and were then photographed kissing during the actual match.
Although the pair had yet to confirm their relationship on social media at the time, Jama did share a brief video clip that featured the back of Simmons' head on her Instagram Story.
She made things Instagram official on Simmons' birthday
On July 20, 2021, Jama shared four photos of her and Simmons on her Instagram Story in honor of the NBA star's 25th birthday, per Cosmopolitan UK. The photos appeared to be taken in a photo booth and one shot showed the former couple kissing. "Happy birthday to youuu," she wrote alongside the photos.
She reportedly got engaged to Simmons over the 2021 holidays
Simmons reportedly popped the question while Jama visited him and his family over the holidays at his home in New Jersey.
She was first spotted wearing the emerald-cut diamond engagement ring while out for coffee with Simmons in Philadelphia, in photos obtained by Daily Mail.
She and Simmons were very private about their relationship
Over the course of their relationship, neither Simmons nor Jawa publicly spoke about their relationship. At the 2022 Brit Awards, Jawa's co-host Mo Gilligan commented on the new jewelry she was sporting on her ring finger.
"Maya, how has it been for you tonight — are you enjoying the vibes? I can't have you here without talking about that amazing rock on your finger," he told his fellow co-host, per the Huffington Post. "That is the size of a small studio flat in London."
After blushing and attempting to hide her hand, she responded, "Let's flip it on you, how are you finding hosting?"
She and Simmons split in August 2022
In August 2022, rumors began swirling that Jawa and Simmons had called it quits. The TV host addressed the speculation in a since-deleted Tweet, writing, "Stop believing 'sources' in papers plz." Simmons also commented on the rumors, writing "slow news day" on Twitter and reposting Jawa's tweet.
Later that month, however, it appeared the couple had officially gone their separate ways. The New York Post reported that Jawa and Simmons had called off their engagement, citing that the pair's busy schedules and long-distance relationship contributed to the breakup.