Ashley Graham is opening up about how she met her husband of eight years, director Justin Ervin.
On Thursday, Graham appeared on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop podcast, where the 31-year-old model first recalled dating a “terrible guy” in her early 20s who was “mentally, physically, emotionally abusive.”
“I hid our relationship for a year, so it was two years of agony, but I had myself in it because I didn’t know my worth,” Graham explained, adding that once she ended the relationship she found her “worth.”
“I knew that I was a stronger woman for breaking up with him, and in feeling stronger for breaking up with him I was like, ‘What is it that I need to do to change myself so I don’t get back into that situation?'” she continued, noting that “in that ‘aha’ moment, I was like, my problem is I keep giving it up too soon, I keep having sex too soon with these guys.”
At that point, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover girl decided to wait until marriage to have sex again.
Graham then went on to tell Paltrow a story about how her mom “made her go to church” after the designer-author had a “little issue with some tequila,” in which she showed up to her modeling agency “a little drunk.”
“My mom said, ‘rehab or church,'” Graham revealed. “And I was like, ‘I’m not an alcoholic, so I’ll just go to church.”
It was there at a New York City church where she met Ervin.
“The next thing you know I’m in the elevator… and I’m volunteering that Sunday. I’m the elevator lady,” she explained, adding that two men got in the elevator.
“The one guy says to the other guy, ‘If you don’t talk to her I am.’ I blushed. And the next thing ya know, Justin, my husband, was the one who stayed in the elevator.”
The two eventually went on a coffee date.
“We had so much fun,” Graham admitted. “But the thing that sucked was he didn’t pay for the coffee. So I was like, great, I have another cheap guy… So he didn’t pay and he said that ‘A man always appreciates it when a woman attempts to grab her wallet.’ So I was through with him, girl, I erased his number. Done.”
One month later, Graham and Ervin saw each other at church, where he asked her out again — but this time, offered to pay.
“He said, ‘I have been taken advantage of and I have had women use me for a steak dinner, I don’t want that, I’m looking for a wife,” Graham recalled of Ervin’s explanation.
Sure enough, the two ended up going on their second date and became “inseparable,” tying the knot in 2010.
“And he and I did not break my rule, and his rule as well, because I didn’t know that he was also trying to wait until he was married to have sex as well,” Graham told Paltrow who was in tears after hearing the couple’s story.
“I have to tell you, in all my podcasts this is the only time I’ve cried since Oprah,” Paltrow admitted.