Ever since Issa Rae revealed that she’s officially a married woman on Monday (July 27), people have been digging to find out more about her new husband and longtime partner Louis Diame. Who is he? How long have they been together? What’s their love story?
The short answer to that question is…it’s hard to say. As her star rose, Rae kept a lid on her private life to protect it — and because she simply doesn’t have to talk about it.
“Whose business is it?” she asked The Hollywood Reporter in 2020. “I realized I just don’t like to be the subject of conversations if it doesn’t have to do with my work. I’ve always been like that, where I’d be dating someone and my friends would find out six months later. Like, ‘B—h, what the f–k? Why don’t we know this?’ So it’s just always been that I want to vet situations for myself. I really value that part of my life a lot.”
However, there have been some nuggets dropped over the years about Diame, from brief mentions in interviews to appearances with Rae in public. Here’s what we were able to find out about the Mr. in this new Mrs.’s life.
They’ve been together for a long time.
Back in 2012, an early profile of Rae’s work with The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by The Washington Post described Diame, then 28, as a “boyfriend” of the star who teased her about needing to work/study around other people because she’s still in “college mode.” (Rae has talked about how she missed writing around other people during the pandemic.) And according to her brother Lamine, “They’ve been dating forever.” When asked about her experience navigating dating apps, Rae said she couldn’t relate.
“Don’t know them, don’t use them,” she told Interview. “I’m sure they’re helpful for a lot of people, but they seem to me to be hookup apps. Shout-out to people who found love.”
He appeared on Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
Diame supported his lady by appearing in her popular YouTube series, Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, a precursor to her hit HBO series Insecure. He, comically, briefly (see 4:04 mark) played a Black man on a date with a white woman who looks at Rae’s character, J, crazy for coming into an establishment on a date with a white man (White Jay!).
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They’re both protective.
During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the author, Brittany Spanos, noted that Diame was present as she spent time with Rae for their cover story. She wasn’t introduced to him, but she assumed it was him as he was a “rare pandemic house guest” who stayed near, but out of the way as Rae did her thing:
Later that week, when I join Rae for her early-morning stroll, he stays on the opposite side of the street, keeping the pace and minding his business.
Rae would go on to tell her that she is “superprotective” of her relationship.
“That’s come from observing and making fun of people over the years who broadcast the most intimate parts of their relationships, then are left with egg on their face,” she said. “I call them the ‘me and my boo’ people. Let me embarrass myself. Don’t let a ni–a embarrass you. That’s always been my focus.”
They Quarantined Together
While there are some couples who were separated from each other during the pandemic (see Karrueche Tran and Victor Cruz, Eboni K. Williams and her ex-fiancé…you see how those situations turned out), Rae said without saying that she was able to quarantine with her longtime love, but had to be distanced from family members.
“I’m fortunate enough to isolate with someone, but I’m still separated from my family,” she shared last April in a chat with Vanity Fair.
A Red Carpet Appearance Is Rare, but You Can Catch Him at the After-Party
As photo accounts like Getty make evident, Rae and Diame are not red carpet mainstays together. (One photo confuses him with her Insecure co-star Y’lan Noel.) The only major event appearance he made on the carpet was to the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards in 2017 where she was awarded the Vanguard Award. Otherwise, if you’re lucky, you might catch Diame at after-parties with Rae, including soirees following the Golden Globes and Insecure premieres.
Her Family Loves Him
“He’s just a good guy, man. He’s just a cool guy,” Lamine said in 2019 of his sister’s beau in a chat with Us Weekly about their engagement. “He’s already been like a brother to me. Family ties at all the family events and dinners, Christmas, Thanksgiving.”
He Likes to Keep Important Parts of His Life Private, Too
If you can find a real Instagram or Facebook account for Louis Diame, let us know (good luck with that). However, the Senegalese international banker, who also works in LA, reportedly did have a private LinkedIn account. We no longer see it.