Actress Julia Pace Mitchell has just shared her surprise engagement news with ESSENCE.com. Julia, who stars on the #1 CBS drama “The Young and the Restless,” got engaged over the holiday weekend to businessman Stephen L. Hightower, II.
Their proposal story is certainly a unique one. Neither of them expected the proposal to happen the way it did.
Stephen is a VP at Hightowers Petroleum Company, one of the largest minority-owned businesses in America. Since it’s a family business, he works with his brothers and sisters. While at work, he was showing off the ring to them, but he didn’t want to leave out his other sister who was out of town, so he sent her a picture of the ring. Or so he thought. The picture message actually went to Julia. Oops.
“Stephen came running in the door after texting me a photo of the ring,” Julia says. “He dropped to one knee and said, ‘I was trying to find the perfect moment but every moment is perfect with you. Will you marry me, please?’ I was overwhelmed with joy, I immediately yelled ‘YES!’ and jumped around thanking God! I had a wave of joy, and then came tears and a sense of calm and comfort.
The couple met and connected instantly in February at an NBA All-Star Weekend event, and their whirlwind romance just took off from there. It’s only been five months, but Julia’s sure she’s found true love with Stephen.
“He always finds ways to make me feel like a Princess every day,” Julia shares. “I knew from the first few days we spent together that we were going to be together forever. But to tell the truth, I keep pinching myself and looking down at my ring to make sure this is all real and no one is going to yell ‘CUT’!”
This a classic case of life imitating art. Julia has been a regular cast member on “The Young & the Restless” for a year, portraying tough businesswoman Sofia Winters, whose character recently married Malcolm Winters (played by Darius McCrary).
We’re so glad Julia chose to share her big news exclusively with us, and we wish she and her fiancé nothing but the best.
Photo: Stephanie Matthews Photography