Actress Niecy Nash stuns fans with marriage to soul musician Jessica Betts

Niecy Nash
Actress Niecy Nash is newly married.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Finally, some good news in 2020.

Claws” actress Niecy Nash and soul singer-songwriter Jessica Betts revealed Monday via social media that they had tied the knot.

“Mrs. Carol Denise Betts,” Nash (whose birth name is Carol) captioned her Instagram post of the happy couple decked out in white, adding the hashtag #LoveWins.

The wedding news took fans by surprise, essentially serving as a coming out for Nash, who has played queer characters before but never discussed her own identity publicly. Nash married her second husband, electrical engineer Jay Tucker, in 2011 and announced their divorce in October 2019. It was finalized in March.


Nash is also known for her roles on “Reno 911!,” “Mrs. America” and “When They See Us.” In 2014, she played Dr. Jean Fishman, a lesbian doctor, on “The Mindy Project.” Three years later, she talked to LGBTQ+ newspaper Between the Lines about the role.

“I feel like when you approach a character, you want to make sure you are playing it from a real place and that it doesn’t feel like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be a stereotype,’” she said. “You wanna lean into it in a way that just makes sense.”

Queer audiences, too, were drawn to her character on “Claws,” Desna, a powerful, splashy Florida nail salon owner.

“Desna is 100 percent who she is, and she is a woman who is comfortable in her skin,” Nash, 50, told Between the Lines. “I think that’s the thing that we all strive for. Be happy with what it is, figure out what’s working for you, accentuate that part and push through.”

According to IMDb, Betts made a guest appearance in the Season 2 finale of “Claws.” Fans speculated on Twitter on Monday that Betts’ character, Nadege, sang the episode’s wedding song. In 2018, Betts posted an Instagram video of Nash singing her song “Catch Me” with Betts accompanying her on guitar.


“This woman of God, I’m honored and blessed in her presence. She’s anointed and appointed,” Betts wrote in the caption.

Nash talked openly about her split from Tucker in a February speech at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood awards luncheon, where she accepted the Vanguard Award.

“And when I owned that we were much better friends than life partners, my family was quick to say, ‘But y’all look so good together,’” she said. “And I replied, ‘But what about my happiness?’”

Nash’s celebrity friends — Ava DuVernay, Taraji P. Henson, Halle Berry, Kerry Washington, Karrueche Tran and Lena Waithe, among others — congratulated the actress on her newfound happiness. “May God bless your beautiful union! Love you!” DuVernay wrote on Instagram.