Adrienne Bailon is keeping it real.
The newly engaged talk show host finally opens up about how her relationship with gospel singer Israel Houghton, who was reportedly married when they first met, got started. According to Bailon, the media reports got it completely wrong.
"When he got officially divorced and started dating again, I immediately started to set him up with my friends," Bailon, 32, tells People. "He didn't think they'd want to go out with him but I told him, 'Don't be silly. You have a great smile, you're successful, you're kind, super witty, funny and smart. Of course they'll go out with you.'"
When setting him up with her friends didn't work, one of her pals suggested that maybe it was because they were meant to be together. "A while later, we were sitting in the corner together at a party and a friend of ours came up and said, 'You guys have old love,' " she says.
Houghton adds, "We both heard that, and it had impact on us. That was such a special choice of words, and I felt it was correct. I felt a connection to her that I still can't define."
Their courtship started out rough, though, particularly when the tabloids got a wind of it. "We were in Mexico and she got the call that the paparazzi had photos of us together," says Houghton. "It turned into a day and a half of us deleting comments and blocking people on Instagram. There were multiple times I turned to her and said, 'You can walk away if this isn't worth it to you.' "
"It was a troubling 24 hours," Bailon adds of headlines that said Houghton was still married. "There was so much misunderstanding. But I never questioned my feelings for him."
See the drama that ensued with BET Breaks, above.
(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)