Cynthia Bailey Had a Few High Profile Relationships Before Marrying Mike Hill (EXCLUSIVE)

'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star Cynthia Bailey is known as a runaway bride, only marrying once. But who wanted to make it to the altar, but didn't?

Sara Belcher - Author

Mar. 12 2021, Updated 3:12 p.m. ET

Cynthia Bailey
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The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey has a reputation as a runaway bride. She's made it very clear on the show that she's not one to marry quickly — did you know she turned down two different proposals before marrying Peter Thomas?

While Cynthia's list of ex-husbands is short (hint: Peter's the only one to make that list), her list of ex-fiancés is longer. Here are all of the men whom the RHOA personality let get away.

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Ex-boyfriend Russell Simmons proposed to her. 

One of the first men that Cynthia rejected was entrepreneur and record executive Russell Simmons. The two dated in the '90s before he proposed and then ultimately split when she turned him down.

She probably dodged a bullet there, though, as Russell has recently faced a series of sexual misconduct allegations, which Oprah is apparently investigating.

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Russell has told The New York Times that he denies all of the sexual assault allegations, claiming that all of his sexual encounters have been consensual.

"I vehemently deny all these allegations,” he said to The New York Times. “These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all of my relations have been consensual.”

Jayson Williams proposed to her during halftime.

In a stunt that was probably more embarrassing for him than it was for her, Cynthia's ex-boyfriend Jayson Williams decided to propose to her during halftime at a Brooklyn Nets game back in 1996. During the time of their relationship, Jason had just been rewarded his first full-time starting position with the New Jersey Nets.

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Again, Cynthia likely dodged another bullet with this one, as Jayson was on trial for his involvement in the shooting and accidental death of limousine driver Costas "Gus" Christofi in 2002. In 2010, he pled guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to five years in prison for the charge.

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She had a daughter with Leon.

Cynthia later entered a very serious romantic relationship with actor Leon Robinson (who frequently is credited as just "Leon"). The two were engaged, and Cynthia had her daughter, Noelle, while she was with Leon.

Unfortunately, the two decided to call it quits before they married, and they eventually separated.

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So how many ex-husbands does Cynthia Bailey have? Just one.

We got to see Cynthia's first marriage, to Peter Thomas, play out during her time on Real Housewives of Atlanta. We saw the couple wed in 2010 (much to the disappointment of Cynthia's mom and sister), only for them to call it quits seven years later. 

He is a restaurant and nightclub owner and he currently owns a bar in South Carolina. In March 2019, Peter was arrested for allegedly writing fraud checks.

She married sports commentator Mike Hill on Oct. 10, 2020.

While Cynthia evaded getting married for so long, she tied the knot again in October of 2020. She began dating sports commentator Mike Hill in 2018, and the two got engaged during Season 11 of the show.

Their road to the altar wasn't completely seamless, however. Instead of dealing with relationship drama, Mike and Cynthia (their couple name is "Chill") had to make many last-minute changes to their big day because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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The big day wasn't filmed for the show, though the days and weeks leading up to it were. Some things did have to change, but Cynthia exclusively told Distractify that she is happy she went forward with the nuptials when she did. 

"What 2020 taught us more than anything is that you have to live your life, and you cannot take anything for granted," she said. "You have to be humble, you have to live and to try to be happy. For me, my wedding represented that, and hope and inspiration."

Even with the safety precautions and the uncertainty from the pandemic, the wedding was "perfect" for Cynthia and Mike. 

"Although it didn't seem like 10/10/20 was the perfect day because of the pandemic, it kind of was in a lot of ways for us," she continued. "I'm incredibly grateful for everything."

Cynthia's ability to share it all in front of the cameras is why she's had such longevity on the show — and why she doesn't regret letting viewers into her first marriage and divorce. 

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"I give you me: the good, the bad, the ups, the downs, the peaks, and the valleys," she explained. "I give you the hustle, the entrepreneurship, what it's like to be a mom, to go through a divorce, to find love again, and to get married. I'm going to give you all of that and I'm transparent. I own all of it."

That's why the model is in her 10th season of the show.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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