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Hand in hand, Lupita Nyong’o and Joshua Jackson seemingly confirm romance

A collage showing actors Lupita Nyong'o and Joshua Jackson

Lupita Nyong’o and Joshua Jackson appear to be an item, fueling romance rumors during outings in L.A. this week.
(Associated Press)
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Lupita Nyong’o and Joshua Jackson stepped out earlier this week while holding hands on a walk through Joshua Tree, all but confirming dating rumors they sparked weeks ago.

On Thursday morning, multiple outlets published photos of the “Black Panther” star and “Dawson’s Creek” actor hand in hand and looking relaxed while walking around the desert city on Tuesday.

Representatives for Nyong’o, 40, and Jackson, 45, did not immediately respond Thursday to The Times’ requests for comment.

Anthony Edwards, Joshua Jackson, Lupita Nyong'o and Angela Bassett pose together and are embracing and smiling
Joshua Jackson (middle left) and Lupita Nyong’o (middle right) pose with Anthony Edwards and Angela Bassett backstage in New York at the revival of the play “Children of a Lesser God” on April 1, 2018.
(Bruce Glikas / FilmMagic)

Both actors split from their respective partners in October: Jackson’s estranged wife and fellow actor, Jodie Turner-Smith, 37, filed for divorce on Oct. 1; several weeks later, Nyong’o announced she had split from TV personality Selema Masekela, 52, amid allegations of “deception” and “heartbreak.”

Within days of their public breakups, reports speculating about a budding romance between Nyong’o and Jackson began to swirl. The pair were spotted sitting next to each other among friends at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood for a Janelle Monáe concert on Oct. 18. Earlier this week, the two were seen taking turns stepping out of a black Tesla, presumably to avoid paparazzi, to grocery shop at an Erewhon, and later at a gas station in Los Angeles.

The Joshua Tree photos appear to be the first to show the actors publicly displaying affection. Even so, both have yet to publicly confirm their romance and have yet to attend official Hollywood events together.

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Lupita Nyong’o and beau Selema Masekela have called it quits. Their love was ‘suddenly and devastatingly extinguished by deception,’ the ‘Us’ actor says.

Oct. 19, 2023

Nyong’o attended the 2023 Academy Museum Gala in L.A. on Sunday evening alongside her brother, Peter “Junior” Nyong’o. Then, on Wednesday evening, the Oscar winner returned to the Academy Museum, this time alone, for the premiere of “The Color Purple,” the latest cinematic adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel.

It’s unclear when and how Nyong’o and Jackson first met, but the pair were seen together in New York as early as 2018. Nyong’o and her “Black Panther” co-star Angela Bassett attended a Broadway revival of “Children of a Lesser God” that April. After the show, in which Jackson performed, the group met backstage and posed for a series of photos.

Nyong’o and her ex, Masekela, first publicized their relationship last December, though it is unclear when they started dating. Their sudden breakup was made public when Nyong’o shared an emotional statement on Instagram in October, the day after she was spotted with Jackson and friends at the Monáe concert.

She wrote that she needed to “publicly dissociate [herself] from someone [she] can no longer trust.”

“I find myself in a season of heartbreak because of a love suddenly and devastatingly extinguished by deception,” she wrote.

Jodie Turner-Smith has filed for divorce from fellow actor Joshua Jackson after four years of marriage. They have a 3-year-old daughter together.

Oct. 2, 2023

Meanwhile, in her divorce filing, Turner-Smith said that she and Jackson separated in mid-September. The “Anne Boleyn” star cited “irreconcilable differences” in her marriage dissolution papers and requested joint legal and physical custody of their daughter, whom they welcomed in April 2020.

Turner-Smith, best known for the 2019 crime drama “Queen & Slim,” told People earlier this year that she developed feelings for Jackson shortly before she began shooting the film.

“Everything happened at the same time for me,” Turner-Smith said.

“I fell in love right before I started this movie that would basically change my life,” she continued, “and then by the time I was putting this movie out I was pregnant, I was secretly married and I was trying to have one moment and not let the other moment overshadow it, which is why I tried to keep it secret.”

Times staff writers Christi Carras and Carlos De Loera contributed to this report.

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