Before her time in Bachelor Nation, the North Carolina native was engaged to NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick. Following his untimely death in a plane crash at age 24, Maynard Johnson learned she was pregnant. She gave birth to daughter Josephine Riddick “Ricki” Hendrick in June 2005.
“We were mad at each other. And it didn’t end well. I had no idea that that would be the last time I would see him,” she wrote in her 2016 memoir about her late fiancé. “For days after the crash, I wish I’d died, too. … I just kept on looking forward to June 29th because that was the day I got a piece of Ricky back.”
Seven years later, the former event planner won Brad Womack’s season of The Bachelor. The twosome called off their engagement in June 2011, several months after the finale aired.
“You see it on TV. And there’s this … beautiful music playing. It just looks so romantic and warm. But when you’re actually in the moment, it’s not that way at all. It’s so quiet. And it’s actually quite awkward, which should have been warning sign No. 5,000,” she told ABC News in 2016 about the proposal. “But I just chose to ignore it.”
ABC subsequently named Maynard Johnson the season 8 Bachelorette and she accepted a proposal from Jef Holm. Not long after the season aired during summer 2012, the pair announced their breakup that October.
“You don’t get engaged to somebody and then say, ‘Oh hey, Ricki, this is Jef. We just got engaged,’” she told ABC in 2016. “It just didn’t feel right. Nothing about it felt right.”
It wasn’t long before Maynard Johnson was in love again, however, as she reconnected with Johnson, whom she first crossed paths with pre-show.
“I met him at church before I did The Bachelorette, he really wanted nothing to do with me. I told my girlfriend I met this guy and he could, like, not be less attracted to me, he was in the friend zone,” she recalled on Good Morning America in 2017.
The automotive management consultant proposed in January 2014 after one year of dating. At the time, the reality star joked to People that the engagement would be “my last,” explaining, “I really mean it. I’m actually making it to the marriage part this time!”
Maynard Johnson told Us Weekly at the time that her man gave her daughter a piece of jewelry too.
“He proposed to me at home and gave both Ricki and me rings. It was so sweet! Ricki loves him more than she likes me!” she said.
The couple exchanged vows in June 2014 and have welcomed four children together. Keep scrolling for a timeline of their romance and family:
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.