Tyra Banks just started a new gig hosting Dancing With The Stars, which has been a lot to handle. Luckily Banks has had the support of her boyfriend, Louis Bélanger-Martin, to help her when times get hard. Though the two’s relationship is still in its early stages, they’re clearly a couple to watch out for, since they’ve already sparked engagement rumors.
Who Is Louis Bélanger-Martin?
According to his LinkedIn, Bélanger-Martin is a Canadian businessman who specializes in in-flight entertainment. He served as the President and CEO of Advanced Inflight Alliance AG and also co-founded and serves as the executive chairman of the board of directors for DTI Software. A mix of business savvy and an eye for entertainment trends, that sounds like Tyra Banks definitely met her match.
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To my female entrepreneurs out there, I see y’all and I feel you: I’m here to remind you that sometimes you need to stop that grind for just a sec and smell those roses (or bougainvillea – and take a few pics)! It’s okay to allow yourself some rest. I watch @sellingsunsetnetflix and @poseonfx. And the new @Fargo with @chrisrock is off the chain and my new jam! What do YOU do to chill?
The two kept a low profile when people first noticed the Banks and Bélanger-Martin hanging out with each other in the summer of 2019. The Canadian businessman wasn’t identified until October, however, leading people to speculate for months about who the “mystery man” could be. PageSix was the first outlet to correctly identify Bélanger-Martin.
About a month later, the outlet spoke with sources close to Banks who revealed that the relationship wasn’t as new as people had believed. Though Bélanger-Martin and Banks had been spotted for the first time in August 2019, the two had actually begun seeing each other a year earlier, in August 2018. Tyra Banks sure knows how to keep a secret.
In fact, the two were doing so well on the romantic front that they’d decided to move in together. “Tyra and Louis live together but Louis always moves around a lot for business reasons,” the source explained, adding that the Canadian jetsetter had multiple homes around the world, including one he shared with his ex-wife.
Another thing Banks and Bélanger-Martin have in common: they both have a child that they co-parent with an ex. Banks shares a young son with her photographer ex, Erik Asla, and Bélanger-Martin has a 12-year-old with his ex-wife. Both pairs of parents appear to peacefully co-parent their kids, so the idea of a blended family isn’t something that’s uncommon for either of them. In fact, the source divulged that “Tyra’s child has his own room” at the home in Quebec that Bélanger-Martin shares with his ex-wife, and that “Tyra moved some of her stuff – clothes, jewelry – there too.”
Tyra Banks may have kept mum about her new relationship while it was just starting to get its legs under it, she’s not keeping it a secret anymore. Whenever Louis Bélanger-Martin isn’t traveling for work or to see his son, he’s usually right by Banks’ side, sources told PageSix. The outlet also reported that Banks’ friends were all aware of her new relationship and that the America’s Next Top Model creator was “very quick to introduce him as her man,” with the insider adding, “It’s not a secret,” that the two are “very, very much in love.”
Things seemed to be going so well between the couple that when Tyra Banks was spotted rocking an enormous ring on her left ring finger, many took that to mean that the former model was engaged to her new beau. During an appearance on the Tamron Hall Show, Banks addressed the rumors. “They’re talking about the ring … The ring is a crab. It’s shaped like a crab … and it’s an opal, not a diamond,” Banks explained to Hall, and noticeably missing the ring in question.
It is not a crab opal engagement ring. It is just a ring.
Banks went on to call the situation both “funny” and “annoying” that the media would mistake a crab ring for an engagement ring, adding, “The press gets it right sometimes but a lot of times they’re bored.”
Interestingly, Banks spent a lot of time denying that the ring in question wasn’t an engagement ring, but she didn’t say anything about the engagement rumors in general. Who knows, there might be an announcement in the near future if things keep going well for Banks and her hunky Canadian businessman boyfriend.
Speaking of the media, the tabloid media has been particularly ruthless towards Tyra Banks since she began her new gig hosting Dancing With The Stars. From the time her new position was announced, there’s been some backlash, especially since the decision to replace long time co-hosts Erin Andrews and Tom Bergeron came as a surprise to both the audience and Bergeron and Andrews themselves.
Tyra Banks In The Tabloids
Banks’ hosting gig has come under assault from the tabloids, with the Globe reporting that veteran dancer for DWTS Derek Hough hated the way Banks ran the show. According to the outlet, Banks was running the show like a “sweatshop,” with a source adding,
The show’s tone is changing and Tyra’s hard-nosed, no-nonsense personality is right in the middle of things.
The source continued, “Even with all the ego, Tyra wants it to run like a military operation, which was how she did things on America’s Next Top Model.” This approach is specifically ticking off Hough, who the source said was riled up over Banks telling him to “speed it up” during dancing critiques. “The way Tyra makes her entrance on stage like she’s the belle of the ball has many rolling their eyes,” the suspicious source concluded.
Gossip Cop was rolling our own eyes while reading this article. Hough’s spokesperson specifically denied the rumor and Hough, in fact, had been publicly complimentary of Banks, which belied the supposed tension the tabloid claimed was between them.
That tabloid’s sister publication, the National Enquirer, followed that bogus report up with one of its own. Just last month, the outlet claimed Banks was already thinking of backing out of her job hosting Dancing With The Stars over several gaffes she’d made during her short tenure.
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Last week was a crazy Halloween couture dancing extravaganza! This week, I’ll be rocking some yellow (my fave color!) and some neon that will blow your mind. Plus, the stars and pro dancers are taking their dance routines to the next level cuz there’s gonna be relay dance battles! They are not messin’ around when it comes to getting their hands on that mirror ball. Tune in to @dancingabc tonight to watch the glam and the jams and to vote for your faves to stay in the competition! Comment on who you wanna see stay! #dwts
After mistakenly placing the wrong couple in the bottom two, Banks supposedly humiliated producers and angered contestants, making her unpopular with pretty much everyone on the show. “Tyra is already trying to back out of hosting,” a source informed the tabloid, adding,
She hates the criticism she’s been getting from virtually everyone!
The outlet hinted that the mistaken placement was all Banks’ fault because she was often unprepared, and that the “horrifying gaffe” hadn’t helped all the “bickering” that had been going on between Banks and the producers.
Tyra thinks because she has so much experience hosting, she doesn’t have to prepare.
In reality, the issue the tabloid hammered away at had simply been caused by a technical issue. Banks’ cue cards read one way, and the voice talking to her over her earpiece said something different. The problem was quickly resolved, and members of the crew and producers came to Banks’ defense, praising how she handled a difficult situation that happened live on TV.
Sooner or later, these tabloids will begin targeting not only Banks’ TV gig, but also her romantic relationship. It’s honestly no surprise that Banks would try to keep her relationship low key if this is how the supermarket gossip rags react to honest mistakes.