Maya Jama looking to camera and with Stormzy inset

Inside Maya Jama’s relationship history – from murdered boyfriend and tattoo tribute to on/off romance with Stormzy

The presenter has been open about her heartache over the years

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The gorgeous Maya Jama returns as host of Love Island tonight (June 3), with many a viewer watching at home most likely envious of her current boyfriend Stormzy.

The couple’s high-profile relationship has been on and off over the years, with the rapper winning Maya back and the pair going public on their rekindled romance back in October 2023.

But who else has she dated, and what exactly went down with Stormzy? Read on and we’ll fill you in…

Clara Amfo, Maya Jama and Roman Kemp holding BRIT Awards
Maya Jama hosted the BRITs with Clara Amfo and Roman Kemp this year (Credit: ITV)

Maya Jama and boyfriend Stormzy – a brief timeline

TV presenter Maya and rapper Stormzy first started dating in 2015. They met the year before, and fans were quick to call them couple goals whenever pics appeared of them on social media.

He said at the time: “I’m still so young but I want to propose, it’s going to happen and I will do it right. She is so sick, she is the best.”

Do you know what? I actually didn’t cheat. I swear to God, I didn’t cheat.

However, things came crumbling down in 2019 amid rumours he’d cheated on Maya – something he denies.

A source at the time said: “Maya has moved out of their home in South West London. The decision isn’t one she has come to lightly, but ultimately the relationship has come to an end. She wants to focus on her TV and radio career for now.”

Maya Jama and Stormzy on the red carpet posing together
Maya Jama and boyfriend Stormzy split back in 2019 before rekindling their romance (Credit: Splash News)

‘We were just little babies

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Maya has since lifted the lid on their split. She said: “We were so young when we met, just beginning our careers. I was starting at MTV. He’d not even released a single at that point. We were just little babies.

“I don’t think either of us knew it was going to be such a big thing. We were just young and in love and we’re going to go for it and work really hard. We’re just together. We never really did red carpets. We didn’t do any of that stuff.”

Stormzy spoke about it too, apologising for acting with disrespect towards Maya.

“Do you know what? I actually didn’t cheat. I swear to God, I didn’t cheat. So we had broken up and I was out publicly being a rapper, being very inconsiderate to the fact that I’ve just come out of the most public relationship.

“We’d broken up and I went out and I acted disrespectfully. I was just out in clubs. I knew the world still thought I was in a relationship and I was out looking like I didn’t give a [bleep]. It didn’t need to be cheating for it to be a disrespect.”

Maya Jama on the BRITs red carpet
Maya Jama was pictured with Stormzy last summer as the pair got back together (Credit: Splash News)

Maya Jama and boyfriend Stormzy: ‘It worked out in the end’

He clearly did a lot of grovelling, though, with the older and wiser lovebirds confirming their rekindled romance in October. They were also snapped holding hands during a trip to Greece last summer.

Maya also spoke about getting back with Stormzy during the Love Island final. Her comments came as she spoke to All Stars contestant Callum about the viewers wanting him to get back with ex Molly.

Maya said: “It did seem to come as a bit of a shock to you Callum when you heard the public wanted you two to get back together. I mean I can relate, I had a lot of people saying I should get back with my ex and sometimes it is just not what you’re ready for.”

The presenter then added: “He is over there so it worked out in the end.”

Maya Jama in front of the Love Island pink light-up heart
Maya spoke about her relationship at the Love Island All Stars final (Credit: ITV)

Maya Jama and Drake

During their relationship break, Maya didn’t sit at home crying – she jumped back into the dating game.

After he name-dropped her in a 2020 song, Maya was linked to rapper Drake. He apparently slid into her DMs while she was dating Stormzy. Rumour has it she left his messages unanswered, though.

Ben Simmons engagement

Things did get pretty serious pretty quickly for Maya and Australian-born basketball pro Ben Simmons, though.

The couple, who are believed to have split their time between London and Los Angeles, first started dating in May 2021. They sealed things with a very public kiss at Wimbledon that summer before getting engaged between Christmas and New Year.

However, conflicting schedules apparently brought an end to their relationship in August 2022.

Maya Jama wearing a long red dress
Maya threw herself into her work after the murder of her first boyfriend (Credit: Splash News)

Maya Jama – first boyfriend was murdered

Before she found fame, a young Maya was loved up with boyfriend Rico Gordon.

However, tragedy struck when Rico, who was 21, was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time while on the phone to Maya, who was 16.

He was asking for directions to her house in Bristol back in 2011 when he was tragically killed. Rico was caught in the crossfire between two rival gangs, and Maya heard the harrowing gunfight over the phone.

Two men have since been sentenced to life imprisonment. A third has never been identified.

‘I went through a lot’

Rico’s devastated mother Anna said that the young couple had been so in love. And, after his death, she welcomed Maya into the family home to grieve in Rico’s bedroom. She told The Sun: “Maya blamed herself after what happened, but then everyone blamed themselves.”

Maya has also spoken about the death of Rico. Speaking to Cosmopolitan in 2020, she revealed: “When I was 16 I went through a lot. With my boyfriend passing, it gave me a fearless approach to things. I felt like life was really short.”

She continued: “Out of everything that has happened in my life, that was a reality check on a massive scale. At 16 you think the world is a fairy tale and it took me out of that. It made me even more determined.”

Maya also previously recalled: “That’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. It was unreal – the sort of thing that happens in films.

“The experience gave me so much motivation to push with my career. At the time, work was the only thing that made me happy, so I just kept on going with it. Bad things happen, but you’ve got to try to make good things out of that tough situation. That’s what it taught me.”

Tattoo tribute to Rico

Eagle-eyed fans will have doubtless noticed that Maya has a few tattoos, including one on her side.

That tattoo, a set of initials in swirling text, is actually a tribute to Rico. It spells out the initials RG.

Love Island is on ITV1 and ITV2 tonight (June 3) at 9pm.

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Read more: Maya Jama looks other-worldly as she strips to her underwear


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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor