You’ve probably heard his name floating around
the internet at some point over the last few years, but what’s the real deal with EJ Johnson? The son of Earvin “Magic” Johnson is a rising
star of reality television who’s been serving up a whole lot of fashion — and drama — on
E!’s Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and his spin-off, EJNYC. Now with those basics out of the way, here’s
what you need to know about EJ Johnson. Fame of the father Growing up as the son of an NBA legend made
EJ a natural in front of the camera. He told Out Magazine in 2014, “Obviously,
my family’s always been in the spotlight. I’ve always loved being in front of people,
being on stage and performing. I love the attention. I love everything about it.” EJ is the only biological child of Magic and
wife Earlitha “Cookie” Johnson, who adopted a daughter name Elisa in 1995. EJ is named after his father — the initials
are short for Earvin Johnson III — and has an older half-brother named Andre as well. Forced to come out In 2013, EJ Johnson came out publicly as gay
after TMZ posted a video of him holding hands with his best friend, Alessandro Monetti,
whom the site claimed at the time was actually his boyfriend. Despite the aggressive outing by the tabloids,
EJ took the experience in stride, saying, “I always wanted to come into the spotlight. I always had dreams and plans of doing my
own thing and creating my own image, so it came a little sooner than I thought it would
but this is still something I knew I would be going through and would have to experience.” For their part, EJ’s family was very supportive
of him during that time. When TMZ’s story broke, Magic issued a statement
to the tabloid site, saying, “Cookie and I love EJ and support him in every way. We’re very proud of him.” EJ later credited his parents with making
the coming out process easy for him, saying, “I am very, very, very blessed to have the
family that I do. My parents have always been super supportive. My sister and I have always been really close
and she’s been really supportive as with my brother. When it was time to come out, I was, obviously,
scared as most people are. After I got all the love and support from
my family then I knew I could go out and conquer the world, I guess.” It helped, of course, that the revelation
wasn’t exactly news to his parents at the time. He’d already come out to his mother as a teenager
before revealing the news to his father a year later. “I had to stop wanting him to be who I wanted
him to be and just let him be himself.” Making a name Almost instantly after TMZ published their
video, Johnson became a viral sensation. Headlines across the web touted his outing,
but instead of shrinking away from the attention, Johnson stepped eagerly into the spotlight
and took full advantage of his newfound fame. After a successful first season on Rich Kids
of Beverly Hills, Johnson parlayed his breakout status into not only a renewed contract for
the second season, but also an overall deal with E! that included stints on two of the
networks other properties. After completing four seasons on Rich Kids
as well as proving himself elsewhere on the network, E! gave Johnson his own spinoff show,
called EJNYC. Originally titled EJ and the City, the show
follows Johnson, his little sister, Elisa, and their high-class crew as they live the
fabulous life others can only dream of. Slimming down Johnson — who once weighed about 360 pounds
— underwent gastric sleeve surgery in early 2015. He revealed on the season finale of Rich Kids
of Beverly Hills that he’s lost about 180 pounds since the procedure, saying, “The surgery
was definitely the best thing that ever happened to me. I never thought that I’d look this good, and
that is the God’s honest truth.” Johnson went on to tell Page Six of the weight
loss: “It’s a totally new mindset. I’m completely dedicated to living a new,
healthy lifestyle.” Johnson also discussed his new diet regimen. “I really think it’s important that you not
listen to so many fads; you really need to find what works for you. But that doesn’t mean you’re done after that
because you don’t like what’s hot. You need to get creative.” Considering a transition In 2015, EJ admitted to a therapist that he
considered transitioning into a woman after Caitlyn Jenner made her world debut on the
cover of Vanity Fair. He said, “I’ve always been very fashion-forward. I’ve always definitely mixed men’s and women’s
fashion in my life, but I never thought that it would raise so many questions about my
own gender. I never really thought it was under investigation. Sometimes it’s hard being in the middle, kind
of in the gray area in my own lane. Now, since everybody’s talking about Caitlyn
Jenner and being transgender, people are so quick to say, ‘Oh, just because you’re dressing
like that means that you’re going to transition to become a woman.'” Ultimately, he decided against transitioning
because he didn’t feel the need. “I thought about it, for sure. I was just like, ‘Well, do I want to transition? Is this something that I would do?’ But I don’t feel incomplete in that way. I don’t feel the need.” Becoming a role model Johnson is all about fashion and bling. But he’s also aware that, as a public figure
who is a member of two minority groups, there’s a certain social responsibility that comes
with his status. When talking about his role as the Celebrity
Grand Marshall of the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, Johnson said, “Whether it’s the African-American community,
or in my case, the gay community, it’s important to make sure that we represent those communities
in a positive way.” And he recognizes how lucky he his to be able
to live freely, saying, “I’m fortunate that I’m in a world where I can do what I want
to do and walk down the street in whatever I want to wear and break those walls down.” To help others who might not be as fortunate
or surrounded by a strong support system, Johnson offered some advice to other LGBT
kids. He told BET, “I say dance around in your closet
when no one is looking until the time is right. Try your hardest to work towards getting to
a place within yourself or the country where you can go and express yourself and come back
and tell your story. “That’s something my dad always told me: Make
sure you check your surroundings and be you, do you, but make sure you’re not putting yourself
in dangerous situations where you could get hurt.” That’s some solid wisdom that proves it’s
not all tiaras and bling with EJ Johnson. Just…mostly. “I always get my way from mom.” “Yeah, I guess I’m a daddy’s girl, and he’s
a mommy’s…girl.” Thanks for watching! Click the Nicki Swift icon to subscribe to
our YouTube channel. Plus check out all this cool stuff we know
you’ll love, too!