Actors Nicholas James and Tika Sumpter met working on a show, and got married in 2022
Actor Nicholas James was clueless about his costar Tika Sumpter’s crush on him at first.
Now, the former costars on the OWN network’s The Haves and The Have Nots are married, and parents to a daughter named Ella-Loren.
James got his start acting in the early 2000s, but he didn’t score the role that led him to his wife until 2013. Sumpter, known for her roles as Maddie Wachowski in Sonic the Hedgehog and Michelle Obama in Southside With You, always has something kind to say when it comes to her husband.
“Y’all have no idea the amount of love, patience, kindness, care and understanding this guy has shown me. So grateful for you,” Sumpter wrote of her husband on Instagram in March 2022.
James is always happy to share his own words of love for his wife, too.
“This woman! Makes my heart flutter! She’s taught me so much about myself, about my faith, and yes ... she’s tamed my ego,” he shared in a sweet carousel of photos of his wife on Instagram in 2021.
Here's everything to know about Tika Sumpter's husband, Nicholas James.
He’s an actor
After an appearance in the 2006 comedy Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds, James got his first big break playing Denny Harper in the 2008 horror film Prom Night and went on to appear in the 2009 comedy Fired Up!.
Over the years, he has appeared in TV shows including Jane By Design (in 2012), The Client List (in 2013) and Revenge (in 2014).
James has also played other characters in positions of power aside from his major role as Officer Justin on The Haves and The Have Nots, including on shows like NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans.
They met on set
Sumpter and James met on the set of the OWN Network’s The Haves and The Have Nots. Sumpter portrayed Candace Young, while James played Officer Justin.
James even shouted out the show's creator Perry in a May 2022 Instagram post about his wedding to Sumpter, writing: “None of this would be happening without @tylerperry in our lives. We love you!”
Meanwhile, his now-wife spoke about how she had a crush on James and how they finally got together in an interview with Rolling Out magazine in 2021.
“I remember seeing him and thinking, ‘OK, he’s cute.’ We saw each other a few more times and I realized, OK, it’s more than just cute, I kinda like him. I tried flirting and giving him signals but he just didn’t get it,” she said.
“So some time goes by and we end up going to a party celebrating my TV brother Tyler Leply. So I’m smiling at him and trying to make conversation, but he still didn’t get it. Finally one of his friends had to tell him — ‘Yo, she likes you!’ He was clueless and to be honest I was running out of ways to show him,” she continued.
She revealed that Tyler Leply was also the first to learn about their relationship when he caught them sneaking around on set, saying that after that they were “pretty much public.”
They got engaged in 2016
She said that James had set up a scavenger hunt for her throughout their home, and she suspected he was going to propose, but at the end of the trail, she found a new Peloton bike he got for her.
“I was like, ‘Oh, that’s cool!,’ ” Sumpter shared, laughing.
But it was just a trick: noting that it was their daughter Ella’s first Christmas, Sumpter said he told her that Ella had a letter for her, and the letter was just “beauty.”
"Then he proposed... it was just simple and just awesome,” she added.
Sumpter spoke highly of James during their engagement, both in social media shout outs and interviews.
“I have the best fiancé, and not just on Mother’s Day or my birthday,” Sumpter said of James, speaking to SELF magazine in early May 2022. “He just keeps loving me, even if I push him away or I’m upset. I really feel like that’s a gift when somebody can love you no matter what — even when you judge yourself.”
They got married in May 2022
After five years of engagement, James and Sumpter tied the knot in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on May 14, 2022.
Sumpter wore a strapless wedding dress by Galia Lahav paired with a flowing veil, while James wore a pale blue custom Franc Milton suit.
"I didn't necessarily always want a destination wedding,” Sumpter told Brides magazine, noting that she wanted their guests to have a vacation experience. “It was just something that came to my mind. One of our first trips out of the country was Anguilla, and Mexico definitely has that beautiful, island vibe, so we were like why not do it in Cabo?"
“My favorite part of the planning process was just looking at all of the names of my friends and family who were coming," Sumpter shared with Brides. "Each one made me smile, so it made me even more excited to plan something beautiful. I wanted everybody to have a great time.”
Sumpter also said that she was excited for this part of their journey together, though it didn’t feel like there was a major shift.
“It's a continuation of the journey, but I'm looking forward to doing what we've been doing, which is making sure that we have a solid foundation. Making sure we're strong. It's not a sprint, this journey, it's definitely not a sprint,” she said.
James shared a photo of himself and his new bride on Instagram a day after the wedding, writing: “My heart is so full. This experience has changed me. I can’t remember a time when I was this happy.”
“I’m married to the best woman, mother and human I have ever met,” he continued. “My wife @tikasumpter is a spectacle! I love our life, our family, and our circle!”
They share a daughter
On Oct. 8, 2016, Sumpter and James welcomed their daughter, Ella-Loren. Sumpter had been quiet about the pregnancy until August 2016, saying that she wanted to experience it herself without the scrutiny of social media.
“I didn’t want to hear, ‘Who’s the dad? Are you with the dad?’ Social media can be harsh, and I’m a mama bear, protective of my family,” she told told Fit Pregnancy and Baby at the time.
Speaking to SELF in 2022, she reflected on the birth of Ella-Loren.
“She was kind of a happy accident,” Sumpter said.
“I found out I was pregnant the day I went skydiving. I remember I wanted McDonald’s, which I normally don’t eat. I wanted a Big Mac and french fries at 10 a.m.,” she continued.
“We had only been together for about a year, so we were still getting to know each other, but we said, ‘We’re doing this.’ My journey to motherhood has been, ‘It’ll happen when it happens,’ and it did just happen,” Sumpter added, speaking of her and James’ reaction to learning they were expecting.
On Mother’s Day in 2022, James shared a sweet tribute to his wife on Instagram.
“This woman deserves all the glory! Watching her effortlessly do all the things an amazing mother would do is a masterclass in parenting,” he wrote.
“The way she loves our daughter, our family … even our 🐶 is awe inspiring to say the least! We love you to many galaxies away and back! Thank you for being you! Love love love you,” he continued.
He’s a supportive husband and father
James isn’t afraid to show his wife love on social media, and Sumpter herself is vocal about the support she receives from her husband.
James penned a sweet message to Sumpter on her birthday in 2023, writing: “Meet: My ride or die! @tikasumpter today is her birthday, but everyday I want you to feel special everyday! Because you deserve greatness!”
The caption accompanied a photo of the actress wearing a white dress and headband, while her husband sported a white blazer and print shirt.
“I love you more than you can comprehend,” he continued.
Sumpter shared a similar sentiment towards James in December 2021.
"I always tell you I wish I could clone you and spread your care, kindness, patience and love to others. Thank you for all that you do for us," she wrote on Instagram. "You are the best father, partner and friend a girl could ask for. I'm so very lucky to share this time on earth with you. Oh and therapy, Thank God for our epic therapist. Love you so, so much."
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