In July 2021, Adele's romantic life once again made headlines when she was spotted sitting courtside at Game 5 of the NBA finals alongside rumored boyfriend Rich Paul. A few days later, when photos of the two at NYC-based Cipriani appeared online, it became obvious that the two were an item.
Since then, both Adele and Paul have posted photos with each other on their respective Instagrams. Adele, who normally likes to keep her private life quite private, has been surprisingly candid about her relationship with Paul. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Adele opened up, saying, "He's just hilarious. Oh, he's so funny, he's hilarious, yeah. And very smart. You know, he's very, very smart. It's quite incredible watching him do what he does."
She went on to talk about the "easiness" of their relationship, adding it's the first time she's "loved myself and been open to loving and being loved by someone else." Want to know more about the man who has Adele head over heels? Sports fans may recognize Paul's name, but if you don't, here's a look at the facts you need to know about Rich Paul.
He's a Superstar Sports Agent
Paul has worked as a sports agent since 2002 where he got his start at Creative Artists Agency. In 2012, he founded his own agency, the Klutch Sports Group. His impressive and lengthy client list includes names like LeBron James, Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, and more.
LeBron James Was One of His First Clients
James isn't just any client of Paul's—he was one of the first athletes to join his firm and the reason Paul decided to become a sports agent. In 2002, Paul met a teenage James at the Akron, Ohio airport. Paul was wearing a Houston Oiler jersey that James noticed, they started talking and stayed in touch becoming close friends in the process. A year later, James offered Paul a job on his team.
In a May 2021 interview with The New Yorker, James later explained, "I have always felt that he had a purpose, and that's why I kept him around. I knew he was going to be something more than even what he thought he could possibly be at the time. It was just a feeling I had." That explains why James followed him to Klutch when Paul created his own agency.
His Net Worth Is Reportedly Over $100 Million
It's no surprise that Forbes listed Paul among the world's top 10 most powerful people of 2020, calling him "one of the sports world's most polarizing figures." According to Celebrity Net Worth, Paul is worth $120 million.
During one interview, Paul talked about how others view his success, calling himself a "unicorn" in the sports agent business. "Young, African-American, and didn't go to a prestigious business school," he said, adding, "To make it, I tell people to not only dream big, but achieve big."
He Grew Up in Cleveland, Ohio
Paul was born in 1981 and grew up in Glenville, a neighborhood outside of the city in Cleveland, Ohio, with his mother and father and three siblings. According to a profile in The New Yorker, his mother battled drug abuse, and in 1999, when he was in college, his dad died of intestinal cancer.
He Originally Wanted to Be an Athlete
Being a sports agent was never Paul's plan. He told the New Yorker that, as a kid, his goal was to become a professional athlete. He played basketball and football, but eventually he knew he wouldn't make it as a pro, saying, 'Your heart is big, but I'm small in size." He tried to think more like "an entrepreneur and businessman," like his dad.
Paul said he used to stay up late watching NBA Western Conference games, studying the behavior of the players through every move they made. His obsession with sports and the athletes clearly paid off in the end.
He's Currently Writing a Memoir
In March 2021, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Paul would be releasing a memoir called Lucky Me. The book will be published by Roc Lit 101, the publishing division of Roc Nation, Jay-Z's entertainment company. It's a coming-of-age story about his life in Cleveland growing up and his rise in the sports world.
In a statement, Paul said, "Lucky Me is more than my story. Lucky Me is the story of every young Black man who grew up like me. I want to use my story to uplift and inspire those who lived this and educate those who didn't."
He Has a Host of Famous Friends
Adele definitely isn't the only celebrity Paul has been seen hanging out with. Paul is good friends with Jay-Z (in December, Paul and Adele were spotted at a luxury suite in SoFi Stadium with Jay-Z and James's business partner, Maverick Carter). He's also been spotted sitting courtside with celebrities like Denzel Washington and Trevor Noah.
He's a Dad
Paul is pretty quiet about his personal life, so while we don't know too many details about his family. However, we do know that he is a father of three. In May 2020, Paul shared a photo of his daughter on his Instagram page. According to E! News, Adele has met his children, and he has met hers.
Paul and Adele Were Friends Before Dating
Although the first photos of Paul and Adele hanging out appeared during the summer of 2021, it seems that the two were an item before then—and friends long before that. The pop star told Rolling Stone that they met on the dance floor of a mutual friend's birthday party. She told Vogue, "He was always there, I just didn't see him." They reconnected in the spring of 2021.
The two kept their relationship private for a while—not just from the public, but also from their own friends. "I didn't really tell many of my friends at the beginning because I wanted to keep it to myself," Adele said. "None of them believed it!"
When they did make things official, it wasn't planned. Adele told Vogue, "I didn't mean to go public with it. I just wanted to go to the game. I just love being around him. I just love it."
He Dropped Out of College
Paul has worked hard for his success, but college wasn't a part of his journey. After Paul's dad died during his freshman year, he dropped out. He talked about his lack of formal education to The New Yorker, saying that for sports agents, "It used to be, you had to be a lawyer, or have a lawyer." He acknowledged that his unconventional background has ruffled some feathers in his industry but knows he's better for it.