‘The Breakfast Club’s’ DJ Envy and Gia Casey on Their Book and Improving Their Relationship (Exclusive)
DJ Envy is known to the world as one-third of the popular morning radio show The Breakfast Club, but to his wife Gia and their six children, he’s simply Rashaun and “daddy.” The couple have been together since they were 16 and 15, respectively. Their connection was instant, and they haven’t spent much time apart since their first date. They wed just months after graduating college, and Gia helped mold Envy’s very successful career.
But as there often are with many longtime relationships, there have been struggles. The majority of their union has been filled with happy times, PDA, matching family outfits, and expanding their empire. But one very public mistake from Envy, coupled with his insecurities, nearly ended it all. Through faith and work, they survived the storm and are stronger than ever, and they’re detailing it in a new book, Real Life, Real Love: Life Lessons on Joy, Pain, and the Magic That Holds Us Together.
While on their press tour, the lovely couple spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about their love and what this book represents. Check out the highlights below and the full interview where they share their magic.
The couple have been together since they were teenagers and married right out of college
While they don’t regret getting married so young, they shared different perspectives on commitment at such a young age
Envy believes every couple should do what they feel works best for their relationship. “I wouldn’t change it,” he said confidently. “I was 16 when I met my wife and I knew that she was going to be mine. When you know you want something and you know things are right. You know, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her due to the joys of of having kids. And, you know, I think on my vision board at that age was I wanted a house with a picket fence, two kids, a dog and a Frisbee, you know, I mean, and that was my thing.”
Gia shares similar sentiments but as a mother to a daughter who is just a few years shy of the age she was when she married Envy, she suggests her daughter and other young women take a slightly different approach. “Go out with different people and experience different people,” she suggests. “This way, you’ll have the discernment to understand what really works for you long-term. Because you can be with someone right now and it works and you might waste two years with somebody that you realize there are things about their personality that didn’t click or that were off-putting for you.”
What Envy and Gia learned from their parents about parenting
For Envy, the idea of protecting and providing for his wife and children was a non-negotiable for him. “My dad was very protective…And that’s what I took out of that relationship,” he explained. “I’m very protective of my family. But my parents weren’t affectionate. But we are over affectionate with our kids. We kiss our kids at least 13, 15 times a day.”
Gia grew up with parents who were her truest confidants. Raising a family with the same line of open communication was always her goal to ensure a safety net for her children.
“I preach those things in our house: No judgment, no disappointment,” she said. “[I teach them] not to worry. I just need them to be honest. And because they feel that openness, they’re free to tell me whatever’s going on in their lives without fear of being nailed to the cross.”
Envy used to be controlling
Envy credits Gia for making their family what it is: tightknit. While he worked and his star rose, she maintained their home and took care of their children, which she takes great pride in. But Envy admits his insecurities led to controlling tactics, such as requesting Gia not work. They also lived in the suburbs away from the ruckus of Envy’s entertainment lifestyle, which he says was intentional.
“He was controlling, but I wasn’t controlled,” she insists. “It’s not as though he attempted to control me, and I was submissive to that. And I process that as he’s kind of crazy in love. [I thought] ‘Maybe I can love him out of that. Maybe I can provide him with the security that he doesn’t have in this relationship, and he will evolve out of that.’ It took longer than I had hoped, but that was how I looked at it and maybe how I mistakenly [accepted it]. That is not something that I would advise young girls [to gather from that behavior]. But that is, in fact, how I processed it.”
Reflecting on his mistakes, Envy sums it up to a lack of maturity. Now, he’s committed to helping Gia get the shine she deserves, even joking that he’s fine with being the Stedman Graham to her Oprah. Like her husband, Gia also has a degree in Communications and had her own dreams and aspirations before foregoing them to care for their family. Envy says it’s her time now.
“I think she is absolutely, positively amazing, she’s brilliant at what she does, she’s very smart, she’s intelligent. And I think the world needed to see that, and the world needed to hear that, that she just wasn’t a piece of eye candy that was sitting on my side, that she really is very bright and very smart, very caring, an amazing mother, an amazing wife,” he gushes. ”I just feel like there’s a future for Gia in communications somewhere.”
How they ignore the criticism
There are always going to be people who have opinions on how Envy and Gia have navigated their marriage. “Should she have stayed? Has he really changed?” These are all questions that appear on social media amid their media tour. But they say the positive far outweighs the negative.
“All the people that joke about some of the things we’ve shared are cool. But the fact that we’re able to touch a certain number of people that are able to open up and have those conversations, that’s what makes us happy,” Envy said. “That’s what we did it for. That’s what we feel like our assignment was.”