La Toya Jackson has opened up about her engagement to her longtime business partner Jeffré Phillips, who popped the question while the couple were on holiday in Hawaii last August. "It wasn't a fast yes," La Toya told People, admitting that she had been caught off guard. The 58-year-old television star was given a romantic proposal in the couple's hotel room, as she was led down a path white rose petals and gardenias to the balcony.
La Toya Jackson and Jeffré Phillips
Jeffré, 46, had arranged a romantic dinner for two of La Toya's favourite food, including chicken soup. He then got down on one knee and surprised her with a 17.5 carat diamond ring, which he had hidden under the dessert tray. "I had no clue," said La Toya. "I couldn't understand why he was so nervous. My heart just stopped. I was in total shock. We're best friends and we've been business partners forever. It was always professional — no one really crossed those boundaries." La Toya has previously kept mum about her engagement, and remained coy about her actually wedding date. "You have to wait to see the show," she said, referring to her and Jeffré's reality show, Life With La Toya.
La Toya Jackson
The singer-songwriter dropped hints that viewers could be in for a surprise in an upcoming episode, as she tweeted, "Woke up w/the BIGGEST SMILE on my face!! Watch @GMA at 8am to hear why! Dreams do become reality if U have faith & believe! #lifewithlatoya." The bride-to-be was previously married to Jack Gordon for eight years but the pair went their separate ways in 1997. La Toya met her future husband Jeffré two years later while working on the film, Shriek If You Know What I Screamed Last Friday the Thirteenth. They then co-founded an entertainment management and publishing company called Ja-Tail Enterprises. Last December, La Toya and Jeffré had to fight off rumours that they were married, with the musician tweeting, "Thank you all for your congratulations on what you thought was a marriage. It was a rumor. I'M NOT MARRIED!"
While the bride-to-be has yet to flaunt her ring on social media, the rock can safely be described as a "show piece," said David Allen, communications manager of 77 Diamonds. "With a 10 carat centre stone, it is set in a vintage inspired engagement ring with a further 7.5 carats set in the ring setting," he said. "Round diamonds are the most brilliant of all the diamond shapes so she without a doubt has a sparkler on her finger. Surrounded by a halo of diamonds, La Toya joins the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge, Emma Roberts and Natalie Portman with a similar design."