A beautiful friendship has started a perfect wedding for Joel Embiid and his girlfriend Annes

Anne de Paula (L) and Joel Embiid attend Sports Illustrated Swimsuit x W South Beach Host Miami Swim Week Kickoff Party

Joel Embiid and Anne de Paula are married!

On July 22, 2023, the couple wed during a lavish ceremony in Southampton, New York.

The Philadelphia 76ers star met the model through a mutual friend at a dinner in New York City in 2018. They started off as friends, FaceTiming daily for a while, before pursuing a romantic relationship.

In September 2020, the couple welcomed their first child together, son Arthur Elijah.

“He just has this personality where he wants to motivate you,” de Paula told ESPN of Embiid in 2021. “His friends, his family and now with Arthur — he pushes all of us to be the best of ourselves. That’s the type of person you want to have around.”

It seems de Paula has the same effect on Embiid.

“Thank you for dealing with my African crazy a– and allowing me to be ME,” the NBA star wrote on Instagram. “I’ve trusted your process, you’ve trusted mine and it brought us to where we are.”

So, who is Joel Embiid’s wife? Keep reading for everything there is to know about Anne de Paula.

She is from Brazil

Anne De Paula

ANNE DE PAULA INSTAGRAM

De Paula was born on March 31, 1995, in Rio de Janeiro.

“I grew up by the beach, and it’s warm all the time and you don’t wear many clothes,” she told Sports Illustrated in 2018.

Her mother is an X-ray technician, and her father is a doctor. Before her modeling career took off, she thought she would follow them into the medical field.

De Paula grew up playing soccer and was a goalie for about six years, telling SI that the sport was “everything I wanted to do.” And she is still “very passionate” about the sport.

“It’s been a while [since] I’ve played because you have to keep your nails looking nice for this job. But if I had some free time, I would definitely go back to Brazil and play,” she told Fox News in 2018.

She is a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model

Anne De Paula attends the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Casting Call at PARAISO during Miami Swim Week

ALEXANDER TAMARGO/GETTY

The Brazilian model made her SI Swimsuit debut during the 2017 model search, winning the fan vote and going on to become a SI Swimsuit rookie in 2018. She has been in the annual issue four times, shooting in Anguilla, Nevis, Kenya and the Dominican Republic.

For her 2019 shoot in Kenya, she was photographed just feet from a real lion. “What a crazy/scary/amazing experience,” she wrote on Instagram. “I was freaking out inside, even tho it took @yutsai88 2min to make this picture happen.”

Her mom was the one who convinced the self-professed tomboy and soccer player to give modeling a shot. De Paula did her first photo shoot around age 12 and signed a modeling contract at 14.

“I loved sports, but I also liked this girly version of myself. I wasn’t popular in school. I wasn’t successful with the boys,” she told Fox News. “They never really looked at me like a girl because I was always playing with them … So I just started doing more and more photos until my mom sent me to an agency at 13. So she was the one who got me into it!”

Though modeling is her main career focus at the moment, she hopes to one day help her family “lead a better life” and start her own business.

“The reason I left my country is not because I don’t love it, but the opportunities are here. But I do everything for the people I love,” she told SI in 2019. “I want to buy my family my house. My biggest goal is to make the people I love happy, and give them everything I can. In business, after modeling, I want to invest and start a business. I could start my own brand or my own clothing line, I would love to be able to share with people the things I love.”

She is trilingual

Joel Embiid and Anne De Paula

ANNE DE PAULA INSTAGRAM

As de Paula and Embiid got to know each other, they realized how much they had in common. Both speak French and love soccer, and they each left their home countries as teenagers to pursue their dreams (Embiid is from Cameroon and began his basketball career in the United States as a Kansas Jayhawk).

In addition to French, de Paula speaks English and Portuguese.

She practices Muay Thai

Anne de Palma and Joel Embiid attend the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Runway Show During Miami Swim Week

ALEXANDER TAMARGO/GETTY

During her interview with Fox News, de Paula said with a laugh: “I can kick your a–, because I do Muay Thai. I may look fragile, but I’m definitely not.” She started the sport as a teenager and in 2017 was still practicing it three times a week.

Her quieter passion is cooking, with her favorite meal being truffle pasta. “I’m a very chill person. I love to stay home — sleep all day long if I can,” she told SI in 2017. “If I have a choice, I would stay home. I love to find recipes online and just cook different things.”

She has two tattoos

Anne De Paula

ANNE DE PAULA INSTAGRAM

De Paula is inked in two spots. The word “blessed” is written on the inside of her left wrist, and she also has a tat that reads “endless.”

“The blessed one is very important to me,” she told SI during her 2017 interview.

She met Embiid through a mutual friend

Joel Embiid and Anne De Paula

JOEL EMBIID INSTAGRAM

The model’s relationship with Embiid “started off as a beautiful friendship,” as she told ESPN in 2021. They met in 2018 while attending a dinner in N.Y.C. with a mutual friend, although de Paula didn’t recall them talking to each other much during the meal. In fact, she didn’t even know Embiid was a basketball player until the 7’0″ Cameroonian stood up after dinner.

She later told Maxim magazine in 2019 that it’s “not easy” to catch her attention since she was “never looking for anything when I am single,” but that Embiid caught her eye by “just being himself.”

She added that she doesn’t let a guy know she’s interested in him and that “my man had to figure it out.”

Prior to dating Embiid, de Paula was in a four-year relationship with The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue, whom she met when she played his love interest in the 2014 music video for “No Good in Goodbye.”

She and Embiid welcomed a son in 2020

Joel Embiid and Anne De Paula with their son

ANNE DE PAULA INSTAGRAM

De Paula gave birth to her and Embiid’s first child together, son Arthur Elijah de Paula Embiid, on Sept. 17, 2020. Their little one is named in honor of Embiid’s younger brother, Arthur, who died in a car crash in Cameroon in 2014 at age 13.

Embiid shared the news of his son’s birth on social media, writing, “We are so blessed and fortunate to welcome our little boy in this family. First of 11 or more? Trying to convince her but I’m not winning so far. I’m just trying to build a soccer team but for real I’m so excited for the future and my life has a new meaning. Kudos to @annedepaula_ for being so strong and giving me the Greatest Gift our life can offer.”

The model told ESPN in 2021 that her partner and son have a close bond. When he suffered a painful injury during a March game that year against the Washington Wizards, Arthur “woke up crying hysterically, almost like he had a nightmare” around the same time his dad got injured.

“They are like best friends,” she said. “When Arthur sees him, there is no one else in the room. It is the most beautiful thing ever. It almost felt like, with their connection, Arthur sensed something was going on.”

Arthur has already seen his dad hard at work. In February 2022, Embiid was three questions into a press conference when Arthur cried out for his dad. The basketball pro paused the session to sit Arthur on his lap, happy to share the stage with his son for a bit.

“It’s a blessing,” Embiid told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Always coming in here, you can never take it for granted. I’m trying to enjoy it as much as possible and obviously having my family here with Arthur, him being a part of it, is huge for me because that’s really the reason why I’m here and doing so well.”

Embiid spoke about his love for his son again during a May 2023 pre-game ceremony, where he was honored as the season’s Most Valuable Player. After mentioning Arthur in his speech, the boy ran onto the court, where the NBA player scooped him up.

“Honestly, he’s the main reason why I’m really here,” the athlete said. “Becoming a father changed my whole life and I just wanted to show him a good example, and I’m glad he is here with us. My fiancée is a big part of it, too.”

She is supportive of Embiid‘s career

Joel Embiid and Anne de Paula attend the “Players Party”

PHILLIP FARAONE/GETTY

When Maxim asked de Paula who her celebrity crush was, she replied, “My man is my crush all day, every day.” And as for her favorite athlete and sports team? That answer was obvious without her having to mention the 76ers: “If you know you know.”

Her actions speak just as loud as her words. In 2019, de Paula comforted a visibly emotional Embiid, per USA Today, after the 76ers’ game seven loss of the NBA playoffs to the Toronto Raptors, at one point even wiping away his tears before giving him a hug.

In January 2024, Embiid scored 70 points, a career-high, against the San Antonio Spurs. De Paula showed her pride by posting about her husband on Instagram.

She loves to travel

Joel Embiid and Anne De Paula

JOEL EMBIID INSTAGRAM

While the couple may have roots in Philadelphia, that has not stopped them from travelling all over the world. The model regularly posts about her “love” for the Maldives on Instagram, and she and Embiid have even visited the Great Wall of China together.

“Enjoying life with M’lady with an amazing view,” Embiid captioned a photo with de Paula in front of the iconic landmark in 2019.

Additionally, de Paula’s modeling career and her shoots for Sports Illustrated have taken her all over the world. She’s lived in N.Y.C. and has visited places like London, Paris, Miami, Italy, and Mexico.

She and Embiid got married in July 2023

The couple got married in Southampton, New York on July 22, 2023. Embiid and de Paula exchanged vows in a church before heading to their reception venue. The wedding was extravagant — de Paula had two outfit changes and the evening included performances by Meek Mill and Brian McKnight.

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