Power couple Magic and Cookie Johnson are on the cover of Ebony magazine as they exclusively discuss weathering the storm around the recent controversy concerning Donald Sterling, their business endeavors, how they keep their love going as empty nesters and living life with HIV.
Following the heels of the media frenzy, Magic discusses when he first caught wind of the racist comments made by the owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.
“I’m glad that I was able to stand up for our people and be the voice,” said Magic regarding the situation.
The Johnsons, who have been married for 22 years and dated 14 years prior, are also a couple with proven longevity. The two get intimate with Ebony on how they have made their love last.
“We had our ups and downs,” admitted Cookie. “We had a period where we were about to separate. There was a point where I was home all the time; he was working,” she continued. “Sometimes you start growing apart a little because he’s seeing new adventurous stuff. He’s out in the world. He’s growing. [But] I’m stagnant.”
However, Magic reveals that he had to learn to make changes.
“If I had kept going [that way] and the kids left, we would probably be divorced,” says Magic. “Now we’re so connected to each other, but it took that situation to bring us back.” He also added, “I’ve always told Cookie, ‘The only thing I wanted was to grow old with you.’ [Now] we just look at each other and say how blessed we are.”
Meanwhile, Cookie has become a businesswoman herself with her own premium denim line, CJ, and Magic admits it made him look at her in a new light.
“It’s so sexy,” he says with a wink. “It is beautiful to see her become this brand; this CEO.”
“They’re really a power couple,” adds actress Holly Robinson Peete, a longtime friend of both Magic and Cookie. “And yet you still see how in love they are. With grace, forgiveness and love, they represent everything that is real and authentic about Black love.”
After he was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, Magic became an advocate of HIV/AIDS prevention and research, and gave Ebony a heartfelt discussion on coping with and living a full life with the disease.
“In my quiet moments is when I cry inside to say, ‘Thank you, God, that I’m here to see my kids, play with my grandkids,” Magic said tearfully.
For more, readers can find the July issue of Ebony on newsstands June 10.