Nicole Johnson: There Were Times ‘I Loathed’ Fiancé Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson attend the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2016 in New York City.  Nicholas Hunt/FilmMagic

His No. 1 fan! Nicole Johnson opened up about her ups and downs with fiancé Michael Phelps, wedding planning and who really runs their 3-month-old son Boomer’s adorable Instagram account

While the former Miss California and the Olympic swimmer, both 31, are now happily engaged, she told Cosmopolitan they've had some rough patches. "There definitely were times, and I think Michael would say the same thing, where I hated him,” Johnson said of the pair dating on and off for eight years before their 2015 engagement. "We were at odds at times. Even when I loathed him, there were still times when I was like, 'God, I wish I was with him.’”

The new mom explained that she gave up her dream job as a Formula One sports reporter so she could be with Phelps, and that they needed those breaks to mature as individuals. "Michael and I both know that had we tried to have a child and get married in the previous time we were together, it probably would not have ended pretty,” she told Cosmo. "We both had a lot of growing up to do. We both had a lot of learning about ourselves to do.”

Although one day Johnson may pursue a career in hosting or reporting, she’s totally focused on family at the moment. “Right now my main priority is being a wife to Michael and Boomer’s mom,” she said.

The little one has the most adorable Instagram account where his parents showed off his patriotic outfits during the Rio Olympics, where the Olympian brought home six medals. “Michael runs it — he asked me if I wanted the password to post pictures and I told him no because I love watching him do it,” Johnson revealed. “I send the pictures and Michael does the posting.” 

Now that the 2016 Olympics have ended and Phelps has retired (again!) as a 28-time Olympic medalist, he will finally be able to help with wedding planning. "I took on everything, obviously, because he had to focus on going to the games,” Johnson said. "And now I'm like, 'What do you think about this and what do you think about that?' I know Michael well enough to know he doesn't need to partake in the tiny, minuscule decisions. But I also know him well enough to know that he does want to be involved in what flavor our cake is going to be and what flowers he thinks are ugly and what flowers he thinks are really pretty.”

While the family of three has been under a major spotlight for the past few months, Johnson joked that she doesn’t mind the attention — even if it’s on her husband’s chiseled body. When asked whether she minds people ogling her husband's bugle, Johnson said, "It goes with the territory. He's a swimmer and you leave little to the imagination. I laugh about it. When he very first met my grandmother, she said, 'I didn't recognize you because you're not in your Speedo.’"

Johnson also got serious and weighed in on one of the most controversial topics of the Olympics, Ryan Lochte’s robbery scandal. "I think it's really sad that it took away from the other athletes who were there and worked so many years to get there,” she said. "My first gut reaction was, 'Why in the heck were you out in Rio like this?’ You've been given all the stats from staff … you do or you don't know better. Again, it's sad. Rio was amazing. They did a phenomenal job at keeping things safe for everyone and making sure the athletes were very well taken care of, including the families."

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