Barber (born Atiim Kiambu Barber) previously married Virginia Cha in 1999. They went on to welcome four children: son A.J. (Atiim Kiambu Jr.) in 2002, son Chason in 2004 and twin daughters Riley and Ella in 2010.
One month before their baby girls’ arrival, news broke in April 2010 that the NFL player and his then-wife were separating. It was later revealed that Barber had an affair with Johnson, who was an NBC intern while he was working at the Today show.
“I didn’t want to interact with people,” he told Sports Illustrated in May 2011 of the aftermath of the relationship drama. “I didn’t have passion for life. It may have been a form of depression.”
The Game Day author began his broadcasting career in 2007 after retiring from football, but his NBC contract was not renewed in the wake of his cheating scandal.
“I had a bad marriage. I left. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad father. I fell in love with someone else,” Barber noted in his May 2011 interview. “You’re walking down a path, and you know it’s not right. Do whatever it takes to change. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s violent. Mine was violent. But somehow it seems right. … In dealing with life — whether it’s divorce or pleasing the boss — sometimes it’s just not in your hands. You’re dealing with [the] emotions and realities of other people.”
In July 2012 — just over one week after his divorce from Cha was finalized — Barber and Johnson tied the knot in a civil ceremony in New York City. While marking their ninth wedding anniversary, Johnson reflected on how the couple chose to work through their highs and lows.
“9 years later and every dinner out with you still feels like a date. Here is to a marriage that is all about growth, learning, acceptance and unconditional love and loyalty,” she wrote via Instagram in July 2021. “There is no one better to be a life partner with than you. Thank you for 9 years of evolution, love, countless dinners at Cafe Lux and here is to a lifetime of more. #anniversary #marriage #love.”
One month prior, reports surfaced that Johnson was eyeing a place on The Real Housewives of New Jersey after she was spotted filming with several cast members including Dolores Catania, Melissa Gorga, Teresa Giudice and Jackie Goldschneider. When the first trailer for season 12 dropped in December 2021, Johnson appeared as a “friend” of the Garden State reality stars.
Scroll down to relive the couple’s love story: