Who Is Ariana DeBose’s Partner? What We Know About Her Relationship Status

Ariana DeBose gained widespread acclaim and a well-deserved Oscar win for her performance in West Side Story—but this is just a sliver of the full scope.

The 31-year-old triple threat is also known for her work in the original Broadway productions of Hamilton, Motown: The Musical, Bring It On and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Plus, she boasts an impressive list of accolades, including a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress. But here’s what we really want to know: Is she dating anyone? And if so, who is Ariana DeBose's partner? Keep reading for all the details.

Was Spielberg’s Remake of ‘West Side Story’ Worth the Trouble? Absolutely, Yes

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1. What Is Ariana DeBose’s Relationship Status?

The Prom actress hasn’t publicly confirmed a relationship, but judging by many of her recent red carpet appearances, it seems she's happily dating a woman named Sue Makkoo. In 2022, the pair attended the Michael Kors Collection fall/winter 2022 runway show in New York City, the Vanity Fair Oscar party and the GLAAD Media Awards together.

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2. Who Is Sue Makkoo?

Makkoo is an accomplished interior designer and costume associate, whose career spans an impressive 27 years. According to her LinkedIn page, she studied at Arizona State University and worked on Broadway shows like Memphis, Sideshow, Hands on a Hard Body and 33 Variations. Plus, she renovated and designed DeBose's dreamy Upstate New York cottage, according to My Domaine.

3. How Did DeBose And Makkoo Meet?

The pair met in 2018 while working on Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. DeBose starred as Disco Donna, while Makkoo worked as the costume associate. (For her performance, DeBose received Tony and Drama League Award nominations.)

4. Are They Instagram Official?

Although DeBose and Makkoo tend to keep their relationship private, they're definitely IG official.

In April 2022, DeBose shared a series of photos of her and Makkoo at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, and her caption read, “Grateful to be surrounded by so much love.”

Ariana DeBose and partner.
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5. Does Makkoo Have Social Media?

Makkoo appears to have an Instagram account, but it's currently private.

However, the designer does run a blog, called Civilized (stylized as Cvlized), with her pal Adalyn Belle. In the “About” section of the blog, Makkoo wrote, “A few years ago I was running myself ragged and looking desperately for moments that reminded me of me. I was giving myself away to things that needed to be done and not to those who needed me, those that I needed. I started seeking out moments in a day that were kind and then I thought how wonderful it would be to share those moments with each other. Surely I was not alone. So I created Cvlized. Soon enough I realized I was sharing pieces of me. All the pieces.”

6. Who Else Has DeBose Dated?

Before Makkoo, DeBose dated Jill Johnson, a Broadway props master who has worked on shows like Motown and If/Then. The crew member seems to be keeping a low profile, so not much is known about her career and personal life. However, while chatting with Playbill in 2015, she opened up about one of the most challenging parts of her job.

Johnson said, “I'm on the crew, so for us it's a lot of stress—a lot of stress that is just unavoidable. Of course, I bring that home with me, but [Ariana] navigated it really, really well. She handled me, and I don't know how she did it.”

7. How Did They Meet?

According to the former couple, they first met while working together on Motown: The Musical in 2013. But it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. DeBose told Playbill, “We first met on Motown, but we didn't start dating until I was in Pippin and she was working on If/Then.”

Johnson chimed in, “We had secret access to each other because [the Richard Rodgers and the Music Box theatres] share an alley.”

DeBose added, “So during my half hour and for pre-set, I would either go through the little doorway and go say ‘Hi’ to her or she'd come say ‘Hi’ to me. It was very…romantic?”

The actress even recalled an awkward moment when she accidentally walked in during one of Johnson’s live shows. DeBose said, “[The alley is] very secluded. You can only see it if you're in the back of both of the theatres. It was quite exhilarating. There was one day where I didn't realize they had an earlier curtain. I was going back through the little doorway to come say, ‘Hi’ and I walk in and see all of the cast members. I was like, ‘Oh, wow everybody's here!’ Then I walk into [Jill's] office and I'm like, ‘Hey, babe!’ and she's like, ‘What are you doing?’ Then I hear Idina [Menzel] singing which means there is a show going on. I've got half of my circus makeup on my face, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I'm so sorry!’”

8. When Did They Break Up?

Based on DeBose's current relationship, it looks like she and Johnson quietly parted ways before 2018. There's no word on whether Johnson is seeing someone new, but it's safe to say that DeBose has long since moved on.

Something tells us we'll be seeing a lot more of DeBose and her partner on Instagram this year.

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...