herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Model Yaya jets in to see her beau at the Gaiety

Dublin received a surprise injection of glamour when top US model Yaya DaCosta attended the opening night of The Shawshank Redemption at the Gaiety theatre.

The Herald can reveal that the catwalk queen is the girlfriend of the show's star John Earl Jelks -- who plays the lead role of Red in the play -- and she flew the 3,000-mile distance to support him here on his big night last weekend.

As the stage version of The Shawshank Redemption has returned to the capital following a successful run last year, a number of Ireland's familiar faces attended the opening night on Saturday, alongside one of reality TV's best known exports.

Yaya (28) has made the successful transition from runner-up in America's Next Top Model to an up-and-coming actress, nabbing a lead in the Antonio Banderas movie Take The Lead three years ago.

The budding thespian was in the country for all of last week soaking up the atmosphere in the capital ahead of her boyfriend's opening-night performance.

And she stayed true to her modelling stance, by happily posing for pictures with her boyfriend's daughter, Jamila Jelks, outside the iconic theatre.

Looking every inch the supermodel, the beauty proved that less is more with her classic black and white outfit and simple black clutch.

John's daughter was seen looking cosy and comfortable with the high-profile beauty moments before his debut on the Irish stage.

A spokesperson for the show explained to the Herald that the pair have been together in recent years and she flew into Dublin last week in the run-up to the opening night.

cmcbride@herald.ie

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