Al Sharpton and girlfriend Aisha McShaw made headlines last year when they took their relationship public, and now the 60-year-old civil rights leader and his 35-year-old stylist girlfriend are in the news again.
Sharpton, who has been active in protesting police actions in the killings of Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, just made headlines when he bailed out of eulogizing services for the Brooklyn man gunned down by NYPD. Akai Gurley's mother and aunt reportedly demanded that Sharpton stay away from the man's wake and funeral, not wanting the media attention he would bring.
But as he remains in the news for his civil rights activist, it is Al Sharpton's girlfriend earning much of the attention. This weekend, Aisha McShaw was one of the most popular search trends online, with many people looking up information about Sharpton's much-younger beau.
Al Sharpton and his girlfriend first made headlines in 2013, when the television host and civil rights leader started dating McShaw. At the time, the then 58-year-old minister was still married to Kathy Lee Jordan, his wife of 24 years. Jordan and Sharpton have been separated since 2004, but neither ever filed for divorce.
Since splitting with Jordan, Sharpton had dated a number of women including singer Foxy Brown and actress LisaRaye.
Though Al Sharpton never confirmed that he was dating either woman, things were different with Aisha McShaw. In 2013, she told the New York Daily News that she was indeed Sharpton's girlfriend. The pair were seen together at Sharpton's birthday in April, and McShaw also accompanied him to President Obama's holiday party in December.
Al Sharpton said he was surprised by the response to the attention his girlfriend brought.
"His exact words to me were, 'Rachel, I'm not announcing an engagement or a marriage,'" Sharpton told top aide Rachel Noerdlinger. "'Don't I have a right to date when my marriage has been over for a decade?' "
Al Sharpton has changed a lot since his 2004 split with Kathy Lee Jordan. He lost 125 pounds in 2010 by implementing some drastic changes to his lifestyle, including cutting meat out of his diet. But Sharpton denied that the changes were some kind of personal gimmick.
"I don't evolve, I'm 'reinvented,'" he told Roland Martin in 2010. "Like it's part of some slick strategy."
Al Sharpton and girlfriend Aisha McShaw have been spotted together a number of other times recently, including an award dinner in September.
[Image via Twitter/Travis Riddick]