Kayla Nicole, the on-air host who dated Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce on and off from 2017 to 2022, posted an “open letter” to her Instagram account Monday, in which she seemed to reference coping with the “backlash and embarrassment” she’s received since rumors of Kelce dating Taylor Swift began.
Nicole has found herself is an unenviable position over the last few weeks. She doesn’t have to be doing anything in particular for people to be looking at her; the world is just gawking to see her reaction to her ex dating someone else, especially when that someone else is the world’s biggest pop star. For example, Nicole posted recently that the gym is her “therapy,” and social media users thinks she’s making passive-aggressive comments about Swift and Kelce. When, on a game day, Nicole unfollowed Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his wife Brittany Mahomes, with whom she has been close in the past, it did not go unnoticed. That same day, Brittany had been seen out at dinner with Swift.
Speaking directly to the camera in the video, Nicole began by saying, “It’s always been really important for me to use my platform not to create division but to elevate and unite women, Black women specifically.”
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“They may call you a traitor for falling in love,” she says. “You’ll hope the ones closest will protect you but you will quickly find out people don’t protect what they don’t value.”
She encouraged listeners to “preserve your heart” and not to “participate in this tumultuous, often one-sided journey.”
“You do not have to engage. You do not have to respond,” she said.
Nicole shared that “even though sometimes I, too, ask, ‘why me?’ I’m reminded that this isn’t just about me…My truth, trauma, and vulnerability is a relatable part of the human experience. I know I’m not alone, and I want to make sure that you know that you’re not either.”
She reminded her listeners of “resources like therapy, prayer, and community to help you make it through.”
Another former Kelce flame, Maya Benberry, said that she’s received death threats from Swifties. Benberry appeared on the dating reality show Catching Kelce and came out on top of the competition in 2016, though by 2017, their romance had fizzled out. Still, she said, she’s also been on the receiving end of attention for a relationship she’s not a part of.
“Swifties are aggressive, very negative, very hypocritical,” Benberry told Inside Edition of Swift’s fanbase. “It’s really crazy to me that someone I think is positive and really nice would have such a negative and angry fan base.”