Who Is Rich Paul? Adele’s New Boyfriend Is A High-Profile NBA Agent
His lineup includes LeBron James, Ben Simmons, and Trae Young.
Adele finally went Instagram-official with her new boyfriend Rich Paul on Sunday, Sept. 19. Fans have gotten glimpses of the two together throughout the summer, but the singer’s latest IG post is the first confirmation from Adele herself. If you're wondering who Rich Paul is, the high-profile sports agent has Cleveland ties and reps stars like LeBron James. With a reputation for driving tough bargains, he’s been described as “absolutely unrelenting” when making deals for his players. Elite Daily reached out to Adele’s representation for further comment on the Instagram seemingly confirming her relationship with Paul, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
After first being spotted together at Game 5 of the NBA Finals in July, Adele confirmed her relationship with Paul in an Instagram photo on Sunday. The adorable picture, which was the last in a three-photo series, features the pair in a photo booth pic from Anthony Davis, who Paul reps and plays for the Lakers, and Marlen P’s wedding in Los Angeles on Saturday. Adele captioned the Instagram post with an emoji of a red heart.
Now that things are Instagram official, fans are clamoring to find out more about Adele’s new boyfriend. Paul, 39, is a high-profile sports agent for many big names in the NBA. As the founder of Klutch Sports Group, he represents players like LeBron James, Ben Simmons, Anthony Davis, and Draymond Green. With his A-list roster, Paul was even named the ninth most powerful sports agent in the world in 2020 by Forbes.
He currently lives in Beverly Hills, but Paul was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where his late father Rich Sr. ran a corner store called R & J Confectionery. In a May 2021 New Yorker profile, Paul shared that his father had always emphasized the importance of education growing up, which led Paul to enroll in the University of Akron. After his father was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, however, Paul transferred to Cleveland State before dropping out entirely a few months after Rich Sr.’s death. "I always wanted to work. But I still probably would have finished school if my father was alive,” Paul told The New Yorker. “I never wanted to let him down."
According to the May 2021 profile, Paul knew he "definitely wanted to be an athlete" growing up, but because he was “small in size,” he realized he had to find another way to make it in the sports industry. Inspired by his father, he began to think "as an entrepreneur and businessman."
Paul got the opportunity of a lifetime when he met his first client, LeBron James, in 2002 at the Akron-Canton Airport. According to a 2012 ESPN Magazine article, they were both waiting for flights to Atlanta, and James liked the classic Houston Oilers jersey that Paul was wearing (Paul had been selling vintage sports jerseys at the time).
After James was drafted into the NBA in 2003, Paul joined his business team, which includes James’ childhood friends, Maverick Carter and Randy Mims. Together, the friends became known as the Four Horsemen. "I just felt like Rich was someone I wanted to grow with," James told ESPN Magazine in 2012. "He'd always kept it real with me, and I wanted him to be down with my team."
Paul’s hard-as-nails approach when it comes to business has certainly led to his success in the industry. An NBA general manager described the 39-year-old as "absolutely unrelenting in getting his players what they want, and he will use every means available to him to do that,” per The New Yorker.
As for how Paul and Adele met, the two haven’t revealed exactly how the romance kicked off, but a source told US Weekly in August 2021 that they share mutual friends.
With so many accomplishments as an NBA agent, Paul sounds like the perfect match for Adele and her musical dynasty.