Barack and Michelle Obama are sure to go down in history as one of the United States’ most revered presidential couples. The former President and his First Lady gave our country a series of firsts. Barack broke the barrier that stigmatized the White House since the inception of our country — he was the first Black president ever.
But when Barack was elected our 44th President of the United States, he shattered that yet unbroken barricade, paving the way for other POCs to feel empowered enough to chase after their political dreams. No less forgettable is the depiction of Black love that Barack and wife Michelle embody. Their family, consisting of their daughters Sasha and Malia Obama, marked the first time the White House showcased Black familial love.
As perfect as the presidential power couple appears, no celebrity marriage is without its share of alleged scandals. Barack and Michelle’s marriage has been plagued by rumors of cheating and breakups. The couple has gone through counseling at one point to get their marriage back on track, which Michelle revealed in an interview with Elle, but one source claims there was trouble in paradise even before the Obamas tied the knot.
The allegations were laid out by a former girlfriend of the ex-president. She accused him of spending time with her (apparently romantic time) even as his relationship with his then-girlfriend, Michelle, deepened. The claims are wild, to say the least, and it’s hard to know what to believe.
The rumors that Barack Obama cheated on wife Michelle Obama came from the pages of the explosive book “Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama.” The tell-all biography, penned by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Garrow, combs through the formative years of the charismatic politician, including when he met and started pursuing a relationship with Michelle. It’s hard to imagine him with anyone other than Michelle, but Barack reportedly dated a few other women before meeting his future wife, and one of those relationships may have still been in progress while he was dating Michelle
Barack began dating Sheila Miyoshi Jager in the mid-1980s. Jager, who is currently a college professor at Oberlin, told Garrow that she and Barack were head over heels for each other and even moved in together at some point. It’s this deep relationship that started the rumors that Barack cheated on Michelle during the early days of their relationship.
There was a very real chance that Sheila Miyoshi Jager could have been the First Lady of the United States instead of Michelle Obama as well. Barack Obama asked Jager to marry him not once, but twice. Both times Jager declined. She explained to author David Garrow that she was only 23 when Barack proposed for the first time, and her family felt she was too young to get married.
In 1987, the relationship between Sheila Miyoshi Jager and Barack Obama reached its end. Barack made plans to move forward with his political aspirations while Jager packed up and moved to South Korea. Just a year later, Barack would meet the woman who would change his life forever — Michelle Robinson. Barack wrote in O Magazine that he took a job at a law firm where a tall beautiful woman — Michelle — was assigned to be his mentor. He fell hard. They officially became a couple in 1989.
The next year, Jager returned to the U.S. to work at Harvard, which fanned the flames of her old romance. Barack allegedly penned letters to his former sweetheart — he informed her that he was in a relationship with Michelle, but he also expressed remorse over his failed romance with her. Jager admitted that she began to occasionally meet up with Barack, despite his ongoing relationship with Michelle. It wasn’t until 1991, when Jager met someone new, that she says she was able to move on from Barack for good. She told Garrow, “As much as I loved him, I was relieved when our paths finally parted.” Jager’s alleged meetings with the future president while he was dating Michelle is how all those cheating rumors began. However, neither of the Obamas has confirmed or denied the truth of this spicy scandal.