Aww! New York’s New Cultural Commissioner Said Yes to a Surprise Marriage Proposal on the Met Gala’s Red Carpet Last Night

The Met Gala is also where Donald Trump proposed to Melania.

Bobby Digi Olisa (R) proposes to Commissioner of NYC Cultural Affairs Laurie Cumbo at The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating
Bobby Digi Olisa (R) proposes to Commissioner of NYC Cultural Affairs Laurie Cumbo at The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. Photo: Theo Wargo/WireImage.

Red carpet reporters peppered Met Gala invitees with questions as they walked up to the party inside the Metropolitan Museum on Monday night. But one guest was asked a question unlike any other.

Laurie Cumbo, the recently appointed commissioner of New York’s Department of Cultural Affairs, said “yes” to a surprise engagement proposal from her partner on the museum steps. Former assembly candidate Bobby Digi Olisa, Cumbo’s partner of seven years, dropped to a knee as onlookers cheered. The whole thing was caught on video. 

The commissioner, still in awe, spoke with reporters minutes after the engagement.

“I didn’t know it was going to happen tonight,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “We’ve been talking about it. We’ve been through so much and this is such an honor and this is such a blessing.”

For Cumbo, the night was already imbued with extra significance. The last time she attended the Met Gala, she explained, was when she was working for the museum as an intern at age 15. 

“Now I’m coming back, with my now-husband, as the commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs,” Cumbo said. “It’s a full-circle moment.”

“You know, it’s always like trying to wait for the right time. So when is the right time considering everything that’s going on worldwide? So I was just like, ‘Today we’re going to make it happen,’” Digi Olisa told the Associated Press.

Commissioner of New York City Cultural Affairs Laurie Cumbo with her now-fiance Bobby Digi Olisa, as they arrive for the 2022 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022, in New York. Photo: Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images.

Commissioner of New York City Cultural Affairs Laurie Cumbo with her now-fiance Bobby Digi Olisa, as they arrive for the 2022 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022, in New York. Photo: Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images.

Digi Olisa isn’t the first person to pop the question at the event. Rapper 2 Chainz proposed to his girlfriend Kesha Ward on the Met Gala steps in 2018, and Donald Trump got engaged to Melania Trump at the event in 2004. The theme of the latter event was “Dangerous Liaisons.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams named Cumbo the city’s culture czar in March, a move that proved somewhat controversial among community leaders. Fresh off a seven-year tenure as New York City council member, Cumbo came under fire in 2021 for opposing a bill that allows non-citizens to vote. Prior to her political career, Cumbo ran the Brooklyn-based Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts, which she founded in 1999.

Adams also attended the Met gala Monday, showing up in a tuxedo emblazoned with the phrase “End Gun Violence,” which was designed by Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Láolú Senbanjo. The mayor previously wore a piece of Senbanjo-designed clothing for a 2019 Ralph Lauren fashion show at the Museum of Modern Art.


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