AceShowbiz - Though Ashley Graham is now happily married to Justin Ervin, the pair were hit by a few rocky moments before they tied the knot in 2010. In an excerpt from her forthcoming book, "A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty and Power Really Look Like", obtained by Glamour, the 29-year-old model opened up about how her family initially didn't accept their interracial marriage.
"I brought Justin home to Nebraska. Now, I should probably mention that Justin is black, and that I didn't grow up around many black people," she wrote in her book. "The sum total of what I learned about African American culture in school was Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the Underground Railroad." When introducing Justin to her grandmother, she was shocked by her grandma's reaction to her future husband.
"I never told Justin any of this, and I never told my grandparents that the man I was bringing home was black. I naively hoped everyone would be colorblind," she shared. "When my grandparents met Justin, my grandmother was cordial but cold." She added, "When it came time for them to leave, my grandparents didn't even acknowledge him. Instead my grandmother looked me in the eye, with Justin standing behind me, and said, 'Tell that guy I said goodbye.' "
Elsewhere in the book, Ashley credited Justin for being understanding and patient with her family. She's also proud of her hubby as he changed her grandma's view of him. "Justin called my grandmother on her 60th wedding anniversary," Ashley recalled. "He's not a texter or an emailer; he's a pick-up-the-phone-and-call-you person, and anniversaries are a big deal to him." She concluded, "Afterward Grandma called my mom and said, 'You'll never guess who called me.' And from then on out, she loved him ... Loved him."
Ashley first met her videographer husband at a church in 2009. "I joined a church. I didn't go there to find a boyfriend; I truly wasn't looking for anyone other than the person I wanted to be," she shared. Though he wasn't her type, the sexy model thought Justin was "looking into my soul when we talked." "He was smart and funny and had traveled the world. So I agreed to go out for coffee," she added.