BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

All About Maya Henry, Liam Payne’s Back-On Model Fiancée

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Another member of One Direction met his match—and after a brief split, reignited it.

In August 2020, a rep for Liam Payne, 27, confirmed that he got engaged to his model girlfriend of two years Maya Henry, 21. Us Weekly got the official confirmation after Henry was spotted out with a diamond ring on that finger in photographs that the Daily Mail ran on August 27, 2020.

Nearly a year later in June 2021, Payne revealed the engagement was called off, and he is currently single.

“I feel like more than anything at this point, I’m more disappointed in myself that I keep on hurting people,” Payne said on the Diary of a CEO podcast, via Page Six. “That annoys me. I’ve just not been very good at relationships. And I know what my pattern of things is with relationships at this point. I’m just not very good at them so I just need to work on myself before I put myself on to somebody else.”

By August 2021, that changed, with a source telling E! that Payne and Henry reconciled in mid-July.

Ahead, everything we knew about Henry and her relationship with Payne.

She’s a successful model.

Henry works as a model. She’s represented by Elite Model Management and Select Model London. Her career has included both runway appearances and magazine covers, including Elle Romania, Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, Vogue Ukraine, and Glamour Romania. She’s walked runways for Dolce & Gabbana, Rami Kadi, and closed out George Hobeika’s Paris Fashion Week show earlier this year.

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She’s also appeared in some famous music videos.

When Henry isn’t modeling, she’s been known to dust off her acting skills. According to her IMDB, she co-starred with Dylan Sprouse in an indie 2019 short film called, Carte Blanche. Henry has also made cameos in two different music videos—in DNCE’s 2016 video for “Kissing Strangers” and as Billy Ray Cyrus’s daughter in the “Old Town Road” video. She appears at the :37 second mark and is credited as “Farmer’s Daughter.”

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She hails from a well-known Texas family.

It likely wasn’t a stretch for Henry to portray the daughter of a farmer, as she comes from San Antonio, Texas. But this isn’t just your regular Texan family: Her clan got its own Kardashian-style reality show Hangin with Los Henrys, which reportedly aired on YouTube before being wiped from the internet. According to a Wonderland profile of Henry, the series chronicled the lavish lifestyle of Henry, her parents Azteca and Thomas (a high-power lawyer), grandmother Teresa, and brother Thomas Jr.

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The family—and Maya herself—made headlines in 2016 for when the quinceañera to celebrate her 15th birthday was reported to be $6 million. Festivities also included performances from Nick Jonas and Pitbull, although One Direction didn’t make the setlist.

Today, Henry lives in Los Angeles with her brother Thomas and told Wonderland her wealthy upbringing didn’t impact her values. “Growing up, they always taught me to stay humble and treat everyone the same,” she told the outlet, adding, “That’s really stuck with me.”

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She and Payne went Instagram official in September 2019.

Less publicized than her quinceañera was Henry’s relationship with Payne. According to E!, the couple was first linked back in August 2018. But they didn’t confirm reports until more than a year later. In September 2019, the pair was spotted holding hands at London’s Heathrow Airport. “They looked every bit the happy new couple as they made their way through the airport,” an eyewitness told E!. “They were holding hands and giggling as they headed to their car. He looks incredibly happy!”

Payne confirmed the relationship during an interview with KISS FM UK’s KISS Breakfast that month. “I am very lucky. She is really great,” he said. Days later, Payne and Henry went ‘gram official with matching cuddled-up photos. Payne celebrated the release of his new single “Stack It Up” and praised Henry for her support:

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“Sometimes I don’t recognise this happy guy… sure glad you brought him back though. This has been my most amazing release week to date! Massive thank you to all my team @stevefinan @simonolive73 @jordenpinchen @conorleebutler @adamfkelly @stockersstory for helping setting it all up and making it run smooth @artisthbtl for fuckin with my sound can’t wait to perform it with you. my team on the ground here in nyc @republicrecords for supporting my record and @capitoluk for getting my record together and putting up with my self conscious shit😂 then last but not least this one @maya_henry for always keeping the biggest smile on my face through all the stress and making me realise how perfect my life really is🥰love you all let’s stack this shit up 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼”

“All smiles over here 😆💞 ” Henry wrote the same day, sharing the same picture to her Instagram. Rumors of an engagement between the pair began brewing on August 27 when the Daily Mail published photos of a square-cut diamond on Henry’s left hand. The couple stayed mum as they exited London’s Novikov restaurant.

celebrity sightings in london august 27, 2020

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Payne previously dated musician Cheryl Cole from 2015 to 2018. They share a three-year-old son, Bear, together.

Payne said he felt better out of his relationship with Henry in June 2021 but guilty for hurting her.

Payne opened up about the two’s breakup during his Diary of a CEO podcast interview. Before they called off their engagement, “I just wasn’t giving a very good version of me anymore [to the relationship], that I didn’t appreciate and I didn’t like being. I can honestly say I feel better out of it,” he said. “I didn’t feel good doing what I did but it had to happen. That’s the corny way of saying it, it was the best for both of us. But it just feels like that. I need to sort myself out. I already feel good, and I hope she’s happy.”

By August 2021, Payne and Henry rekindled their romance but aren’t “putting pressure” on their engagement yet.

E! was told by a source close to Henry that Payne and Henry got back together in mid-July after their breakup earlier that summer.

They “rekindled their relationship,” the source revealed. “They took time apart due to their busy schedules and having distance between them. They needed the break because they weren’t communicating well.”

“They are living together in England but aren’t putting pressure on the wedding or engagement yet,” the source added. The two were photographed together in St. Tropez on August 17, signaling publicly that their romance is back on.

She and Payne stay relatively private on the ‘gram.

Prior to news of Payne and Henry’s engagement, there was some speculation they had called it quits. They hadn’t been photographed together in months, although they still continued to follow each other on Instagram and like each other’s posts. Compared to other celebrity couples, Henry and Payne tended not to post much about their relationship on social media. Henry’s last post of Payne prior to their engagement announcement came in March 2020, when the couple posed with newly-engaged Nicola Peltz and Brooklyn Beckham at a magazine event.

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Her last post of him prior to their breakup was in December 2020:

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In October 2019, she shared a rare candid loved-up photo of the pair captioned, ” kissypooo😘.”

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She may have met Payne at a 2015 One Direction concert.

If a Harry Styles fan page is to be believed, this couple had their first meeting backstage at a One Direction concert. Not a ton is known about this rumored event, but a grainy photo of Henry and a friend posing with the band in 2015 had made the rounds on Twitter.

She and Payne love attending fashion-focused events.

When the couple does post about each other on Instagram, it is often photos of date nights at fashion events in London and Los Angeles. Their last public outing pre-engagement and COVID was on December 3, 2019 where they attended the British Fashion Council Awards. “Thank you @britishfashioncouncil for having us last night. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners 🎉❤️also a big thank you to @ralphandrusso @michaelrusso1 @tamararalph and @16arlington for my two favorite dresses 💃🏻” Henry wrote on the ‘gram.

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Payne captioned a November 23, 2019 outing with British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, “Congratulations to my good friend @edward_enninful on being awarded the Global VOICES award 2019 for outstanding achievement in fashion and exemplary impact on the wider world 👏🏼👏🏼 #BoFVOICES.”

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And they posed with pal Rita Ora for the launch of her Escada collaboration during Paris Fashion Week last September.

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She founded a charity at age 8.

Henry isn’t just an actress and model; she’s also a longtime philanthropist. According to her 2019 Wonderland profile, one of her first ambitions was to be a human rights or personal injury lawyer. According to the outlet, she started her own charitable organization “Maya’s Corner,'” back in 2008. That means she was eight years old when launching efforts to give school supplies to Texas adolescents in need. Last year, Henry told the outlet she was still involved with the organization and working to “expand that to other countries.”

Editorial Fellow Savannah Walsh is an Editorial Fellow at ELLE.com.
News and Strategy Editor Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton).

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