Magic’s son is confident, funny, and unapologetic about his privileged lifestyle. And he has a message for Donald Sterling: ‘You need to look at the facts, honey.’
Sometimes a purse is just an expensive bag. Sometimes it can make your career.
When EJ Johnson, son of Laker great Magic Johnson, walked out of Boa Steakhouse, a posh, A-list restaurant in West Hollywood in April of last year, a TMZ videographer asked him a couple of inane questions about his dad’s former team. It was a rather boring interview that, by all accounts, should have ended up on the cutting room floor…except for one thing: Johnson was holding an orange Birkin bag, while cozying up to a male friend. The story went mega-viral thanks in part to its catchy headline: “Magic Johnson’s Son Goes Public With Boyfriend—Dad Proud.”
Turns out TMZ got it only half right. The man in the video was just a good friend. But by then, all anyone could talk about was Magic Johnson’s purse-clutching boy.
“When they interviewed me, I didn’t really think anyone would care,” says EJ, sitting in his parents’ living room in Beverly Hills. “I thought they were interviewing me because there were no other famous people there that night.”
Within hours, Johnson’s phone was ringing off the hook. “I turned on the TV and it was on CNN, MSNBC, the Today show and Good Morning America. It was crazy!”
That little one-minute video turned out to be his ticket to Hollywood. Even though he was still in his junior year at NYU, Johnson was offered a supporting role on a new reality show called “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” on E!, about the spoiled lives of Tinseltown’s most privileged kids. (In one of the first scenes, co-star Dorothy Wang, daughter of wedding designer Vera Wang, leaves a $10,000 tip on a $30,000 bar tab, all while complaining about her life in Santa Monica, one of the most affluent oceanfront neighborhoods in Los Angeles.) He’s already signed on to the show’s second season, this time as main character. As part of his lucrative deal with the network, Johnson will also appear on Fashion Police and E! News, and next February, he’ll be covering Mercedes Benz Fashion Week as a special correspondent.
These days, Johnson’s schedule is more frantic than a Jenner girl trying to read prompter. His days are jam-packed with appointments and photo shoots. On the day of our interview, Johnson’s team is buzzing around him, trying to get everything ready for his shoot for a new fashion blog, launching later this month. A photographer snaps away as Johnson changes from outfit to outfit. A PR rep and an assistant photographer are on hand, making sure everything runs smoothly.
Asked whether he had any trepidation about joining a show about a bunch of Hollywood brats, Johnson said yes. “It was such an obnoxious and unforgiving title. I was new and I didn’t want to be branded as a ‘rich kid.”
But in the end, Johnson decided to take a chance. And boy, did it pay off. While the show isn’t exactly PBS material, it’s helped establish Johnson as a mini-celebrity among millennials. (Last October, Johnson was spotted drinking with Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus at a Chelsea Club in Manhattan).
Source: The Daily Beast | Itay Hod