Jillian Michaels Is Dating Designer Deshanna Marie Minuto After Split from Fiancée Heidi Rhoades
The couple celebrated the Fourth of July together
Jillian Michaels has a new lady in her life!
The fitness guru, 45, is dating fashion designer Deshanna Marie Minuto, her rep confirmed to PEOPLE.
On Thursday, Michaels shared a sweet selfie of herself and Minuto, 34, celebrating the Fourth of July.
“Happy 4th everyone! Have fun, get a lil crazy, but stay safe! xoxoxo,” Michaels captioned the Instagram post, which shows her and Minuto flashing soft smiles with a flower filter.
Michaels also wished Minuto a happy birthday in April.
“Happy birthday to this beauty @deshannamarie ❤️you 🐔shorts,” she wrote alongside another selfie of them together.
While it’s not immediately clear as to when the couple began their romance, Minuto first posted Michaels on Christmas 2018.
“Merry Christmas,” the Letterino founder captioned a black-and-white shot of herself and Michaels laughing with glasses of wine.
A few days later, Minuto shared another photo of them together writing, “I ❤️ YOU @jillianmichaels.”
Minuto’s latest photo of Michaels was shared on June 26.
“Summer in the city 💫,” the designer wrote alongside a blurry photo of Michaels lounging on a chair in New York City.
“You’ve been with me through it all so I’m sharing some news with you…Heidi and I have been split for a while now,” Michaels wrote on Instagram in June 2018. “We’ve found we’re better friends and parents living apart than staying together.”
The longtime couple got engaged during an episode of Michaels’ E! reality show Just Jillian in 2016, after the fitness guru popped the question in a private movie theater. Michaels had already given Rhoades a ring, so she instead placed an engagement ring on her own finger during the proposal.
The couple has two children together — daughter Lukensia, 8, who was adopted from Haiti in 2012, and son Phoenix, 6, whom Rhoades gave birth to in the same month. Michaels said they’ll continue to co-parent their kids.
“Life and people change but our love for one another and commitment to raising our two kids as an inseparable team remains,” she wrote.
News of her relationship with Minuto comes after it was announced on Monday that Michaels is walking 100 miles to raise “desperately needed” money for South Sudanese refugees.
In 2016, Michaels attended a documentary screening that changed her life. While she initially went to show support for a fitness client who worked on the short film Refugee, she felt “shattered” once she learned about the refugee crisis happening across five continents.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Michaels told PEOPLE. “There was a woman in this documentary who was sick, and she traveled on foot to escape her country and died. Her death was totally preventable, and I was thinking that I would never have the strength to do what she did.”
The former Biggest Loser trainer immediately went to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) — the arm of the United Nations that helps refugees — to ask what she could do.
It took several years to come up with a plan, but Michaels went on a self-funded mission trip in March to meet with South Sudanese refugees in the Congo.
“I spent three days and three nights in a refugee settlement there, and I got to see what they’re doing on the ground and where the money is going and what the crisis is like, at least in that region, because it’s a huge issue,” she says. “That’s where I really had the opportunity to dig in.”
Michaels learned that the Congo needs $30-40 million to help more than 95,700 South Sudanese refugees now living in the country, but so far they have just 12 percent of the money.
Michaels was already encouraging people to donate money on her social platforms, but she wanted to get more involved in a way that fit with her background as a trainer. So in conjunction with the UNHCR, she decided to start the Step with Jillian program. Starting on July 1, she has pledged to walk 100 miles during the month of July to raise funds specifically for the South Sudanese refugees.
People all over the world can sign up to raise money and walk the 100 miles like Michaels, or they can walk whatever distance works for them. Ideally, Michaels hopes each person can raise at least $100, which covers the cost of three emergency rescue kits with a towel, thermal blanket, bottled water, energy bar, dry clothing and shoes. But since every little bit helps, Michaels will give free access to her app for the month to anyone who pledges at least $15.