Entertainment TV Val Chmerkovskiy and Fiancée Jenna Johnson Reveal How a Near Car Accident Led to Their First Date Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy, who have dated on and off since 2015, also recalled their June engagement in Venice, Italy By Sophie T. Stern Published on November 19, 2018 12:37 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson’s romance was almost over before it began. Chmerkovskiy and Johnson recounted the unconventional way the two Dancing with the Stars pros ended up going on their first date together during an interview Yahoo Lifestyle. “I was crossing the street on Melrose Ave, she almost ran me over,” Chmerkovskiy, 32, said as Johnson confirmed “This is a true story! Johnson, 24, said she slammed on her breaks before realizing she recognized the man who ran out in front of her car. The near-collision led to a “spontaneous” first date. “She came over and I taught her how to play chess and that was our first official date,” said Chmerkovskiy. Val Chmerkovskiy Says Wedding Planning with Fiancée Jenna Johnson Is ‘Stress-Free’ Johnson and Chmerkovskiy, who have dated on and off since 2015 and publicly shared their relationship in 2017, also recalled their June engagement in Venice, Italy. Chmerkovskiy worked with Jacob Arabo of Jacob & Co. to design Johnson’s rectangular cushion-cut diamond ring and secretly kept it in his backpack during the trip so Johnson couldn’t find it. “You completely surprised me,” Johnson told Chmerkovskiy. “I love him so much much, but he’s pretty incapable of planning anything ahead. And so we were in Venice, and basically went through all of his bags and didn’t see anything. And so I was like, ‘Just gonna enjoy the trip.’ ” He also hired a local camera crew to document the entire proposal, unbeknownst to Johnson. “We were sitting in this cafe, and I have three undercover cameras,” Chmerkovskiy explained of how the proposal went down. “I was in Venice 15 years ago and I promised myself that when I meet the love of my life, this was where I was going to propose.” “It was perfect,” Johnson added.