Alexis Ohanian and Serena Williams: How a Dead Rabbit Sparked Their Love
Tech mogul Alexis Ohanian and tennis champion Serena Williams are an unquestionable power couple, but the duo’s union may have an unlikely and unexpectedly morbid origin. According to Ohanian, he and Williams had a Parisian run-in with a dead bunny that, er, left an impression on both of them and may have helped forge their lasting bond.
The Reddit co-founder sat for an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week and revealed that the traumatic experience at a zoo in Paris was the moment he knew he and Williams shared sparks.
“The moment I knew, we had found this little zoo in the middle of nowhere,” Ohanian tells Colbert in a clip from the segment. “It was this beautiful exhibition with these big cats, like a leopard, and it was this majestic creature — really beautiful. And then it was feeding time, and they threw out a bunny.” Ohanian goes on to describe the bloody scene that ensued. Sensing Williams was uncomfortable and “unsettled” by the grisly scene, he says, he held her. “In that moment I was like, ‘Okay, there’s a connection.’” And that’s how it all reportedly began for the since-married couple — thanks in part to the dead bunny.
If psychology has anything to say about it, there may be something to that outrageous albeit somewhat relatable anecdote. Research published in Psychological Science in 2014 suggested that sharing painful experiences and trauma may bring people together. “Our findings shed light on the social effects of pain, demonstrating that shared pain may be an important trigger for group formation,” the authors wrote. In a related article, researchers publishing in the same journal in 2012 showed that taking part in extreme religious, ethnic, or nationalistic rituals — which can be difficult and sometimes very painful — also promoted cooperative behaviors and attitudes among everyone involved. Of course, in the case of the happy couple, some good old-fashioned chivalry may have done the trick as well.
Williams, 36, and Ohanian, 35, met in 2015 and married in November, according to People. The power duo welcomed their first child Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September.
May we all be as fortunate at this power pair to find love through the graphic feeding rituals of majestic four-legged beasts.