Screenshot Courtesy of CBS NEWS | Sheila Johnson.

Sheila Johnson On Walking Through Fire

Just outside of our nation’s capital, amid Virginia’s rolling hills and picturesque stone walls, is a place that time seems to have forgotten, the place Sheila Johnson calls home.

She came here in 1996 to find refuge. At the time, BET (Black Entertainment Television), the company she and her then-husband Bob Johnson had co-founded, was hugely successful. But their struggling marriage was the talk of the town.

“The rumor mill was off the chart,” Johnson said. “People would tell me, ‘I saw them at the Super Bowl.’ ‘Oh, I saw her come down in his shirt.’ And I said, I need a place where I can be alone, at peace.

Today, Johnson is a very successful businesswoman, part owner of three sports teams (the Washington Mystics, Washington Wizards, and Washington Capitals), and the first Black woman to make it into the very exclusive, very white, and very male billionaire’s club. And yet, she said, tongues are still wagging. “You know, they look at me and they go, ‘Okay, you were so-called the first Black billionaire and everything, and you’ve had it so easy.’ No, I haven’t.”

Read in CBS NEWS


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