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(26 March 1995 - 1996) (divorced)
Matthews, who is an evangelist, claims that she realized three days after meeting Smith that he was the man God had chosen for her. They met in February 1995 when they collaborated for some humanitarian activities and felt an instant connection with each other.
Former sultry singer Vanity, who now uses her real name Denise Matthews, recently ended a brief, month-long courtship when she married pro football player Anthony Smith of the Los Angeles Raiders.
The wedding and reception took place before a small crowd of about 20 family and friends at Smith`s french chateau-style home in the upscale Playa del Rey section of Los Angeles.
Ms Matthews, who now is an evangelist spreading the word of God to groups across the country, told JET: "I knew right away that he was the man God had chosen for me. I proposed to him three days after I met him. I was in his arms and I said, 'Anthony, I think we should get married.' He said, 'I think so, too.'"
The two met in late February after Ms. Matthews, 36, was living in San Jose, CA, and read about some of the numerous charitable activities Smith was involved in around Los Angeles. Smith, 26, who just completed his fifth season with the Raiders, has worked with several inner-city groups and donated food and money to various organizations.
She wanted to meet him and discuss the possibility of working together on some humanitarian activities. Representatives of the two worked out the details and she flew down to meet him at his home.
"I stopped to get him some flowers," she recalled. "A friend suggested that I get roses, but something told me not to. I got him some purple flowers and it turned out purple is his favorite color. When I rang the doorbell, he opened with the widest smile. And I knew then. We talked for three or four hours when we met. Two days later, I got him baptized at my church in San Jose." Her church is the non-denominational Jesus Christ For All Nations in nearby Sunnyvale.
The flowers were not the only coincidence in their relationship. When Smith selected his tuxedo in the Marina section of L.A., he soon found out that Denise, who still lived in San Jose, selected a wedding gown in the store that was directly next door to the one he had chosen. "Everything was right," she said.
The beautiful bride wooed everyone as she descended the spiral staircase in a white silk and satin gown with ruffles and alterations that she designed herself. Smith wore a custom-tailored tuxedo with a David Rickey tailored white shirt with a touch of black around the collar. The two had a double-ring ceremony. Hers was a four and-a-half carat diamond ring. The ring she chose for her groom, unfortunately, was a few sizes too big even for his large fingers.
Rev. Willie Harper, pastor of Denise`s church, officiated the ceremony and also gave the bride away. She explained to JET that her parents were in bad health and could not attend. Two of her six sisters, however, did make it to the wedding.