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STRANGER Things star Millie Bobby Brown’s new sparkler on her ring finger has led to a buzz of excitement that she has got engaged to boyfriend Jake Bongiovi at just 18.

The British actress, who was seen wearing the ring in New York, got together with 20-year-old Jake — son of rocker Jon Bon Jovi — in June last year.

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She got together with her 20 year-old boyfriend Jake Bongiovi over a year agoCredit: TheImageDirect.com
Her new ring has prompted speculation about a potential marriage proposal

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Her new ring has prompted speculation about a potential marriage proposalCredit: TheImageDirect.com
The star had her first telly role in 2013, aged just nine, before landing the part of telepathic Eleven in Stranger Things

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The star had her first telly role in 2013, aged just nine, before landing the part of telepathic Eleven in Stranger ThingsCredit: Getty
Millie met Jake through friends, the pair began dating last June

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Millie met Jake through friends, the pair began dating last JuneCredit: TheImageDirect.com

But the couple, who met through friends, only went red-carpet official with their relationship at the Baftas in March, after Millie turned 18.

Last month they upped the ante on their relationship when they were spotted holidaying on a yacht in Sardinia. On the trip they posted pictures of themselves beekeeping in matching outfits.

Millie gushed on Instagram: “I love adventures with you.”

She was just nine when she got her first telly role in 2013, then at 12 she landed the part of telepathic Eleven alongside Winona Ryder in Netflix sci-fi blockbuster Stranger Things.

Very empowering

The drama has made a superstar of Millie, with its most recent fourth series being watched more than a billion times in a month.

Since finding fame she has launched a production company and a make-up range, and already has an estimated net worth of £11.6million.

An insider told The Sun: “She might be young but you’ve got to remember she has been working for almost a decade. That’s longer than some 30-year-olds.

“Many people have accused her of living well beyond her years — but that’s not always a bad thing, is it?

“Jake is no stranger to the fame game either and they both have their heads on their shoulders.

“They are young, in love, so why not be happy?”

Yet recently Millie saw the darker side of fame when a TikTok influencer claimed he had “groomed” her when she was just 16.

In a livestream last summer, Hunter “Echo” Ecimovic told fans he had lived with Millie at her parents’ place for eight months.

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Her legal team confirmed they were taking action against him, saying: “Mr Ecimovic’s remarks on social media are not only dishonest but also are irresponsible, offensive and hateful.

“Instead of engaging in a public discourse with him through the press or on social media, we are taking action to ensure that he stops this behaviour once and for all.”

In a magazine interview this year, Millie said: “When you get publicly humiliated this way, I felt so out of control and powerless. Walking away and knowing that I’m worth everything and this person didn’t take anything from me, it felt very empowering.”

Previously, concerns were raised when aged just 14 Millie became close friends with Canadian rapper Drake — 18 years her senior.

She told an interviewer: “I love him. He’s honestly a great friend and a great role model.

“You know we text. We just texted each other the other day and he was like, ‘I miss you so much’, and I was like, ‘I miss you more’.”

The interview prompted concerns on social media about how appropriate the friendship was.

A fan tweeted: “I have a niece around Millie’s age. if she came over here talkin about a 31 year old man texting her . . .  I’d HIT THE ROOF.”

The actress hit back: “Why u gotta make a lovely friendship ur headline? U guys are weird.”

On her 16th birthday Millie spoke up about being sexualised as a child in Hollywood. She wrote on her Instagram: “The last few years haven’t been easy, I’ll admit that.

“There are moments I get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualisation and un-necessary insults that ultimately have resulted in pain and insecurity for me. But not ever will I be defeated.

“I’ll continue doing what I love and spreading the message in order to make change.”

And this year she said X-rated comments had become more intense since she turned 18.

She added: “It’s just a very good representation of what’s going on in the world and how young girls are sexualised. And so I have been dealing with that, but also have been dealing with that for forever.”

And it appears her tightly-knit gang of co-stars have been watching her back. David Harbour, who plays police chief Jim Hopper, her character’s adoptive father, said he felt a duty to protect her.

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The actor, who is married to singer Lily Allen, said: “I have a real protective feeling for her. I have a real, like, worry.

“I worry about her and the fame and all that she has to struggle with. I’ve just always felt this kind of deep fatherly affection for her.”

And Millie’s parents Kelly and Robert have been involved in her career, launching production company PCMA with her in 2020.

Millie was born in Marbella shortly after her parents moved to the Spanish resort. When she was four the family moved back to the UK, to Bournemouth — but not for long.

When she turned eight they moved to Orlando, Florida, to launch a tooth-whitening business.

There, Millie says she taught herself to speak with an American accent by watching Miley Cyrus’s Disney show Hannah Montana.

Jake Bongiovi is the son of rocker Jon Bon Jovi

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Jake Bongiovi is the son of rocker Jon Bon JoviCredit: TheImageDirect.com
The ring was spotted while the couple were in NYC

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The ring was spotted while the couple were in NYCCredit: TheImageDirect.com
The day before her audition for Stranger Things, Millie was told that she was 'too mature' for the role

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The day before her audition for Stranger Things, Millie was told that she was ‘too mature’ for the roleCredit: Netflix

American twang

But the family almost went broke while trying to make their daughter famous.

An agent convinced them to move to Los Angeles to give stage school pupil Millie a chance at stardom.

She had middlingly successful roles in US TV fantasy drama Once Upon A Time In Wonderland and BBC America’s Intruders.

But the ambitious young actress failed to get her big break. Just before she hit the big time with Netflix, the near-bankrupt family moved back to the UK and were so hard up they lived with relatives.

Millie said: “It was very hard. There were lots of tears along the way.”

She almost quit acting, with an agent telling her she was too mature the day before she auditioned for Stranger Things.

She said: “I had to cry in the audition. My emotions were so raw, I hit it out of the park.”

And with her breakout role as lab experiment Eleven, Millie soared to superstardom.

She somehow understands the human experience as if she has lived it for a thousand years.

Aaron Paul

Even so, at times her accent has caused confusion, with her American twang leading to claims that she fakes her British accent.

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On speaking with an English accent in the 2020 Netflix film Enola Holmes — which she produced with her sister Paige and starred in the title role — she said: “For the last five years I’ve been playing an American character in Stranger Things and I found it really challenging being British in this, even though I am a Brit.

“I had to learn how to speak again because I’m so used to speaking in an American accent.”

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But now she is more than just an actress — she is slowly but steadily starting to build an empire.

While many youngsters her age are snoozing well into the afternoon, Millie has an exhausting work ethic.

With three Vogue magazine covers under her belt, she is firmly established as a Gen Z fashionista.

In 2019 she launched her make-up brand Florence by Mills to her 57.8million instagram followers.

She said: “Everything’s anti-ageing, everything is depuffing. We don’t know what that means.

“I need to know more.

I’ve been playing an American character in Stranger Things and I found it really challenging being British in this.

Millie Bobby Brown

“And I know our generation needs to know more.”

Millie is now working on the sequel to Enola Holmes, as well as a film called Damsel, while also finding the time to serve as a Unicef Goodwill Am- bassador.

And she has also been accepted into Indiana’s Purdue University to study human services to “learn about the system and how to help young people”.

With so much under her belt so young, it’s no wonder Millie was featured in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential list in 2018.

And in the magazine, Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul hinted that her wisdom beyond her years was her superpower.

He said: “Maybe that’s why she’s such an extraordinary actor.

“She somehow understands the human experience as if she has lived it for a thousand years.”

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