Whoa. Several months after Ime Udoka’s alleged affair was exposed, he and his fiancée Nia Long are officially going their separate ways.
As Perezcious readers know, back in September, the Boston Celtics head coach was suspended from the team after allegedly having an affair with a married female employee. While the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum has stood by her partner’s side through much of the drama (and remained fairly hush-hush about the controversy in the process), she’s finally walking away. On Tuesday, a source told People the couple has broken up after 13 years together, revealing:
“The situation is unfortunate and painful, but Nia is focusing on her children and rebuilding her life.”
So, so tough, especially under these circumstances!!
A rep for the actress also confirmed the couple is “no longer together but remain fully committed to co-parenting their son [Kez, 11].”
Interestingly, this split comes months after Nia’s ex, Massai Z. Dorsey, with whom she shares her eldest son Massai, 22, told DailyMail.com in October she was choosing to forgive and forget the cheating scandal. He dished:
“We talk as a family, and it’s all about unconditional love, and that’s what she’s giving him. We’re sticking by him 100%.”
Sigh. Unfortunately, as big-hearted as partners of cheaters often are, the wrong-doers never seem to learn their lesson, no matter how much courtesy they’re granted…
After calling Ime’s alleged affair nothing but a “mistake” and blaming the #MeToo movement for forcing men “to be very sensitive with women” right now (*insert eye roll here*), Nia’s ex went on:
“All I could say is good things about Ime. He’s a good man. All these years. I’m happy he’s in my son’s life.”
Umm, kinda seems like Nia’s ex might not understand how hurt she was by this mess! And it’s not HER fault for feeling pain. It’s Ime’s for causing it! Yeah, people make mistakes. For sure. But consequences follow…
And while it’s possible to be a good person and still f**k up big time, ultimately Nia wasn’t willing to put all of this drama behind her, and that’s very understandable!
The pair’s relationship troubles made national headlines in the fall when the NBA team issued a statement declaring Udoka’s immediate suspension from the team — just weeks before the start of the season. It was incredibly shocking and created a ton of buzz fast! They soon followed up by revealing he had a “role in an intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise’s staff.” Later, the 45-year-old American-Nigerian released his own statement apologizing for his actions, saying:
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision.”
Nia, who was reportedly blindsided by the news, did the same, telling People:
“The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me. I ask that my privacy be respected as I process the recent events. Above all, I am a mother and will continue to focus on my children.”
The pair had been engaged since 2015. They had no plans to rush down the aisle but were committed to a life together. While they lived in different states for a while based on their careers, Nia had just made the move to the East Coast. And just like that… she found herself on a plane home to LA within the blink of an eye. Last month, the Friday star gave fans a glimpse at how she was processing the scandal when she sat down with The Hollywood Reporter. Instead of putting her significant other on blast, she called out the Celtics instead! She told the outlet:
“I think the most heartbreaking thing about all of this was seeing my son’s face when the Boston Celtics organization decided to make a very private situation public.”
We cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for the entire family, especially Nia and Kez who had just moved from Los Angeles to Boston to be closer to Ime. Still, it’s interesting to see her blame the basketball team more than her own husband — at least publicly! Looking back, we bet this was an attempt to keep the media frenzy at bay for her sons’ sake. To end the convo, the 52-year-old performer expressed a desire to kick next year off with more positivity, adding:
“2023 is like the year of new beginnings for me. I couldn’t be more excited.”
She’s sure ending 2022 with a bang, but hopefully, this means she’ll be able to process the split and be ready for nothing but joy and happiness next year! She deserves it! While it’s not shocking given the circumstances, what a brutal end to their long relationship. Here’s to hoping their divorce and any potential custody agreements will be settled without any drama! Thoughts? Let us know (below)!