Nia Long talks about the split with Ime Udoka.
Actress Nia Long talks to Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier about her split from Ime Udoka at the red carpet premiere of Peacock’s The Best Man: The Final Chapters, which was held at the Hollywood Athletic Club on Wednesday.
Nia Long recently announced her split from NBA coach husband Ime Udoka after 13 years of marriage via representatives. The media coverage of their divorce comes two months after Ime Udoka was accused of having an affair with a female coworker within the Boston Celtics organization and then was suspended as the team's head coach after the relationship was discovered.
Nia Long’s representative confirmed to the People publication that the two of them are no longer together but are committed to co-parenting their son. During an interview with Kevin Frazier, she said that she thinks the Boston Celtics organization could have handled the situation better rather than making a private situation public when they called a press conference to address Ime Udoka’s suspension.
The actress said that Stephen A. Smith’s comments on how the Boston Celtics mishandled the personal matter were 100% right, adding that she thinks that it’s been incredibly difficult for her to manage all of that while working and being a good mother for their son. Nia added that she feels as if no one cared about her or her son’s feelings when the publications went public with the news of Ime Udoka’s alleged affair. She shared that she feels that no one even tried to protect them, and what the Boston Celtics did was irresponsible and hurtful, especially after they were welcomed as a family.
At the time, ESPN sports personality Stephen A. Smith stated that Ime Udoka's private life should have never been publicly disclosed. He clarified there are plenty of white people doing their thing in professional sports. And he added that he is not trying to say this in a complimentary manner, but because he has not seen any details about them. Why is everyone talking about this guy? It is none of your business. The Celtics organization should never have put it out there.
Stephen Smith later reaffirmed his immediate thoughts that infidelity and inappropriate relationships were prevalent in the NBA, and he couldn't fully comprehend why the Ime Udoka controversy had received so much media awareness. He later clarified that this is what he meant was that he was aware of numerous instances where individuals experienced situations within the organization that was never publicized. Stephen went on to say to ET that there was never a press conference and nothing was ever broadcast publicly about it, but that this situation was, and that if he were Nia, he would also have been furious for a variety of reasons. He also claimed that it was never something that should have received public attention claiming that he is a sports reporter and he is telling that it was no one's business.
The actress went on to tell The Hollywood Reporter that the saddening aspect of all of this controversy being public was seeing her son's face when the Boston Celtics organization chose to make a very private affair public, adding that she took her son out of school when the news first broke, calling it "catastrophic" and "remains." Nia stated that it is difficult for him and disclosed that no one from the Celtics organization has indeed called to check on them, which is extremely disappointing.
The actress and the NBA Coach started dating in 2009 and decided to get married in 2015. The couple share a 10-year-old son named Kez along with a 21-year-old son Massai, from Nia Long's previous relationship. Ime Udoka shared a statement via Malika Andrews that read that he wants to apologize to the players, fans, and the entire Celtics organization, as well as his family, for letting everyone down. Ime added that he is sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation and that he accepts the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, he will no longer comment on the situation.
The actress also shared a statement at the time, saying that the outpouring of love and support she has received from family and friends during the difficult time means a lot to her and adding that she would like to have some private time as she moves ahead while processing the recent events. Nia Long shared with Kevin on Wednesday that she has found peace and tranquility in her new house in Los Angeles.