Nia Long with her fiancé Ime Udoka in 2017. He was suspended as head coach of the Boston Celtics for an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member, despite being engaged to Long
Fresh Prince of Bel Air actress Nia Long broke her silence today after learning that her Boston Celtics fiancé Ime Udoka cheated on her with one of his aides.
The starlet told TMZ in a statement that she was “taken aback” by the case, which comes as she moves to Boston to be with her longtime pal.
Long, 51, and Udoka, a former NBA player turned coach, have been together for more than a decade.
They got engaged in 2015 but never married, although they share a ten-year-old son. She also has another son from a previous relationship.
This week, their family happiness was destroyed when the Boston Celtics suspended Udoka for violating ethics rules by having a consensual affair with the unnamed staffer.
It is believed that this is how Long discovered the infidelity.
“The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and community during this difficult time means a lot to me,” Long said through her spokesperson.
“I ask that my privacy be respected as I deal with recent events.
“Above all, I am a mother and I will continue to focus on my children,” she said.
Udoka, the Celtics’ second-year head coach with a once-stellar reputation, was suspended for the entire upcoming season on Thursday for “multiple” unspecified violations of team rules.
In a statement late Thursday, he said: “I want to apologize to our players, our fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down.”
“I’m sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision.
“Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
Udoka reportedly suffered a “significant financial penalty”, although the amount was not disclosed.
Long with the couple’s ten-year-old son recently
Long, 51, and Udoka, 45, have been together for more than a decade. They are shown together at the Barclays Center in New York last August
The 45-year-old allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member. This woman has not been named.
In the team’s statement naming assistant Joe Mazzulla as interim coach, Boston said Udoka’s future would be determined “at a later date.”
Long became a household name with her role on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air as Lisa Wilkes, Will Smith’s girlfriend.
She has also starred in Boyz In The Hood, Soul Food and Big Momma’s House.
The beloved actress is also the recipient of three NAACP Image Awards and a Black Reel Award.
As news of the affair spread on social media this week, Long’s famous fans and friends came to her defense.
Many chided Udoka for his indiscretion, asking how he could betray the beauty.