Given the highly publicized cheating scandal involving Nia Long‘s partner of 13 years, Ime Udoka, and a Boston Celtics co-worker, the formerly engaged couple have finally called it quits.
Fans would recall that Udoka’s extra-marital affair ultimately resulted in him getting suspended by the team for the 2022-23 season. And despite the ex-partners’ split, they intend to pay more attention to co-parenting their only child, Kez Sunday Udoka, born in November 2011, while Long also remains committed to rebuilding her life.
Nia Long Stays Focused On Her Kids Amid Split From Ex, Ime Udoka
Long and Udoka will no longer be moving forward for now after he was reported to have gotten romantically involved with a female assistant within Boston Celtics’ organization.
A source told PEOPLE that while the “situation is unfortunate and painful,” Long is focused on her kids and getting her life together. The actress’ representative also verified that she and her ex are “no longer together but remain fully committed to co-parenting their son.”
Their separation comes on the heels of the Boston Celtics holding a press conference in September, mere weeks after the beginning of the 2022-23 NBA season, to clear the air about the Nigerian-American basketball coach’s suspension.
As was reported, he had violated “team policies,” given the affair, which led to re-evaluating his future with the team. Not long before the NBA team released their statement, ESPN confirmed the news of Udoka’s infidelity, after which the coach broke his silence, 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.”
He also mentioned that he had no further comment about the situation. Meanwhile, Long was not so taken with how the Boston Celtics publicized what was meant to be confidential.
She told Hollywood Reporter earlier this month about the negative impact of the drama on her son, who did not have an “easy time” with the publicity. The 51-year-old mother confessed:
“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.”
She had to take her son out of school upon the news release as it was “devastating” and still is for her family. Long further mentioned that no one from the NBA team called to check on her and see how her kids were doing. She found that “very disappointing.”
Udoka’s affair naturally caused a public statement from the “Third Watch” actress, which The Blast reported as she expressed gratitude to those who supported her amid the crisis. In her words,
“The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and the community during this difficult time means so much to me.”
And as expected, her ex-fiancé gained lots of criticism on social media given the scandal, with several showering their love and support on Long. In “The Best Man” star’s statement, she also asked the public to respect her privacy as she processed the unfortunate events while remaining focused on her children.
Around the time her message went live, the Boston Celtics announced Udoka’s suspension as the head coach via their official Twitter platform. It is important to note that the suspended head coach has been with the Celtics since 2021 after leaving the San Antonio Spurs in 2019 and working as the assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.
Furthermore, his first year as the head coach was successful as he led the team to feature in the 2022 NBA Finals.
Long’s Ex Claims Ime Udoka Is Not Above Mistakes Amid Scandal
Amid the cheating scandal and before Long and Udoka went their separate ways, the movie star’s ex and the father of her first child, Massai Z. Dorsey, had a few things to say about the situation.
In October, The Blast reported that Dorsey, who was still close to her after their split, was not so bothered about Udoka’s infidelity as he had only kind words for the former athlete.
He revealed that they all talk as a family, and it was all about unconditional love, which he claimed Long was giving Udoka while sticking by his side. The “Big Momma’s House” star’s ex went on to call the 45-year-old father a “good man” and expressed joy in having him have a fatherly presence in his son, Massai Junior’s life.
His support for Udoka did not end there, as he maintained that every man makes mistakes while also expressing his belief that the ex-sportsman deserved a second chance.