Nia Long with fiancee Ime Udoka in 2017. Despite being engaged to Long, he has been suspended as head coach of the Boston Celtics for an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.
Fresh Prince of Bel Air actress Nia Long broke her silence today after learning that her Boston Celtics fiancé, Ime Udoka, cheated on one of her employees.
Tara told TMZ In a statement that she was ‘blinded’ by the affair, this comes as she relocates to Boston to be with her longtime boyfriend.
Long, 51, and former NBA player-turned-coach Udoka have been together for more than a decade.
They got engaged in 2015 but have never married, although they have a ten-year-old son. He also has another son from a previous relationship.
This week, their family’s joy was destroyed when the Boston Celtics suspended Udoka for violating ethics rules by having a consensual relationship with an unknown employee.
This is believed to be how Long discovered the infidelity.
“The love and support of family, friends and community means a lot to me during this difficult time,” Long said through her spokesperson.
‘I ask that my privacy be respected as I process recent events.
She said, ‘Above all, I am a mother and will continue to take care of my children.
Celtics’ second year head coach Udoka was suspended for the upcoming season on Thursday over “multiple” unspecified breaches of team rules.
In a statement on Thursday night, he said: ‘I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down.
‘I’m sorry to put the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision.
‘In honor of everyone involved, I will not comment further.’
Recently with the couple’s ten-year-old son
Long, 51, and Udoka, 45, have been together for more than a decade. They are shown together at Barclays Center in New York last August
Incredibility: Nia’s fans and friends tweeted their anger and disbelief on Friday
Udoka is said to have faced a ‘significant financial penalty’, although the amount has not been disclosed.
The 45-year-old is said to have had an inappropriate relationship with a female member of staff.
That woman has not been named.
In a team statement naming assistant Joe Mazulla as interim coach, Boston said Udoka’s future would be determined ‘at a later date’.
Long became a household name with her role as Lisa Wilkes, Will Smith’s girlfriend, in Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
He also starred in Boys in the Hood, Soul Food and Big Mamma House.
The beloved actress is also the recipient of three NAACP Image Awards and one Black Reel Award.
Long’s fans and famous friends jumped to her defense as news of the affair spread on social media this week.
Many rebuked Udoka for her indiscretion, asking how she could betray the actress – a universally popular star and one of the most beautiful actresses of her generation.
‘Sending nothing but love to Nia Long.
‘We are not going to let a man who, not recognizing the luxury of his presence, be reduced to all his beauty and majesty.
‘Actually, we need a Nia Long national holiday!’ New York Congressman Jamal Bowman tweeted.
Filmmaker Van Lathan said, “Nia Long has a 100% approval rating with Black America and Ime Udoka is going to understand that.”
‘Cheating on Nia Long? The end of the days is upon us because there is no way out,’ said producer Nina Parker.
Long shot to fame with roles like Lisa Wilkes in American Sweetheart: Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Brandi in Boys in the Hood. She is well known for staying away from scandal, and appears in the press only for her acting roles or activism
Udoka joined the Celtics as head coach in the 2021–2022 season. He used to play for the team earlier.
While he was settling, Nia and their ten-year-old son lived in New York City, where they live in Brooklyn.
Though sources say she was planning to relocate to Chicago to support her fiancé, and was house hunting this week.
She became a national treasure in the 1990s with her roles in films and TV shows that celebrated black culture and featured predominantly black actors.
Long has also been known to keep herself away from scandal – fans noted on Friday how she only appeared in the press for her acting roles or for active reasons.
Udoka was a player in the NBA until his retirement in 2012. He joined the Celtics as head coach last year