Nia Long has broken her silence on the controversy surrounding her fiancé, Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, who was suspended on September 22 for an alleged consensual relationship with a female on the NBA team’s staff. The beloved 45-year-old actress, who made a name for herself in such 90s classics as Love Jones and Boyz N The Hood, released a statement thanking fans for their support amid the controversy.
“The outpouring love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me,” Nia said in the statement to HollywoodLife. “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.”
Nia, 51, and Ime, 45, have been engaged since 2015 and share 10-year-old son Kez Sunday Udoka. The actress also shares another son, 21-year-old Massai Dorsey II, with her ex, actor Massai Dorsey.
Ime was placed on a suspension by the Celtics for the entire 2022-2023 season after they claimed he had violated “team policies” and said his future with the team will be evaluated in a statement released on Thursday. After the news broke, Ime spoke out to ESPN. “I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” he said. “I am 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.”
Last year, when Ime was moved up to head coach after being an assistant for nine years, Nia spoke out abot how proud she was of her beau. “He’s one of the most disciplined people I know. He’s worked really hard for this and now he’s got to just get to work with his players and do what he does best,” she told PopCulture.com at the time. “So, it’s an exciting time for our family to be able to sit in the stands.”