Actress Nia Long has broken her silence on her fiancé Ime Udoka’s alleged affair.
The Boston Celtics announced Thursday that Udoka would be suspended from his role as the NBA team’s head coach for “violations of team policies” that reportedly include an alleged romance with a woman on staff.
Via her rep, Long told Page Six on Friday that although “recent events” have been “difficult” for her to “process,” she’s turning to her loved ones for strength.
“The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me,” the statement read.
“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.”
Shortly before the Celtics announced Udoka’s suspension from the entire 2022-23 season — and indicated that “a decision about his future” with the basketball team “beyond this season” would be made “at a later date” — sources told ESPN that he had engaged in an “intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise’s staff.”
People later confirmed the allegations.
According to ESPN, even if consensual, such a relationship is considered a violation of the organization’s guidelines.
The outlet further noted that the lengthy leave is considered an unprecedented penalty for a sitting head coach in the NBA.
As for Udoka, he issued a statement on the matter late Thursday via sportscaster Malika Andrews but did not outwardly address the alleged affair.
“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,” read the statement, which was posted on Twitter.
“Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
Long, 45, and Udoka, 51, have been dating since 2010 and engaged since 2015. Together, they share 10-year-old son Kez Sunday Udoka.
The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star is also mom to 21-year-old son Massai Dorsey II, whom she co-parents with actor Massai Dorsey.