Nia Long Opens Up About The Painful Aftermath Of Fiance Ime Udoka's Affair

On September 22, news broke that Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a staffer, which meant the former NBA basketball player had cheated on long-time fiancee Nia Long. Shortly after, the Celtics coach was suspended by the organization, and more damaging details emerged. According to an ESPN report published September 30, "[Udoka] used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate prior to the start of an improper workplace relationship with the woman."

After news of Udoka's transgressions broke, it was reported that he was aware the team was investigating him, but failed to alert Long. To make matters worse, the investigation coincided with the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" actor moving to Boston with the couple's son. "Above all, I am a mother and will continue to focus on my children," she said in a statement released September 23, per TMZ. Long added that she appreciated the outpouring of support during the difficult time.

Almost two weeks after her official statement, Long broke her silence on social media and posted a semi-cryptic message which seemingly pertained to her relationship. "Learn to distinguish who deserves an explanation, who deserves one answer, and who deserves absolutely nothing," the "NCIS: Los Angeles" actor wrote on Instagram. It was pointed out by some outlets that Long had mostly scrubbed Udoka from her Instagram except for a congratulatory post from May. Nearly two months later, Long opened up about the impact the affair had on her, and her family.

Why Nia Long stayed with Ime Udoka

Finding out that Ime Udoka had cheated was difficult on not only Nia Long, but the couple's son, Kez. That was the aspect that especially bothered the "Friday" star. In a December 1 feature with The Hollywood Reporter, Long said, "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." Long took issue with how Udoka's team handled the situation, calling it "disappointing" that she was not consulted before publicly announcing that the coach was being disciplined for a workplace relationship. "It was devastating, and it still is," Long said. Seeing news break that her fiancé had cheated was a tough pill to swallow for the "Fatal Affair" actor. "I literally felt like my heart had jumped out of my body," she added.

Despite the infidelity, Long decided to stay with Udoka. That news was announced by Long's ex, Massai Z. Dorsey, who she shares a child with. "We talk as a family, and it's all about unconditional love, and that's what she's giving him," Dorsey told the Daily Mail on October 4.

Long and Udoka had been engaged since 2015, but even before the cheating scandal, they were in no hurry to tie the knot. "But I don't know that I need [marriage] to feel like I'm in a partnership that's working," Long told Essence in 2020 while discussing her relationship with the former NBA player.