Nia Long was seen for the first time in public since her fiancé, Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, was suspended for an alleged consensual relationship with a female on his 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, stepped out in Los Angeles on Saturday (October 1) for some retail therapy with her son Kez, 11, whom she shares with Ime. Nia didn’t appear to be wearing her engagement ring at the time.
The sighting comes just a week after the star broke her silence on the news of Ime as she 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 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” in a statement released in late September. They added that Ime’s future with the team will be evaluated. 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 about how proud she was of her beau, whom she began dating in 2010 and got engaged to in 2016. “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.”
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