Nia Long discusses the situation with her partner, Celtics coach Ime Udoka

Nia Long is a beautiful vampire who is 52 years old in human years. She’s had a thirty-year career as an actress and for people in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, Nia was always held up as a Dream Girl – beautiful, sexy and cool, but also the girl next door. Nia is currently promoting her upcoming Peacock series The Best Man: The Final Chapters. This is the last chapter in The Best Man franchise, which began in 1999. The whole cast has come back for the series, including Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Sanaa Lathan and more. Nia was also in the news and trending on social media recently because her husband is a piece of sh-t. Nia was in a long-time partnership and engagement to Ime Udoka, coach of the Boston Celtics. Nia and Ime have a son together (and Nia has another son from a previous relationship). Udoka was suspended from the Celtics for multiple policy violations, including carrying on an affair with a female coworker. When the news of the affair came out, people were showing Nia a lot of love. I bring that up because she talks about that and more in her new Hollywood Reporter interview. Some highlights:

On her work in Black films & shows: “I’m just super Black, so anything that we’re doing, if I matter to us, then I know that I’m living in alignment with my purpose. 2023 is like the year of new beginnings for me. I couldn’t be more excited.”

On Ime Udoka’s suspension & affair: “I went home to be with my son, and that was what was most important to me, because he was not having an easy time,” says Long, who would not discuss the status of her relationship with Udoka, nor comment on the conduct that prompted his disciplining.

The Celtics Org. didn’t check in with her or her son: On Sept. 23, the Celtics called a press conference to address Udoka’s suspension. The decision was as unprecedented as the severity of his punishment within the NBA. “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,” says Long, who took her son out of school when the news broke. “It was devastating, and it still is. He still has moments where it’s not easy for him. If you’re in the business of protecting women — I’m sorry, no one from the Celtics organization has even called to see if I’m OK, to see if my children are OK. It’s very disappointing.”

On the support she got online: “I literally felt like my heart had jumped out of my body. And then what I found was this tribe of women and men who were standing up for me in a way that felt like I was in this bubble of protection, and that was very comforting.”

Checking in on Chris Rock & Will Smith post-Oscars: “I checked on him and Chris, because I’m friends with both of them. That was hard for me, because those are like my brothers, both of them. And I guess my prayer is that they can come to a place where they can at least be civil with one another and make peace.”

[From THR]

She hasn’t exactly said that she’s dumped Udoka, but from what I understand, they don’t have the same living arrangements as before, and I think she’s basically just basing herself out of LA now with her son. It’s not any of our business, and I suspect that Nia is still trying to figure it out and do what’s best for the kid. As for a potential Nia Long renaissance… I hope we get one! It feels like there are more opportunities for Black creators and Black actors of all ages these days.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and Xavier Collin / Image Press Agency / Avalon.

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14 Responses to “Nia Long discusses the situation with her partner, Celtics coach Ime Udoka”

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  1. JW says:

    As much as I feel for Nia Long, Udoka was not suspended for cheating on her, but for creating legal liability for the Celtics. If he had been unfaithful to her with one or a hundred women who WERE NOT CELTICS EMPLOYEES, this would not have been an employment issue. The Celtics and the NBA do not owe a duty of care to her relationship. Iwe Udoka did. This was a major HR story, but the woman that the organizations needed to worry about protecting was the one that could sue them, and that’s the one that worked for them.

    She’s absolutely right, if she chooses, not to be discussing her relationship in public, and in turn, the one who needed to be on the phone to her was the one who was supposed to be coming home to her in the first place. Women, expect more from men.

    • Kitten says:

      Yuuuuuuuuuuup! All of this.

      “This was a major HR story, but the woman that the organizations needed to worry about protecting was the one that could sue them, and that’s the one that worked for them.”


    • SIde Eye says:

      You are absolutely correct @JW.

      I hope she saved some of that anger for the husband that cheated on her. I understand why she is choosing to refrain from publicly bashing him and why she won’t comment – she is protecting her kids.

      What is it with these trash can men and beautiful women it’s like this sociopathic need to take them down a peg or publicly humiliate them. It’s gross. I’m so sick of men who are deep down jealous of women and resent their beauty/success. Nia is so stunningly beautiful so I’m not surprised this happened to her – she 100% deserves better.

  2. Kitten says:

    I agree that the Celtics org didn’t handle it as well as they could have but I really hope she saves some of that fire for her philandering husband. Like, I get that she wants to keep that on the DL to protect her son but the blame really should be squarely on Udoka, who violated his employment contract in addition to stepping out on her.

    Anyway, she’s a f*cking goddess who deserves better.

  3. Sugarhere says:

    Nia Long is God’s perfect design. Her facial bone structure is splendid. Pure beauty. I had the same feeling the first time I saw Angela Bassett.

  4. Well Wisher says:

    Beautiful and talented, I thought that she would be the one with an oscar, life has other offerings.
    She’s has been super private so general answers emphasizing the effect on her son present no surprises.

  5. teecee says:

    Honestly I think the Celtics handled it the best way they possibly could have. What were the alternatives? Do nothing and Udoka coercively uses his position as Head Coach to sleep his way through the entire organization, creating an unsafe work environment for every female subordinate? (And still harming Nia and her son, even if they didn’t know it yet.) Announce his suspension and say “personal matter” which is basically waving a red flag in front of the press, likely exposing the woman employee(s) at the center of this to incredibly intrusive press coverage along with Nia and her son? No – the only way they could do it is the way that it happened – it minimized the fallout for the organization and for the women employees. There was no version where Nia and her son are spared and the only person she should blame for the shame and exposure is her cheating fiance.

    And as for the “they didn’t even call me” — imagine your fiance’s or ex-fiance’s former boss calling you up in this situation? It would be wildly inappropriate – especially if you’re still with the cheater.

    The fact that Nia’s blaming someone other than the man that betrayed her and her child makes me think they’re still together.

  6. LightPurple says:

    I am sorry this horrible thing happened to Nia but she needs to take it up with the man who did this to her and that would be Ime Udoka, not Wyc Grousbeck. The Celtics said right up front that the leak of misinformation, misinformation that actually framed Udoka in a better light and cast lots of doubt on the woman involved, forced them to go public with a great deal more than they had originally intended to say about the situation. They handled this far better than most corporations do. They immediately had outside legal counsel investigate, there was an improper relationship with a subordinate, and there was abusive behavior when that relationship ended. Ime owed Nia and their son the warning that the news was coming out, not Wyc.

    • notsoanonymous says:

      I feel like there is some nuance missing (as I mentioned in a comment below)

      I agree it was on HIM to notify her, but the way the Celtics phrased it wasn’t great.

  7. notsoanonymous says:

    I feel like her comment about the Celtics not reaching out to her is in direct response to the fact that they phrased his suspension as them protecting women (with the implication that they were protecting *women as a whole*), but they didn’t notify her in advance that it was going public. Honestly, I get why she said it – don’t say you are protecting women, say you’re protecting the women within the Celtics org.

    I have tremendous respect for her and how she is handling this.

    • KansasGal says:

      Thank you for this! I agree completely. She wasn’t given advance notice that it was going public, so I don’t think a check-in with her afterward was too much to ask. Besides, she has a right to have her feelings. If she is angry with the way the organization handled certain aspects of this, she has a right to her feelings.

    • JW says:

      I really hate to be in the position of defending the NBA and the Celtics here. I’m really no fan. But there’s defending women from predators, and there’s defending women from as*h*les. There’s defending women employees from abusive bosses, and there’s defending women from unfaithful partners. There’s defending women from illegal behavior, prohibited by codes of conduct enshrined in company policy, and there’s defending women from from no account cheating scrubs. If anyone ever for a second thought that the Celtics were “protecting women” as in the latter, they were kidding themselves.

  8. Nicole says:

    Let it just be stated that this woman is stunning and perfect up close. The red carpet pics do not her justice. I saw her in the isles of Target on her cell phone and she is effing lovely. I wish I could look that good and get cell reception in Target.

  9. Mina_Esq says:

    Omg are those recent pics of her? How is she not in her 30’s???!!!