Actress Nia Long was apparently blindsided by news of fiancé Ime Udoka's affair. Udoka, who was gearing up for his second season as the head coach of the Boston Celtics, reportedly had a consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff. The woman allegedly accused Udoka of making unwanted comments toward her, which led to an investigation and his subsequent suspension.
"The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me," Long tells TMZ in a statement. "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."
Long and Udoka share a 10-year-old son and have been engaged since 2015. (She also has a 21-year-old son from a prior relationship.) A source tells TMZ that while Udoka learned in July the team would be taking action over his improper relationship, he left the NCIS: Los Angeles star in the dark. They've even been house hunting in Boston in recent weeks. Long purportedly only learned about the affair in recent days before the scandal was made public.
Related video: Celtics suspend Udoka for the entire 2022-23 NBA season for violations of the team's code of conduct
"I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down," Udoka said in a statement.. "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."
Long has been trending all morning with social media overwhelmingly in support of the actress... some tweets more amusing than others.
My brother in Christ, you are… a sitting US House member… https://t.co/eJBAxaQkm2
— Sam Sanders (@samsanders) September 23, 2022
Nia Long has an 100% approval rating with Black America and Ime Udoka is about to understand that.
— Van Lathan Jr (@VanLathan) September 22, 2022
Cheating on Nia Long? End of days has to be upon us. Because ain’t NO WAY.
— Nina Parker (@theninaparker) September 22, 2022
Essence said if we are gonna discuss Nia Long, we are going to speak POSITIVITY, okay?! 💗 pic.twitter.com/zUTmYmLqW2
— jaya. (@jayacancook) September 22, 2022