Nia Long opens up about partner Ime Udoka's 'devastating' affair and NBA suspension

Nia Long is opening up for the first time about partner Ime Udoka's infidelity and his subsequent suspension from the Boston Celtics as head coach in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Dec. 1

And she strongly disagrees with how the NBA team handled the news.

“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, 52, said.

On Sept. 23, the Celtics held a press conference to share that Udoka was suspended for the entire season due to "violations of team policies." ESPN later reported that it included an intimate relationship with a female staffer. Udoka, 45, and Long have been partners for 12 years and share 11-year-old son, Kez. Long has another son, Massai Zhivago Dorsey II, 22, whom she shares with actor Massai Zhivago Dorsey.

MANDAFEST Mandla Morris' 13th Birthday Celebration (Randy Shropshire / WireImage)
MANDAFEST Mandla Morris' 13th Birthday Celebration (Randy Shropshire / WireImage)

The day the news broke, Long took Kez out of school early to protect him from the impending firestorm. It was a new school for him as the two of them had just moved to Boston two weeks prior.

“It was devastating, and it still is,” Long told The Hollywood Reporter. “He still has moments where it’s not easy for him.”

Long said the move to go public was not in her best interest, and she still has not spoken to anyone at the organization.

“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.”

But Long said she's found a "tribe of women and men" who protect and comfort her during this difficult.

When the news first broke, she issued a statement saying, “The outpouring love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me. 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.”


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