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Nia Long said her “heart jumped out of her body” when the Celtics fired her longtime partner Ime Udoka for his alleged affair with a fellow staffer from the organization.

This week, Long, 52, opened up about Udoka’s alleged infidelity in a lengthy interview with The Hollywood Reporter. The actress said she was devastated about how the team brought their private situation into the spotlight following the decision. According to the New York native, the news has been particularly tough for their 11-year-old son Kez, who she has since taken out of school due to the scandal.

“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 said. “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.”

Nia Long Ime Udoka

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Udoka became head coach of the Celtics in 2021 after serving as an assistant coach for the New York Nets. He helped the team win an NBA Final in June, but his career came under criticism a few months later in September, when he was barred from the team for engaging in a consensual relationship with a female staffer. Officials from the Celtics said the 45-year-old’s alleged affair violated the NBA’s code of conduct.

During the interview, Long did not discuss whether she and Udoka have resolved their relationship woes. Still, the star said she was completely blown away by the outpour of support she received after the unfortunate news made headlines.

“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,” she added.

Long got engaged to Udoka in 2015.


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Nia Long Breaks Silence On Cheating Scandal: ‘It Was Devastating’  was originally published on