Nia Long On Her Final Decision To Leave Ime Udoka: 'Loving Myself Was Bigger And More Important Than Saving Anybody'
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Nia Long On Her Final Decision To Leave Ime Udoka: 'Loving Myself Was Bigger And More Important Than Saving Anybody'

Jeezy has been pulling out all the stops for the promo of his new album I Might Forgive…But I Don’t Forget. The iconic rapper tapped legendary actress Nia Long for an intimate conversation about love, trauma, and the Black family. The discussion provided insight into the “All There” rapper’s childhood, strained relationship with his mother, who has since passed, and his career mishaps. He also briefly spoke on his decision to file for divorce from Jeannie Mai, saying that he feels “saddened,” “disappointed,” and “uneasy” about it. However, he believes that God is leading him on a different path.

Throughout the conversation, Nia also opened up about her life experiences, including her relationship with her father, her sons, and her ex-fiancé Houston Rockets coach Ime Udoka.

“You know I had a really public breakup recently. It was a wake-up call for me in the sense that, like ok, you’re gonna do this on your own, and you’re gonna be fine, and you’re not gonna worry about what anyone thinks and has to say ‘cause the relationship was rocky for a very long time,” she said. “I don’t believe that another person can break anyone up like, I just don’t buy that.

When Ime was the Boston Celtics head coach, he was caught having an affair with a staffer and was suspended for the 2022-2023 season. This suspension ultimately led to his firing. However, the cheating scandal led to the public rallying behind The Best Man actress, which the mother of two revealed she was “shocked” by.

“I had to realize for myself that anything that happened in the…last year and a half of my life, that shit didn’t have nothing to do with me,” she expressed. “It didn’t have nothing to do with me. I was not embarrassed. The way that Black people stood up for me and the way that Black women were like, ‘Oh no, you don’t do that to her,’ I was shocked because I didn’t realize that what I had done or what I’ve done in my career had so much impact.”

While she did admit that things between her and Ime had been “rocky” for a long time, she was trying her best to make things work. But she soon learned that choosing herself was the best option. “I think my older son saw me trying to keep the family together, but I had to come to a place where loving myself was bigger and more important than saving anybody.”

While time has passed and both parties have seemed to move on with their lives, we all have our down days. Jeezy checked in with Nia to see how she’s truly feeling since the breakup and the scandal that followed. “I think I’m exactly where I need to be, which is some days I’m like totally good, and other days I’m like, oh God, this feels like so much work. And other days, it feels like women shouldn’t have to be this strong,” she said, tearing up. “I don’t want to be this strong sometimes.”

The former couple were together for 13 years and share a 12-year-old son together. Nia also has a 22-year-old son from a previous relationship.

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Feature image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

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