"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 told The Hollywood Reporter, revealing she took her son out of school when the news broke. The veteran actress shares 11-year-old son, Kez, with Udoka.
In September, the Celtics announced Udoka was suspended for the entire 2022-23 NBA season for violating the team's code of conduct as he had an improper, but consensual relationship with a female staff member.
"It was devastating, and it still is. [Kez] 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," The Best Man star added.
Udoka publicly apologized to "players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down." When the scandal spread across social media "Nia Long" immediately started trending. Shockingly, it was a rare show of unity on social media as practically all tweets were messages of support for the actress.
"I literally felt like my heart had jumped out of my body," Long recalled. "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."
Long and Udoka began dating in 2009 and got engaged in 2015. They were reportedly house-hunting in Boston before the affair became public. Now, she's in the process of moving back to Los Angeles with Kez and son Massai, 22, from a previous relationship. THR noted that Long would not discuss the status of her relationship with Udoka, nor divulge the conduct that prompted his suspension. The publication said the two are co-parenting Kez.
Long recently walked off a movie set for the first time in her 36-year career, in part, to be with her family.
"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," she shared.
Long wants to channel this energy into directing her first film.
"I have to commit myself to that," she explained, "because I think sometimes when so much is happening, it takes your breath away and then it's like you're holding your breath, and you feel this angst and this panic of constantly being in fight-or-flight survival mode. I think mothers, Black women, we understand that more than anyone."
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