Nia Long Speaks Out amid Fiancé Ime Udoka's Alleged Affair, Suspension from Celtics

·2 min read

Nia Long is prioritizing her family.

The Fatal Affair actress issued a statement exclusively to PEOPLE after her fiancé, Ime Udoka, was suspended from his role as head coach of the Boston Celtics following an alleged affair with a female staff member.

"The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me," Long said to PEOPLE. "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."

RELATED: Celtics Coach Ime Udoka Faces Suspension After Alleged Affair with Staffer

Long, 51, and Udoka, 45, have been engaged since 2015. They welcomed a son together — Kez Sunday Udoka — in 2011. Long has another son, 21-year-old Massai Dorsey II, from a previous relationship with actor Massai Dorsey.

On Thursday, the Boston Celtics issued a statement on Udoka's immediate suspension from the team. At the time, they said Udoka had violated "team policies," and noted his future with the team will be evaluated.

RELATED: Nia Long and Ime Udoka's Relationship Timeline

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Actress Nia Long (L) and her Husband Ime Udoka (R) attend the BET's 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Actress Nia Long (L) and her Husband Ime Udoka (R) attend the BET's 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Shortly before the Celtics statement went live, ESPN reported that Udoka had a "role in an intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise's staff."

PEOPLE later confirmed the allegations.

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Udoka later gave a statement to ESPN's Malika Andrews on the alleged relationship. "I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down," he said. "I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team's decision."

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His message concluded, "Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment."

Udoka has been head coach of the team since 2021.