Jalen Rose speaks about Molly Qerim divorce, Stephen A. Smith ESPN rumors

An NBA player turned TV pundit has opened up on his marriage break-up, addressing wild rumors about his ex-wife and her co-host.

Former NBA star turned ESPN personality Jalen Rose announced his divorce from fellow network host Molly Qerim last December, but never discussed the split publicly, until now.

Tea New York Post reports in a QG interview published this week, Rose said he and Qerim mutually ended their three-year marriage — despite unfounded rumors that she had a separate relationship with sportscaster Stephen A. Smith, her co-host on ESPN’s First Take program.

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“In my personal relationship, it was laughable to me, to see (Qerim) and I mutually part ways, be in accord about why we’re parting ways, and still see people speculating on why. Not only speculating — in particular saying it was because her and Stephen A. Smith had a relationship,” said Rose, who admitted the speculation “bothered” him.

“And, like, unequivocally, I’m not here to speak for what he does in his personal life or what she does in her personal life, I got love for both of them … I would just say that for people who thought we parted ways because they have a relationship? Then I got some swampland in Detroit to sell you for top dollar. That is not why we split.

“I still see that, by the way. I might say something about someone’s team and I’ll see, ‘That’s why Molly left him!’ or ‘That’s why Stephen A. kickin’ it with yo ex-wife!’ That’s not true.

“But, when it happened, it’s two ways for me to handle it as a professional: I work with him, I got love for him, and that’s my brother. I got love for her, we were friends before we were married, we just didn’t work as a couple. I just saw her today. We cool! But for me to see the speculation and for people to assume that was why, it bothered me.”

Rose went on to explain why he remained silent about his divorce throughout the speculation over his relationship, which he said “was heavy” over the course of a month after announcing the split.

“It was trending (online), (Smith) was trending, (Qerim) was trending, I was trending. It was a real thing,” Rose said. “And, like, am I about to respond to that? It gave me a real fork in the road. But I didn’t, because I knew it wasn’t true. I would just be fueling those people.

“Not responding, and finally sprinkling some here and there, it made people who ran with it look less credible. We discussed it. It’s why none of us said anything.

“People would say, ‘Jalen’s a sucker, Stephen A. snatched his wife and he up there working with him’ or ‘Look at Molly, she was talking to Jalen yesterday now she kicking it with …’ That ain’t happen. We all looked at it like: it was such a reach. That’s why none of us have spoken on it.”

Last December, Rose announced he and Qerim had split in a note on his Instagram Story.

“After being separated for almost a year, Molly and I have officially decided to go our separate ways,” he wrote. “We both agree remaining friends and colleagues is the best course of action for our relationship moving forward. Please respect our privacy at this time.”

At the time, a source insisted on the New York Post there was no drama surrounding the split, which actually happened last January.

“They were friends before they were together and are still friends,” the source said. “They saw each other at work today and it was totally normal. They worked to keep their relationship status private over the last year because they have a lot of respect for each other.”

Rose and Qerim first went public with their relationship in June 2016. They tied the knot in July 2018 in a small ceremony in New York City.

This story first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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