Richard Jefferson and Kesha Ni'Cole Nichols

NBA star Richard Jefferson of the San Antonio Spurs made his radio station rounds Thursday (Jul 16) to clear his name … sort of. Yes, he did call off his $2 million via e-mail to his then-fiancee, former New Jersey Nets dancer Kesha Ni’Cole Nichols. But it wasn’t done the night before or a few days prior, as some reports would have you to believe. In fact, the former Nets basketballer informed Nichols of the split an entire week before.

According to the NY Post, Jefferson sent Nichols “the message” after a tense Fourth of July wekend.

“There was a lot of stress and tension in the relationship. We’ve been through a lot — but we just couldn’t continue,” said Jefferson, sounding upset during a telephone interview.

But hey, at least Nichols didn’t walk away empty handed. Jefferson revealed to the gossip rag that he’s giving her a settlement worth six figures so that she can start a new life.

“I won’t say a negative word about Kesha. She is one of my best friends,” said Jefferson

According to Richard himself, their relationship took a turn for the worst as they celebrated the Fourth of July in Los Angeles, just one week before their planned July 11th nuptials at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel on Columbus Circle in New York City.

After Nichols boarded a plane back to New York the next day, Jefferson said, he sent her the devastating e-mail. “Sometimes you might write an e-mail to get your thoughts down right,” he explained. After Nichols — and the message — arrived in New York, the couple spoke by phone for two hours, Jefferson said.

“It was a conversation Kesha and I had,” he said, adding only that it was “a combination of things” that led to the split. Jefferson said they haven’t spoken in a week. “It’s been an emotional time for both of us,” he said. “I know she’s hurt. I’m hurt, too.” The couple had planned to top off their $500,000 wedding with a honeymoon in London, where they had tickets to one of the Michael Jackson comeback shows. Of the money he’s giving Nichols, Jefferson said, “I’m not trying to buy her off. She has a lump sum to help her move on.” He added, “I’ve made my mistakes in this relationship, 100 percent. But at the end of the day, there were some people who were responsible for the demise of it.”

He insisted a rumor he’s gay had nothing to do with the breakup. “I’m not gay,” Jefferson said. “That couldn’t be any further from the truth. I have nothing to hide.” Nichols could not be reached. On July 6, Jefferson told his family the wedding was off. Kesha told her family and friends the next day, he said. Because some out-of-town guests were already in, or en route to, New York, they decided to go through with a dinner that was supposed to have been part of the wedding celebration, Jefferson said.

The jilted bride, a former Net dancer, checked into the Mandarin and spent what would have been her wedding night in a luxury suite. A fellow dancer pal of Kesha, Keltie Colleen, wrote on her blog that Nichols was “going through some serious grief.” None of Jefferson’s family made the trip. “My family didn’t take this well. I’m the last one not to have married,” said Jefferson, the son of Christian missionaries. “My family was looking forward to me starting a family of my own.” Jefferson flew to Paris last week with some basketball buddies. He went “only because I care about her so much that I didn’t want to change my mind after those emails were sent,” he said. “I didn’t want to start missing her and decide, ‘let’s do this.”‘ “It’s so crazy, the divorce rate out there,” Jefferson added. “If you aren’t 100 percent certain about something, you shouldn’t do it.”


If the marriage wasn’t gonna work out, it’s good this happened sooner than later. As we all know, divorces never turn out pretty. Just look at Usher/Tameka and Nas/Kelis! And the countless other celebrities who’ve ended their marriage prematurely.

Be the first to receive breaking news alerts and more stories like this by subscribing to our mailing list.