Back in December, former NBA star and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose announced that he and “First Take” co-host Molly Qerim have filed for divorce. The couple had been married for three years.
“After being separated for almost a year, Molly and I have officially decided to go our separate ways,” Rose wrote on his Instagram story. “We both agree remaining friends and colleagues is the best course of action for our relationship going forward. Please respect our privacy at this time.”
The ESPN personality is now speaking out about that divorce and the rumors that came out from it.
In a GQ interview published Wednesday, Rose said he and Qerim mutually ended their three-year marriage and it had nothing to with unfounded rumors that she had a separate relationship with Stephen A. Smith, her co-host on ESPN’s “First Take.”
“In my personal relationship, it was laughable to me, to see [Molly 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… 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. We still 100. 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 wit’ 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 then explained why he remained silent about his divorce throughout the speculation about his relationship.
“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 workin’ with him,’ or ‘Look, at Molly, she was talkin’ to Jalen yesterday now she kickin 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.”
Rose and Qerim first went public with their relationship in June 2016 and tied the knot in July 2018.