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Stephen Jackson and Imani Showalter

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The thought of a man leaving a woman at the altar elicits all types of anger. And when I learned that former NBA player Stephen Jackson was going to explain why he did that to his former fiancée and mother of his children, Imani Showalter, formerly of Basketball Wives, I was prepared to be upset. But after listening to his story, I get it.

Jackson does a great job of explaining himself, so I’ll let the transcript and his video tell the story. He begins the story with a disclaimer.

“This is not to demean nobody. This is free game. I love everybody Black, women included. Let’s get that clear. Cuz a lot of y’all ignorant. This is for women and men but I really want my young ___ to listen to this and take the right advice from this.

The moral of this story is, find you one woman, love her through the good and bad and build with her. Because I’m tellin you, if you think having a whole bunch of hoes and having multiple kids by more than one woman is something to brag about, it will ruin your life. Thank God it didn’t ruin mine but it will add a lot of stress to your life.”

Jackson shared that he and Imani Showalter dated for a year or two after he met in New York. He flagged her down while she was driving and it was on after that. Eventually, she moved to San Antonio with him. He won a championship there but because the organization didn’t feel like Showalter was a good influence on the other NBA wives and they didn’t like the way she dressed, Jackson decided not to renew his contract with them.

He said their relationship got rocky in Atlanta but they toughed it out. Eventually, the couple moved to Indiana together. He proposed during his tenure with the Indiana Pacers but the two planned to tie the knot in Houston, Texas, where Jackson is originally from.

 “We planned to get married in Houston. So, newsflash for all 530 of y’all here. In order for a prenup to get drawn up, both the husband the wife, the bride and the groom have to agree on the prenup before it can even get written up. I take care of a lot of people. I’m never letting one woman control of all the hard work I’ve done in my life. None of these muhf*ckas was in the gym with me. So I told myself whoever I’m married to, they signing a prenup off top. It’s not even a second guess.

So we get the prenup back at least 3-4 months before the wedding. This is all true y’all. I give it to her. When I give it to her, she shouldn’t be surprised by it because me and her sat down and agreed upon the prenup. We agreed. Listen to me y’all. We agreed on the prenup. A month passed, two months before the wedding, I’m like we need to get that prenup signed so when we get down there to Houston, we ain’t gotta worry about it. I tell her that like two or three times.

Now, it’s a month before the wedding and I’m like this is something we agreed on, I shouldn’t have to tell you to sign this prenup. This what I’m telling her. She’s like, ‘Ima sign it. Ima sign it. Ima sign it.’ During that time, we making arrangements for the wedding you still gotta plan shit. You know, I love her. And Ima keep it real with you, I was in love with her and we was building a family. So I was like cool, I ain’t gon make no big deal of it.”

Then Jackson spoke about a twist in the wedding planning. Being that he’s from Houston he had a pastor in mind to officiate the ceremony. His fiancée had other plans.

“She is adamant about this certain pastor. I’m like cool it’s her wedding. But this is a pastor, I’m talking about screaming at me and everything. ‘This pastor has to do it.’”

Jackson couldn’t understand why Showalter wouldn’t want the man who pastored him since he was a child over someone who had been recommended to her through a friend, someone she’d never met. Jackson said he recognized that it was her day so he was willing to let her have her way.

“I spent about $400,000 on the wedding, y’all. Pastor don’t matter to me. I just want to marry you. I don’t even give a damn. Now, we at two weeks before the wedding. Everything planned and ready to go. I’m like, ‘Look bruh why I got to keep asking you about this prenup. It ain’t like you don’t know what’s on it. What motives? This what I told her, what motives you on?! I ain’t on nothing, I just ain’t had time to sign it planning a wedding.”

When they get to Houston they separate to celebrate before the wedding. He was telling an older family friend, who was the nanny to the former couple’s child, that he was concerned the prenup wasn’t signed. The nanny, Miss Doris, told him not to think like that. And that it would get done. She said she would talk to the fiancée about it.

 “ So, this the day of the wedding. Y’all ready for the good part. We wake up that morning, I’m getting dressed. All my groomsmen. In the back of mind, all I’m thinking about is this damn prenup…So where we’re staying at, it’s a big ballroom. We had to get on a private elevator and we go to a back room where we can just walk out to the wedding. Once we get to that room, that’s when I really turn up. And this is why Stephon Marbury and Mike Bibby are my brothers, like my real brothers. We in the back room and the preacher come in with his assistant and my nanny come in with a spooked look on her face. She pulls me to the side and she like, ‘She still ain’t signed it.’ So, I said, ‘I ain’t getting married then.’ Steph was like, ‘She ain’t sign the prenup, what we even here for?’

The preacher steps up, remember the preacher? He says ‘Hold on, now I know you love this girl. Don’t make a drastic decision. I think you should just let God handle it.’ I said, ‘Huh?’ He said, ‘As the pastor, I don’t believe in prenups.’ Now I know why she was fighting for you. You don’t believe in prenups. Damn what you believe in. I put everything in God’s hands and God is telling me to put the pen in her hand and make her sign this gotdamn prenup. That’s what God tellin me. So God tellin you and me two different things.”

Jackson said before all of this happened, when people were still traveling, his late grandmother told his mother, “It ain’t gon be no wedding.”

“By that time it had got rowdy in the bridesmaids room. Bobby Valentino was standing up there, ready to start singing. Ask Bobby Valentino. He was there. Bobby Valentino will tell you this whole story. Everybody getting antsy like ‘what the f*ck?!’ My grandma just sitting there like she already know what’s going on.’ My sister comes out and said, ‘I had to get out of there before I whoop one of them hoes because they in there talking crazy.’ Not in those exact words but she was upset with what was said in there.

This is when she showed her true colors. So wedding off. Wedding’s off. We not doing it. We getting undressed. When we first get back to the room, I break down crying. Honest to God truth, I was hurt. I wanted to marry her, bruh. I break down crying for like twenty-thirty minutes. I’m hard down crying. I didn’t think a woman would take me to this point over a piece of paper. And we got a child together. I was honestly hurt. I was in there hard down crying. And this is when I fell in love with Mike Bibby mama. I’m talking like snot everything. As a grown man, I ain’t never cried like that. Mike Bibby mom grab her bare hand, wipe the snot and everything from my face and picked my chin up and she said, ‘You became a man today.’

So with all that going on, this ain’t even the half. At that point somebody from her side say she want to talk to you. I said what she want to talk to me for? He said, ‘You was getting ready to marry her. Out of respect, talk to her. Everybody in the room was like f*ck that. I’m like, Aight I’ll go talk to her. I get in the room, she still in her wedding dress. Soon as I get in the room, she hard down crying. ‘I’ll sign it. I’ll sign it.’

Listen I was born at night but not last night. Anytime anybody signs anything where they’re crying, under any type of stress, that shit can get thrown out. I was already told that by my folks so I was already on game. So the sh*t she tried, thinking I was going to buckle so it could get thrown out. No sweetheart. You chose your decision. Claim under distress that’s what it’s called. Soon as we get to downstairs, Stephon Marbury was in the DJ booth. Guess what the first song they played. I’ll give y’all a second.”

You already know it was Kanye West’s “Golddigger.”

“That shit was classic my n*gga.”

“This the sickest part of the whole thing. After we had partied in the hotel, me and partners was getting ready to go out. Two of her main squeezes that was with her, was with us that night. And I’ma keep it funky, I downed one of ‘em. Ya feel me. But that’s her friends though. Yeah I did it. Shole did. If ima trick $300,000-$400,000 Ima get some get back. They couldn’t wait.”

It really is a fascinating story. The money grab didn’t end after the wedding. Jackson said that Showalter would create fake addresses in various states trying to collect child support from him several times over. She eventually would join the cast of “Basketball Wives.” Jackson didn’t mind her participation although he was quick to acknowledge that she was never a wife and wanted to let everyone know that he was happily married and no longer wanted Showalter.

Four years later, in 2009, he married Renata Jackson. The two were embroiled in a messy divorce which Jackson attempted to have dismissed given the fact that he and Renata were still sleeping together. Eventually the two reached a settlement in 2015.

You can listen to this enthralling story in the video below.

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