*Los Angeles Lakers forward and reality show star Matt Barnes announced in an emailed statement Monday that he and his fiancée, reality television star Gloria Govan, have split up.
“I’d like to address the rumors surrounding mine and Gloria’s relationship,” Barnes’ statement read, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Lakers blog. “We have reached the difficult decision of ending our relationship and will be going our separate ways at this time. We will work together to raise our sons and wish each other only the best.”
The breakup comes in the wake of postponed wedding plans, a dropped domestic-violence charge and scrutiny surrounding their involvement in the VH1 reality shows “Basketball Wives” and “Basketball Wives: LA.”
Because the two were never married, the custody arrangement regarding their 3-year-old twins Carter Kelly and Isiah Michael is unclear, as is the division of assets, including their Palos Verdes home. It also remains unclear if they’d continue working together with Athletes vs. Cancer, a foundation Barnes founded in 2008 that Govan has said raised $225,000 for local cancer-screening programs.
The two appeared amicable during red-carpet appearances and when I spent a few hours at their house filming Barnes getting a mohawk prior to the 2011 NBA playoffs. But there have been plenty of publicized incidents questioning the strength of their relationship. Barnes and Govan held off definitive wedding plans. Barnes was arrested last summer on suspicion of domestic violence in Sacramento, a charge the two publicly disputed and one the city’s district attorney’s office ultimately dropped. Govan’s role with VH1’s “Basketball Wives” created further attention and Internet reports about the nature of their relationship.
Perhaps the most telling sign regarding Barnes’ feelings about Govan came last week during a Twitter exchange with a fan. That person suggested Barnes should marry her or else someone else will. Responded Barnes: “He can have her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Meanwhile, Govan retweeted the following message on Saturday: “If someone is dumb enough to walk away, be smart enough to let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you.”