keyshia-cole-daniel-gibson*Although he’s been painted as a cheating, “stripper-chasing coward,” Daniel Gibson sees otherwise regarding the reasons why his marriage to Keyshia Cole failed.

The former NBA star opens up for the first time about the split in the latest issue of Rolling Out magazine. Although he doesn’t name one specific thing, Gibson does allude to Cole’s reality show aiding in the demise of his marriage as well as the fact that he was a “good friend” to his wife.

The following are highlights from Gibson’s Rolling Out cover story:

On why his marriage failed
I think that life happened. In certain situations, you are a match made in heaven. But at the same time, nothing is perfect — and nobody is perfect. Then in some situations, you aren’t going to be as perfect as some people expect you to be. What happened with me and her was that our relationship was out there for everyone to see. So whenever we were going through our problems, it became public and everyone saw the ups and downs. With us, I think it was just a matter of us growing apart over time. I can’t say that there was one thing that broke us up, but what I can say as a man; when you are in a relationship, and you say those vows, I take full responsibility for everything that didn’t go right.

On if he thinks it’s his fault the marriage didn’t work
I take that responsibility — I do.
I’m giving you the real answer because I feel like you’re never supposed to allow your marriage to fall apart. Whether it’s the blogs saying I cheated, or if I don’t like your attitude, at the end of the day, when you’re married to somebody, and you say “I do,” it says for better or for worse, and regardless of what comes in your relationship, you’re supposed to work through it. For example, even if you wanted to say that I cheated, you’re still supposed to figure out a way to make that work. So I’m not backing down from anything that people have to say about me, and I’m not taking the easy way out. But I am taking full responsibility for that not being my wife.

On if he cheated
No.

No? Well there are songs out by her that say something totally different.

Well, let me put it like this. I won’t say that I didn’t cheat, but I will say that I cheated my wife out of a friend in a lot of situations where I was supposed to hold her down and I didn’t. I cheated my wife out of a lot of different things. I feel like when we got together, I thought I was a man, and I thought I had it all figured out but I didn’t. I think I was like 23 when we met, and so a lot of mistakes that you shouldn’t make as a man in a relationship with your wife, I made. So you can go down the line — I probably made every mistake. The difference between me then and me now is that back then, I probably would have tried to sit here and make an excuse like, “oh it was because of her attitude, and it made me go out and cheat on her.” No, that’s a sucker move — that’s for a coward to say. So I‘m sitting here telling you that regardless of what she did, I married her. I loved her. And none of that other stuff should have happened. We’re supposed to still be together doing it right.

On the rumors that he cheated with a stripper
As far as the whole stripper thing goes, of course I went to the strip club and had a picture taken of me with a stripper. But what I’ve been trying to figure out when I hear people gossiping and talking is, since when do two pictures constitute a relationship? It only happens that way when the media tries to paint a picture that this is what happened to our relationship. And what I will say about my wife is that she’s really into the social media world. So when stories like this start floating around, and she feels the need to get involved with it, it makes it seem more true than it really is. But that didn’t really have anything to do with us being separated, because when you think about it, we were actually already separated before all of that came out.

And that’s why I say it’s way deeper than a superficial story that I cheated. It’s way deeper. What it really boils down to was, I just wasn’t a good friend to her, and I wasn’t a good person for her at the end of the day.

On the reality show aiding in the demise of the marriage
Me being the way that I am, and the way that I was raised, I personally felt like love should be private, so I really didn’t want to agree to us doing the show at the beginning. Because I really felt like, when you open up that door, you allow people to be able to hate, or form whatever assumptions they want to about you because you’re putting your life out there. But I felt like it should be private. And, you know, she sings and she sings from that hurt place. I respect what she does, and she has to do that, but as far as I go, I couldn’t care less what somebody has to say about me as a man. The people that know me are the people that matter. And those people know what I’m about and what I stand for. So feel free to call me a stripper-chasing coward who let his family down. But those that know me know what I’m really about and that is never going to change.

For more of Daniel Gibson’s interview with Rolling Out, click here. To watch Gibson discuss his marriage to Keyshia Cole, click here.