Whether it’s fair or unfair, in the last two years Stephen A. Smith’s name has been associated with two highly publicized breakups involving ESPN personnel. The first involved Max Kellerman’s departure from First Take, while the second is directly linked to Jalen Rose’s divorce from Molly Qerim.
Rose recently acknowledged the latter in an interview with GQ magazine. The 49-year-old basketball analyst openly admitted that the speculation bothered him before laying out a sincere response to the swirling rumors that his marriage ended with Qerim because her co-cost on First Take allegedly seduced her during their long-standing work tenure.
“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,” Rose said.
Rose continued, “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.”
The former ‘Fab Five’ member also went on to state that while he knew the rumors weren’t true, he did have a discussion with Smith in regards to the matter.
“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.”
Today, Smith, Qerim, and Rose all remain gainfully employed at ESPN. According to sources close to the trio, they are currently on good terms with one another. For more news on this story, click the link below.
Source: NY Post