A 44-year-old woman named Sonya Hamlin says she is the secret, second wife to 43-year-old actor Idris Elba. As previously reported, Elba most recently ended his relationship with Naiyana Garth, the British mother of his two-year-old son.
And while the public has yet to hear from Garth, Sonya Hamlin is speaking out about the relationship she had with one of Hollywood’s leading men.
In an interview with The Mail, the woman who is a lawyer who lived in Maryland, says that they met and were married in 2006. She says of their relationship:
People were telling him he was going to ruin his career. He was being told it was an important part of his image to be a single sex symbol in Hollywood and being married would damage that. It was very sad. Idris and I were madly in love, but he was getting a lot of flak for being married. Everyone was like, “Dude, you’re the hottest sex symbol!” “It wasn’t the right look”, that’s what they were telling him. I wanted to save the marriage.’
Peep more excerpts from the interview below.
On how she met Elba:
I didn’t really know who he was. My friend just said he was a really nice guy. He wasn’t a superstar back then. Living in Maryland I was vaguely familiar with The Wire, but I didn’t know who he was. We met at a crowded gathering with a few other people. But we hit it off. We meshed very well. He’s not shy and neither am I, and we fell very much in love with each other. We went on normal dates – dinner, movies – and we used to have fun in the house. We used to co-ordinate our outfits when we dressed. And he was a very good cook. If we woke on a Sunday morning we might go out to brunch, or stay at home and make breakfast. Idris loved eggs and porridge, or would cook Jamaican food: he loved aki and saltfish.
‘He’s a homebody. He didn’t like to be out at night. He loves to watch TV, and listen to music. We were very casual. We’d lounge around in jeans and a T-shirt.’
Eloping in Las Vegas, while they were in Nevada for the Mayweather vs Judah boxing match:
We didn’t go to Vegas with plans on getting married. We were just chilling on sun-loungers early in the day by the pool. I was drinking a Mimosa, and we were talking, and were both in a great mood. We had talked about marriage before and how we would want to keep it plain and simple. We had been together several months already, and knew it was right. We were both madly in love by then, and we were like, “Let’s just do it!” We were both excited. It was a mutual decision. As far as we were concerned, we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. He got me a beautiful diamond ring. We picked it and it was not cheap. He was generous.’
Jumping the broom at the Little White Wedding Chapel:
It took several hours before we made it there, but neither of us was nervous. When you have that chemistry and you’re that much in love, why would you be nervous?
On her career soaring, but Elba’s Hollywood career struggling:
I had a flourishing law practice and it was the height of the real estate boom, and he was making the transition into the movie industry. It was hard. He’s prideful. He wasn’t a kept man – he wouldn’t let me keep him. He’d whip out his wallet and pay for anything. He’d spend his last penny on me. He’s a man’s man.
Only six weeks after tying the knot, Elba decided he wanted to end their marriage:
Some people used to say, “Why her?” That’s what they were telling him. It used to upset him. He was like, “Why don’t people just let me be happy?” I couldn’t understand how it would damage his career because I saw actors like Denzel [Washington] be successfully married. But I don’t think those actors’ wives are running law firms. It wasn’t easy for either of us,’ Sonya continues. ‘We sat down here in Maryland and decided we were going to file. We wavered a couple of times. We were both just sad. He hugged me, of course. It was very sad.
How she handled their split:
There was no certainty that he was going to go on and be a big star, and he had a daughter to provide for, and maybe he had to make the tough decision. He was protective of me, but he listened to people in his ear. He was the love of my life. I was always successful, and so having a failed marriage was hard, and then my business took a huge plunge in the recession. It was a double-whammy for me. I didn’t date anybody for years.
How she feels about Elba:
He’s the best actor you have in Britain, and will probably be the next James Bond, and he’s won awards and Emmys,’ she says, though in reality Elba has earned four Emmy nominations without a win. ‘He’s got an Oscar coming, no question.’
‘Maybe anything after that wasn’t genuine, otherwise he would have married them. I’d be happy for him if he got married again, and he genuinely loved that person. I’m not a jealous person. I want him to be happy, just like I’m sure he wants me to be happy. I don’t think he’s ever going to have a problem being lonely.
According to the site, today, her law practice is thriving once again, and she is in a good relationship. [The Daily Mail]