Like other high-profile couples, Carmelo Anthony and Alani "LaLa" Anthony (née Vázquez) live in the limelight. But unlike those couples, Melo and LaLa dated for six years before being married by Michael Eric Dyson at Cipriani's in New York City in front of 320 guests on July 10, 2010. Moreover, the ceremony was recorded and broadcasted by VH1 as a segment of the reality show LaLa's Full Court Wedding.
As you may already know, Melo and LaLa's marriage isn't much of an example of relationship goals. The couple had a child out of wedlock, a son named Kiyan Carmelo Anthony, who was born on March 7, 2007.
Not only that, their marriage is quite tumultuous with its ups and downs. After the end of the 2016-17 NBA season, LaLa reportedly moved out of Melo's apartment and chose to live separately. LaLa also filed for separation from Melo after he was accused of impregnating a female employee at a gentlemen's club. They haven't decided to divorce yet, so they're still legally married.
However, the drama is far from over as a lot of headlines surrounding the couple made their way to the internet. Most recently, LaLa spoke to E! Online about her relationship with Melo. LaLa said, "When you entertain [rumors] you give them power. Only I know what's going on with my relationship and that's what matters to me, not what everybody else thinks. I'm trying to be an example for other women out there. You don't have to feed into the bulls--t. Deal with it quietly. When it's time for the world to know, they'll know. There's no strength in playing it out publicly. What am I going to gain from that? I like the high road."
Here are 10 things you didn't know about Melo and LaLa's marriage and five things about their separation.
15 Marriage: The Couple's First Date
Melo doesn't just play for an NBA team in the Big Apple. Both him and his wife hail from Brooklyn, New York.
After just one season as a small forward at Syracuse University, Melo was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the third overall pick in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft. LaLa majored in communications at Howard University and worked at radio stations in Atlanta and Los Angeles before becoming a co-host on MTV's Total Request Live.
According to Page Six, LaLa once told an interviewer that she met Melo through a mutual friend.
LaLa told Munaluchi Bride, “I was hosting a show on MTV with DJ Clue at the time, and he said, ‘I really want to introduce you to someone that wants to meet you.’ He introduced us, and it started off as a friendship, which evolved over time into something more."
As a result, Anthony flew out to Long Beach, Calif., to meet LaLa for their first date. LaLa told Munaluchi Bride, "We had dinner at the hotel I was staying at and hung out that night...It was a fun time. I remember it vividly.”
14 Marriage: The Couple's Christmas Proposal
Anthony was apparently really smitten by LaLa that he ended up popping the question to the reality star on Christmas 2004.
"It was the end of Christmas. We were going to bed," La La recalled to Page Six. "I didn’t think anything of it, I [figured] we opened our gifts for the day and it was over with...And then he just surprised me and pulled out a ring asking me to marry him."
Although the proposal occurred just one year after the couple's first date, the much-anticipated wedding bells didn't ring right away. But, six years and one child later, the couple tied the knot in a lavish wedding in July 2010. Their guests included Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake and LeBron James. After the wedding, LaLa wrote on Twitter, “Best night of my entire life." She then tweeted, "Thank u to all my family and friends who shared tonight with me. I love u. I’m on cloud 9 right now."
13 Separation: Melo's Pregnant Mistress
Like we said earlier, LaLa separated from Melo after he allegedly knocked up a dancer at a gentleman's club. The woman in the middle of the couple's split was identified as Mia Angel Burks. Burks is a graduate of Northwestern University with a master's degree in health communication. Moreover, Burks' main job is a Chicago-based educator, not a stripper.
Melo and Mia first met in a Chicago nightclub. Carmelo's ex-friend Anthony Jacobs told Chicago Morning Takeover, "Mia met Carmelo at Room Seven, a club in Chicago when he was here for the NBA draft doing press...She’s not a stripper…She works in education setting up programs."
Jacobs added that Burks never intended to hurt Melo's marriage. Jacobs said, “She was more giddy about it than anything...When those type of girls talk to those kind of guys, I don’t think that’s the premise in the back of their head, ‘I’m gonna go destroy this happy home.’ It’s fun. It’s perks.”
12 Marriage: Both Sides Have Puerto Rican Ancestry
LaLa isn't the only one in the family who has Puerto Rican ancestry. In case you didn't know, Melo is half African American and half Puerto Rican. Although Melo isn't 100 percent Puerto Rican, he continues to wear his Latin pride on the his sleeve...with a tattoo of the Puerto Rican flag on his right hand.
Melo has dished about his Puerto Rican heritage in previous interviews. Shortly after putting a Nueva York jersey on, Melo told ESPN.com, "I think it's something that's getting more and more out there...People are definitely starting to recognize that..I'm still trying to get that message out there, to let them know that I'm one of them and part of that community too."
Melo's Puerto Rican father died when he was just two years old. Melo continues to treasure the book of poetry that his dad left behind and even tries to read the handwritten poems. Good for him.
11 Marriage: The Couple Have A Prenup
A divorce between Melo and LaLa could leave hundreds of millions of dollars on the table, according to an undisclosed report.
The couple reportedly has a prenuptial agreement from before they tied the knot in 2010. It would benefit Melo, thanks to his $124 million contract with the New York Knicks (now the OKC Thunder) and other endorsement deals, according to TMZ. The NBA All-Star is reportedly worth more than $200 million and landed on Forbes' list of richest athletes at No. 25 in 2016.
LaLa has also made a name for herself as an MTV video jockey (VJ). She has also been working as an actress and producer. She also was featured in the romantic comedy films “Think Like A Man” and “Think Like A Man 2.”
Despite her television success, she's raking in notably less than her hubby. MTV VJs reportedly made $40,000 to $50,000 in the early stages, but later got paid “a hell of a lot,” according to the book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution.
However, LaLa's net worth without Melo remains unclear.
10 Separation: Chris Rock Isn't Welcome
Despite Melo and LaLa announcing their separation, the couple has been spotted out together and are reportedly working on their marriage, but nothing has been confirmed yet. On an episode of the Wendy Williams Show, comedian Chris Rock was in the middle of promoting his Total Blackout World Tour when Williams asked Rock if he was friends with the on-and-off couple.
Rock proceeded to express his feelings towards the reality star.
"If LaLa is interested in going short next time,’ Chris told TotalProSports.com. "LaLa is bad, woo! Hey, they’re married; you’re not supposed to mess with other team’s players. But she’s hot though!"
"She looked great the other night," Chris continued, referring to a photo of LaLa at the Met Gala in NYC. "La La will you? La La let’s go to ‘La La Land!"
Some of the audience laughed at Rock, but LaLa's estranged husband wasn't happy about the remarks.
"He was really upset," a source told DailyMail.com. "He sent a text to several of his friends asking “Did y’all see this bulls***? This n**** on TV trying to scoop up my wife."
The source added, "He then called famed film director Spike Lee to tell him to tell Chris to back off before it became a problem."
9 Marriage: The Couple's Age Difference
No, Melo isn't much older than LaLa. LaLa is the older person in the relationship. She's 38 years old. He's 33. There's a five-year gap, which isn't enough for her to be qualified as a cougar, but she's still older than her man. Obviously, we're not going to bring up stereotypes, but maybe this has something to do with the fact that Melo allegedly cheated on her. Who else would cheat on a seemingly intelligent and independent woman for a cheap fling?
The couple were married for seven years before deciding to part ways. Now, seven years is kind of a long time for two people to be married, especially between a well-known couple. But their marriage was affected by a silly mistake, so maybe they could work together to patch things up and move forward. All we can do is speculate, but it's possible. We just don't know when.
8 Marriage: Son Kiyan Knows How To Play Basketball
We already know that LeBron James’ son, LeBron James Jr., is a young, talented basketball player, but he’s not the only skilled child of an NBA star.
Melo's 10-year-old son, Kiyan, is a couple years younger than LeBron Jr., but he’s already honing skills that will remind fans of his father. Kiyan has gotten the isolation moves down like a pro.
LaLa took to Instagram to post a video of Kiyan at basketball practice. LaLa captioned the video with "Proud of the hard work Kiyan is putting in today & everyday! Consistency is key! ???"
We must admit that Kiyan’s post-up stance looks almost identical to Melo's, and he’s only 10. That’s impressive, to say the least. Of course, it would be cool if Melo served as Kiyan's personal coach, but his hard work seems to be paying off as he already has a highlight mixtape from his league.
7 Separation: Melo Can Justify Cheating
Following the couple's separation, Melo didn't crash on the couch and sulk to himself. Instead, he said something outrageous, and it wasn't a cheating accusation. He simply justified cheating, saying, “LaLa is married, I’m not." So that's his tag line for you.
Melo's thoughts on relationships is that most professional athletes cheat on their wives and girlfriends. Melo said, "LaLa has put up with a lot. She knew it was going on, but I guess this time she’s had enough."
Melo's representative declined to comment on allegations of his cheating instances or the report that he knocked up a stripper who works at a New York-based gentlemen’s club. The dancer is allegedly demanding money for medical bills and baby expenses.
Another source said, "The stripper pregnancy rumor is not true. Yes he’s not been perfect, but the baby with a stripper isn’t true." Additional sources say that the couple currently don't have any plans to officially divorce.
6 Marriage: Ciara's Impromptu Rap At The Couple's Wedding
A 14-piece Hank Lane band performed at the star-studded wedding of Melo and LaLa at Cipriani on 42nd Street in NYC before everybody knew who they were. The band performed in front of a guest list that included the bride’s best friends singer Kelly Rowland, television personality Kim Kardashian and rapper and singer Ciara. They also performed with a six-member string ensemble that included the violin, viola, cello, harp, flute and keyboard. R&B singer Kenny Lattimore sang his hit song “For You” as the couple walked down the aisle. The recessional, “As” was performed as a duet with Lattimore and Kevin Osborne along with additional backup vocals. Osbourne also sang the couple’s first dance song, “So Amazing” by Luther Vandross.
The band opened up with an extended dance set, playing classic Soul and R&B from Stevie Wonder to Michael Jackson. Somewhere in between, Ciara performed an impromptu rap. DJ Clue played later that night.
5 Marriage: LaLa Is A Proud Mom
Earlier this year, LaLa gave a special shout out to her mother on Dear Mama of VH1. LaLa said, "I definitely want to take a minute to acknowledge my mother, Carmen Surillo, who has been there for me through the best times, the toughest times, everything...Thank you so much, mom, for being my rock. You are definitely the real MVP."
Just like her mom, LaLa is also a proud mom herself. LaLa has always taken care of her son Kiyan. Even though LaLa parted ways with Melo, the couple reunited on Mother's Day for the sake of Kiyan. The family of three were spotted having frozen yogurt at a dessert shop called Culture in New York City.
LaLa certainly felt the love, which was likely an attempt by Melo, who is apparently trying to win back his wife. Hopefully, things pan out for the on-again, off-again couple because it's kind of tiring to hear about their mixed emotions.
4 Separation: Kevin Garnett's Crass Comment
Power forward Kevin Garnett is retired now, but he found himself in trouble when he was in the league. Garnett once had an argument at a bus stop with Melo after a hard-fought game at Madison Square Garden in 2013. The argument was over Garnett's alleged words to Melo, which were “your wife tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios.”
The two NBAers got tangled up several times during the game, which the Boston Celtics ended up with a 102-96 win. They were both hit with technical fouls after elbowing each other under the rim and getting in each other’s faces. The back-and-fourth action was so intense that the players had to be separated. Garnett jawed off at Melo, but it wasn't clear what he said.
Apparently, Melo wasn’t satisfied with the argument ending in the arena. According to the New York Daily News, Melo yelled furiously at Garnett outside the Celtics’ locker room after the game. Then, Melo tried to confront Garnett as the Celtics boarded their team bus. Five NYPD officers, MSG security and then-Knicks head coach Mike Woodson raced to the scene to break up the fight.
3 Marriage: Son Kisan Plays Role In Melo's Decision
Melo's son Kiyan played a role in one of his father's decisions. Melo told Marc Stein of The New York Times that Kiyan preferred the Oklahoma City Thunder as his next team even though the trade speculation involving the Knicks and Houston Rockets continued. Melo told Stein, "My son said he wanted me to play for OKC...Even before OKC was in the picture."
"My son has a basketball mind," Melo continued. "So I will always throw little topics at him. He was like, 'Dad, where you getting traded to?' I told him, 'I don't know, where do you think I should go?' He said: 'You really want me to give you my opinion? I think you should go to OKC.'"
The Knicks eventually traded Melo to the Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round pick. The 10-time All-Star joined a group that already featured reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and perennial All-Star Paul George. Last year with Westbrook alone, OKC finished sixth in the Western Conference with a 47-35 record. Now OKC has one of the most stacked rosters in the league.
2 Marriage: LaLa's Wedding Ring
In 2010, LaLa showed off her glistening wedding ring while attending the premiere of the action crime thriller film "Takers." LaLa proved that NBAers, like her hubby, give fine jewelry to their WAGs.
Cue the 1970 song "Band of Gold" by Freda Payne... "Now that you're gone / All that's left is a band of gold / All that's left of the dreams I hold / Is a band of gold."
LaLa received a nine-carat diamond ring at the time of her engagement to Melo. Melo later upgraded LaLa's ring to a 20-carat diamond band, which was very nice and thoughtful, but neither party has worn their wedding bands since April. Hopefully, the couple will work things out for the sake of their son in the near future, but right now, it just goes to show that money can't always buy love. Love is about trust, respect and communication, not material items.
1 Separation: Melo Promises Renewal Of Wedding Vows
While Melo has been falling apart after losing the love of his life and mother of his child, LaLa has been living a pretty good life. LaLa has been lighting up social media with lovely photos and snaps for her followers.
It has been reported that Melo has been trying to convince LaLa to give him another chance. A source told HollywoodLife.com, "Carmelo knows he’s in the doghouse and he’s doing everything he can to make things right...He’s been lavishing La La with gifts, beautiful jewelry and clothes, and he’s even promised her that they can renew their vows if they get back together." He has even offered to attend marriage counseling with LaLa.
While it's really sweet that Melo promises a renewal of his wedding vows to LaLa, it's probably not going to be easy as LaLa may now have some trust issues with Melo's past infidelity.