Idris Elba is a known heartbreaker — at least if you ask his female fans — and now one of his ex-wives is spilling all the tea on what it's like to be married to the British hunk.
Sonya Hamlin, a U.S.-based property lawyer, was married to Elba for just a few weeks around the time that his fame began to take off in 2006, when he was on The Wire. Hamlin says they split after a very brief marriage, despite being "madly in love," because Elba's Hollywood handlers told him the relationship "wasn't the right look" for his rising star status.
"People were telling him he was going to ruin his career," she says. "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."
Hamlin says that before his relentless drive to become a star took hold of Elba, they enjoyed a super close and amazingly normal relationship. "We went on normal dates — dinner, movies — and we used to have fun in the house," she tells the Daily Mail. "We used to coordinate 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 [ackee] and saltfish."
She continued, "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."
The couple decided to tie the knot in Las Vegas during a whirlwind trip to see Floyd Mayweather fight. The elopement was Idris's idea, she says. "We didn’t go to Vegas with plans on getting married,’ she says. "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."
After a honeymoon in Jamaica, the newlyweds settled in Baltimore, where Idris was launching his Hollywood career on The Wire and Hamlin had a successful practice. Even though she was the breadwinner, she says, Idris refused to be a kept man. "He’d whip out his wallet and pay for anything. He’d spend his last penny on me. He’s a man’s man."
Just six weeks after tying the knot, though, they decided to call it quits. Hamlin suggests that Idris's career was the main reason, saying that it didn't make sense for him to be tied down to a "regular" person while playing the heartthrob. Still, she says, it ended amicably. "It wasn’t easy for either of us," she says. "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."
Looks like they stayed on good terms, though, since Sonya congratulated her ex-husband on his Golden Globes win in 2012, six years after they split, referring to him as her "dear friend":