Who is Sonya Nicole Hamlin?

Sonya Nicole Hamlin was born in 1974 in Maryland, USA, of African American descent. She is a 45 year-old real-estate lawyer, wh0 entered the spotlight in 2006, when she married the hugely popular English actor, producer, director, rapper and DJ Idris Elba. Even though the two divorced after just four weeks of marriage, they remain friends to this day.

Sonya Nicole Hamlin

Start of Their Relationship in 2005

Sonya Nicole first made headlines after it was revealed that she was the new girlfriend of one of the biggest rising stars of British cinema, Idris Elba. When the news broke, the media as well as many fans wanted to know more about her personal life prior, and her relationship with Elba. However, Hamlin managed to keep most of her private life a secret, refusing to disclose information regarding her family, early life and education. What we do know is that she studied law in Washington and then London, before returning to the US to start her career as a lawyer.

In 2002, Idris was cast in HBO’s cult favorite show “The Wire” as Stringer Bell, a role which would launch his career in Hollywood. He left the show in 2004 and spent the following year shooting several films and making guest appearances in shows such as “Girlfriends” and “CSI: Miami”.

Marriage in Las Vegas

Even though she knew he was an actor, Hamlin admitted that she had only heard about Elba prior to their first meeting. After they were introduced by a mutual friend during a crowded gathering, Sonya and Idris had a short-lived, whirlwind romance, beginning just a few weeks after they first met, and soon moved in together. Speaking about their relationship, Sonya stated that they quickly realized how much they had in common: they both loved cooking, they were both dedicated to their families, struggled hard before they made it in their respective careers, and they loved boxing.

Idris Elba and Sonya Nicole Hamlin

On 8th April 2006 they flew to Las Vegas, Nevada to watch the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Junior and Zab Judah. After the fight, while they were in a hotel room, they decided on a whim to marry the following day. Idris bought a diamond ring for Sonya, and the two picked up a marriage license and headed straight for the Little White Wedding Chapel. The only other person besides Idris, Sonya and the wedding officiant was a Las Vegas estate agent Daniel Krastev, whom they met several hours prior to their decision, and persuaded to serve as a witness. The couple called their parents immediately afterwards, but decided to keep the information away from the public eye. They had a honeymoon in Jamaica.

Divorce

Unfortunately, their wedding bliss did not last long. While Sonya’s career soared, running a flourishing law practice during the height of the real estate boom, while Idris had a harder time transitioning from his small screen fame to the heights of Hollywood. On top of that, Idris was continuously being told by his friends and agents that he should leave Sonya and build a kind of single, sex-symbol persona in order to thrive in Hollywood. Other people around him said that he had to choose between his wife and a career in Hollywood. Unfortunately for their marriage, Idris ultimately listened to the latter advice, of which Sonya has stated: ‘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.’ After that, the two made a mutual decision that it would be best to go their separate ways. They filed for divorce only four weeks after their marriage in Las Vegas.

Aftermath of Divorce

Following the divorce, Hamlin had a hard time bouncing back to her normal state. She stated in interviews that the break-up took a heavy toll on her, and in addition the recession caused her business to suffer a blow as well. She said that she did not have a relationship for several years after that. Elba went on to say: ‘It’s quite a selfish profession being an actor, and it definitely has a detrimental effects on your personal life.’ However, she managed to make a complete comeback both in terms of her happiness and her business ventures. Today, her business is thriving once again, and she is in an apparently happy relationship of several years. Unfortunately, we do not have information regarding the name of her current boyfriend or husband.

Regarding her current relationship with Elba, Sonya said that they remained in touch via phone and social media, and that they catch up every few months of so. She stated: ‘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’.

Elba’s Relationships

“The Wire” star has had a pretty tumultuous personal life over the last few decades. His first marriage prior to Sonya was with Hanne “Kim” Norgaard from 1999 to 2003, with whom he has a daughter named Isan. After the divorce from Sonya, he dated Naiyana Garth for several years and had a son with her called Winston. In April 2019 he married Sabrina Dhowre in a wedding ceremony held in Marrakesh.

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