Mark Jackson, the former Golden State Warriors head coach who is calling the 2017 NBA Finals for ESPN with Jeff Van Gundy, is married to actress and singer Desiree Coleman. The couple have four children together.
The 52-year-old Jackson and the 50-year-old Coleman have been marred since 1990. Their relationship survived a troubling moment in 2012, when Jackson was the victim of an extortion threat from a stripper he had an extramarital affair with in 2006.
Here’s what you need to know about Coleman, her relationship with Jackson and their family.
1. Their Relationship Survived an Extortion Threat From a Stripper Jackson Had an Affair With
In 2012, while Jackson was still coaching the Warriors, he made headlines for an extortion scandal. A stripper named Alexis Adams had an affair with Jackson in 2006 when Jackson was an announcer for the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets. She and an accomplice, Marcus Shaw, tried to blackmail Jackson by threatening to release nude photos of Jackson, according to a complaint filed in Northern California, notes the New York Post.
Documents were posted by The Smoking Gun in 2012. According to the documents, Jackson paid Adams and Shaw $5,000, but they wanted $185,000. Shaw also communicated with Coleman, according to the FBI. Jackson’s affair with Adams lasted less than a year.
“I recognize the extremely poor judgment that I used both in having an affair six years ago — including the embarrassing communication I exhibited during that time — and in attempting to deal with the extortion scheme at first by myself,” Jackson said in a statement. “I made some egregious errors. I apologize for any embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends and, of course, the Warriors.”
In April 2013, The Smoking Gun reporter that Adams struck a plea deal with prosecutors on two felony charges. Shaw also pleaded guilty to charges related to the case.
2. Coleman Got Her Start in the Off-Broadway Musical ‘Mama I Want to Sing!’
Coleman got her start by playing Doris Winter in the Off-Broadway musical Mama, I Want to Sing!, which tells the life story of the late Doris Troy. Coleman was the third actress to play the role. She starred in it from 1983 to 1985.
It was written by Vy Higginsen and Ken Wydro, with music by Wesley Naylor. The play is the longest-running Off-Broadway musical in history and has had over 2,5000 performances in New York alone. There have also been international tours.
Mama, I Want to Sing! has been so successful that it inspired two sequels and a movie that starred Ciara and Patti LaBelle.
3. Coleman Performs Gospel Music Under the Name ‘Kadesh’
Religion plays a central role in the Jackson family, as they are both pastors at the True Love Worship Center International.
Coleman also performs Gospel music. In 2014, she recorded Strip under the name “KADESH.” In an interview with The Chocolate Voice, Coleman revealed that she had no professional training, although she did work in chiors.
“No, I never had any professional training; however, I often frequented choirs. One in particular, again, when I was 14, was the Soul Searchers of Jamaica, Queens, which was the first choir I was in that strengthened my voice, that kind of showed me the natural ability that God had given me,” Coleman recalled. “After that I went to high school, and then on to Broadway and I really learned my voice at that time because it was a Gospel musical and I began to see that ‘Oh, hey, God gave me something special here!”
When asked how she ended up living in California after growing up on the East Coast, she said her faith in God played a role. She said the decision was made even before Jackson retired.
“I was having my fourth child and I was praying ‘Lord, send me to a place where I can still do what I want to do, which is still being in the industry,” she told The Chocolate Voice. “However, do what You would have me to do so, we decided to move there in 2002 and from there God seemed to just open up doors and give me not only my music career, but, a career in ministering. My husband and I, have been preaching for up to five years in a church called True Love Worship Center, and that’s what happened in California!”
4. Son Mark Jackson Jr. Played Basketball for the Manhattan Jaspers
Coleman and Jackson’s eldest son Mark Jackson Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps. He played college basketball at Louisville and at Manhattan College.
The Manhattan College website notes that Jackson Jr. played at Louisville from 2010 to 2012, although he redshirted in his first season due to injury. He also suffered an injury in the 2012-13 season, ending his first Manhattan season early.
Jackson Jr. attended Taft High School in California, where he lettered in his freshman and senior years.
Coleman’s other children are sons Christian and Michah and daughter Heavyn. Heavyn is currently a student at the University of San Francisco and interned for Twitter.
5. She Once Performed the National Anthem Before a Nuggets-Warriors Playoff Game
Back in 2013, Coleman performed the National Anthem before a playoff game between the Warriors and Denver Nuggets. The performance didn’t earn good reviews to say the least, mostly because she added her own lyrics to the end of the song for some reason.
“I think I was about six years old and my mom was often listening to all the great singers of that time – which was Aretha Franklin at the time… I would remember imitating my mom, who was also singer,” Coleman told The Chocolate Voice when asked what made her want to become a singer. “I would sing in the hairbrush, kind of just mimic the singers and I fell in love with music around that time. And it was around 14 years old that I was filled with the Holy Ghost and my life just changed after that. Not only did I sing, but I began to sing for the Lord and minister, and some on-Broadway and off-Broadway. That was the turning point for me, learning and understanding what my true calling was.”
Coleman and Jackson married in July 1990, notes a New York Times wedding announcement. The two tied the knot at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica, Queens. The wedding was officiated by Rev. Floyd H. Flake, the former Queens Representative in Congress.