Maureen Barkley has proven she’s quite skilled at flying under the radar, given the fact that her husband is one of the most famous NBA players of all time. For the past 30-years, the former model has been married to Charles Barkley, but has rarely been photographed with him at red carpet events or at games where he’s working as an analyst.
Tonight, Charles Barkley will be kicking off his hosting job on TNT’s new two-night, four-hour docuseries, American Race. The show will follow Barkley as he makes his way across America, asking people how they feel about a number of socially and politically charged topics, like race, Muslims in America, Hollywood stereotyping, and immigration. Though Barkley hasn’t spoken about the subject directly, multiple outlets have reported that his interracial marriage raised eyebrows when the couple first married in the late 80s in Philadelphia. It has yet to be seen if his relationship will be a point of discussion in the docuseries.
Read on to learn more about Maureen Blumhardt, Charles Barkley’s wife.
1. Maureen and Charles Have One Daughter Together
The couple’s daughter, Christiana, was born in 1989– the same year her parents married.
The 28-year-old graduated from Villanova and according to her Facebook, she currently attends Columbia Journalism School.
Last April, Barkley was seen cheering for Villanova and fans speculated it may have been because of his strained relationship with Michael Jordan. As he was leaving the stadium, however, Barkley told cameras he was rooting for Villanova because it’s where Christiana graduated from. He explained to USA Today, “My daughter was living and dying with every game for the last three weeks, so I was really more excited for her, to be honest with you… She’s been going to a Villanova bar in New York City every game. She didn’t even want to come to the game because she didn’t want to jinx the game.’’
2. Blumhardt and Barkley Have Been Married for 28 Years
Barkley and Blumhardt married in 1989. At the time, according to Live RampUp, Maureen was working as a legal aide in Bucks County. The couple tied the knot while Barkley was playing for the 76ers. He joined the team in 1984, two slots after Michael Jordan, and remained with them until he was traded to Phoenix in the 1992-93 season.
The Barkley’s live in Scottsdale, Arizona, in a mansion that they’ve reportedly owned since the late 1990s.
3. She Is a Former Model
Multiple outlets report that Maureen is a former model and an honorary member of the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, which aims to provide women with “education, resources and support to positively transform their lives.”
In March 2016, Maureen and her daughter were photographed at the Fresh Start Fashion Gala, which raised more than $1.5 million to support the Fresh Start Foundation. More than 730 guests visited The Phoenician– a luxurious Scottsdale resort– for the occasion, which celebrated its 20th year that evening.
4. Maureen and Charles Reportedly Met in a Restaurant
Maureen has kept an extremely low profile despite being married to one of the the 50 Greatest NBA Players of all time. One of the only places she has maintained a public presence is on her Twitter page, where she’ll sometimes respond to fans comments about her husband. In one encounter from just last month, someone from Kentucky wrote, “March Madness. I’ll be crushing on your husband for the next few weeks. True story. I’ve been crushing for 30 years. Lol.” Maureen responded, “Now is the perfect time to crush on him. He’ll be on TV non-stop. Enjoy. LOL!!”
5. The Marriage Reportedly Raised a Great Deal of Controversy
Multiple outlets have claimed that the couple’s interracial marriage caused controversy in the 80s and 90s, but neither has directly commented on the topic. PlayerWives writes, “Apparently the marriage was unpopular in some areas of Philly because it was a mixed-race marriage.”
Tonight, Barkley will kick of his stint as the narrator of TNT’s new two-night docuseries, American Race, which he says was partially sparked by his frustration with negative stereotypes of minorities on TV. The Hall-of-Famer recently told Sports Illustrated, “If you are black on television, you are probably going to be some kind of thug, gangster or portrayed in a negative light,” Barkley said.” If you are some type of Muslim, you are going to be blowing stuff up. If you are Hispanic you are going to be some type of gangbanger. I’ve felt like this for years.”
While some outlets commend his job in the show, others believe that he wasn’t the right person to lead the discussion on race. Be sure to tune in May 11 and 12 from 9pm to 11pm to make up your own mind about Barkley’s role in the series.