Basketball Player Claims He Dumped Fiancé At The Altar Because She Refused To Sign A Prenup — But She Says That's Not The Whole Story

Can a prenup doom a relationship?

Basketball player and his fiancé broken up poco_bw, zimmytws's Images / Canva; @_stak5_ & @Iammelissaimani / Instagram

Stephen Jackson is a former professional basketball player known for playing 14 seasons in the NBA on the San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, among other teams.

Along with his NBA career, Jackson is famous (or infamous) for being involved in the Malice at the Palace, dubbed the most infamous brawl in NBA history, as well as being good friends with George Floyd, the catalyst of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.


However, in 2005, a year after the Malice at the Palace, he was set to wed Imani Showalter, a former reality star who appeared on the TV show "Basketball Wives." In 2020, he recounted how he left his wife-to-be at the altar because she wouldn't sign a prenup. But Showalter claims that's not how it went down.

Jackson says he dumped his fiancé, Imani Showalter, at the altar because she refused to sign a prenup.

What is a prenup, exactly? According to a December 2022 article from MetLife, a prenup typically is a contract that outlines whose assets are whose before a marriage.

It's no surprise that a millionaire NBA player would want such a document. But how does Jackson claim the events transpired? In an Instagram Live, he told his side of the story. 


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Jackson claims that both he and Showalter agreed to sign a prenup months before the wedding. "We get the prenup back at least 3-4 months before the wedding. This is all true y'all. I give it to her. When I give it to her, she shouldn't be surprised by it because me and her sat down and agreed upon the prenup," Jackson said.

Though, despite his repeated requests to sign, he claims Showalter kept putting it off. "A month passed, two months before the wedding. I'm like, we need to get that prenup signed, so when we get down there to Houston, we ain't gotta worry about it. I tell her that like two or three times," he said.


Eventually, it was the wedding day, and she still hadn't signed. Jackson's grandmother was there and told him not to worry because Showalter agreed to her that she'd sign it. Later, she returned to Jackson with a "spooked look on her face" and told him that Showalter was hesitant to sign the prenup.

Jackson's grandmother told Showalter that he wanted to call off the wedding, but she told him not to act so fast. On top of that, Jackson claims even the pastor was in on it. He claimed that Showalter wanted a specific pastor to officiate the ceremony, who, according to Jackson, did not believe in prenups and told him to "let God handle it."

"God is telling me to put the pen in her hand and make her sign this [expletive] prenup," Jackson said. "That's what God tellin' me. So God tellin' you and me two different things."

Because of this, Jackson left Showalter at the altar and called off the wedding. Reportedly, fellow NBA player Stephon Marbury hopped in the DJ booth and started playing "Gold Digger" by Kanye West. 


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Showalter, on the other hand, claims her ex isn't revealing the full story about their breakup.

In an Instagram post from April 2020, responding to Jackson's claims, Showalter asserted that she did, in fact, sign the prenup. In addition to that, she said that they never even discussed it before he requested it two weeks before the wedding.

imani showalter stephen jackson prenupPhoto: @iammelissaimani / Instagram


A prenup usually includes property that has value, like jewelry or appliances, cash and bank accounts, retirement funds, investments, and real estate. Dr. Carol Clark, a board-certified sex therapist, told YourTango in October 2012 that a prenup can be great because it gets finances out of the way.

"The most common reason couples fight is because of finances. Getting it all out on the table up front will help with discussing financial matters down the road," Dr. Clark said.

On the other hand, attorney Meri Arnett-Kremian told YourTango that since the future is unknown, it's difficult to plan for it. Sometimes, what's considered fair when it was signed becomes unfair when circumstances change.

"It's hard to anticipate every change in circumstance that might occur between the time a prenuptial agreement is written and when the marriage falls apart," Arnett-Kremian said.


Regardless of one's beliefs on prenups, Showalter claimed that Jackson didn't bring it up to her until two weeks before the wedding. According to a September 2022 article from Brides, couples should give at least 30 days before the wedding to agree on and sign a prenup.

Showalter shared the document on her Instagram and, interestingly, even though it was their prenup to sign, it was solely sent to Jackson and his mother. Showalter claims that all of this was because Jackson was scared to disappoint his mother.

In another post, Showalter shared the prenup that she signed on their wedding day, which she handwrote an addendum on since she was unsure what was in the "mysterious prenup that [she] got 1 hour before walking down the [a]isle." 

She asked for a "monthly allowance," a home in her name, "no more children," "no infidelity," and to "obtain representation on a later date." So, if the prenup Showalter posted is accurate, it seems that the real reason Jackson left her at the altar was because of her additions to it.


There are many reasons why a prenup can cause one partner to want to abandon the relationship.

According to Kelly & Knaplund, a divorce lawyer film, a prenup can cause an imbalance.  

"Many people who sign a prenuptial agreement, then divorce later on, say that during the marriage the prenup made them feel they were never on an even playing field financially. A prenup can cause resentment and suspicion that your spouse is not committed to making the marriage a true partnership," they wrote.

Even though this is a wild situation, there's much to learn about how to handle a prenup. How should couples approach it?


Kevin J. Chroman, a family law attorney, told YourTango in November 2017 that couples should be "upfront, clear and honest" with each other, "ask the right questions, and focus on the right issues," and "remember that your attorneys are there to help you."

A prenup can be a great thing for some couples and terrible for others. Like most crucial things in a relationship, it's best to be on the same page about it! 

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Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.