Who Is Sonya Nicole Hamlin, Idris Elba’s Ex-wife? All You Should Know

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Idris Elba is easily one of the most popular and talented actors alive. His work has cut across genres and he has starred in several blockbuster movies. The British actor entered the spotlight after he was cast to play Stringer Bell, a drug trafficker on the critically acclaimed HBO series, The Wire. The actor has been ranked as one of the sexiest men in the world several times, so his status as a heartthrob doesn’t require further confirmation.

Elba’s magnetic on-screen presence and charm is not the only aspect of his life that makes the news, his slew of chaotic romantic affairs has also been the subject of heated public discussion.

Who Is Sonya Nicole Hamlin, Idris Elba’s Ex-wife?

Sonya Nicole Hamlin is one of the casualties of Idris Elba’s chaotic romantic life. Sonya met when his manager, who was an old friend of hers from college, set them up on a date. Elba had just finished filming for his breakout role on The Wire and was trying to decide on what movie offers were right for his next move when they were introduced to each other in 2006.

The two hit it off on their very first date, bonding over their shared love of London, where he had been born and raised and she had studied Law as a student. They quickly grew fond of each other, falling in love and moving into an apartment in Maryland together.

Sonya Nicole Hamlin also had a prospering career at the time. Her property law practice was doing really well and her office employed 10 people. She had been going out with Idris for a few months when they flew out to Las Vegas to watch the vs Zab Judah fight. Sonya is a die-hard boxing fan, a sport that Idris also relished. However, the true winner that night was Idris who convinced Sonya to elope with him and get married the very next day.

How They Got Married

High on love and alcohol, Sonya agreed. The pair sneaked off to a jewelry store at their hotel, and Idris bought her a stunning diamond ring. With the rings sorted out, they headed to the courthouse to obtain a marriage license.

At sunset, on April 9, 2006, the two exchanged vows in Little White Wedding Chapel, with Daniel Krastev, an estate agent and complete stranger serving as the only eyewitness at the intimate ceremony.

Their Divorce

The two continued to enjoy their relationship, going on regular dates and having fun around the house, but their happiness didn’t last very long. Sonya filed for divorce four months into the marriage. The city of Maryland refused to grant her request because state laws required them to have been married for at least a year before filing for separation, so she hired a lawyer in Nevada, claiming she had been drunk on the day of her wedding. The marriage was annulled.

Sonya Nicole Hamlin claims the divorce left her heartbroken because they truly loved each other at the time of their break up, but she could tell that things weren’t going to work out. Idris Elba’s career was on the rise, he had become a kind of sex symbol in Hollywood, and being married went against that image.

Tongues began to wag, friends advised him that marriage was going to hurt his blossoming career, saying that it was important for him to be seen as a single and free-man in order to boost his success. According to her, the actor was pretty torn up and upset about the whole situation, but in the end, he had big dreams that needed chasing.

Sonya has maintained that it was bad timing for them both. She couldn’t leave her career to follow him to Los Angeles, and the constant traveling back and forth might not have worked for them as her practice would suffer if she had to visit him for months while he was away shooting in a different country. Choosing to end the marriage was by no means easy for both of them, but sometimes, love and pure chemistry just isn’t enough.


Surprisingly, their affair and brief marriage remained secret for a very long time. Few people in Hollywood knew about Idris Elba’s secret second marriage to this beautiful Real estate lawyer. In fact, Sonya only opened up about their relationship and granted an interview to discuss it 10 years after it ended.

Since their break up, Sonya Nicole Hamlin has lived a very private life, even on social media. She continues to practice and lives in Maryland. Sonya doesn’t seem to be dating anyone at the moment.

Also Read: Top 10 Richest People in the world with full biography and details.