Stephen A. Smith, Molly Qerim finally address dating rumors on ‘First Take’ (2024)

Stephen A. Smith shut down a long-running rumor that he and his “First Take” co-host Molly Qerim are a couple during Wednesday’s episode.

The 56-year-old ESPN personality explained “there’s nothing going on” between him and Qerim, 40, after Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who appears regularly on the show, joked that their matching white outfits made them look like they got married.

“Who said ‘I do’ first between the two of you,” Russo quipped while he pointed at Smith and Qerim, to which she sarcastically replied, “Who said ‘I don’t?”

After Chris Russo jokes that Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim look like they got married, the First Take co-hosts address social media rumors they're dating.

SAS: "There's nothing going on. America's been lying about that for years… here's the upside to all of that: they know…

— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 10, 2024


Smith and Qerim exchanged compliments about their ensembles before he dove into the whispers that have surrounded the popular ESPN morning show.

“No! There’s nothing going on. You understand what I’m saying?” Smith said. “America’s been lying about that for a couple years.”

Qerim found the whole thing comical.

“You know what’s the funniest part? Is people actually believe it,” she said, to which Russo replied: “Oh, they sure do.


“I get asked all the time: ‘How’s the famous couple doing?’”

Smith went on to rant about how he and Qerim’s good looks contribute to the success of “First Take.”

“But here’s the upside to all of that: they know my taste. So, therefore, they know that’s a compliment to her. And, obviously, she has great taste as well, so I guess that’s America’s way of saying we both really really look good … It does mean that ‘First Take’ is not only the number one show because of our content, we look the part,” Smith said.


Qerim’s divorce from her ex-husband of three years, Jalen Rose, a former ESPN personality and NBA player, was made public in December 2021.

At the time, Rose announced he and Qerim had split in a note on his Instagram Story.

Rose addressed rumors about a Smith-Qerim relationship in an interview with GQ in April 2022, and admitted the speculation “bothered” him.


“In my personal relationship, it was laughable to me, to see [Molly Qerim] and I mutually part ways, be in accord about why we’re parting ways, and still see people speculating on why,” Rose said at the time. “Not only speculating — in particular saying it was because her and Stephen A. Smith had a relationship.

“… And, like, unequivocally, I’m not here to speak for what he does in his personal life or what she does in her personal life, I got love for both of them. We still 100. I would just say that for people who thought we parted ways because they have a relationship? Then I got some swampland in Detroit to sell you for top dollar. That is not why we split.

“I still see that, by the way. I might say something about someone’s team and I’ll see, ‘That’s why Molly left him!’ or ‘That’s why Stephen A. kickin’ it wit’ yo ex-wife!’ That’s not true. But, when it happened, it’s two ways for me to handle it as a professional: I work with him, I got love for him, and that’s my brother. I got love for her, we were friends before we were married, we just didn’t work as a couple. I just saw her today. We cool! But for me to see the speculation and for people to assume that was why, it bothered me.”

Rose went on to explain that he, Qerim and Smith discussed the rumors.

“It was trending [online], [Smith] was trending, [Qerim] was trending, I was trending. It was a real thing,” Rose said. “And, like, am I about to respond to that? It gave me a real fork in the road. But I didn’t, because I knew it wasn’t true. I would just be fueling those people. Not responding, and finally sprinkling some here and there, it made people who ran with it look less credible.

“We discussed it. It’s why none of us said anything. People would say, ‘Jalen’s a sucker, Stephen A. snatched his wife and he up there workin’ with him,’ or ‘Look, at Molly, she was talkin’ to Jalen yesterday now she kickin it with…’ That ain’t happen. We all looked at it like: it was such a reach. That’s why none of us have spoken on it.”

Stephen A. Smith, Molly Qerim finally address dating rumors on ‘First Take’ (2024)
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