Who Is Russell Wilson’s First Wife, Ashton Meem?

NFL quarterback Russell Wilson is married to singing sensation Ciara. The pair made their debut as a couple at the 2015 White House State Dinner for Japan. Then, in 2016, they announced that they got engaged while vacationing in Seychelles and a few months later, tied the knot at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, England.

But before the athlete was living his happily ever after, he was married to another woman. Here’s more on Wilson’s first wife, Ashton Meem, including the rumors that they divorced because she had an affair with one of his teammates.

NFL player Russell Wilson and singer Ciara arrive at The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Ciara and Russell Wilson | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

When did Ashton Meem and Russell Wilson meet and get married?

Meem was born on Sept. 6, 1987, in Richmond, Virginia to parents Lang and Molly Meem. She was attending St. Catherine High School in 2006 when she first met Wilson who went to Collegiate School just a few miles away.

“We met briefly in high school,” Meem told Richmond. com. “Then again at a summer party and after that, started seeing each other.”

Meem and the signal-caller began a long-distance relationship when she enrolled in the University of Georgia and he went to North Carolina State. She later transferred to NC State to be closer to him. Meem graduated with a B.A. in Communications in 2010.

On Jan. 14, 2012, the couple said “I do” at the Country Club of Virginia.

Golden Tate affair rumors

Russell Wilson and Ashton Meem
Russell Wilson and Ashton Meem | Michael Kovac/WireImage

In April 2014, Wilson announced that he and Meem were ending their marriage.

“I have made the difficult decision to file for divorce,” the NFL star said in a statement via The Seattle Times. “Clearly, decisions like these don’t come easy. Ashton and I respectfully ask for prayers, understanding, and privacy during this difficult time. Moving forward, I will have no further comment on this personal matter.”

Soon after the announcement rumors began to circulate that Meem cheated on Wilson with his then-teammate Golden Tate. Both Meem and Tate denied the affair rumors with the wide receiver taking to The Cauldron to shut down the reports.

“I did not have an affair with Russell Wilson’s wife, nor did I have anything to do with his divorce,” Tate wrote. “That is laughable for anyone who knows us … Russell and I were good friends when I was in Seattle, on and off the field –he knows the rumors about me were unfounded, damaging to my reputation, and an attack on my character. Anyone who circulated that rumor was just plain irresponsible.”

Ashton Meem was shaded during the 2020 NFL Draft


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Meem wasn’t in the spotlight much after her marriage to Wilson ended but in April 2020, her name did make headlines following a tweet from NFL analyst Emmanuel Acho which read: “As we prepare for day 2 of the #NFLDraft, girlfriends remember to play it cool. It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish,” Acho tweeted, posting a photo of Meem with Wilson on draft day in 2012 and an image of the quarterback with his current wife.

Some Twitter users responded that Acho’s tweet was “savage.” However, others said they didn’t mind someone shading Meem, noting an instance years earlier in which she shaded Ciara. Several social media users recalled that after Wilson proposed to his current wife with a 5-carat diamond, Meem changed her Twitter profile with a photo of the 8-carat rock he gave her.

Today, Wilson and Ciara have two children together. The quarterback is also a stepfather to Ciara’s son, Future Zahir Wilburn.