Life is all about second chances. The same is true when it comes to finding someone again after a failed relationship, with whom they get another try to share love and passion. With a flourishing career ahead of him in the movie industry, actor Wesley Snipes had put the heartbreak from his previous failed marriage with April Dubois behind and began a new path in his life. But life came at him with a second chance at love in the form of the beautiful and talented Nakyung Park. So, who really is Nakyung Park? Here is every fact that we know about her.
Nakyung is a South Korean Immigrant
Nakyung ‘Nikki’ Park was born on September 1, 1977, in South Korea. She spent most of her childhood in South Korea but at some point between the 1980s and 1990s, she moved to the US and settled there. While not much is known about her early life in South Korea is made public, considering how her husband Wesley Snipes calls the country his second home, the family probably spend quite some time in her home country.
Her Father himself is quite a Celebrity in South Korea
Nikki’s father, Park Cheol was known to be a producing director at Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Korean Broadcasting System (KBS). He has worked for more than 3 decades in the industry and has directed multiple Korean TV shows including classics like ‘The Season of Men’(1985), Another Happiness (1991) and What is Love? (1991). The show ‘What is Love?’ is considered to be one of the first-ever acclaimed Korean cultural export products. The show went on to garner millions of views from Chinese TV viewers when it aired on China’s CCTV in 1997.
Nakyung is a Professional Painter and Artist
From a young age, Nikki had been passionate about art and painting. She apparently attended her very first painting session in her neighbour’s garage when she was just five years old. Growing up, she continued to focus on honing her artistic side and eventually adopted painting as her career. While she tends to keep a low profile, she has reportedly showcased her works through different art exhibitions. Besides this, she also ventured into graphic design and makeup artistry. Considering how both of them fall under art, it is no wonder she was attracted to them.
She became Wesley’s Love of Life in 2003
Wesley Snipes’ rise to fame was quite eventful with him giving many iconic performances including the superhero ‘Blade’, his personal life however did not have smooth sailing from the beginning of his career. In 1990, Snipes separated from his college sweetheart, April Dubois with whom he shares a son. But all was not bad for Snipes as he became more and more successful in the film industry. And eventually, his personal life also became shrouded in happiness as he met the love of his life, Nakyung Park.
The private details regarding how the couple met are still a mystery to many. However, we can estimate that they probably met between the mid to late 90s. After dating for a few years, the couple got married on March 17, 2002. The private ceremony took place in a courthouse in Hackensaw, NJ. The couple opted for a very secretive wedding with the couple dressed in regular clothes rather than in traditional wedding attire and Nakyung not even walking down the aisle.
A source who witnessed the ceremony detailed the events of the day as, “The ceremony was strictly by the books. They were trying to be discreet. They were wearing normal clothes, there was no photographer, no video, no crowds of friends. No one even recognized him. The only witness with them was an acquaintance of Snipes, a local lawyer named John Carbone, and they had to use a court employee as their second witness.”
The couple is known to be very private and they never try to publicize their relationship. Not sensationalizing any of their private life moments has definitely helped the couple to go through their ups and downs. Now they are one of the strongest couples in Hollywood.
Before the couple got hitched in 2003, they had already become parents to two beautiful children. Their first son Akhenetan Kihwa-T was born in 2000 and their daughter Iset Jua-T on July 31, 2001. On May 26, 2004, the couple welcomed their second son Alaafia Jehu-T. The couple was blessed with their youngest son Alimayu Moa- T in March 2007.
Nikki is also stepmother to Wesley’s only son, Jelani Asar with his ex-wife, April Dubois. Every single one of their children has grown up away from the spotlight and the couple has tried their best to give them a normal childhood as much as possible.
She held the Family Together during Snipes’s Incarceration
On October 12, 2006, Wesley Snipes along with Eddie Ray Kahn and Douglas P. Rosile was charged with different counts of tax-related fraud. On February 1, 2008, Snipes was found guilty of three misdemeanour counts of failing to file federal income tax returns. On April 24, 2008, he was sentenced to 3 years in prison.
When Wesley Snipes was served with jail time, his youngest son was only a few months old. Following the ruling, Snipes’ wife Nikki wrote a six-page letter to friends and family where she proclaimed that her husband has been wronged in a way that she thought only existed in movies.
She revealed that her ‘warrior husband is still standing strong’ and reached out to them ‘for the sake of their five wonderful children’s future’ and ‘for her man’s integrity and dignity. Throughout the letter, she insisted that her husband ‘was not a tax-evading criminal’ but rather an ‘honourable man and artist who simply needs an honest accountant’.
Wesley Snipes being held in prison meant the entire responsibility of their family of four young children fell upon Nikki. And she did her absolute best to raise the children right even in the absence of their father. Snipes was released from prison on April 2, 2013. Talking about his time away from his family, he revealed that the time when he was locked up made him more appreciative of his family. He said:
“The biggest thing I got from it was learning the value of time and how we often squander it. I understand that very clearly now, having been away from my family and loved ones for two and a half years.”
Wesley Spines honoured Nikki’s Father After his Death
On July 13, 2020, Nikki’s father Park Cheol passed away at the age of 82. Nikki’s husband Wesley Snipes honoured the name of his father-in-law applauding him for being the first few who helped lead South Korea to ‘the forefront of cultural history.
In his eulogy which was completely in the Korean language, he wrote:
“You have climbed a beautiful journey with an award that has made your life wonderful. It led to the forefront of the cultural history of being reborn as a great superpower that creates the Korean culture that the whole world pays attention to.
“Many people admire the scent of flowers, but they forget that it is the power of the roots that determines the beauty of the bouquet. Thank you for sharing your dream with us.”
He concluded the heartfelt message to his late father-in-law by expressing how much the family and his fans love and praise him, signing off as a son, fan and disciple. It is very evident that the connection with Nikki has ultimately led Snipes to make connections with other wonderful and inspiring people.