Who Is Sonya Nicole Hamlin? Ex Wife of Actor Idris Elba Who He Secretly Married

Sonya Nicole Hamlin gained popularity as the former wife of the celebrated English actor Idris Elba. They tied the knot in 2006, yet the marriage was over in a matter of weeks. Despite the short-lived marriage, Hamlin still held Elba in her heart as her true love.

Who is Sonya Nicole Hamlin?

Sonya Nicole Hamlin was born in 1972 in Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA. She subsequently relocated with her folks to London, England’s capital. She was an intelligent learner who achieved in her studies and she was engaged in a range of school activities, including sports.

Hamlin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs from Florida State University before continuing to the University of Miami School of Law to get her law degree. Later, she attended the American University Washington College of Law and achieved a doctorate in law. While attending law school, she concentrated primarily on Property Law and has continued to specialize in this area since then.


Following her graduation from law school, Hamlin began her professional journey in the legal industry in Florida, where she practiced law for multiple years. She later relocated to California, taking on roles as an attorney for Nestle and Warner Bros. among other companies.

During the span of her career, she has taken on multiple legal cases, the most memorable one being the representation of the family of a man who was gunned down by a law enforcement official in California. This case was eventually resolved for a sum of 1.5 million dollars.

As well as being involved in various entrepreneurial endeavors, Hamlin has set up her own company, Global Accents, which specializes in selling handmade home decor items from different countries. She has also been employed as a consultant by various businesses.

Hamlin has had a great deal of exposure in the media throughout the years. She has been asked questions by many different news entities, such as CNN and The New York Times. Additionally, she has been featured in several articles in various legal magazines.

Idris Elba & Sonya Nicole Hamlin’s Relationship Timeline

In 2005, Sonya Nicole Hamlin and Idris Elba were introduced to each other through a common friend. At this time, Hamlin was developing her law practice with a staff of around ten, and Idris had recently ended a romance with pole dancer Desiree Newberry. Elba was also previously married to makeup artist Hanne Norgaard with whom he shares a son.

After a few months of dating, Sonya and Idris decided to take the next step in their relationship and got married. They had been living together in Maryland and enjoyed going to Las Vegas together, so it seemed like the natural course of things.

Sonya and Idris exchanged vows on April 9, 2006, at the ‘Kittle White Wedding Chapel’ in Las Vegas, with only estate agent Daniel Krastev present. The newlywed couple shared the news of their nuptials with their parents but kept it hidden from everyone else. They chose to go to Jamaica for their honeymoon.

However, not long after, their marriage started to deteriorate. Sonya was successful in her legal career while Idris found it difficult to find a steady job. This difference in their situations put a strain on their relationship, which eventually resulted in a divorce.

What was the reason behind Idris Elba & Sonya Nicole Hamlin’s divorce?

In 2016, Sonya Nicole Hamlin divulged to DailyMail that one of the significant reasons for their break-up was the strain that came with Elba’s fame as a Hollywood sex symbol. As she explained, the actor “broke her heart to become a heartthrob.”

“People were telling him he was going to ruin his career. He was being told it was an important part of his image to be a single sex symbol in Hollywood, and being married would damage that.”

She remarked that many people were curious as to why Elba had chosen to link up with a property lawyer such as her, rather than going for a glamorous beauty.

Furthermore, the recession caused her company to suffer, resulting in financial issues. As a result, Sonya Nicole Hamlin was forced to file for bankruptcy, though she was still able to keep her house, valued at $450,000. Despite the hardships she faced, she was able to rebuild her life and come back stronger than ever.

Hamlin was successful in launching a flourishing business. Also, she and Elba had a cordial relationship that they kept up by occasionally getting together. Idris Elba is currently married to model Sabrine Dhowre with whom he tied the knot in 2019.