Maya Jama 'blamed herself' for the death of boyfriend Rico Gordon after he was fatally shot
MAYA Jama felt responsible for the death of her boyfriend Rico Gordon after he was shot to death.
The TV star was just 16 when Rico, 21, was caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between two gangs in Bristol in 2011.
Rico was on the phone to Maya trying to get directions to her house when he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
His mum Anna, 55, opened up to The Sun on Sunday about how "deeply in love" and what a "beautiful couple" they were.
“It was only after they recovered Rico’s phone that I could fully appreciate how in love they were. There were so many photos of them hugging and kissing," Anna explained.
“There is a big church that you can see from the balcony of my house and Maya told me they were planning on getting married there.
"They were so young but they had visited the church and both agreed it was the perfect place for their wedding.
“It breaks my heart to say that the next time she went to that church it was not for their wedding, but for Rico’s funeral.
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“Rico was interested in becoming a PE teacher and he fully supported Maya in her career.
“He would have backed her all the way.”
Mum-of-three Anna took Maya to her four-bedroom house in Notting Hill, West London, after the tragedy so that she could live in Rico’s bedroom and grieve with his family and friends.
She said: “Maya blamed herself after what happened, but then everyone blamed themselves. She tried to con-vince Rico to stay in London that day.
"Rico didn’t know Bristol well and there are some dodgy parts so Maya thought it would be better if he stayed in London.
“There was a carnival that weekend and a few people were driving up, including my daughter Calita, who is two years older than Rico. Rico didn’t want to go because he didn’t like big crowds. Maya told him, ‘Don’t come, just stay home’.
“There was a boxing match that night and a few of his friends agreed they would watch it on Sky at mine.
“Then, at the last minute, Rico decided to come to Bristol to see Maya. You always think, ‘What if he had just stayed home?’.
“Maya cries every time she talks about what happened.”
In 2012, Shakah Anderson, then 31, of no fixed address, and Rickel Adams, then 27, of Neasden, North London, were found guilty of Rico’s murder and given life sentences.
A third shooter has never been identified.
Maya went on to find fame and fortune on radio and TV.
She dated rapper Stormzy, 28, from 2016 to 2019 and is now seeing Australian-born basketball pro Ben Simmons, 25.
The star previously revealed how losing her boyfriend so young lead her to be 'fearless' when it came to pursuing her career.
She said: “With my boyfriend passing, it gave me a fearless approach. I felt like life was really short.
“At 16 you think the world is a fairytale and it took me out of that. It made me even more determined.”
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