The former Laker star will play her bodyguard in the upcoming season

By Mary Margaret
August 05, 2007 02:35 PM
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage; Paul Hawthorne/Startraks

Their last partnership may have ended in divorce, but Rick Fox and Vanessa Williams are making another go at it – at least onscreen. Fox, 38, will join the cast of ABC’s Ugly Betty in its second season, a source confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.

“Things get heated [between their characters],” the source says of Fox’s guest-starring role.

Williams, 44, who got an Emmy nod for her turn as villainous magazine editor Wilhelmina Slater, can look forward to bossing around her ex-husband. “He’ll be playing Dwayne her bodyguard,” the source says. “He’ll be there for at least two episodes.”

Fox, a former NBA basketball star, has been focusing on his acting career since hanging up his jersey in September 2004. His most recent project was a recurring role on FX’s Dirt playing a character suspiciously similar to his public persona: a well-known basketball pro with marital problems.

The couple, who have a 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, wed twice: first, in a quiet summer ceremony on a Caribbean island in 1999, and again at a New York City church that fall. At the time of their divorce five years later, Fox spokeswoman Staci Wolfe told the Associated Press: “They are both extremely devoted parents, so the most important thing to them right now is the welfare of their child. They are committed to working out what’s best for her.”

Michael Urie’s character Marc, who plays Williams’s assistant, can also count on a romantic bump in his storyline. Urie confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that he would be getting a love interest and another visit from his mother, played by Patti LuPone.