Duke Riley Parents Battled Poverty After Having Two Kids Before 20

By SarahPublished on: October 30, 2023 Updated on: February 15, 2024
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The Miami Dolphins linebacker, Duke Riley is at his career peak because of his parents’ sacrifices. His parents, Duke Berghman and Waukesha Riley aren’t together anymore but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there at each step of Duke’s journey.

Let’s learn more about the Dolphins star’s wonderful people in the following article.

Duke Riley’s Parents Are Separated

Riley’s parents, Duke Berghman and Waukesha Riley divorced in 2016 after years of togetherness. Berghman still lives in Buras while Kesha resides in New Orleans, Louisiana. The then-married couple have two sons and one daughter who are grown up and have their own lives.

Duke and his mother, brother and sister
Waukesha Riley with her kids.

Although their personal information is hidden from the public eye, it seems like these two fell in love pretty early in their life and were together till their kids grew up. They haven’t revealed the reason for their divorce.

They Became Parents When They Were Teenagers

Kesha became pregnant with her first son, Dariyan when she was 16 and had her second born, Duke at the age of 18. Besides their two sons, they also have a daughter, Destini Riley. Both of their sons play football, however, only their younger son is in the spotlight and as for their daughter, she is a certified lash esthetician.

Duke Riley with his brother and sister
Duke and his brother, Daniel attended his sister, Destini’s birthday party.

Their parents’ divorce took a major hit on them as they started having major family issues after years of togetherness. Nevertheless, they are still close to their parents.

Waukesha Has A Catering Business

The young mother dropped out of high school to raise her children but she did join college later in her life. She studied at Delgado Community College. She is the owner of Triple D’s Restaurant which she formed in 2014. After her divorce, she also started a catering service which she promotes on her Instagram. As a matter of fact, this food lover has her own truck for her business.


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A post shared by Waukesha Riley (@_keshascatering)

Talking about her ex-husband, Duke had a company that operated oil and gas platforms at one point, but we aren’t sure if he is still working in the same company or not.

Berghman’s Job In Oil Industry Helped Them To Escape Poverty

Berghman and Riley lived in poverty in the Plaquemines Parish, Southern Louisiana. She would travel 40 miles every day for her job at a fishery while her husband used to work in a local business. After being hit by Hurricane Katrina, they were left with nothing so they moved to Baton Rouge. The family was finally able to escape when Berghman got a job in the oil industry.

In 2010, he was able to convert his small business into a million-dollar franchise which gave opportunities to his kids to go to college and fulfill their dreams. Even though he went to jail at some point in his life, he realized the importance of his family and went to work every day to provide them quality life after his release.

The Family Moved A Lot

The former husband and wife first settled in Buras, Louisiana where their kids spent most of their childhood but had to move to Baton Rouge after the hurricane. The family had to hop from one trailer to another due to poverty. After moving around, they relocated to Belle Chasse where their luck started to kick in.

Big Riley Has Been In And Out Of Jail

Duke fell into pitfalls and dark side at some point in his life which landed him some jail time. However, upon his release, he changed his habits and turned a new leaf. The 52-year-old was again arrested in 2021 for alleged commercial fishing violations. He was cited for using skimmer nets in a closed area and for operating a vessel with no running lights.

Duke’s Parents Are His Support System

Riley’s parents sacrificed a lot for their kid’s future. His mother, Kesha took care of everyone in the house as well as served the homeless ones. She is the source of warmth for him as she travels back and forth for his games and special celebrations with homemade meals.

On the other hand, Duke learned about hardships from his dad and once said, “ If it wasn’t for my dad, I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now. I appreciate that.” The player always went to his father to get advice for any decision. Berghman’s contribution to his family motivated his son, Duke who went on to make a career in NFL.

Berghman And Riley Are GrandParents

Their NFL player’s son, Duke became a dad in 2016 when his firstborn, Elijah came into this world. Now this young player is a father of two sons and one daughter. He has kept the details of his son’s mom from the public but he shares his daughter, River with his wife YesJulz.

Duke Riley's mother, Waukesha Riley with her grandchildren
Kesha with her son, Duke’s firstborn, Elijah, and his daughter, River.

Berghman is out of social media so we can’t confirm his relationship with his grandchild but we can tell that Kesha shares a close bond with her grandchildren. She shares the photos of the kids frequently on her Instagram and visits them often.

How Much Is Duke Riley’s Parents Net Worth?

Though the then-married couple had financial troubles during their early days, their money problem was solved when Berghman got a job in the oil industry. After their divorce, it seems like they are living well. As for their son, Duke Riley, his net worth is estimated to be around $5 million in 2024.

About Author: Sarah

Though I have started writing NFL related blogs recently, I have fallen in love with this world. Hope you like my work as much as I enjoy writing these.