Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Shaq responds to ex-wife’s comments about their marriage: ‘Wouldn’t have been in love with me either’

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NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal appeared to address comments made by his ex-wife, who said he kept “going missing” while they were still together. 

O’Neal has been open about his flaws in his past marriage with Shaunie Henderson, whom he was with for almost nine years before they got a divorce in 2011. 

After Henderson made the comments in her new book, ‘Undefeated: Changing the Rules and Winning on My Own Terms,’ O’Neal posted on social media seemingly admitting his faults yet again. 

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Shaquille O’Neal and wife Shaunie attend the FedEx Orange Bowl National Championship at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida on January 4, 2005. (Steve Grayson/WireImage)

“I understand…I wouldn’t have been in love with me either,” he said. “Wishing you all the best…All love, Shaq.” 

O’Neal and Henderson had four children together: sons Shareef and Shaquir and daughters Amirah and Me’arah. 

Shareef O’Neal commented under his post saying, “Love you man! You saved my life.” 

Shareef had to undergo heart surgery after being diagnosed with an anomalous coronary artery, a congenital heart defect that caused an artery to grow in the wrong place when he was 18 years old. 

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There was a possibility Shareef would never play basketball again, but he played for the G League Ignite this past season, averaging 5.6 points over 15.5 minutes per game.  

Henderson broke down her marriage with O’Neal within the binds of her book, beginning with how everything seemed great at first. However, looking back, she said she was blind to things early on that were starting to make the marriage “crumble.”

“I enjoyed those sweet early years being a mother and raising my children; my days were always busy with kids and family, and every now and then I got to travel or enjoy a little of the NBA high life. But invisibly, my marriage was beginning to crumble,” Henderson wrote, per the New York Post. 

Shaq and Shaunie in 2008

NBA player Shaquille O’Neal and then-wife Shaunie O’Neal at Muhammad Ali’s Celebrity Fight Night XIV at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on April 5, 2008 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Michael Caulfield/WireImage)

“As I’ve written, it wasn’t obvious early on. You know how when you first get sick, and the symptoms are so mild that you’re not even sure you are sick? That’s how things were in the early years. I was busy and happy and didn’t notice what was going on. But as the disease progressed, the symptoms became harder and harder to ignore.”

Henderson said she couldn’t ignore O’Neal not being around when his daily responsibilities were handled by others. 

“Take Shaquille’s habit of ‘going missing,’” Henderson wrote. “Our chef did all the grocery shopping. His managers paid all the bills. I took care of the kids. So where was he going in the morning, during the day, and at night? No one works out that often.”

Henderson added that she heard the rumor that O’Neal had a condo in Miami Beach after he was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Miami Heat

Shaquille O'Neal talks to crowd

Shaquille O’Neal speaks to the crowd during his jersey retirement ceremony after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 13, 2024 at the Kia Center in Orlando, Florida.  (Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

“I started to get suspicious, but he always had an answer, and I could never prove anything. Eventually, I was forced to admit that my family life wasn’t as blissful or perfect as I wanted to believe.”

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Since their divorce, O’Neal has said on numerous occasions that he was a problem during their marriage. In April 2023, he went on “The Pivot Podcast,” where he said, “I was bad. It was all me.”

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