Shaunie Henderson explains why she filed for divorce with Shaquille O'Neal in November 2009

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Shaquille O'Neal with his wife Shaunie O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal and Shaunie's marriage lasted from 2002 to 2011, but O'Neal was allegedly not faithful to the mother of his children, leading to their divorce.

On an episode of "Basketball Wives," Shaunie claimed that she uncovered the ugly truth about her husband's infidelity. She's an executive producer of the show and has shared a lot about the Diesel off the court.

As per Shaunie's account, she and O'Neal accidentally switched their blackberries one day and she read all the texts that women had allegedly been sending her husband. In a fit of rage, she slashed his car's tyres, broke the windows and took a knife to write a message on the hood.

She said in 2017:

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"Our blackberries got switched. I went to my baby’s play at school, and I was like 'Damn, my phone is going off a lot.' Just girl, after girl, after girl like ‘baby last night what you did.’ And I went in the arena, and I went in the garage, not only did I flatten tires, bust a few windows, I wrote on the hood of the car ‘I cheat on my wife I ain't sh*t’ with a knife.'"

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Shaquille O'Neal and Shaunie have four children together, Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir and Me'arah.

They filed for divorce in 2009 but tried making it work soon after. However, Shaq re-filed for divorce stating "irreconcilable differences," and the divorce was finalized in 2011. The couple co-parent their children and are apparently on good terms.


Shaquille O'Neal subsequently said he was the one at fault for his divorce with Shaunie

Shaquille O'Neal as DJ Diesel in Philadelphia
Shaquille O'Neal as DJ Diesel in Philadelphia

Shaquille O'Neal later took full responsibility for his marriage dissolving, admitting that he made mistakes. He said that Shaunie was the perfect wife who did not do anything wrong, and that he was the trainwreck who wanted to lead two lives.

The LA Lakers legend was a guest on "The Pivot Podcast" in 2022, where he opened up about his divorce and regrets. He said he was "bad" and not the ideal husband.

"I’ve never talked about this. … but I was bad," O'Neal said. "She was awesome. She really was. She did exactly what she was supposed to do and gave me beautiful kids, take care of the house, take care of the corporate stuff."
"It was just all me," he said. "Sometimes, when you make a lot of mistakes like that, you can’t really come back from that. Sometimes you live that double life and get caught up. I’m not going to say it was her. It was all me."

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The NBA champion added that he had the "perfect situation" but messed it up. He described how it was living in an empty mansion with no children playing in the house and no wife to come home to.

"I had the perfect situation. … I don’t make excuses. I know I messed up. .… Seventy-six thousand square foot house by yourself. Lost. No kids. Go to the gym. Nobody’s playing. You go to their room, nobody’s there."

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Edited by Bhargav
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