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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Shaq opens up about his divorce

Shaq holds a mic

Mar 24, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA: Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal speaks during a NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It has been more than 10 years since Shaquille O’Neal and his ex-wife Shaunie split, and the Hall of Famer has never said much about the divorce. Shaq shared some thoughts on that chapter of his life this week, saying the failed marriage was entirely his fault.

During an appearance on “The Pivot Podcast,” Shaq praised Shaunie for being an “awesome” wife. The 50-year-old admitted that Shaunie filed for divorce in 2009 because O’Neal was not treating her right.

“She was awesome and I was really bad. I wasn’t protecting her and I wasn’t protecting those vows,” Shaq said. “She did exactly what she was supposed to do. … It was all me. Sometimes when you live that double life, you get caught up. I’m not going to say it was her — it was all me.”

Shaq and Shaunie got married in 2002. They separated in 2009 and their divorce was finalized in 2011, which was Shaq’s last season playing in the NBA. He said he was “lost” after he and Shaunie separated but realized he still had to provide for his family.

“The best feeling was coming home and hearing five or six different voices. I was just being greedy,” Shaq said. “I had the perfect situation. Wife was finer than a mug. I had it all. I don’t make excuses. I know I messed up. I was lost. In a 76,000-square-foot house by myself, lost. I said to myself, you’re not married, but you still need to provide for this family. Get your a– up and man up. What are you going to do next?”

Shaunie announced last year that she is engaged to her boyfriend, pastor Keion Henderson. The two have dated since 2020. Shaq said he is happy for his ex-wife and called Henderson a “fine young gentleman.”

Shaunie was not shy about expressing why her marriage with Shaq fell apart. Judging by Shaq’s take on the situation, it sounds like she was telling the truth.

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