Shaquille O’Neal, also known as Shaq, is one of the most legendary and influential players in NBA history. He is a four-time NBA champion, a 15-time NBA All-Star, and a Hall of Famer.
He is also a successful businessman, media personality, and rapper. However, his personal life has not been as smooth as his professional career, especially when it comes to his marriage to Shaunie Nelson, the mother of four of his children.
Shaq and Shaunie had a tumultuous relationship that lasted for over a decade, marked by infidelity, separation, and divorce.
They also had to deal with the challenges of raising their six children in the public eye, as well as balancing their own careers and interests. Despite their differences and difficulties, they have managed to remain on good terms and co-parent their children amicably.
Here we will provide a comprehensive overview of Shaquille O’Neal’s marriage to Shaunie Nelson, including details about their relationship timeline, divorce, and both of their lives since. We will also explore Shaq’s reflections on the marriage, as well as where they stand today.
Shaq and Shaunie’s Relationship
Shaquille O’Neal, also known as Shaq, met Shaunie Nelson in the late 1990s after he joined the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaunie was working as a film marketer at the time.
They started dating and Shaunie, who was previously married and had a son named Myles, divorced her first husband and continued her relationship with Shaq.
Shaq and Shaunie got married in a lavish ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel on December 26, 2002. The wedding was attended by over 200 guests, including celebrities. The couple exchanged vows in front of a 10-foot-tall cake. The wedding reportedly cost over $1.8 million.
Shaq and Shaunie welcomed their first child together, a son named Shareef, in 2000, before they got married. They went on to have three more children: a daughter named Amirah in 2001, a son named Shaqir in 2003, and another daughter named Me’arah in 2006. Shaq also adopted Shaunie’s son Myles, making him the father of five children.
Shaq and Shaunie lived in a 31,000 sq ft mansion in Orlando, Florida. The mansion featured 12 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a 17-car garage, a basketball court, a pool, a movie theater, and a Superman-themed room. The mansion was later sold by Shaq.
Relationship Challenges and Divorce
Shaq and Shaunie’s relationship faced challenges, as they dealt with rumors and reports of infidelity on Shaq’s part. Shaq was accused of having affairs with multiple women. He admitted to some of these allegations.
In September 2007, Shaunie filed for legal separation from Shaq. However, she withdrew the petition a week later, saying that they were trying to work things out.
In November 2007, Shaq filed for divorce from Shaunie. He also accused Shaunie of being secretive about her assets and spending his money without his consent. He requested joint custody of their four children.
The divorce proceedings were lengthy and contentious, as they involved disputes over money, property, and custody. Shaq and Shaunie eventually reached a settlement. However, the details of the settlement are not publicly available. She also got to keep their Orlando mansion.
Life After Divorce
Shaq and Shaunie moved on with their lives after their divorce, focusing on their careers and their children. They have maintained a friendly co-parenting relationship. Shaq has been involved in the lives of Shaunie’s other children, Myles and Me’arah, whom he considers his own.
Shaunie has pursued a successful career as a reality TV star and producer, most notably on the VH1 show Basketball Wives. She has also appeared on other shows, such as Shaunie’s Home Court. She has also launched her own jewelry line, called Forever Shaunie.
Shaq has dated several women after his divorce from Shaunie, including reality TV star Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander and model Laticia Rolle. He is reportedly dating actress Annie Ilonzeh as of 2022. He has also continued his career as a basketball analyst, a businessman, a rapper, and a philanthropist.
Shaunie was in a relationship with actor and former model Marlon Yates Jr., but they broke up in 2016. As of 2022, Shaunie is married to Keion Henderson. They had a private wedding ceremony attended by their close friends and family. Shaunie has expressed her happiness and gratitude for her new husband, who has also bonded with her children.
Shaq’s Reflections on the Marriage
Shaq has admitted that he was at fault for the divorce from Shaunie, and that he regrets how he treated her during their marriage. He has also shared some of the lessons he learned from the experience, and how he has changed as a person.
In his 2011 autobiography, “Shaq Uncut: My Story”, Shaq indeed confessed that he was unfaithful to Shaunie, and that he was not a good husband or father. He wrote about his regrets and the repercussions of his actions.
He also revealed that he tried to win Shaunie back after their divorce, but she refused to take him back. He wrote about his attempts to reconcile and Shaunie’s refusal.
Shaq also said that he learned a lot from his divorce, and that he became a better man and father because of it. He wrote about the lessons he learned and the changes he made in his life.
Where They Stand Today
Shaq and Shaunie have come a long way since their divorce, and they have managed to maintain a cordial and respectful relationship. They have also supported each other’s careers and personal lives, and have shown appreciation for each other.
- Maintaining a friendly co-parenting relationship:
Shaq and Shaunie have managed to remain on good terms and co-parent their five children amicably. They have celebrated their children’s birthdays, graduations, and achievements together, as well as supported their basketball aspirations. Shaq has also been involved in the lives of Shaunie’s other children, Myles and Me’arah, whom he considers his own.
- Shaunie’s happiness in her current marriage:
Shaunie got remarried in 2022, to a man named Marlon Yates Jr., who is an actor and a former model. They had a private wedding ceremony in Malibu, California, attended by their close friends and family. Shaunie and Marlon met in 2010, when he was cast as one of her love interests on Basketball Wives. They dated on and off for several years, before getting engaged in 2020. Shaunie has expressed her happiness and gratitude for her new husband, who has also bonded with her children.
- Shaq’s respect for all his children’s mothers:
Shaq has expressed his respect and admiration for all his children’s mothers, including Shaunie, Arnetta Yardbourgh, and Rolanda Wellington. He has said that he considers them all his family, and that he appreciates their roles in his life. He has also thanked them for being the best mothers in the world to his children.