While it’s easy to get lost in the beautiful relationship of NBA all-star Dwayne Wade and actress and activist Gabrielle Union, we seem to forget that Wade has been married before. The previous marriage is coming to light as of late because of Wade’s decision to share his transgendered daughter’s story with the public, a daughter that Wade had before marrying Union when he was with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches. So what exactly went down between these two high school sweethearts?
Dwayne Wade and Siohvaughn Funches-Wade were married for eight years, and met in high school well-before Wade became a household name. The couple have two children together, Zaire and Zaya, who has recently come out as transgender. While most people are unaware of who Siohvaughn Funches is personally when it comes to her relationship with Dwayne Wade, there are a few things that have been unearthed about their prior relationship, much of which was shared in Siohvaughn Funches’ memoir Love of Money.
While attending Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Park, Illinois, Funches and Wade became high school sweethearts and maintained their relationship through Wade’s journey with Marquette University and into the NBA draft in 2003. The couple went through hardships together, as Wade hadn’t yet found his success in the NBA, and money was tight. Funches mentioned in her memoir that she had once stolen a pair of men’s basketball sneakers for Wade because they were poor and could not afford them.
After marrying in 2002, Wade and Funches had their first child together, Zaire. But the couple eventually separated in 2007, just a few months after Funches gave birth to a son Zion, who now goes by Zaya. The divorce was messy and the details surrounding the break-up were confusing to say the least, especially as Funches made allegations about Wade which she eventually took back. Funches was arrested in 2012 after trying to abduct the children from Wade, causing even more scandal amidst a messy separation.
Eventually, Funches received $5 million from Wade, plus the mansion they shared and four cars. Wade received sole physical and legal custody of their children. Today, Funches describes herself as a public speaker and author and even launched a podcast titled Faith comes by Hearing. Funches is using her platform and her personal history in order to help inspire the world and transform people’s personal lives, marriages, and families. The aim of the podcast is to share “life-transforming truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”