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Shaquille O'Neal Opens Up On Split From Ex-Wife Shaunie: 'It Was All Me'

Home / News / Shaquille O'Neal Opens Up On Split From Ex-Wife Shaunie: 'It Was All Me'

By Favour Adegoke on April 21, 2022 at 1:30 PM EDT

Shaquille O'Neal, widely considered one of the greatest basketball players, continues to be in the public eye despite his retirement from the game. On the other hand, the four-time NBA champion's love life has taken a different path from his stellar career.

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Shaquille O'Neal
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O'Neal has stayed unmarried since his divorce from his then-wife Shaunie, preferring to devote his time and energy to expanding his already massive business empire. The business entrepreneur has a penchant for picking the correct investments, having made a fortune from real estate, stocks, food franchises, and other ventures.

Now, the ex-basketballer recently addressed the cause for his divorce from Shaunie, with whom he shared seven years of marital life and fathered four kids.

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Shaquille O'Neal Said He Is To Blame For The Failure Of His Marriage

As a prominent person who still has key ties to present-day basketball, it is unsurprising to find O'Neal in front of a camera, given his view about something. His most recent interview descended into personal territory, with the "Inside the NBA" analyst opening up publicly about the demise of his first and only marriage.

On April 19, O'Neal told "The Pivot" Podcast that he blames himself for the marriage's demise, implying that he did not do enough to fulfill his responsibilities as a partner.

"I'm glad you guys asked because I don't mind talking about this, but I was bad," Shaq said. "She was awesome. She really was. It was all me."

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O'Neal first filed for divorce from Shaunie in 2007 but eventually reunited with the television personality. However, Shaunie filed for divorce again less than two years later, with the court process finishing its run in 2011.

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'I Wasn't Protecting Her And Protecting Those Vows'

O'Neal kept away from the specifics of their divorce, preferring to provide an overview of what went wrong. The ex-basketballer continued pointing the finger at himself, implying that he was hugely ashamed for causing the breakup.

Shaquille O'Neal and his wife Shaunie Nelson attend the 29th Annual Dinner of Champions
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"We don't need to talk about what I was doing, but I wasn't protecting her and protecting those vows. Sometimes you live that double life and get caught up," he admitted. "I'm not going to say it was her. It was all me."

The Newark native then emphasized that his ex-wife met all of their marriage's requirements and did not deserve how she was treated. Furthermore, O'Neal claimed that his misbehaviors created a lasting impression and that no amount of regret could wipe the slate clean.

O'Neal Felt Lost After His Divorce

After his divorce, O'Neal had to confront the reality that he would no longer be able to live in the same house as Shaunie and his children. It affected him greatly and sent him into several bouts of depressive episodes. Fortunately, this did not continue long, as he soon recognized that he needed to snap back so that he could fulfill his obligations to his family.

"I said to myself, 'OK, you're not married, but you still have to protect and provide for this family,'" he said. "I may not be a husband, but I'll always be a father, and a father's job is to protect, provide and love."

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During their marriage, the ex-couple had four children: Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, and Me'arah. Shaunie also has a son, Myles, from a former relationship, and O'Neal has a daughter, Taahirah, from an affair with his ex-girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourgh.

Shaquille O'Neal Said He is One Of Shaunie Nelson's Biggest Supporters

Although it took some time, O'Neal and Shaunie eventually got over their bad blood from the divorce, starting a platonic relationship that allowed them to co-parent their six children. The ex-basketballer claimed that he is now one of her most ardent fans and is constantly rooting for her to win.

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Shaquille O'Neal with wife Shaunie Nelson
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Shaunie recently got engaged to Keion Henderson, a preacher at the Lighthouse Church in Houston, Texas. After nearly two years of dating, the 47-year-old said yes to her partner on November 11, 2021. On the other hand, O'Neal has lately been linked to realtor Tiara Renee after multiple photos of the two together prompted dating speculations late last year.

However, the retired NBA player has not officially revealed whether their connection is more than simply being pals.

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