Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union have become the image of an ideal, loving couple. But things haven't always been smooth. Wade talks about some of their trials on his upcoming ESPN documentary, D. Wade: Life Unexpected, admitting that telling Union he had a baby by another woman was the "hardest thing" he's ever done.
In 2013, Union and Wade put their relationship on pause to take a break from one another. During this time, Wade became involved with Basketball Wives star, Aja Metoyerin, fathering a son named Xavier. Wade and Union reconciled, but not before the former NBA superstar had to break the news about his child.
"I had a child with someone else and I had to tell her," Wade said in his documentary, according to Entertainment Tonight. "Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is man up and tell Gabrielle Union that I’ve had a child with somebody else. I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t eating."
Wade went on to explain that his love for Union made it difficult for him to tell her about his son because he knew it would hurt her.
"When you hold something in that you know is going to come out and you have this information and you know it’s gonna fuck somebody’s life up, that you care about, that you love, if it don’t hurt you, then you’re not human," Wade said.
Despite having to endure what Wade describes as "something that you never want to go through," Union and Wade have been able to put together a successful family. Wade is the father of Zaire, 18, 12-year-old Zaya, and 6-year-old Xavier. He also takes care of his 18-year-old nephew, Dahveon. Union and Wade also welcomed their first child—a daughter named Kaavia—into the world in 2018.
The loving atmosphere of this family is exemplified in the way they rally around Zaya. This month, the Miami Heat legend revealed that his 12-year-old child is transgender and will now be referred to as Zaya.
"Me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community," he said during an appearance on Ellen. "And we are proud allies as well. We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously. So when our child comes home with a question, when a child comes home with an issue, when a child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that, to give them the best information that we can, to give them the best feedback that we can — and that doesn’t change because sexuality is now involved in it."
D Wade's announcement was accompanied by an Instagram post from Zaya's older brother, letting her know that he still supports her.
"Man, I remember bugging my mom as a kid telling her I wanted a brother so bad. I was the only child looking for company and someone to look after and take care of. I have been blessed to have my best friend, Zaya with me for 12 years," Zaire wrote. "We did everything together...we fought, we played, we laughed and we cried. But the one thing we never did was leave each other behind ... I’ve told you that I would lay my life down to make sure you are ten toes down and happy on this earth. I don’t care what they think Z, you are my best friend and I love you kid, and if it means anything, just know there’s no love lost on this side."
Dwyane Wade's ESPN special, D. Wade: Life Unexpected, will air on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 9 p.m. ET.