Shaunie Henderson Says She's Not Sure If She Ever Loved Ex-Husband Shaquille O'Neal

Henderson wrote about her divorce from Shaq in her new book, 'Undefeated: Changing the Rules and Winning on My Own Terms.'

Two individuals standing together, one wearing a graphic t-shirt and the other in a casual layered outfit
Cassy Athena via Getty Images
Two individuals standing together, one wearing a graphic t-shirt and the other in a casual layered outfit

In her new book, Shaunie Henderson suggested that she never really knew if she truly loved her ex-husband, Shaquille O'Neal.

Henderson, who took her current husband's last name upon marrying him in 2022, opened up about her relationship with the basketball legend in her book, Undefeated: Changing the Rules and Winning On My Own Terms. Henderson was married to O'Neal from 2002 to 2011 and they share four kids together, but in her book, she said that she loved the lifestyle the marriage brought more than she did the man she married.

"Looking back, I don’t know that I was ever really in love with the man, but I was in love with the idea of being married to the man I had a family with," she wrote, per Essence. "I was in love with the idea of building a life together. I truly did enjoy spending time with him. [NBA] road trips allowed me to be with my husband and experience the NBA life for a little while."

Shaq has expressed regret over his infidelity during their marriage in the past, and Henderson did defend him in the book. "He was trying to be a world-famous, thirty-something multimillionaire with thousands of women throwing themselves at him, and people in general begging just to be in his presence, while being a husband and a father simultaneously," she added. "How could anyone possibly know how to do that?"

In another portion of the book, per The New York Post, she said that the issues in their marriage weren't "obvious early on," but they became "harder and harder to ignore" as the years went on. One of the issues, she revealed, was Shaq's tendency to go "missing," recalling one such incident when they moved from Los Angeles to Miami following his trade to the Heat in 2004.

"Our chef did all the grocery shopping. His managers paid all the bills. I took care of the kids. So where was he going in the morning, during the day, and at night? No one works out that often," she said. "When we moved to Miami, I even heard a rumor that he had a condo in Miami Beach. I started to get suspicious, but he always had an answer, and I could never prove anything. Eventually, I was forced to admit that my family life wasn’t as blissful or perfect as I wanted to believe."

Henderson met O'Neal in 1999, and they tied the knot in 2002. Looking back, she said it was "not hard to fall for his charm." O'Neal filed for divorce in 2007, but they reconciled not long after. They filed for divorce again in 2009 and it was finalized in 2011. She has since remarried, getting hitched to pastor Keion Henderson in May 2022.

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