Shaunie O’Neal: Life With Shaq

Shaunie O’Neal, wife of Shaquille O’Neal, is prepping for the debut of her new reality series “Basketball Wives.” The budding TV star recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Essence Magazine and finally sets the record straight on what really brought about the demise of her marriage. Shaunie held very little back during the interview and squarely places the blame for the failed marriage on the shoulders of Shaq and Miami groupies, whom she says are the most “aggressive” she has even seen.

Excerpts below…

Shaunie on when things started to go bad in her marriage: [Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat] “Miami is a great city. It just wasn’t a great city for our marriage. I know they say L.A. has its groupies, but Miami has a different mentality. Even going to the games, the whole environment is so different. Girls are practically sitting in their bra and panties in the arena. When you’re trying to keep your husband, that’s a lot to take. It was a whole new lifestyle I wasn’t ready for. Apparently we didn’t have a strong enough foundation for Shaq to withstand that type of temptation.”

Shaunie on finally confronting Shaq about the infidelity rumors: “He would deny it sometimes, and other times he would ask, ‘You got pictures? Video? If not, don’t come at me because you have no proof.’ “He’d say, ‘Okay, you’re mad. Now what? You’re not going anywhere.’

Shaunie on being accused of cheating on Shaq with her personal trainer: “I worked out at home- with my trainer, my sister, her husband and my girlfriend. I was a good girl. I wouldn’t even entertain a man flirting with me. I was that conservative. But when those rumors came out, I felt I was so small and Shaq was so big that it didn’t matter what I said; nobody was going to believe me. All I was thinking was, How could this happen to me? I had no idea how I was going to pick up the pieces. I was just done.”

Shaunie on the state of her relationship with Shaq today: “We are becoming friends, and it’s nice because it’s something we really lacked in our marriage. I enjoy being able to talk openly to him, and I think we both learned a lot from each other during this time.”

Excerpts and scans by Sista.


  1. if i hear about one more reality show i think my head will explode. these people just don’t have anything else to do. Next!

  2. I think she cheated as well that’s all I’m gonna say.

  3. Good for both of them. If you want to be out there – don’t be married. I am sure if she did cheat it was after numerous women he had chopped down. So good for the both of them. Nobody needs that constant headache. Its not like she has never worked or anything so she will be fine – with alimony, child support and doing her own thing. Go Shaunie.

  4. Beautiful pictures, and what if she did cheat who can blame her.

  5. love how she is moving on

    hate the show idea…

    depressed cuz i see my self watching…

    *kanye shrug*

  6. I read that interview, in Essence…

    Shaq is wrong for cheating, but something about her rubs me the wrong way.

    She seems like a golddigger, popping out a few babies before marriage to secure her income.

  7. Shaq is still running the street Women Accepting infidelity (Including those married to rappers) Deserve just what they get .
    As usual I will not be Involve in the “success” of that show, But i’m sure the Majority of Black women will Eat this up.

  8. Another reality show yet again. Sick of them at this point.

  9. Yea!!! sick of the reality shows…except for Keeping up with the Kardashians…..Good for her to take a stand! So what if she secured herself! Now it time to move on……from the cheater..and the money goes with her….:_)

  10. Not really looking forward to this show. Seriously, what did she expect? I could never trust an athlete. She said it herself….she had to compete with “groupies” for her own husband. Shame!
    Better divorce now than never.

    @ CAMMIE: True, but these athletes aren’t dumb.

  11. SHELS really you cant trust ANY MAN! And at least he had money… broke men cheat too!

  12. @ SMH: “AT least he had money”?

    Really? Thats something you should be shaking your head at.


  14. I’m proud of this woman for saying enough and standing up for herself. Alot of people would take the side of the person in the spotlight, because that’s the first aide you here. Like she says they are becoming friends now and they’ve taught each other. To me that was well put. Congrats Shaunie on everything! You are a strong woman!

  15. Reliable sources all say Shaunie was married when she started pursuing Shaq. All in the club in LA playing “hoochie” while her infant son and her 1st husband was at home. She was also still married to her 1st husband when she became pregnant with she and Shaq’s 1st child. Now if that wasn’t aggressive (at 24 years old), I don’t know what is!

    The bottom line is that Shaunie ushered in the masterplan. Trap a ball player to marry you by having baby after baby until he breaks down. When the player gets a vasectomy and you realize you can no longer “sweeten the pot” with adding more kids, then you bounce. Plus child and spousal support is a bigger number while the baller still has his $20 mil a year salary. She couldn’t afford to wait until he retired. I’m sure she has already set her sights on the next man. Poor them.

  16. @jimmy you have it all figures out don’t you detective? Everything in a nut shell. What’s done is done. As long as they move on and do what’s best for the kids. Other than that what does your sources say Shaq did? My point exactly. The public figure tends to get more credibility due to his popularity. Just like Big Ben in Pittsburgh. Who denied everything til recently. Kobe same thing. So before you throw stones make sure to put your armor on!

  17. @dinkybeats Never called Shaq an angel. Just addressing the so-called angelic tone of the ex-Mrs on the Essence article. Neither one of them were issue-free. But please, let’s not act like Shaunie (a cheater herself) couldn’t recognize a cheating situation. I mean really….

    I wish the kids the absolute best…..because the crap that’s going on now is not healthy….for anyone.

    Is that better for you dinky? Now go tell you fam that you defended her!!!

  18. And for her acting “shocked” when people called her a cheater in 2007…well all I have to say is…”And the Academy Award goes to…” Shaunie cheating is how her 1st marriage ended. What does she mean she didn’t know what do do. You mean she couldn’t think back 8 years? REALLY? Wow….

    Birds of a feather flocked together…that’s the best way to sum up their marriage.

  19. Ahh must’ve ruffled your feathers! Him say “go tell your family you defended her” am I typing in brail? I just said what happened happened. Im not making anyone to be a saint. Who’s to say the first marriage wasn’t ended just not legally. We don’t know. Also what was her ex husband doing?We Dont Know! All I was saying is every story has two sides. When it comes down to it. What we think doesn’t matter. So all the posts we put up good or bad doesn’t matter. So now now (virtual pat on the back) it’s ok your opinion matters to you as mine does me and not to them! Jim!

  20. Let me correct you dinkybeats…YOU don’t know. Dont’ speak for everyone else!!!

    Her 1st husband was a deacon at their church. Her 1st husband was excited when he found out she was pregnant with what he thought was their 2nd child. He didn’t believe the marriage had ended….trust me on that one…he thought their family was expanding.

    She was kicked out of her home with her 1st husband when “the deacon” overheard Shaunie talking to Shaq about the baby. The situation is intricate and both sides have complexities.

    You were quick to applaud people for not taking Shaq’s side, but I “boo you” for taking a side at all. VERY hypocritical.

  21. First off! I applauded knowone for not taking Shaq’s side! If you could read.Second guess you were a church member? I did’nt take sides! if both parties were wrong they were wrong! One was just man or woman enough to say enough? what part of that don’t you understand. Deacons are humans thus we dont know what was going on inside the church! Unless you were their.high profile mimnnisters that were nailing everything but the woodwork! We dont or hear about that though do we? Why take sides? Instead of passing judgement on me the four fingers that are pointing back at you. Use those to judge the person they are pointing at!With that being said understand what you read before you spout off. James

  22. Oh…….but didn’t Shaunie stash away some funds a few years ago when they had split up? well they tried to work things out, so she stashed away another 10 million. SMART GIRL!!! We as women can learn alot from Shaunie, 1. how to get a wealthy baller to marry you. 2. How to stash away money behind your husbands back. 3. Let him dig his own hole publicly with groupies, so he wouldn’t stand a chance in court. “Shaunie is a smart cookie” I did hear that Shaq’s mother pressed him to marry Shaunie, because of the children.

  23. @jimmy
    First understand comments keep you openly undesided! Read between the lines. I don’t care what you think of my statements.

  24. @dinkybeats wow…it seems like you’re taking this blog to a new level. I’m just now reading your rant posted at 3:18pm. Whew slow down….I know you cut for “team Shaunie”…but seriously slow down! I have stated facts for the most part and stated my opinion on the reality of the situation. Now if you can’t handle that and decide to leap off the page and go personal, I suggest you find another blog. Let’s stick to the facts please…

  25. Haha! Didn’t “Superhead” say Shaq a a small penis? Maybe million dollar baby making was all he was good for and not very wealthy btwn the legs!!! Lol!!!

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