Why Shaquille O'Neal Takes Responsibility For The Demise Of His Marriage

Shaquille O'Neal is highly respected as a legendary NBA player, entrepreneur, and family man. And, a big portion of that success that he managed to accomplish throughout his career was with the help from his ex-wife Shaunie O'Neal. According to the Atlanta Black Star, the former couple dated for a few years before they tied the knot in December 2002. Within five years of the marriage, Shaq decided to file for divorce. Although the two tried to put their differences aside and give it a second try, Shaunie and Shaq officially called it quits in November 2009.

Despite their public breakup, the pair remained really close friends and continue do the best as they co-parent their four children together: Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, and Me'arah, per TMZ. "I think we both support each other," Shaunie told People about her friendship with ex-husband Shaq. "I used to tease him and be like, 'Could you please hurry up and get a wife? And then you could stop, you know, randomly FaceTiming me and talking about your day? Like ... get a girlfriend or something.'" 

Regardless of what happened in their marriage, the 7-foot-1 athlete has always had love and respect for the mother of his children. However, it's now been nearly 13 years since they parted ways, and Shaq is finally coming clean about who was at fault. 

Shaq says he wasn't protecting his vows

Shaquille O'Neal sat down with hosts Channing Crowder, Ryan Clark, and Fred Taylor for a candid interview on "The Pivot Podcast," where he opened up about some personal issues in his life, including his divorce from ex-wife Shaunie O'Neal. The former Los Angeles Lakers player admitted that he was responsible for the marriage not working out. "It was all me," he said. "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. I'm not going to say it was her."

Throughout their conversation, Shaq continued to reiterate "it was all me" while he described the "Basketball Wives" star as being "awesome." He further explained that Shaunie did everything in her power to make it work. "She did exactly what she was supposed to do and gave me beautiful kids, take care of the house, take care of the corporate stuff," Shaq added. "Sometimes, when you make a lot of mistakes like that, you can't really come back from that."

Although both Shaunie and Shaq have remained close friends and share immense amount of love for each other, Shaunie has since moved on. According to PeopleShaunie got engaged to her boyfriend, Pastor Keion Henderson, in November 2021 after dating for two years. "This was one of the most magical and special days of my life," she told the outlet.