Dwyane Wade spoke about the bitter divorce with his ex-wife, Siovaughn Funches. He revealed how grueling the battle for custody over their two children was.
The former Miami Heat star has been in the headlines along with his wife Gabrielle Union for how the family has supported Zaya Wade coming out as transgender. Wade had Zaya and her older brother, Zaire, with his first wife which he says was a tumultuous relationship.
In his new ESPN documentary D. Wade: Life Unexpected, the NBA legend opened up about difficulties in his fmarriage to Funches. He says the two started dating in his junior year of high school and he was attracted to how established she was compared to him. She already had a job and her own car and helped the Chicago, Illinois native stay focused as a teenager. During the documentary, the 38-year-old talked about getting his girlfriend pregnant when they were still in high school. At the time he believed this was the end of his playing career because the couple were starting a family at such a young age.
I broke down. [I thought] my career, my life is over…Our relationship was rocky,” Wade said, “We got together at 16-years-old.”
This is when the three-time NBA champion says the two started to fight a lot which he chalks up to both of them being teenagers. He hated hearing his parents argue as a kid and he did not want to subject Zaire to that.
Wade started dating Union around 2006 but he was still legally married to Funches and the two were in a bitter divorce and custody battle. He says his ex-wife would keep changing her lawyer which made the legal proceedings drag on.
My divorce was taking forever. She wound up having 13 different lawyers in the process,” he says in the documentary, “I’m having a hard time having a relationship with my kids, seeing my kids. A lot of times she would not bring them out and I would have to get the police involved to find her.”
The Heat-retiree admits that he was very emotional during this time. Once the divorce and custody dispute was settled he was torn because he was relieved but realized this was not something he wanted to celebrate.
“It became ugly and nasty…There’s no winner in a custody battle.”In promotion of the documentary, Wade has been giving multiple interviews and offered insight to his family life. When speaking about Zaya identifying as transgender the basketball icon says the family has been following the 12-year-old’s lead.