Inside Shaquille and Shaunie O'Neal's on-off relationship: How NBA star's infidelity broke 7-year-long marriage

The 'Basketball Wives' star and the NBA legend have managed to achieve a blissful co-parenting situation where they raise their four children


                            Inside Shaquille and Shaunie O'Neal's on-off relationship: How NBA star's infidelity broke 7-year-long marriage
A look at the relationship of NBA player Shaquille O'Neal and wife Shaunie O'Neal (Getty Images)

From being a loving couple and assuming the roles of responsible parents to later becoming almost bitter exes and then finally moving on as "amazing friends" — Shaquille 'Shaq' O'Neal and Shaunie O'Neal's story has drama written all over it. That is why we are tempted to explore the minute facets of their 11-year-relationship, including their courtship period and marriage. 

The couple has managed to achieve a blissful co-parenting situation where they raise their four children: 20-year-old Shareef Rashaun, Amirah Sanaa who is hitting 20 this year — both of them were born while Shaunie and Shaq dated, 17-year-old Shaqir and 14-year-old Me'arah Sanaa, who were born after the pair walked down the aisle.

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Basketball player Shaquille O'Neal and wife Shaunie O'Neal at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards at the American Airlines Arena, on August 29, 2004, in Miami, Florida (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

But shortly after their youngest daughter was born, the couple called it quits only to get back together briefly. They were hoping to reconcile but Shaunie eventually filed a divorce in 2009 and they ended their long-standing relationship in 2011. What followed next was a very public and messy split. Fortunately, for the kids, the parents were able to power through it and have since maintained a friendly equation. 

A few years later, Shaq released his book titled 'Shaq Uncut: My Story' in which he addressed the rumors surrounding the divorce. Most were of the opinion that infidelity was what caused the pair to break apart. 'I was a guy with too many options. Choosing to be with some of those women, well, that's on me. In my mind, I never did it disrespectfully, but obviously, I shouldn't have done it all," he wrote in his tell-all autobiography

Shaquille O'Neal, of the Miami Heat, and wife Shaunie arrive at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards at the American Airlines Arena on August 28, 2005, in Miami, Florida (Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

While the details of their divorce settlement have never been mentioned, there were reports that claimed Shaq paid $20,000 each month towards alimony and child support. However, since they had signed a prenuptial agreement, the former NBA star was able to protect most of his assets.

But Shaunie apparently tried to bend the rules a bit we hear. A Clutchpoints report writes that the ex-wife moved to California to file the divorce because the law in that state is different and allows a couple with a prenup to equally distribute their assets. Fortunately for Shaq, the court decided the state of Florida should proceed with the couple's legal matters.

This cannot be confirmed since none of the parties involved ever spoke openly or addressed the chatter around their divorce settlement or prenup agreement. Catch Shaunie when she returns on 'Basketball Wives' Season 9. The VH1 show will premiere on Tuesday, February 9. For more information, check your local listings.

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