Dwyane Wade vs Siohvaughn Funches: Duo in court as ex-wife says he's profiting off daughter's transition

Dwyane Wade vs Siohvaughn Funches: Duo in court as ex-wife says he's profiting off daughter's transition
Dwyane Wade files petition to remove his ex-wife's filing against their transgender daughter's identity change (Instagram/@siohvaughnfuncheswade, Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FLORIDA: Former NBA star Dwyane Wade returns to court to fight his ex-wife's petition to stop their transgender daughter from legally changing her identity until she's 18. Wade's ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade has accused him of pressurizing Zion, now known as Zaya, into changing her legal name and gender to seek financial benefits.

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However, the Basketball icon claims he has "full authority" over Zaya and to "make decisions on her behalf" since he was awarded custody of the pair's two children. Wade argued that an identity change would benefit Zaya to get comfortable with herself. He further added in his latest filings, that the allegations made by Funches-Wade were "unsubstantiated" saying she has failed to prove a reason why the identity change would not be in Zaya's best interest.

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Who is Siohvaughn Funches-Wade?

Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and his wife Siohvaughn arrive at the 2006 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre on July 12, 2006 in Hollywood, California.
Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and his wife Siohvaughn arrive at the 2006 ESPY Awards at the Kodak Theatre on July 12, 2006, in Hollywood, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Siohvaughn Funches-Wade and Dwyane Wade were married between 2002 and 2010. The pair also share an older son Zaire, 20. Wade filed for divorce in 2007, after he met his current wife Gabrielle Union the same year. The two have been involved in a legal dispute over Zaya's identity since she came out in 2019. In August 2021, Wade filed a petition to change her name from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade.

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Funches-Wade filed an opposition in response to the filing, claiming she wants Zaya to wait until she is 18. "I have concerns that (Dwyane) may be pressuring our child to move forward with the name and gender change in order to capitalize on the financial opportunities that he has received from companies." She also cited a conversation between the pair where she claims Wade allegedly told her that "he intended to make our child very famous due to the name and gender issue and also informed me that there would be endorsements/contracts associated therewith," reported Daily Mail.

Wade called the petition "libelous" and "nonsensical" and argued that a name change would ultimately allow Zaya to "live more comfortably and honestly in all aspects of her life." He in return accused the mother of cherry-picking details from their custody battle. Following Wade's remark, Funches-Wade asserted her children feel the "excruciating pain" of their parents' divorce, adding that the entire situation is about their child, who "cannot protect and shield themselves" from tragic events, such as bullying.

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She also claimed that Wade's comments were entirely untrue and that her children, like all children, are vulnerable to harm regardless of the lifestyle they have access to. "They too, like many other children, have experienced the excruciating pain and unique challenges that children suffer when their parents are divorced."

Funches-Wade said she will refrain from making negative and hurtful remarks about her husband as he is also their father's child. She added that she will only allege one thing, "because this matter isn't about him, or me, it's about a child who otherwise cannot protect and shield themselves from the negative consequences that encompass living your life in view of the world."

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However, Wade lashed out by calling Funches-Wade an "absentee parent," and seeking attention in her daughter's transition. "Zaya is not the same 3 year (sic) child anymore and she is screaming that to the world but most importantly to her mother! No one in our house would ever force Zaya or any of our children to do anything against their will, much less force an identity on them," he said. "This isn't a game for my family and definitely not for Zaya. This is her life!"

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