Before a couple
- Shaq is a NBA player
- Shaunie Nelson is film marketer
Before their relationship, Shaq was in a relationship with a woman named Arnetta Yarbourgh and they had a daughter named Taahirah. Nelson also has a son named Myles from a previous relationship as well. There is no information about when and where Shaq and Shaunie met, the age they were, the date or the month. Even their first date is unknown. From what is known, they started dating in 1997 and Shaq proposed to Shaunie on June 30, 2000.
Before their marriage, the couple had two children and got married on December 26, 2002 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Knowing how stressful wedding preparations can be, Shaquille O'Neal, along with several family members and event planner Mindy Weiss, concocted an enchanted setting filled with a multitude of lavender roses for the king of basketball to wed his queen, who was carrying their third child. A man as wealthy in spirit as in monetary gains, Shaq's playful personality was evident during the proceedings when he altered the vows to read "for richer or for richer".
The Dress: Befitting a bride of sports royalty, Shaunie was swathed by designer Michelle Roth in a platinum, full-skirted gown of duchesse satin and tulle, which was generously dusted with Swarovski crystals. The regal style continued with a diamond tiara, to which a long veil was attached. Phenomenal Designs by Lamar created Shaq's ensemble, which consisted of a black, three-quarter length jacket and white shirt with a diamond stud accent.
The Reception: Purple is the color of royalty, and it was chosen as the dominant hue for the reception, which was held in the Crystal Ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Chairs, tables and walls were draped in varying shades of fabric ranging from lilac to deep purple, and bouquets of roses in the same color scheme were held aloft by candleabra centerpieces. Celebrity guests, which included actresses Vanessa Williams, Viviva A. Fox, and members of the Los Angeles Lakers enjoyed a four-tiered wedding cake created by Rosebud Cakes in Beverly Hills, which was fashioned into the form of cushions and decorated with a tiara cake-topper.
Special Touches: So the memory of their special day would linger in the memories of family and friends, Shaq and his new bride offered silver-framed photos taken of each guest at the event. Guests were also sent on their way with a peach pie from Mommie Helen's bakery.
Shaq and Shaunie have four children.
- Shareef Rashaun O'Neal: Born in 2000
- Amirah Sanaa O'Neal: Born in 2001
- Shaqir Rashaun O'Neal: Born in 2003
- Me’arah Sanaa O'Neal: Born in 2006
On September 4, 2007, O'Neal filed for divorce from Shaunie in a Miami-Dade Circuit court. Shaunie later said that the couple had gotten back together and that the divorce was withdrawn. However, on November 10, 2009, Shaunie filed an intent to divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.
Shaq was not a great husband to Shaunie. Shaq writes: ‘At one time my ex-wife Shaunie and I were happy, but I admit it – I was a guy.
‘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 admitted being culpable for the collapse of the romance: ‘You know as well as I do relationships are about maintaining… It wasn’t the big stuff, it was the small stuff, and that’s my fault.
‘I had things to do. I was trying to win, trying to make some money. I admit I wasn’t the best partner. I just didn’t know how. I’m learning now.
Shaq and Shaunie had a rather public and messy breakup. She went as far as to hire a private investigator to get all of the details on her husband’s moves. They discovered Shaq’s sexting and his mistress, Vanessa Lopez, who eventually sued him for harassing her after their affair. Although, Shaunie was also alleged of having extra-marital affairs while married to Shaq. The couple did have a prenuptial agreement.
After their divorce, the basketballer’s attorney even penned a letter to VH1 to prevent his ex-wife from discussing their marriage on Basketball Wives, a reality show where Shaunie starred. Shaunie did get granted custody of their children, providing a substantial amount of spousal and child support. The divorce resulted in Shaq giving up half of his $300 million net worth to Shaunie and $100,000 a month in child support. Shaunie’s worth comes from $5 million a year in alimony payments until she remarries or she has collected $100 million.