"Sometimes, when you make a lot of mistakes like that, you can't really come back from that," he said about their divorce.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 21, 2022. It has since been updated.
Shaquille O'Neal is getting raw and honest about his 2011 divorce from ex-wife Shaunie O'Neal. On a recent episode of The Pivot Podcast, the NBA legend discussed his career, relationships, and regrets. The former Los Angeles Lakers player, 50, revealed why he blames himself for ending things with Shaunie. She split from Shaq in 2009 after getting married in 2002, according to PEOPLE.
The exes share four children: Shareef, 22, Amirah, 20, Shaqir, 19, and Me'arah, 15. Shaunie is also mom to another son, Myles, 24, from a previous relationship.
"I've never talked about this, and I'm glad you guys asked because I don't mind talking about this, but I was bad," Shaq said. "She was awesome. She really was. It was all me." Though the pro basketball player said they didn't need to further discuss "what I was doing," he explained, "I wasn't protecting her and protecting those vows."
"Sometimes when you live that double life, you get caught up. I'm not going to say it was her; it was all me," he then added.
Shaq recounted the effort his ex-wife put into their relationship before the couple split. "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. It was just all me. Sometimes, when you make a lot of mistakes like that, you can't really come back from that."
The former couple has managed to restore their friendship, and O'Neal had nothing but compliments when talking about his ex-wife. "She was awesome, she really was. It was all me," he explained.
While Shaq is currently dating Annie Ilonzeh, according to Sports Virsa, Shaunie announced her engagement to pastor Keion Henderson late last year after the two began dating in February 2020. "This love is FOREVER and I'm honored and overjoyed to do forever with him," the Basketball Wives star told PEOPLE in November.
As for Shaq, he couldn't be happier for his ex-wife, who has found love once again. "She's happy now," O'Neal said on the podcast. "She's about to marry a fine, young gentleman and I'm happy for her."
O'Neal may have ended his marriage on bad terms, but he is known to be someone with a kind heart, who loves to help as many people as he can, just to bring a smile to their faces. For him, that's all that matters.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Amy Sussman