Dwyane Wade Talks “Ugly & Nasty” Divorce From First Wife
He may be making headlines about his support of his 12-year-old transgender daughter Zaya., but there were a few years when the scandal involving the basketball star had to do with his ex-wife. It was back in 2002 that Wade married his high school girlfriend Siohvaughn Funches, the mother of his two children Zaire and Zaya. Five years after exchanging vows, the pair were entangled in a bitter divorce that ended with Wade obtaining full custody of their children.
The Miami Heat icon discussed the tumultuous split from his first wife during his ESPN documentary D. Wade: Life Unexpected. “Siohvaughn Funches was my high school girlfriend,” Wade said. “Siohvaughn had her own car, she had a job, money, this and that. We started spending a lot of time together because it got me away from the noise and everything going on at my house.”
Wade recalled that his parents were going through frightening relationship issues of their own, so spending time with Funches was his outlet. Then, while Wade was a sophomore in college, the couple found out they were pregnant with Zaire. The basketball player said he thought his career and life were over but admitted that Zaire’s birth was the “proudest moment” of his life.
On the home front, Wade’s marriage to Funches was far from peaceful. “Our relationship was rocky. We got together at 16-years-old so we had a lot of differences and we didn’t know how to handle those,” said Wade. “I wasn’t a big argument, fight type person because I grew up hearing my parents do that and I didn’t want that to happen to Zaire, so I would just not address it.”
After their second child was born, Wade decided it was over. The couple even attempted marriage counseling, but nothing worked. “My divorce was taking forever. She wound up having 13 different lawyers in the process,” remembered Wade. “So every time you get a new lawyer, the case starts over… 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.” He added, “It became ugly and nasty.”
“My emotions were all over the place because on one hand, you want to celebrate a victory, but on the other end, no one wins. There’s no winner in a custody battle.” D. Wade: Life Unexpected is available now.