Shaquille O’Neal was brutally honest when he reflected on his divorce from ex-wife Shaunie, admitting in a new interview that he “messed up” big time during their marriage.
The couple were married for seven years before their 2009 split, but the divorce remains top of mind for the legendary basketball star despite the 13 years that have passed.
During an appearance on The Pivot Podcast on Tuesday, the 50-year-old former LA Lakers star said that it was his mistakes that put a strain on their relationship and ultimately ended in divorce.
“I don’t make excuses – I know I messed up,” he said in the episode. “Sometimes when you make a lot of mistakes like that you can’t really come back from that.
“I was bad. She was awesome. It was all me,” he added. “We don’t need to talk about what I was doing, but I wasn’t protecting her and protecting those vows. Sometimes you live that double-life and get caught up. I’m not going to say it was her. It was all me.”
O’Neal – who shares four children with Shaunie – said that she was the perfect NBA, supporting him in his career and their private home life, but he just took it for granted.
“Wife was finer than a mug. Kept giving me babies, still finer than a mug – I had it all,” he said. “She did exactly what she was supposed to do. Take care of the kids. Take care of the house. Take care of corporate stuff. It was just all me.”
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The NBA star previously touched upon his “mistakes” off-court in his 2011 memoir Shaq Uncut: My Story.
“I admit it, I was a guy,” he wrote. “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.”
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