Shaq Files For Divorce

Was it all about the Benjamins? Whatever the reason Shaquille O’Neal has decided his marriage to wife Shaunie is “irretrievably broken.” According to court documents, the basketball star filed for divorce from his wife in Miami yesterday after nearly five years of marriage and four children together.

The Miami Herald is reporting that the couple has a prenuptial agreement. What’s more, the newspaper reveals that a clue to the break up may be contained in the court documents. One request in the divorce petition says Shaunie has been “secretive about her assets … particularly with respect to certain properties owned or titled in either [her] name alone or in other entities” and Shaq is requesting that the court require Shaunie to give a “correct accounting of all money, funds, stocks, bonds, and other securities (including bearer securities)” acquired during the marriage. Basically, it appears that Shaq is upset about rumors that his estranged wife has been making secret transactions with his (their) money without his consent.

According to court filings, the Miami Heat star rakes in $20 million a year playing for the team and makes even more through lucrative endorsement deals he has with various companies. Up until the divorce filing the couple had been living in a $32 million mansion on Miami Beach’s exclusive Star Island. The property is reportedly now up for sale. (I wonder when/if he gave her the boot?)

Frankly, I’m surprised their marriage is ending (call me an optimist) from what I could tell they seemed very much in love. You’ll recall their lavish, star-studded wedding at the Beverly Hills Hotel was broadcast on TV back in 2002. That’s when Shaq gave Shaunie a ring with 17 carats of diamonds.

The couple has four children together: Shareef, 7, Amirah, 5, Shaqir, 4, and Me’Arah, 1. They also have one child each from previous relationships.

If there is a silver lining to this gray cloud it’s that Shaq is recommending to the court that his wife be “primary residential custodian” of their children (meaning they would live with her) and asks for “liberal rights of visitation.” Thus sparing the innocent kids the scar of having to endure a bitter custody battle. Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards’ kids and Ireland Baldwin should be so lucky.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.