It’s time for Shaq Free: Da Return. The wife of NBA basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal filed for a legal separation with intent to divorce on Monday — the second time that the couple has publicly broken up.
Va’Shaundya O’Neal (better known as Shaunie), who has been married to Shaq for less than seven years, cited irreconcilable differences in the papers she filed with a Los Angeles court. She is asking for full child custody of the pair’s four children as well as child support and spousal support. The filing didn’t specify any financial interests.
Shaq’s current NBA team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, released a press statement from the 37-year-old, seven-foot-one superstar center last night. “Obviously, this is a difficult time for our family,” the statement read, “and we request that the media respect our privacy. I will continue to focus on being there for our children, and I am confident that Shaunie will do the same.”
The O’Neals’ children range from eight to two years old in age.
Word of troubles in the marriage first came to light when Shaq filed for divorce in September 2007. But the couple reportedly reconciled and withdrew the divorce petition shortly afterwards.
Shaquille O’Neal has won four Most Valuable Player titles and taken part in 15 All-Star Games over his 17-season career with the NBA. He has played with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat; this year, the Phoenix Suns traded him to the Cavaliers. Shaq also has ongoing side careers as a rapper and an actor.
Born in New Jersey, Shaq was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame this year.
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