Shaquille O’Neal has been married only once, to Shaunie Nelson, an American television personality. Even though he has been involved with several women, Shaq was married to Shaunie for nine years; from December 2002 to 2011.
Shaquille O’Neal has many times made headlines for his love, marriage, and relationship life, which is quite colorful going by what the media and public see. Aside from his former marriage to Shaunie Nelson, the American former professional basketball player who is currently a sports analyst on the TV program, Inside the NBA, has over the years dated and been involved with several women, including Annie Ilonzeh Ngozi who he is reportedly dating now.
How Many Times Has Shaquille O’Neal Been Married?
Shaquille O’Neal has been married just once in his life. However, it seems as if he has married several times given how he is mostly in the news for his involvements with women. The 7 feet 1-inch center has dated several women since he came into public recognition and this has constantly led to his personal life and romantic dealings making the news.
Meanwhile, his first and yet only marriage, unfortunately, did not survive the test of time. The marriage ended in divorce and the couple went their separate ways. Despite the fact that he had almost all of his children via this union, it still didn’t work out. O’Neal has since the divorce been busy with both his professional and love life. This article focuses on his love expedition; a timeline of his failed marriage and all his children.
Who Was Shaquille O’Neal Married To and How Long Did It Last?
Shaquille O’Neal was previously married to Shaunie Nelson and their marriage officially lasted for nine years; from 2002 to 2011. Shaunie Nelson is a 49 year-old American TV personality and one of the executive producers of VH-1’s reality TV series Baller Wives, Basketball Wives LA, and Basketball Wives. She was born on 27th November 1974 in Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S.A.
Shaunie was previously a film marketer for FOX Entertainment and has produced her own shows such as Shaunie’s Home Court and Basketball Wives, a reality TV series that highlights relevant issues such as single motherhood, parenting style, self-esteem, and the influence of parenting on children. Nelson is also an entrepreneur, businesswoman, and philanthropist.
She owns a footwear line where she sells modern and stylish designer footwear within the price range of $79.95 and $200. What’s more, Shaunie Nelson has over the years actively taken part in several charity programs which are aimed at assisting the unfortunate and less-privileged people in society.
In 2011, she co-organized an event alongside popular artist Brandy wherein she raised proceedings for the underprivileged. Meanwhile, below is a look into her and her ex-husband Shaquille O’Neal’s marriage which lasted barely a decade.
Shaquille O’Neal and Shaunie Nelson Met in 1996
Shaquille O’Neal and Shaunie Nelson reportedly met for the first time in 1996 when both of them were in a relationship with other people. But exactly where and how they met has remained shrouded to the public. In the same vein, nothing much is known about the beginning of their relationship. However, it is known that they individually had a child with their previous partners before they met.
Meanwhile, there is a different unverified report that Shaunie was previously married to a preacher known as Davin Baptiste with whom she had her first child Myles Baptiste. According to the report, Davin serves as a Youth Minister in a well-known Los Angeles-based church and often embarked on several outreach programs with Shaunie. On one of the occasions, they met Shaquille and he worked with them on some Lakers outreach programs.
It was after this particular program that the NBA star was said to have started attending the church and eventually started having an affair with Shaunie. But as we earlier stated, it is worth noting that there is no evidence to prove this claim as the common knowledge is that Shaq is Shaunie’s first husband. Regardless, she and O’Neal officially started dating in 1997, and three years later, on 30th June 2000, they got engaged.
She Became Shaquille O’Neal’s Wife in 2002 and they Officially Divorced in 2011
After being together for five years, Shaquille O’Neal and Shaunie decided to make their relationship more official. They tied the knot on the 26th of December 2002 in a secret wedding ceremony held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. Although a private one, the ceremony was witnessed by some notable personalities and was complete with security guards and press from the ballroom.
They started living happily together in love, going by what the public could see. The couple attended events and parties together, celebrated each other at any given opportunity they could get, and publicly declared their love and affection for each other. However, it was not known that their marriage had been facing challenges.
Barely five years down the line, on 9th October 2007, Shaquille filed for divorce from his wife in a Miami-Dade Circuit court. But Shaunie filed a court motion and dismissed the filing. She requested some time for them to repair their marriage, denying that their marriage was irretrievably broken. They eventually came back together and seemingly settled their differences.
But yet again, just roughly two years later, precisely on 10th November 2009, Shaunie Nelson was this time the one that filed for separation and cited irreconcilable differences. Their divorce was finalized in 2011 and they went their separate ways. Shaunie Nelson remarried in 2022 and is now known as Shaunie Henderson. She married Pastor Keion Henderson in Anguilla.
Infidelity is The Actual Reason Behind Shaquille O’Neal’s Divorce
Talking about life after divorce, the TV personality revealed that the decision to end her marriage with Shaq did not come easy for her because she was afraid of being responsible for so much and for being by herself. But, the moment she eventually did, it was like a weight was lifted off her. But she still did not give insight into the details behind their divorce.
Even though she cited irreconcilable differences to be the reason, it later became known that the NBA star cheated on her with several women, and that, in essence, is the major reason for their breakup. They initially had a very messy and dramatic separation which exposed some exclusive details of O’Neal’s extramarital affairs. However, because they had a prenuptial agreement, they later resorted to a private settlement.
Now, it’s been more than a decade since O’Neal and Shaunie divorced and they have buried the hatchet and currently have a cordial relationship. According to Shaunie, things between them had never been any better. As a matter of fact, there are speculations about a possible reunion given how they exchange communications online. “Once you let things go, they don’t make you mad anymore”, Shaunie expressed in an interview with PEOPLE.
Summary of Shaquille O’Neal and Shaunie Nelson’s Marriage and Relationship Timeline
|July 1996||O’Neal and Shaunie first met in Los Angeles|
|January 11, 2000||They welcomed their first child together|
|30th June 2000||They got engaged|
|November 13, 2001||The couple welcomed their second child together|
|26th December 2002||They got married at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles|
|April 19, 2003||They welcomed their third child|
|April 19, 2003||They welcomed their fourth child|
|5th September||O’Neal files for divorce from wife Shaunie|
|9th October 2007||Shaunie dismissed the divorce and they reconciled|
|November 10, 2009||Shaunie files for separation|
|2011||They finalized their divorce|
Is Shaquille O’Neal Still Married or Single Now?
Shaquille O’Neal is no longer married but is currently in a relationship. After his marriage with Shaunie Nelson ended in 2011, he moved on with his love life and has since dated a lot of women including Arnetta Yarborough, Laticia Rolle, Nicole Alexander whom he engaged before they broke up, Laura Govan, Karrine, and Trina, among others.
He is currently said to be dating Annie Ilonzeh Ngozi, an American actress of Nigerian descent. Annie was born on 24th August 1983 and is 40 years old as of 2023. Her parents are immigrants; while her mother is an American of Polish and English descent, her father is a Nigerian.
Although she is not a widely known actress, Annie Ilonzeh Ngozi has acted in a good number of notable films such as American Horror Story: Cult, How I Met Your Mother, Beauty & the Beast, and General Hospital. She started acting in 2007 and her most recently recognized role was in Chicago Fire where she acted as Emily Foster.
It is not clear exactly when Shaquille O’Neal started dating Annie Ilonzeh but their relationship became public knowledge in 2019 when they were seen holding hands in New York City. After that, they were also seen a few more times, having great times together and enjoying themselves on the beach. But, neither O’Neal nor Annie ever confirmed they were in a relationship to date.
This has made it very difficult for anyone to know exactly what they are currently up to; whether they are still together or are keeping their affairs completely out of the media and public eyes. In any way, it is worth noting that since then, none of them has been linked to any different partner. Fans are curious to find out what is really happening with them and while many believe they are still going on strong, some others simply assume they have split.
How Many Children Does Shaquille O’Neal Have?
Shaquille O’Neal has a total of six children; three daughters and three sons, one of who is adopted. He and his ex-wife Shaunie welcomed four kids together; two daughters and two sons. Out of their four children, they had the first two before tying the knot. Following their divorce, Shaunie got sole custody of their four children while Shaq was allowed for visitation.
Since then, O’Neal has been paying Shaunie the sum of $10,000 per month for spousal support and another $10,000 per month for each of his children. Meanwhile, both Shaq and Shaunie had kids before they met. While Shaunie had a son named Myles Baptiste, Shaquille had a daughter named Taahirah.
Meet Shaquille O’Neal’s Kids
1. Taahirah O’Neal
Taahirah O’Neal is Shaquille O’Neal’s first child and daughter whom he had with his first girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourgh. She was Born on 19th July 1996 in Orlando, Florida, and is 27 years old as of 2023. In 2009, Taahirah graduated from Oglethorpe Brookhaven University, Georga with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She is a social media marketer and has worked with Pepisco.
2. Shareef Rashaun O’Neal
Shareef Rashaun was born on 11th January 2000 and is 23 years old as of 2023. He is the first son of Shaquille and his ex-wife Shaunie Nelson. Shareef is following in his father’s footsteps in the NBA. He is a professional basketball player who played as a power forward for the LSU Tigers of the Southeastern Conference.
3. Amirah O’Neal
Born on 13th November 2001, Amirah O’Neal is the first daughter and second child of Shaquille and Shaunie whom they also had before they got married. Just like her older brother, Amirah has also taken after her father. She is a college basketball player and plays as a forward for the LSU Lady Tigers basketball team.
4. Shaqir O’Neal
Shaqir was born on 19th April 2003 and is the second son and third child of the former couple. Shaqir who is 20 years old as of 2023 is also aspiring to become a professional basketball player. He played as a forward at Crossroad High School in Santa Monica, California. He currently plays at Texas University Tigers of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
5. Me’arah O’Neal
Me’arah, born on 1st May 2006 is the second daughter and last child of Shaquille O’Neal and Shaunie Nelson. As the story goes, Me’arah is also following the career path of her father and siblings. She attends Crossroads Schools in Santa Monica and there, she plays basketball as a center. However, it is not yet certain if she will be pursuing a career as a professional player.
Myles Baptiste Nelson O’Neal is Shaunie Nelson’s Son From Her Previous Relationship
Myles Baptiste, born on 8th May 1997 is the first child and son of Shaunie Nelson whom she had from her previous relationship before meeting Shaquille. The truth about who Myles’ biological father is isn’t yet confirmed but it is known that O’Neal adopted him following his marriage to Nelson. Since then, Myles has been going by the NBA star’s surname.
Myles Baptiste is a professional model and TV star and has worked with several big names across the States such as Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, and Michael Kors, among others. He starred in the E! reality TV series, Relatively Famous: Ranch Rules which premiered in January 2022.