Shaquille O'Neal
Photo: Megan Briggs / Stringer via Getty Images

Shaq admits that doing "dumb stuff" ruined relationships with the mothers of his children

Shaquille O’Neal said the mothers of his children are the two women who got away.

  /  06.25.2023

Shaquille O’Neal hopes his sons will learn from his mistakes when it comes to matters of the heart. The four-time NBA championship winner dominated on the court, but when it comes to love, he recently admitted to ruining two dynasties in his personal life.

“I had two perfect women, and I messed it up,” he admitted to singer Monica on her new Apple Music podcast, “MoTalk.” The singer shared a snippet of her conversation with the former basketball superstar in an Instagram post on Saturday (June 24). Shaq disclosed that his former girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourgh and ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal are the two women he failed to do right by.

“We were all young, and I was just doing dumb stuff, but the good thing about our relationship is that they forgave me, and we have a good relationship now,” he added. “But when you ask me about the perfect woman, I had two perfect women, and I messed it up just by, you know, being dumb.”

Shaq and Yardbourgh share a daughter named Taahirah. He and Shaunie were married for nine years before they divorced in 2011. In a 2022 interview with E! News, Shaq said that the divorce was his biggest regret. “You don’t know how good you got something till it’s gone,” he told the outlet. They share five children: sons Shareef, Shaqir, and Myles, whom Shaunie had from a previous relationship; and daughters Amirah and Me’arah.

The 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee explained that he uses his mistakes to teach his sons how women should be treated. “I tell my sons all the time a man has three jobs when it comes to a woman: protect, provide, and love … Even though I don’t have a relationship with the women that I let get away, I will always PPL,” he said. While Shaq has not tied the knot again, Shaunie has. In May 2022, she wed Pastor Keion Henderson.



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