Shaq’s Expensive Divorce From His Ex-Wife Shaunie Could Have Cost Him Millions More

In 1996, Shaquille O’Neal left the Orlando Magic to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. There, the NBA legend met his then-girlfriend, Shaunie. The couple married in 2002 in a private ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Accusations of infidelity tore the husband and wife apart. Then, in 2011, Shaq and Shaunie went through a divorce that cost the NBA star a lot of money. The details will make you cringe.

Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth

O’Neal has an estimated net worth of $400 million. Now retired, he makes more money off the court than he did playing basketball. The 7-foot-1 giant earned $292 million in salaries from his 19 seasons in the NBA.

Shaq continues to bring in $60 million a year in endorsement deals and investments. He is a firm believer in endorsements. The 49-year-old represents companies like American General Insurance, Papa John’s Pizza, Gold Bond, Icy Hot, and many, many more.

In addition to promoting products, according to NBC Sports, “He is the joint owner of 155 Five Guys Burgers restaurants, 17 Auntie Anne’s Pretzels restaurants, 150 car washes, 40 24-hour fitness centers, a shopping center, a movie theater, and several Las Vegas nightclubs.” With all of those investments, O’Neal must have quite a nest egg.

How much did Shaq’s divorce from his wife Shaunie cost him?

Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat and his wife Shaunie O'Neal arrive at his 33rd birthday party at the Hotel Victor in 2005
NBA star Shaquille O’Neal with his wife Shaunie O’Neal in 2005 | Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

O’Neal had a prenuptial agreement, reports Bombist. So when the couple divorced in 2011, most of his assets were protected. In his biography, Shaq Uncut: My Story, the NBA Hall of Famer revealed he and his now ex-wife agreed upon a costly private settlement. He continues to pay $10,000 per month in alimony and an additional $10,000 per month for each of his four children. Doing the math, Shaq has to fork out a lot of money each month, but it could be worse.

The divorce was finalized the same year O’Neal retired from the NBA, reports Clutch Points. Since he played for the Miami Heat as proceedings began in 2007, the state of Florida handled the divorce.

Prior to filing, his ex-wife moved to California where the law requires that married couples must split all assets 50/50. California courts refused to hear issues related to property division and spousal support, saying Florida retained in the jurisdiction, reports ESPN. Since the children resided with her in LA, the California family courts agreed to handle issues relating to child custody.

If the California courts oversaw the divorce proceedings, one-half of Shaq’s massive fortune would have gone to his wife. Perhaps, this is why it took so long to finalize the divorce and come to an amicable agreement. After that experience, it appears O’Neal has no desire to get married anytime soon.

How did Shaq’s ex-wife handle losing half his fortune

On an episode of Basketball WivesO’Neal’s ex-wife talked with co-star Evelyn Lozada about how she reacted when she first found out Shaq was cheating on her.

She said, “I went in that garage, not only did I flatten tires, bust a few windows, I wrote on the hood of his car, ‘I cheat on my wife.’ He had to drive that s–t on four flats, with the message all around it. I drove on the side of his a-s blowing the horn, ’cause I wanted people to like see. Beep the whole ride, the whole ride.” Suffice it to say, O’Neal’s wife didn’t handle his infidelity too well.

Since the divorce was finalized, O’Neal has been connected to many different women. His ex-wife went on to produce and star in the VH1 reality drama, Basketball Wives. O’Neal has been connected to Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander. At one point, it was rumored that he was engaged to model, Laticia Rolle.

In 2019, it appeared he was dating Chicago Fire actor, Annie Ilonzeh. But neither of them has confirmed they’re in a current relationship. In an AOL interview, O’Neal was asked about how he handles dating. Shaq replied, “I don’t use Instagram or any of the dating sites since people don’t believe it’s me. I used to be Shaqanova a long time ago, but not anymore.”