Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, ex-wife of NBA All-Star Dwayne Wade is speaking out and spilling the tea on her past relationship, heartbreak, the pitfalls of fame and the painful custody battle over the couple’s two young boys. Fueled by the negative light cast on her character during the promotional run of Wade’s new book, A Father First: How Life Became Bigger Than Basketball. Siohvaugn is detailing her accounts to media depicting Wade as the opposite of doting father, loving spouse or decent co-parent.
Siohvaughn recalls their long relationship from meeting in the 5th grade, then becoming high school sweethearts, broke beginnings, and the promises of devotion while cramped in a one-bedroom apartment in Marquette, Wisconsin while Wade played college basketball. Everything changed in 2003 when Wade was drafted into the NBA skyrocketing to fame and million dollar paychecks. Their public separation made headlines when Wade, still married, moved on with actress Gabrielle Union, but the couple did not officially divorce until 2007. With a net worth of over $65million, Siohvaughn alleges that she sees no parts of that money and in fact struggles to make ends meet.
In an earlier interview Siohvaugn alleges that Wade was verbally abusive, even going into detail about a physical altercation that left her fearful of her then-husband. Wade allegedly threw a phone at Siohvaughn, and threw her body on a marble bathroom floor during an argument. Maintaining that Wade has anger-issues, Siohvaugn had no comment when asked for opinion on his new relationship with 39-year old Gabrielle Union. Two children, Zaire, 10 and Zion 5, were products of their marriage; however the ugly four year custody battle left Siohvaugn with little time to be with her boys.
In spite of an expert witness concluding that the children would best benefit staying with their mother full time and visiting their father twice a month in Miami, the court gave Wade full custody and prevented Siohvaughn any contact for 30 days while the boys got “settled.” Of the devastating verdict given on March 11, 2011 Siohvaughn recalls, “In the hours and weeks after, I cried and cried and I remember being scared when I’d see them again. Would they look different? Would their clothes still fit them? Would they still love me? I worried that they would think I wanted them to go away.”
Few parents can imagine the trauma of their child being ripped away under a court order. Siohvaughn was also arrested for kidnapping her sons in June, but the charges were later dropped. Divorce is never easy, but coupled with celebrity influence, money and power, the fallout can be brutal. Now working towards a law degree in Chicago and trying to visit her children as often as possible, Siohvaughn’s life is much different than she planned. Her accounts of Wade’s character don’t mimic the athlete on Oprah promoting a book and lifestyle on fatherhood, but repairing emotional damage of the relationship lost is work Siohvaughn must do alone.