‘I Didn’t Want to Get Married’: Pastor Keion Henderson Explains Not Being Happy With Shaunie for 6-8 Months of Their Relationship

Shaunie Henderson isn’t the only one in her marriage who has baggage from failed romances.

Her new husband, Pastor Keion Henderson, publicly admitted that despite having instant chemistry with the former basketball wife, he was initially unwilling to explore more than friendship.

During the Lighthouse Church’s annual Cry Out Conference in Houston, Texas, in June, he told “Dear Future Wifey” podcast host Laterras R. Whitfield that he and Shaunie were both “wounded” by divorce. His nine-year marriage to ex-wife Felecia Henderson ended in 2019 when their divorce was finalized.

The former couple share one child, a daughter named Katelyn, though Keion played an active role in the lives of Felecia’s two older children.

Shaunie was previously married to former Los Angeles player Shaquille O’Neal for seven years when they separated in 2009. Their divorce was finalized the following year with a settlement that included Shaunie retaining primary custody of their five children. The faith leader, who is also based in Houston, said his failed marriage warped his outlook on having a second chance at love.

Shaunie henderson crip walking
Pastor Keion Henderson (right) admits to self-sabotaging his relationship with Shaunie Henderson (left) after enduring a messy divorce from his first wife, Felecia Henderson. (Photo: @iamshaunie/Instagram)

“I didn’t want to get married and stay married because I was afraid to get divorced again,” he said. “I was like I don’t want to get married because I don’t want to fail. If I survive this, [I] definitely can’t survive it again. And so it was not about her; it was about me, and I knew that my chances of surviving another marriage were less than surviving the other one.”

Moreover, Keion admitted, “I started to self-sabotage, if I’m telling the truth. And I probably missed six to eight months of happiness with her ‘cause I wasn’t happy with myself.”

Both parties said that outside of their initial in-person meeting, they maintained a friendship that was built off of FaceTime calls, each agreeing to not visit the other as Keion’s divorce was being worked through, though the arrangement would ultimately shift. 

“Because my divorce was so messy and elongated, I made a decision that I was going to start dating her before the divorce was final because I wasn’t going to let somebody holding up the divorce show me how I could live my life,” said the now-viral pastor.

Keion also noted that in between them going public with their romance in 2019 that rumors of Shaunie dating a married man began to circulate. They were true, but he said that he and Felecia were completely separated.

He knew that Shaunie was his wife “when I woke up from my disastrous mindset, I was able to hear the same woman but not interpret what she was saying through my pain. … I just had to get to a place where I could hear what she was actually saying and not what I felt,” adding that his new first lady never once changed who she was.

The “Undefeated” author and pastor showcased their love in the limited reality series “Shaunie & Keion’s Destination I Do.” They tied the knot in a tropical ceremony at the Aurora Anguilla Resort and Golf Club in March 2022.

In her newly released memoir, Shaunie revealed that this time around she is experiencing the bliss of being in love for the first time.

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