Shaunie O’Neal is a woman of many talents and achievements. She is best known as the ex-wife of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal and the executive producer of the hit reality TV series Basketball Wives, Basketball Wives LA, and Baller Wives. But she is also an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, a mother of six, and a newlywed. In this article, we will take a look at her life story, from her humble beginnings in Texas to her glamorous lifestyle in Los Angeles.
Table of Contents
Early Life and Education
Shaunie O’Neal was born as Va’Shaundya Karlette Nelson on November 27, 1974, in Wichita Falls, Texas. She moved to Los Angeles with her family when she was 10 years old. She attended the University of Southern California, where she graduated with a degree in communications.
Career as a Film Marketer
Before becoming a TV producer, Shaunie worked as a film marketer for FOX Entertainment. She was responsible for promoting and advertising movies to the public. She also met her future husband, Shaquille O’Neal, while working in the film industry.
Marriage and Divorce with Shaquille O’Neal
Shaunie and Shaquille O’Neal started dating in the late 1990s, after he joined the Los Angeles Lakers. They got engaged in 2000 and married in 2002 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. They had four children together: Shareef (born in 2000), Amirah (born in 2001), Shaqir (born in 2003), and Me’arah (born in 2006). Shaunie also has a son, Myles, from a previous relationship, and Shaquille has a daughter, Taahirah, from a former girlfriend.
The couple seemed to have a fairy-tale marriage, living in a 31,000-square foot mansion in Florida and enjoying the perks of fame and fortune. However, their relationship was not without problems. They separated twice, first in 2007 and then in 2009, amid rumors of infidelity and irreconcilable differences. They finalized their divorce in 2011, after a long and bitter legal battle over custody, alimony, and assets. The details of their divorce settlement remain undisclosed, but it is estimated that Shaunie received a hefty amount of money and property from Shaquille.
Success as a TV Producer
After her divorce, Shaunie decided to pursue a career in television. She became one of the executive producers of Basketball Wives, a reality show that follows the lives of women who are married to or have dated professional basketball players. The show premiered on VH1 in 2010 and became an instant hit, attracting millions of viewers and sparking several spin-offs, such as Basketball Wives LA and Baller Wives. Shaunie also appeared on the show as one of the cast members, sharing her personal and professional struggles and triumphs.
Shaunie used her platform to raise awareness and empower women, especially those who are single mothers, entrepreneurs, or victims of domestic violence. She also launched a program called Let’s Talk About It, which aims to address issues that affect women and promote women’s leadership and independence. She also partnered with Chinese Laundry to create her own line of shoes, which are stylish, affordable, and comfortable.
Philanthropy and Activism
Shaunie is not only a successful businesswoman, but also a generous philanthropist. She has supported various causes and organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club of America, the American Cancer Society, and the Shaunie O’Neal Foundation, which provides scholarships and mentorship to underprivileged youth. She has also participated in several charity events, such as Mission Christmas Eve for the Homeless, where she distributed food, clothing, and gifts to the needy.
Shaunie is also an outspoken advocate for social justice and racial equality. She has spoken out against police brutality, systemic racism, and discrimination. She has also encouraged her children to use their voices and platforms to make a positive difference in the world.
Personal Life and New Marriage
Despite her busy and successful career, Shaunie has always prioritized her family and children. She has maintained a cordial and respectful co-parenting relationship with Shaquille, who has also remarried. She has also found love again with Pastor Keion Henderson, whom she married in Anguilla in 2022. She described her wedding as a “dream come true” and said that she feels “blessed” to have a second chance at happiness.
Shaunie O’Neal is an inspiration to many women who aspire to achieve their goals and dreams. She has shown that she can overcome any challenge and adversity with grace, strength, and resilience. She has also proven that she can balance her personal and professional life with ease and elegance. She is truly a woman of substance and style.
|Shaquille O’Neal (ex-husband), Keion Henderson (husband)
|Myles, Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, Me’arah, Taahirah (stepdaughter)
|University of Southern California
|Favorite TV Show