Shaquille O’Neal has never been one to bite his tongue, and he laid that same level of honesty upon himself when he sat with Channing Crowder, Fred Taylor & Ryan Clark for yesterday’s episode of The Pivot Podcast. The Big Diesel spoke about his history of broken relationships and admitted he was entirely at fault for the collapse of his nine-year marriage to TV personality Shaunie Nelson.
“I was bad. She was awesome,” the retired hooper acknowledged. “It was all me. We don’t need to talk about what I was doing, but I wasn’t protecting her and protecting those vows. Sometimes you live that double-life and get caught up. I’m not going to say it was her. It was all me.”
Shaunie and Shaq were engaged since 2000, and they wed two years later. The union produced four children, but the couple separated in 2007. They reconciled shortly after that and gave their marriage a second try before Shaunie finally decided to pull the plug on it in 2009. Their divorce was finalized in 2011.
“I had the perfect situation,” Shaq continued. “Wife was finer than a mug. Kept giving me babies. Still finer than a mug. I had it all. I don’t make excuses. I know I messed up. When that d-word happened — I don’t like to use that word — I was lost. 76,000 square foot house by yourself. Lost. No kids. Go to the gym. Nobody’s playing. You go to their room, nobody’s there.”
Nevertheless, Shaunie and Shaq appear to have maintained a positive co-parenting arrangement as well as a close friendship through everything. And the Big Aristotle approves of her upcoming nuptials with Pastor Keion Henderson. “She’s happy now,” the big man shared. “She’s about to marry a fine, young gentleman, and I’m happy for her.”
Shaq also reflected on how he messed up in some other defining partnerships in his life. “Big mistake in the Penny relationship, big mistake in the Kobe relationship, horrible mistake in both marriages,” he said. “Other than that, I don’t really dwell on a lot. But those things, I really dwell on.”
“I don’t like to make excuses but I had a lot going on,” he later added. “I was arrogant, I was dumb, and sometimes when you do a lot of stuff, you don’t wanna work at stuff. Those are my only three major regrets that I have. Everything else, I try not to dwell on. I’m glad that I’ve lived my life, and I did it my way.”
Check out the video below for the full interview between Shaq and the Pivot Podcast crew.