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Millionaire Shaquille O’Neal Boasted about Gifting Ex-Wife Shaunie a Private Jet with Her Face on It But Was Immediately Called Out for It

Published 09/20/2022, 12:30 PM EDT

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Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most talked about NBA athletes even after his retirement. The Big Diesel won four championships and three NBA Finals MVPs in his 19-season-long career. Unfortunately for Shaq, his longevity on the basketball court could not be reflected in his married life. O’Neal’s marriage with his ex-wife Shaunie did not last more than seven years, despite having four children together.

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It is no secret that Shaq misses being married. The 15-time All-Star has admitted nearly after 13 years of his divorce that he blamed himself for the end of their marriage. However, he has managed to develop a friendship with his former wife for the sake of their children.


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Shaunie Busts Shaquille O’Neal boasting on Twitter

Back in 2009, Shaq posted a photo of a personalized private jet on his Twitter account. The plane in the picture had his former wife’s name and face on it. Shaq shared the post even before Shaunie filed the divorce in November that year. The gesture touched fans, who managed to catch a glimpse of the post before it was taken down.

However, it was not long before Shaunie busted Shaq publicly on Twitter. She wrote, “lol… Directly frm photoshop, lol.” Shaunie paved an end to all the speculations by revealing the truth. Soon after, an embarrassed O’Neal took the image down from Twitter. In truth, neither the plane nor the customized theme existed at that time. Shaq was surely a millionaire but affording a customized private jet would have cost him a big deal back then.


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The Lakers legend has surely come a long way since then. By the time he retired in 2011, Shaquille O’Neal had earned $286,344,668 from his NBA contracts. Moreover, as per Celebrity Net Worth, Shaq’s current net worth is around $400 million. 

Are Shaunie & Shaq still in touch?


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O’Neal & Shaunie started out as one of the most romantic NBA couples after the former Lakers star moved to LA in 1996, Apart from making $120 million over six years with the Lakers, O’Neal also met his film marketer ex-wife Shaunie Nelson in Los Angeles.

The couple got married in 2002 and had four children together. By the time their marriage came to an end in 2009 after Shaunie filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized two years later.


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Watch This Story: Biggest Houses Owned By Shaquille O’Neal

It was tough for them to fulfill their relationship roles together after their disagreements. However, Shaq and Shaunie evolved into a new co-parenting role over the years. They have supported each other and developed a more sustainable friendship. Shaq also supported Shaunie when she got engaged to Pastor Keion Henderson in 2021. Thus, the former couple still shares a great deal of respect and love for each other. 

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Written by:

Rohit Kumawat


One take at a time

Rohit Kumawat is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing an MBA in Media and Business Management, Rohit holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has been working as a Sports and Entertainment writer for over a year.
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