Shaquille O'Neal Memoir: Talks Cheating In New Book 'Shaq Uncut: My Story'


First Posted: 11/17/11 09:35 PM ET Updated: 11/18/11 09:48 AM ET

NBA star Shaquille O'Neal details his time on and off the court in a new memoir, "Shaq Uncut: My Story," which hit shelves Tuesday.

The memoir touches on his marriage to Shaunie Nelson, which ended in 2009 amid cheating allegations. Shaq admits that while he did stray from the marriage, he never did it "disrespectfully":

"At one time my ex-wife Shaunie and I were happy, but I admit it--I was a guy. I was a guy with too many options. Choosing to be with some of those women, well, that's on me. In my mind, I never did it disrespectfully, but obviously I shouldn't have done it all."

Despite their messy breakup -- Shaq's attorney even sent a letter to VH1 to prevent his ex-wife from discussing their relationship on "Basketball Wives" -- Shaq admits fault for the marriage's demise and says he learned a valuable lesson from their seven-year union. He writes:

"You know as well as I do relationships are about maintaining... It wasn't the big stuff, it was the small stuff, and that's my fault. I had things to do. I was trying to win, trying to make some money. I admit I wasn't the best partner. I just didn't know how. I'm learning now."

Shaq has been dating reality show star Nikki Alexander since 2010.

Below, other athletes whose marriages ended in messy divorces:

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  • Chad Johnson and Evelyn Lozada

    Chad Johnson and Evelyn Lozada's whirlwind <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20621087,00.html" target="_hplink">41-day marriage</a> came to an end in August 2012 when Lozada filed for divorce from the former NFL wide receiver. Earlier that month, Johnson <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/11/chad-johnson-arrested-head-butt-evelyn-lozada-report_n_1768973.html" target="_hplink">reportedly head-butted his now-ex-wife</a> during an argument. "Basketball Wives" star Lozada was <a href="http://hollywoodlife.com/2012/08/12/evelyn-lozada-chad-johnson-domestic-violence-basketball-wives/" target="_hplink">hospitalized for a laceration</a> on her head, and <a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1294212-chad-johnson-arrested-on-domestic-violence-charges" target="_hplink">Johnson was arrested</a> on misdemeanor domestic violence charges. The following day, the Miami Dolphins announced that they were <a href="http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2012-08-15/chad-johnson-cut-hard-knocks-video-miami-dolphins-coach-joe-philbin-awkward" target="_hplink">terminating Johnson's contract</a>. In a possible attempt to win her back, Johnson had <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2012/09/04/chad-johnson-ochocinco-tattoo-evelyn-lozada/" target="_hplink">Lozada's face tattooed </a>on his right calf. The couple's <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000064112/article/chad-johnsons-divorce-from-evelyn-lozada-finalized" target="_hplink"> divorce was finalized</a> on September 19.

  • Dwyane and Siohvaughn Funches-Wade

    NBA star Dwyane Wade's divorce from high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches lasted almost four years -- it began in <a href="http://myfamilylaw.com/celebrityblog/2008/10/13/dwyane-wade-divorce/" target="_hplink">November 2007</a> and wasn't <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/2010-06-25-dwyane-wade-divorce_N.htm" target="_hplink">finalized until June 2010</a>. In May 2010, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/05/gabrielle-union-lawsuit-d_n_564857.html" target="_hplink">Funches-Wade filed a lawsuit</a> against Wade's girlfriend, actress Gabrielle Union, for "engag[ing] in sexual foreplay" with Wade in front of their two young children. It was <a href="http://www.tmz.com/2010/08/17/gabrielle-union-dwyane-wade-siohvaughn-wade-foreplay-sex-lawsuit/" target="_hplink">later dismissed </a>by an Illinois judge. She also <a href=" http://www.vibe.com/article/testimony-dwyane-wade-did-not-give-wife-std" target="_hplink">accused her ex-husband of giving her chlamydia</a>, although sworn witness testimony proved otherwise. In addition to the messy divorce proceedings, the ex-couple was also embroiled in a nasty custody battle over their two sons, Zion and Zaire. Wade was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/13/dwyane-wade-custody-battle_n_835101.html" target="_hplink">awarded sole custody</a> in March 2011, which his ex-wife later <a href="http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/3/prweb9279473.htm" target="_hplink">unsuccessfully attempted to appeal</a>. In June 2012, she was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/19/dwyane-wade-custody-siohvaughn-arrest-sons_n_1609844.html" target="_hplink">arrested for trying to abduct</a> their two children.

  • Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

    In 2009, Tiger Woods made headlines for something other than his golf skills when reports of <a href="http://entertainment.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/12/07/tiger-woods-linked-to-10-women-cori-rist-jamie-jungers/" target="_hplink">his numerous extramarital affairs</a> began to surface. First, the <a href="http://www.pga.com/news/pga-tour/tiger-woods-chronology-2009-2010" target="_hplink"><em>National Enquirer</em> published</a> a story about his alleged affair with Rachel Uchitel, a New York nightclub hostess. Days later, Woods was involved in a <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2009-11-27/us/tiger.woods_1_police-chief-daniel-saylor-woods-wife-tiger-woods-foundation?_s=PM:US" target="_hplink">minor car crash</a> outside of his Florida home which led to <a href="http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/until-tiger-woods-addresses-questions-surrounding-car-accident-speculation-will-contin" target="_hplink">widespread speculation</a> about the circumstances of the accident. In the following weeks, <a href="http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2009/12/the-women-of-tiger-woods-full-list--pictures/" target="_hplink">roughly a dozen reported mistresses</a> came forward, releasing <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/waitress_tells_of_golfer_sex_drive_nCfMAsVkmMZ8XylL1TEWfP" target="_hplink">incriminating voicemails</a> and <a href="http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2009/12/tiger-woods-text-messages-flat-out-ridiculous/" target="_hplink">text messages</a> Woods had sent -- all while married to Elin Nordegren. The ex-couple <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20414961,00.html" target="_hplink">finalized their divorce</a> in August 2010 after almost <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,710377,00.html" target="_hplink">six years of marriage</a>. Nordegren walked away with <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-05-10/gossip/27064013_1_woods-and-nordegren-custody-battle-neck-pain" target="_hplink">joint custody of their two children</a> and a reported <a href="http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2010/10/exclusive-tiger-woods-divorce-payout-wife-revealed-110-million" target="_hplink">$110 million settlement</a>.

  • Mike Tyson and Robin Givens

    Robin Givens <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1974703_1974707_1974754,00.html" target="_hplink">filed for divorce</a> merely eight months after marrying famed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in February 1988. Both partners accused the other of erratic behavior and abuse: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1988/09/30/sports/wife-discusses-tyson.html" target="_hplink">Givens told Barbara Walters</a> that Tyson was manic depressive and that she lived a "life of horror" with the boxer. In divorce papers, she states that Tyson "has throughout our marriage been violent and physically abusive, and prone to unprovoked rages of violence and destruction." In return, <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1974703_1974707_1974754,00.html" target="_hplink">Tyson attempted to have their marriage annulled</a>, claiming that <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=0q4DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA16&lpg=PA16&dq=campaign+to+publicly+humiliate+%5Bme%5D,+strip+%5Bme%5D+of+%5Bmy%5D+manhood+and+...+dignity+and+to+destroy+%5Bmy%5D+credibility+as+a+public+figure.&source=bl&ots=RItB47_Wua&sig=C5Cl51Oyuna1P-Bfb1B2JeotE9E&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZlxbUMnrMuSdiQKE24Eg&ved=0CDQQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false" target="_hplink"> he had been subjected to</a> "extreme cruelty" and that Givens had manipulated him into marriage by falsely telling him she was pregnant. Tyson accuses her of waging a "campaign to publicly humiliate [me], strip [me] of [my] manhood and ... dignity and to destroy [my] credibility as a public figure." In the end, Givens received a cool <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2125932/Mike-Tyson-admits-seeing-ex-wife-Robin-Givens-Brad-Pitt-turned-wet-noodle.html" target="_hplink">$10 million settlement</a>.

  • Jason and Joumana Kidd

    NBA star Jason Kidd and his ex-wife, Joumana, split in January 2007 after 10 years of marriage. In the <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2725524" target="_hplink">divorce filing</a>, he accused her of "extreme cruelty" throughout their union. "The defendant's extreme and unwarranted jealousy and rage has left the plaintiff concerned about her emotional stability," the papers say, noting that Joumana had kicked, hit, punched and thrown household items at her husband numerous times. Joumana filed <a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/wife-jason-kidd-serial-abuser-adulterer" target="_hplink">her own lawsuit</a> one month later, in which she portrayed the basketball star as a binge drinking abuser who assaulted her while she was pregnant with the couple's first child. She accused him of engaging in extramarital affairs with television reporters, strippers, a New Jersey Nets season ticket holder (where Kidd had previously played), a Nets employee and a cheerleader. Prior to the dramatic dissolution of their marriage, Kidd was <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-400_162-265684.html" target="_hplink">arrested for spousal abuse in January 2001</a> and pleaded guilty to hitting Joumana.

  • Alex Rodriguez and Cynthia Scurtis

    Alex Rodriguez's ex-wife, Cynthia Scurtis, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/06/alex-rodriquezs-wife-cynt_n_111104.html " target="_hplink">filed for divorce</a> in July 2008, citing "emotional abandonment" of her and their children in addition to "extramarital affairs and other marital misconduct." The documents were filed several days after the New York Yankees star was linked to Madonna in various media outlets and Scurtis' subsequent trip to visit Lenny Kravitz in his Paris home (she denied anything "improper" happened). Prior to the couple's separation, Rodriguez had been linked to several strippers, playboy models, and <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-03-22/gossip/17917912_1_call-girl-friend-four-seasons " target="_hplink">prostitutes</a>. In the divorce petition, Scurtis demanded the couple's $12 million Florida estate and an equitable distribution of all assets acquired during their marriage, in addition to alimony and child support. Rodriguez countered that he would only give her what was mandated in their prenuptial agreement. They <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2008/09/18/2008-09-18_yankee_star_alex_rodriguez_and_cynthia_r.html#ixzz1IEHtl4Rf " target="_hplink">privately settled</a> their multi-million dollar split in September 2008.

  • Chuck Finley and Tawny Kitaen

    Three days after former MLB pitcher Chuck Finley's ex-wife, Tawny Kitaen, was <a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/news/2002/04/03/kitean_finley_ap/ " target="_hplink">arrested</a> for attacking him with a stiletto heel, Finley<a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/chuck-finley-strikes-back " target="_hplink"> filed for divorce</a>. In the petition and restraining order filed in April 2002, Finley claimed his wife was a suicidal and abusive drug user who poses a danger to their two children. The couple's nanny also filed a declaration, in which she testified that one of the kids frequently asked her, "Is mommy whacked out today?" One month later (and after a stint in rehab for prescription drug addiction), Kitaen <a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/kitaen-finley-abuses-booze-pot-steroids " target="_hplink">fired back</a> with allegations of her own, contending that Finley was a binge drinker, marijuana smoker and illegal steroid user. Since the split, Kitaen has had numerous run-ins with the law, including arrests for drug possession and driving under the influence.

  • Greg Norman and Laura Andrassy

    Golfer Greg Norman <a href="http://au.pfinance.yahoo.com/photos/photo/-/14167220/the-worlds-most-expensive-divorce-settlements/14167222/ " target="_hplink">divorced</a> Laura Andrassy, his wife of 25 years, in May 2006. Though he denied it at the time, Norman was having an affair with then-married tennis player Chris Evert, whom he married merely weeks after their respective divorces were finalized. During the messy divorce proceedings, Andrassy's lawyers accused Norman of cutting off her credit cards and leaving her without income. She eventually received a reported $103 million in the <a href="http://www.elistmania.com/juice/10_most_expensive_divorce_settlements/ (settlement)" target="_hplink">settlement</a>. When Norman's quickie marriage to Evert fell apart 15 months after their nuptials, <a href="http://www.page2live.com/2009/10/03/exclusive-greg-normans-ex-opens-up-on-norman-evert-split/ (" target="_hplink">Andrassy commented</a>, "He made his bed."