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Shaquille O'Neal's ex-wife wrote she never 'really' loved him. How he responded

The NBA legend's fans applauded his "mature" response after ex-wife Shaunie Henderson made the candid admission in a new memoir.
/ Source: TODAY

Shaquille O’Neal appeared to respond to his ex-wife Shaunie Henderson's memoir. In it, she wrote that she may never have "really" loved him.

Henderson opened up about her marriage to the former Los Angeles Laker, which was plagued by infidelity, in her new memoir, "Undefeated: Changing the Rules and Winning on My Own Terms."

The former couple was married from 2002 to 2011.

“Looking back, I don’t know that I was ever really in love with the man, but I was in love with the idea of being married to the man I had a family with," Henderson wrote in her candid book, which was published May 7.

The former “Basketball Wives” star added that her relationship with the wealthy NBA star was ultimately strained by the "thousands of women throwing themselves" at him.

O’Neal admitted to cheating on Henderson in his 2011 memoir, “Shaq Uncut: My Story.”

In December 2022, the former basketball star told E! News that he regretted the failure of his marriage to Henderson. “You don’t know how good you got something till it’s gone,” said the athlete. “I mentioned about having a 76,000-square-foot house and nobody in there. That was all my fault.”

“I didn’t do the right thing,” he added, “and I definitely paid for it.”

In her memoir, Henderson said they discussed his infidelity after their divorce.

“A few years after our divorce we had a very honest and satisfying conversation. He talked about his infidelity and said, ‘What’s crazy is that cheating was an ego boost. It wasn’t even about the girl. It wasn’t about me falling for someone or having feelings for her. It was about getting away with it.’ It was, he said, about getting another girl, and then another, and then another. It was about conquest. He knew that in no way justified his behavior, but I appreciated his honesty about it,” she wrote.

The day after Henderson's book was published, O'Neal, 52, appeared to respond on Instagram.

"I understand...I wouldn't have been in love with me either. Wishing you all the best...All love, Shaq," he wrote.

O'Neal added in his caption, "Trust me i get it."

TODAY.com has reached out to O'Neal for comment.

Shaunie O'Neal and Shaquille O'Neal circa 2006 in Hollywood, CA.
Shaunie O'Neal and Shaquille O'Neal smile for photographers in Hollywood during the mid-2000s.Jason Merritt / FilmMagic

The former couple's older son, basketball star Shaqir O’Neal, showed his support for his dad, writing, "You know i love ya twin," in the comments of the elder O'Neal's Instagram post.

Fans commented to applaud the basketball legend's understanding response to his ex-wife's admission as well as the "ownership" he's taken for his past actions.

"This is mature," wrote one.

"Gots to love the accountability," remarked another.

"Love the response, grown man ish. A sign of being at peace," added someone else.

During their time together, the pair welcomed four kids, sons Shareef and Shaqir and daughters Amirah and Me’arah.

Henderson is also mom to an older son, Myles, from a previous relationship while O’Neal shares an older daughter, Taahirah, with ex-girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourgh.

Henderson married Texas-based pastor Keion Henderson in 2022.