Dwyane Wade is speaking out about the heated legal dispute between him and his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade. Earlier this week, the former NBA star’s ex-spouse alleged in court filings that Wade was trying to make money off their daughter Zaya’s “name and gender change.”
According to TODAY, on Nov. 1, Funches-Wade sent an objection to the Los Angeles County court, requesting that 15-year-old Zaya wait until “the age of majority” to make permanent changes to her identity.
Dwyane Wade speaks out about the legal battle
Wade, 40, took to Instagram early Thursday morning to tell his side of the legal tussle.
“Since this must be the new way of parenting, I guess I have to address these allegations here, which is a damn shame,” the former Miami Heat star said in a statement.
“While I’m on a life-changing trip in our motherland, Africa, I’ve received a social media post about me forcing our 15-year-old child to be someone she’s not and to do something against her will. These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children.”
Wade called his ex-wife’s allegations an unwavering attempt to drag his name “through the mud.”
“I’m very disappointed that she continuously finds ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children. This report came out while Zaya was in class,” he continued.
“This is a kid that has maintained a 4.0 GPA in honors classes while navigating all this unsolicited and harmful attention and debates about her gender and sexuality from those who are committed to not listening to her, much less even knowing her!”
Back in August, Dwyane Wade filed court documents to legally change Zaya’s name in effort to affirm her gender identity. But now, his ex-wife is trying to stop the court order from sucessfully passing.
Funches-Wade made a number of eyebrow-raising statements in her objection filings on Wednesday. According to court documents, the mother of two argued that Zaya’s identity and name change is a “parental right issue.” She also accused her ex Wade of using his superstar status to profit off of Zaya’s brand partnerships.
“I have concerns that Petitioner may be pressuring our child to move forward with the name and gender change in order to capitalize on the financial opportunities that he has received from companies, and will receive based upon Petitioner’s statements to me, on the basis of our child’s name and/or gender change,” the court documents said.
“This matter has been highly reported in the media and there will likely be media pressure on the minor child,” Funches-Wade added in the filing.
In his lengthy Instagram statement Thursday, Wade claimed that he had given his ex-wife the opportunity to “reach out to Zaya’s teachers, doctors and therapist over the years and even meet her friends, so she could get her own understanding of our child’s needs for her LIFE.“
“She won’t do it!” he said. “She has not been to a school, recital, graduation, school dance, play date, practice, parent teacher conference etc and Zaya has given her every opportunity to try to get to know her. She won’t do it.”
The basketball star ended his statement, telling fans:
“Zaya is not that same 3 year child anymore and she’s screaming that to the world but most importantly to her Mother! No one in our house would ever force Zaya or any of our children to do anything against their will, much less force an identity on them. This isn’t a game for my family and definitely not for Zaya. This is her life!”
A hearing to resolve the former couple’s legal battle will be held on Dec. 12.