Shaquille O’Neal ‘understands’ ex-wife Shaunie questioning whether she was in love with him

As Shaunie Henderson debuts her memoir, ex-husband Shaquille O'Neal says he understands her feelings toward him.

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Cover: Simon & Schuster; Photo: Shaquille O'Neal and Shaunie O'Neal during 2005 MTV Video Music Awards - White Carpet at American Airlines Arena in Miami. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)

Shaquille O’Neal understands his ex-wife’s feelings toward him.

In her memoir, “Undefeated: Changing the Rules and Winning on My Own Terms,” Shaunie Henderson — formerly O’Neal — questioned the feelings she thought she had for the man she married in 2002, USA Today reported.

“Looking back, I don’t know that I was ever really in love with the man,” Henderson writes of O’Neal in her memoir, published on May 7. “But I was in love with the idea of being married to the man I had a family with. I was in love with the idea of building a life together. I truly did enjoy spending time with him. [NBA] road trips gave me a chance to be with my husband and experience the NBA life for a little while.”

O’Neal took to Instagram on Wednesday with a message seemingly in response to his ex-wife. 

“I understand…I wouldn’t have been in love with me either,” he wrote. “Wishing you all the best. All love, Shaq.” He captioned the post, “Trust me I get it.”

The former couple are parents to sons Shareef and Shaqir and daughters Amirah and Me’arah. They also co-parent son Myles, from Henderson’s previous relationship, and O’Neal shares a daughter, Taahirah, with his ex-girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourgh.

O’Neal acknowledged in his 2011 biography, “Shaq Uncut: My Story,” that there was infidelity throughout his and his ex-wife’s relationship, which began in the late 1990s and ended in 2009 when Henderson filed for divorce. 

Henderson — now married to Pastor Keion Henderson — shared in her memoir that although she “truly did enjoy spending time with” O’Neal, their relationship ended because he was “trying to be a world-famous, thirty-something multimillionaire with thousands of women throwing themselves at him” while also “being a husband and a father.”

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After announcing her memoir in January, Henderson told People magazine she felt “nervous” to share details of her relationship with O’Neal, but she wanted to clarify the public’s “misconception” of her.

However, she said her ex-husband’s public admission of infidelity during their marriage “made it easier” for her to open up.

“I’m literally telling my story and my journey, which he was a part of,” Henderson said, People reported. “So I’ve always been a little nervous about that, but I think I did a good job at sharing my story without destroying him because that’s not my intent at all, ever.”

“Anything involving Shaquille is always a sketchy thing because he is who he is,” she added, “and despite what our story is, no one ever wants to hear what could come across as not the greatest reputation.”