Dwyane Wade Slams Ex-Wife's Attempt to Block Daughter Zaya's Name Change

After Siohvaughn Funches-Wade filed a petition to stop her and Dwyane Wade's daughter Zaya from changing her name and gender, the NBA icon addressed his ex-wife's legal move. Read his statement below.

By Jess Cohen Nov 03, 2022 1:04 PMTags
Watch: Dwyane Wade Slams Ex-Wife's Attempt to Block Zaya's Name Change

Dwyane Wade is speaking out against his ex-wife's "serious" claims about their family.

The NBA alum took to his Instagram Nov. 3 to address Siohvaughn Funches-Wade's recent legal filing, obtained by E! News, in which she asked a California court to deny Dwyane's request to legally change their 15-year-old daughter Zaya Wade's name and gender.

"Given [Dwyane's] high-profile status as a professional athlete, our children's lives have been highly publicized," Siohvaughn—who also shares Zaire Wade, 20, with Dwyane—stated in the docs. "[Dwyane] has appeared on national television shows and in media reports regarding our child's name and gender change. I am concerned that our child is being commercialized at a young age and also of the uncontrollable consequences of media exposure i.e. cyber bullying, statements and/or pictures taken out of context of our child, and unwanted spotlight focused on our child."

"I have concerns that [Dwyane] 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," Siohvaughn continued, "and will receive based upon [Dwyane's] statements to me, on the basis of our child's name and/or gender change."

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Per the docs, Siohvaughn is asking for Zaya to decide "at the age of majority" if she wants to move forward with legally changing her name and gender.

In Dwyane's social media response, he said it's a "damn shame" that he has to address these claims.

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"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," Dwyane began. "These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children."

The 40-year-old—who also shares daughter Kaavia, 3, with wife Gabrielle Union, and Xavier, 8, with Aja Metoyer—went on to note that while "none of us" are surprised by Siohvaughn's legal move, he's "very disappointed" by her decision. 

"This report came out while Zaya was in class," Dwyane noted. "This is a kid who has maintained a 4.0 GPA in honors classes while navigating all this unsolicited and harmful attention and debates about her gender and sexuality."

The athlete then made it clear, "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!"

Dwyane concluded his message by stating that his lawyer will be in contact about the court filing. E! News has reached out to Siohvaughn's team for comment and has not heard back.

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