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Dwyane Wade’s Ex-Wife Siohvaughn Funches Claims He May Be Financially Benefitting From Daughter Zaya’s Transition

Dwyane Wade's Ex-Wife Claims He's 'Pressuring' Daughter Zaya to Transition
Dwyane Wade and Zaya with Siohvaughn Funches insetted. Shutterstock; Inset: Courtesy of Siohvaughn Funches/Instagram

Dwyane Wade‘s ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches, has accused the former athlete of profiting from their daughter Zaya’s gender identity.

Related: Dwyane Wade's Most Insightful Quotes About Strong Bond With Daughter Zaya

The podcast host, 41, made her claims in an objection to the petition that Wade, 40, filed to officially change the teen’s name. “I have concerns that [Wade] 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 [his] statements to me, on the basis of our child’s name and/or gender change,” Funches alleged in court documents obtained by Us Weekly.

The former NBA star filed a petition in August requesting that the court allow his 15-year-old daughter to legally change her name to Zaya and her gender to female. The Olympic gold medalist signed the petition, but Funches did not.

In her objection, Funches alleged that her ex-husband told her in April that “a lot of money had been already made” in relation “to our child’s name and gender issue.” The public speaker claimed that Zaya was present at the time and told her mother that Disney was a “prospective” business partner.

Related: Parents With Pride! Dwyane Wade and More Celebs Supporting Their LGBTQ Kids

“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,” Funches continued. “I contend that our child should be given the opportunity to decide for themselves at the age of majority if they want to move forward with changing their name and/or gender. As such, I respectfully request that the Court deny Petitioner’s requested relief.”

Wade and Funches, who split in 2007, are also the parents of son Zaire, 20. The former Miami Heat player also shares son Xavier, 8, with Aja Metoyer and daughter Kaavia, 3, with wife Gabrielle Union. Us has reached out to Wade’s rep for comment on his former spouse’s claims.

The three-time NBA champion has been outspoken about his support for Zaya since publicly revealing her gender identity in February 2020. “First of all, me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community, and we’re proud allies as well,” he explained during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the time. “We take our roles and our responsibilities as parents very seriously.”

Related: Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and More Celebrity LGBTQ Allies

The Chicago native went on to say that he and the Bring It On actress, 50, just wanted to give Zaya “the best opportunity to be her best self” with all of their resources. “I said, ‘You are a leader. You are a leader, and this is an opportunity to allow you to be a voice,’” he said, recalling a conversation he’d had with the then-preteen. “Right now it’s through us because she’s 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.”

In June, the ESPY Award winner revealed that Zaya didn’t want to celebrate Pride this year, but she was still hoping to use her family’s influence to help others.

“Zaya made it very clear that she [doesn’t] want to celebrate Pride. I think every day for her, having a loving, supportive community around her is her celebratory moment,” Wade told Us at the time. “But the biggest thing is my daughter said, ‘We want to be able to help other families.’ So, throughout our foundations we try to make sure we are helping the LGBTQIA+ community. That’s how we celebrate.”

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