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Dwyane Wade blasts ex-wife's claims about profiting from transgender daughter's name change

Siohvaughn Funches-Wade said the former NBA star might be trying to profit from their daughter's transition. Wade called the claims "libelous at their core."
Dwyane Wade speaks onstage at the TIME100 Summit 2022 on June 7, 2022 in New York .
Dwyane Wade speaks onstage at the TIME100 Summit 2022 in New York on June 7.Jemal Countess / Getty Images for TIME file

Former NBA star Dwyane Wade rejected allegations from his ex-wife that he’s trying to profit from their transgender daughter’s transition, saying in court documents filed Tuesday that his former spouse is possibly trying to relitigate their divorce or carry out a “campaign of personal attacks.”

Wade’s ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, filed an objection this month to the Wade’s August petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court seeking to legally change the name of their 15-year-old daughter, Zaya.

In the documents, Funches-Wade claimed her ex-husband violated their custody agreement because he never tried to discuss the name change with her. 

She also accused him of possibly “pressuring” their child to move forward with the “name and gender change in order to capitalize” on related financial opportunities.

But the documents filed Tuesday say Funches-Wade responded to an email alerting her to the petition by declining to discuss “‘elective matters’ until her relationship and bond with her child was ‘completely healed and restored.’”

And the documents described her profit-seeking claims as “nonsensical” and “libelous at their core.”

“Dwyane filed this Petition because Zaya asked him to,” the documents say. “It is unclear if Siohvaughn’s goal is to relitigate her divorce and custody dispute with Dwyane, or to resume her campaign of personal attacks against Dwyane, but it is clear that her objections have little, if anything, to do with Zaya’s best interest.”

A lawyer for Funches-Wade did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wade has been publicly supportive of Zaya, who came out in 2020. In an interview on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” he said he and his wife, actor Gabrielle Union, are “proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community.”

Zaya, a professional model, has described coming out as "euphoric" and "freeing," even as she deals with transphobia from others.

“There are genuinely people out there who think that you’re a kid, this is a phase or you don’t actually know what you’re talking about,” Zaya said in a clip from the Logo30 series. “I know that I’m trans, and it’s not like one day I just went, ‘I want to try out being trans.’ No. So just suck it up. We are who we are.”