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Dwyane Wade responds after ex-wife moved to block daughter Zaya’s name change


Former NBA star Dwyane Wade filed a court petition earlier this year to legally change his 15-year-old daughter’s name. His ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade filed an objection this week – and Wade publicly responded on Thursday. 

Their daughter is transgender and has been going by the name Zaya since 2020. Funches-Wade claimed in court documents that Wade did not consult her about the decision to legally change their daughter’s name to Zaya.

Funches-Wade alleged that her ex-husband told her in April 2022 they would make Zaya famous with the name change, according to Entertainment Tonight, which obtained a copy of the court filing. She said she is “concerned that our child is being commercialized at a young age” and is also worried about the “uncontrollable consequences of media exposure.”

“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,” the filing said.

In response to the objection, Wade posted a statement on Instagram on Thursday. 

“Since this must be a new way of parenting, I guess I have to address these allegations here, which is a damn shame,” he wrote. 

Wade said he saw social media posts that claimed he was pressuring Zaya to legally change her name. “These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children,” he said. 

“While none of us are surprised by Siohvaughn’s attempt to fight Zaya’s identity and her unwavering attempt to drag me through the mud, I’m very disappointed that she continuously finds ways of centering herself and HER needs without regard to her children,” he continued.

Wade added that Zaya has a 4.0 GPA and is 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!”

Wade said his ex-wife has attempted to damage him in the past, and he was awarded sole custody of their two children as an active NBA player. He alleged Funches-Wade does not have a relationship with Zaya. 

Wade and Funches-Wade were high school sweethearts and share two kids – Zaya and Zaire – together. He is also father to Xavier Zechariah Wade from a previous relationship. He is now married to actress Gabrielle Union, with whom he has a daughter, Kaavia. 

“No one in our house would force Zaya or any of our children to do anything against their will, much less force an identity on them,” he said Thursday. He said his ex-wife decided to be an absent parent and that he will not “allow her to make a mockery of my dedication to my family.”

“The high road has run out of real estate,” he wrote. “My lawyer will be in contact and best of luck to the 14th lawyer as they try to unravel this book of lies that’s been sold to them.” 

CBS News has reached out to representatives for both parents and is awaiting response. 





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