Shaq is opening up big time.
The Basketball Hall of Famer recently opened up in an interview about the regret he feels for letting two important women in his life slip away, while also imparting relationship advice to his sons.
During an interview on R&B star Monica’s show, “Mo Talk Radio” on Apple Music Hits, O’Neal candidly admitted to messing up his relationships with Arnetta Yardbourgh and Shaunie Nelson.
He emphasized that both women were perfect in their own ways, but his youthful mistakes caused him to lose them.
“I had two perfect women and I messed it up,” O’Neal said, via the New York Post. “My first one was my baby mother, Arnetta, and then I met Shaunie. Shaunie was also a perfect woman, and I messed it up.
“Yeah, you know, we were young and always just doing dumb stuff. But, the good thing about our relationship is that they forgave me, and we have a good relationship now. But when you ask me about the perfect woman — I had two perfect women and I messed it up, just by, you know, being dumb.”
However, O’Neal mentioned that he has now managed to develop a good relationship with both women, as they have forgiven him for his past actions.
Reflecting on his experiences, O’Neal also shared some valuable life lessons he has learned.
He highlighted the importance of honesty, both with oneself and with a partner, something he constantly reminds his sons of. O’Neal believes that as a man, one should strive to fulfill three roles in a relationship: protect, provide, and love.
Even though he may not have an ongoing romantic relationship with the women he let get away, he remains committed to being there for them and fulfilling these roles whenever they need him. O’Neal expressed that he will always protect Nelson and referred to Yardbourgh as his first love.
He concluded by acknowledging that if they choose to move on and find better partners, he would accept and support their choices wholeheartedly.