Is Shaquille O’Neal married? Exploring the NBA legend’s love life and all the women he’s dated

Exploring Shaquille O'Neal's journey through love and success, uncovering his legendary achievements and relationships. Dive into the life of this NBA superstar worth.

Published on Dec 07, 2023  |  01:27 PM IST |  506.1K
Image Courtesy: Twitter
Image Courtesy: Twitter

Four-time NBA champion, three-time Finals MVP, and MVP in 2000, Shaquille O'Neal has navigated through numerous relationships over his successful basketball career. 

Not only boasting an illustrious array of accolades, but O'Neal is also notable for his long list of ex-girlfriends, sprinkled throughout his journey with Shaunie Henderson.

Let's delve into the romantic history of this NBA superstar, worth approximately $400 million.

Shaunie Henderson O'Neal

The marriage of Shaquille and Shaunie O'Neal, previously known as Shaunie Henderson, extended over nine tumultuous years.

The couple tied the knot in 2002, separated in 2009, and officially parted ways with a divorce finalized in 2011.

Since then, they've committed to joining forces in co-parenting their six children. Shaq has candidly confessed his contribution to the marital breakdown, expressing regret over the outcome. 

Even though they're divorced, Shaq affirms that Shaunie remains his wife at heart and pledges his ongoing support and love for her.

Vanessa Lopez

Vanessa Lopez and Shaquille O'Neal shared a contentious five-year relationship. In 2010, Lopez filed a lawsuit against O'Neal for charges like harassment, privacy invasion, and racketeering. 


She claimed that O'Neal had behaved abusively towards her for three-and-a-half months. 

The lawsuit stated that upon learning about Lopez's pregnancy, O'Neal's behavior became hostile, even sending his goons and two others to intimidate her.

Karinne Steffans

From 2004 to 2005, Karinne Steffans dated Shaq. Being a video vixen, an actress, and an author known for the Vixen series, Steffans has a diverse career. 

She penned 'Confessions of a Video Vixen,' detailing her experiences with famous athletes and hip-hop luminaries like Ja Rule, Jay-Z, and Ice-T.

Dominica Westling

Swedish model and nanny, Dominica Westling and Shaquille O'Neal had a romantic affair around 2009, during the time when O'Neal was still legally wedded to Shaunie O'Neal, his former spouse. 

Their relationship became public in 2010 when their emails and messages were leaked. Westling had moved from Sweden to Miami, the place where their paths crossed. 

Allegedly, during Shaunie's absences, Shaq would often take Westling to his residence. The alleged secret affair extended over 18 months.

Laura Govan

Laura Govan, Gloria Govan's sister, is alleged to have had an affair with Shaquille O'Neal. Supposedly, the affair occurred while O'Neal was still married to Shaunie and Govan was engaged to Gilbert Arenas.

The rumored relationship has been the focus of widespread gossip and has been mentioned in multiple press pieces and interviews. 

In his book, O'Neal admitted regret over his "vibrant dating history," confessing he "shouldn't have gone down that path."

The affair's details remain steeped in rumor and have yet to be confirmed by either party.

Nicole Deanna Alexander

Known as Hoopz, Nicole Alexander engaged in a relationship with ex-NBA player Shaquille O'Neal from 2010 to 2012. 

The relationship was newsworthy, with rumors of potential marriage plans circulating before their well-documented split.

Alexander is a reality TV star, who gained notoriety after winning the reality show I Love Money and appearing in Flavor of Love.

Post her relationship with O'Neal, she's been candid about their breakup and hinted at finding contentment in a new relationship.


Annie Ngozi Ilonzeh

Shaquille O'Neal, a retired NBA player and current TNT analyst, is reportedly seeing actress Annie Ilonzeh Ngozi, popular for her stint in daytime soap operas. 

The relationship kicked off in late 2022, and Annie Ilonzeh's net worth by 2023 amounts to approximately $5 million. Ilonzeh is best known for playing the character Maya Ward on the daytime soap opera General Hospital.


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About The Author

Rakesh Mehra is a passionate sports content writer at Pinkvilla, dedicated to bringing the thrill of the game to


Credits: YouTube

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