Dwyane Wade’s ex-wife has accused him of exploiting their 15-year-old transgender daughter for financial gain.
Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, who was married to the ex-professional basketball player, 40, between 2002 and 2011, is begging a judge to impose an order banning their girl Zaya from legally changing her gender from male to female until she reaches 18.
She made the plea in court papers filed this week that have been obtained by The Blast.
Zaya came out aged 12 in 2019 and has since landed modelling contracts with brands including Tiffany and Dove, and, according to Siohvaughn, is in talks for deals with Disney.
Siohvaughn said in her court filing: “'I have concerns that (Dwyane) may be pressuring our child to move forward with the name and gender change in order to capitalise on the financial opportunities that he has received from companies.”
It was a response to an August filing by ex-Miami Heat player Dwyane to allow Zaya to legally change her name from Zion Malachi Airamis Wade to Zaya Malachi Airamis Wade.
He claimed he had legal right to make decisions on his daughter’s behalf and said he was only telling Siohvaughn out of “courtesy”.
But his ex-wife says in her filing Dwyane is legally required to consult her on “major decisions” affecting the “care, welfare, activities, health, education and religious upbringing” of Zaya.
Siohvaughn and Dwyane also share older son Zaire, 20, with the ex-NBA star winning full custody of their children when he divorced their mum in 2011.
She has previously spoken of her pain at losing the kids to him following a four-year court fight and said she thought his fame and money helped him win the case.
Siohvaughn said in a 2012 interview with MailOnline: “I think influence had a lot to do with it. Celebrity had a lot to do with it. Money had a lot to do with it.”
Dwyane and his current wife, actress Gabrielle Union, 50, with whom he has three-year-old daughter Kaavia, have often spoken of their support for Zaya’s choices, and say they now know her “authentic self”.
The couple has not publicly responded to Siohvaughn’s filing and a hearing has been set for December to decide if Zaya can change her name and sex without her mum’s consent.
Dwyane first spoke in 2019 about Zaya’s transition on Matt Barnes’ ‘All the Smoke’ podcast, saying: “Nothing changes with my love. Nothing changes in my responsibilities. So, all I had to do now is get smarter, educate myself more. And that’s my job.”