Former NBA player Dwyane Wade has hit back at his ex-wife’s accusations that he is “pressuring” their trans daughter for financial gain.
In legal documents, seen by Today, she has requested her child be “given the opportunity to decide for themselves at the age of majority if they want to move forward with changing their name and/or gender”.
In an Instagram response posted on Thursday (3 November), the three-time NBA champion called out the allegations as “serious and harmful”.
Wade referred to the objection his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade submitted to a Los Angeles county court on Tuesday, 1 November, as a “book of lies”.
He wrote that Funches-Wade’s actions don’t come as a surprise, but said he is “disappointed” she “continuously finds ways of entering herself and her needs, without regard to her children”.
Dwyane Wade commented how “harmful attention” and “debates” around Zaya’s gender impact her life, and he claimed he has given Funches-Wade countless opportunities to be a part of her daughter’s life, which she hasn’t taken.
“Zaya is not the same [three-year-old] child anymore and she’s screaming that to the world, but most importantly to her mother,” he added.
“No one in our house would ever force Zaya or any of our children to do anything against their will, much less force an identity on them.
“This isn’t a game for my family and defiantly not for Zaya. This is her life!”
‘Parental right issues’
After Zaya came out as trans, Funches-Wade has asked a California court to prevent her former partner from allowing Zaya to legally change her name and gender.
In the court documents, the 41-year-old argued that the matter is a “parental rights issue” and she accused Wade of using his status to make a profit off of Zaya’s brand partnerships.
Funches-Wade also implied that Zaya’s decision to change her named gender could be altered by outside factors.
The hearing to resolve the case will be held on 12 December.
In August, Dwyane Wade filed to have his daughter’s name and gender updated on official records.
Months earlier, he revealed he fears for his daughter’s safety every time she leaves the house because of anti-trans hate.
“As blessed as it is for my daughter to have parents who can support her, I’m still afraid every moment she leaves the house,” he told CNN’s Poppy Harlow during the TIME100 Summit.
Zaya came out as trans in 2019 aged 12 – she’s now 15 and has her own Instagram account, but the former NBA star recently explained the reason why she is forced to keep her comments turned off was because of how his son, Zaire, was affected when he experienced some negative social media posts.
PinkNews has reached out to Wade’s team for comment.