Dwyane Wade is firing back at his ex-wife, who is objecting to the couple's daughter legally changing her gender, saying she really needs to let her "live her truth."
According to new legal documents, obtained by The Blast, the NBA star is claiming his ex-wife is not thinking about what's in the best interest of their daughter -- Zaya Wade -- while arguing not to fight this petition.
We broke the story, Siohvaughn Funches filed documents in court accusing Wade of pressuring their daughter to make this monumental decision, partially based on money that could be made as a transgender female. The argument is interesting, considering Dwyane is one of the most famous basketball players in history, who most likely is fine in the cash department.
To be clear, Dwyane starts by explaining the original petition filed to change Zaya's name and gender was done at HER request.
Dwyane Wades Says Legally Changing Zaya's Gender Is About Letting Her Live Her Truth
He says the petition "is not about Siohvaughn or Dwyane or their prior marriage, it is about what Zaya wants and what is in her best interest." Adding, the petition "is about empowering Zaya to live her truth, allowing Zaya to take on the milestones of being a young adult with confidence and joy, and to ensure that those moments are not clouded by the self-doubt that comes from checking a box or signing a name that does not reflect her identity."
In the filing, Dwyane Wade is asking for a court order affirming Zaya's identity, allowing her to "live more comfortably and honesty in all aspects of her life-from simple introductions and food orders, to applying for a driver's license and filling out college applications."
The former NBA star says "granting the requested relief is an important step toward affirming Zaya's gender and name change with the full faith and credit of an order by a California court" and "Zaya should not be forced to put her life on hold while she waits for Siohvaughn to acknowledge and accept her truth."
Dwyane Wade's Ex-Wife Claims The Decision Is Influenced By MONEY
Dwyane is accusing his ex-wife, Siohvaughn of not considering Zaya's best interest, and that his family's celebrity status is not a justifiable reason to deny his petition. He says, "the Petition is what Zaya wants and is undoubtedly in her best interest, regardless of whether it generates interest from the public."
As we reported, Funches accuses Wade of attempting to cash in on the situation with lucrative contracts from companies like Disney. She claims that back in April, Dwyane told her in person that there was a lot of money to be made in relation to the child's name and gender issues. "(Dwyane) told me that he intended to make our child very famous due to the name and gender issue and also informed me that there would be endorsements/contracts associated therewith," she wrote.
Adding, "I inquired what companies had made deals, or was willing to make deals, with (Dwyane) regarding our child. Zion, who was present at the time, answered that various companies were interested and that Disney was a prospective company."
The basketball players' answer to this allegation appears to be simple, they don't need the money. Plus, this situation is more about Zaya living her true identity and removing roadblocks that can make the transition uncomfortable.
NBA Star Says He Has Legal Authority To Make This Decision
As we said, Funches filed documents through her lawyer Mark Gross, saying the couple's previous custody agreement, allows her to have a say in this type of huge decision. Remember, Zaya is only 15 years old, and can't make this decision without the legal consent of her parents.
Dwyane claims he DOES have the authority to make final decisions regarding Zaya, claiming to have sought Siohvaughn's input on the matter, and is not required to consult a parenting coordinator. At this point, Wade claims he has the final say on such issues as "major decisions affecting the care, welfare, activities health education and religious upbringing of Zaya prior to any major decision being made." In other words, he can sign off on this matter, without his ex-wife.
In the end, Siohvaughn is asking the court to force Zaya and Dwyane to wait until she’s 18 years old to make such an important decision, a gender change, and to change the name on Zaya's birth certificate.
Now, both sides will have to wait until December 12th, when a judge will decide if the case will proceed in California or be argued in Illinois.