Dwyane Wade Speaks Out Against Ex's Allegations Surrounding His Parenting of Daughter Zaya

The 40-year-old NBA star released a statement in defense of his family.

Dwyane Wade is breaking his silence in light of his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, recently filing a formal objection to his court petition to allow their daughter, Zaya, who was born Zion Malachi Airamis Wade, to legally change her name and gender.

"Since this must be the new way of parenting, I guess I have to address these allegation here, which is a damn shame," the 40-year-old NBA alum begins his lengthy Instagram post shared on Thursday. 

In his message, Dwyane calls out his ex-wife for alleging that he's forcing their child "to be someone she's not and to do something against her will."

"These are serious and harmful allegations that have hurt our children," Dwyane writes. 

The father of four adds of his ex, "While none of us are surprised by Siohvaughn's attempt to fight Zaya's identity and her unwavering attempt to drag my name through the mud, I'm very disappointed that she continuously finds ways of centering herself and HER needs, without regard to her children." 

Dwyane claims that Siohvaughn's headline-making filing came through while their daughter was in class. The proud father goes on to praise Zaya for maintaining a 4.0 GPA in honors classes "while navigating all this unsolicited and harmful attention and debates about her gender and sexuality."

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

"Siohvaughn tried a similar attempt over a decade ago (with equally damaging lies and causing irreparable harm to her children) and 13 lawyers later, I was awarded sole custody of our two kids as an active NBA player!" Dwyane writes.

He alleges that he has given Siohvaughn "the opportunity" to speak with their daughter's teachers, doctors and therapist and to meet Zaya's friends to give his ex a better understanding of her needs. 

"She won't do it!" he claims of his ex. "She has not been to a school, recital, graduation, school dance, play date, practice, parent teacher conference, etc. and Zaya has given her every opportunity to try to get to know her. She won't do it!"

Dwyane adds, "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." 

Calling Siohvaughn "an absent parent," Dwyane says, "I will not sit on my hands this time and allow her to make a mockery of my dedication to my family."

He concludes the post by saying his lawyer "will be in contact." 

On Aug. 22, Dwyane filed a petition with the court for 15-year-old Zaya, seeking "recognition of minor's change of gender and issuance of new birth certificate and change of name."

On Tuesday, Siohvaughn filed a formal objection, claiming that her ex-husband is attempting to exploit their child for money.

Siohvaughn argued in the filing, obtained by ET on Wednesday, that the custody agreement she reached with Dwyane in Illinois, where their divorce was finalized, entitles her to be involved in the decision of legally changing their child's gender and name.

She claims that Dwyane has not contacted her or asked her about the decision.

Furthermore, Siohvaughn alleged, "In April 2022, [Dwyane] invited me to one of his residences in Atlanta, Georgia. During this occasion, [he] informed me that a lot of money had been already made and that additional money will be made in relation to our child's name and gender issue. [He] 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."

Siohvaughn -- who referred to Zaya by Zion in the objection -- further claimed, "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."

Siohvaughn stated in the petition that she is "concerned that our child is being commercialized at a young age" and is also worried about the "uncontrollable consequences of media exposure."

"I have concerns that [Dwyane] may be pressuring our child to move forward with the name and gender change in order to capitalize on the financial opportunities that he has received from companies," Siohvaughn stated in the filing.

Siohvaughn further noted that their child can decide for themselves whether they want to legally change their name and gender once they turn 18.