Gabrielle Union Recalls Multiple Infidelities in 'Dysfunctional' Marriage to Chris Howard

The actress claimed both she and the former NFL player cheated on one another throughout their marriage.

Gabrielle Union is looking back on her "dysfunctional" first marriage to former Jacksonville Jaguars player Chris Howard. The couple met in 1999, got hitched in 2001 and ended their marriage four years later.

During Monday's episode of Dax Shepard‘s Armchair Expert podcast, the actress claimed that the couple "felt like the marriage should get in the way of our dating." 

Describing their union as "just dysfunctional from day one," Union said that on her end, she felt "entitled" to cheat because she was making more money than her former husband.

"I was paying all the bills, I was working my a** off and I felt like that's what comes [with it]," the actress recalled. She called infidelity "the spoils of riches," adding, "Like my dad before me, whoever has the most gets to do whatever the hell they want, is what I thought."

"A part of it was like keeping up with his activities, like, 'Oh, that's what you're doing? You're going to feel this one,' and I just felt entitled to it as well," The Inspection star said, adding that a therapist once told the couple she didn't understand how the romance progressed to marriage.

"[She said] we should probably look for a way to amicably dissolve... because you have not one thing in common, no morals, no values," Union told Shepard. "The only thing you have in common is other people, so why don't you just go be with other people?"

Union described herself as "horny for validation" at the time, saying, "Having certain kinds of guys like me and want me ... made me feel like I was worthy and good and valuable and deserving." She noted that now, she is her "own motherf**king validation ... and prize."

In her 2017 memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine, Union wrote that she had misgivings about her marriage to Howard, which she hinted ended because of infidelity, during the ceremony.

Union has since remarried and shares her 4-year-old daughter, Kaavia James, with her husband, Dwyane Wade. The couple -- who celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary last year -- also share Wade's 20-year-old son, Zaire, 15-year-old daughter, Zaya, and 8-year-old son, Xavier.

The couple has become very prominent figures as allies with the LGBTQ+ community, after the family introduced the world to Zaya back in February 2020, with a touching video featuring Dwyane and then-12-year-old Zaya on a golf cart together talking about being true to one's self. 

Union and Wade -- and the rest of their family --  have proudly supported Zaya throughout her endeavors. From sharing sweet messages about unconditional love to using their platform to honor her journey and stand as allies, the Wades are never shy about showing love for their own

Watch the video below for more on Union and Wade's family!