Shaquille O’Neal on Why His Daughters Can Stay Home as ‘Long as They Want’ but Sons Move Out at 18
Shaquille O’Neal is revealing why he’ll let his daughters live at home for far longer than his sons.
On Tuesday’s episode of The Pivot Podcast, the former NBA star, 50, shares that his three daughters can “stay as long as [they] want” while his three sons “got to go” when they turn 18.
O’Neal and his ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal share four kids together — Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir and Me’arah — while Shaunie has a son, Myles, from a previous relationship, and O’Neal has a daughter, Taahirah, with his former girlfriend, Arnetta Yardbourgh.
“I like my girls a little bit better,” O’Neal admits. “Because as a man you have to protect, provide and love your woman.”
“I trust them more because they’re more sensitive, they’re more caring and they’re thinkers,” he adds of his daughters. “You know how boys are. My boys, you bring something in front of them and they’re gone.”
“I tell my boys when y’all get 18 you all got to go. Girls can stay as long as they want,” he continues.
Asked if the former athlete was sincere in his response, O’Neal replies, “I’m dead serious.”
“[The girls] can stay as long as y’all want, take your time. Go to college, get your master’s, get your doctorate, I’ll pay for it, take your time,” he says.
O’Neal first filed for divorce from Shaunie in 2007 before the couple reconciled temporarily. Two years later, Shaunie, now 47, filed for separation and sought sole custody of their children.
The father of six was known for his toughness on the NBA court, but as a father, O’Neal found a different side of himself. “Being a dad helped me become more likable,” he said. “You know how it is in sports. When I lose, I’m tearing my house up. I’m pissed, I’m breaking everything, but as soon as you have the kids, soon as you open that door, all that has to go away.”
“It all has to go away, you have to be nice, especially with girls because the kids, they don’t care if you win or lose,” O’Neal explained.