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“I don’t like to use the D word but I was lost in that 76,000 sq-foot Mansion”: Shaquille O’Neal describes dealing with depression after divorce with Shaunie Nelson

Akash Murty
|Wed Apr 20 2022


Shaquille O’Neal has only had a few regrets in his unrealistically famous and successful life, buying a 76,000 square-foot house might be one of them.

Shaquille O’Neal never thought twice neither for investing very early in the companies that would later become the best in the world in what they do nor for living his life lavishly. He bought Real Estate not only to live life King size but also because that was one of the best and still the safest investments out there. 

O’Neal has owned 17 Auntie Anne’s Pretzels restaurants, 150 car washes, 155 Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises, and Forty 24-Hour Fitness gyms. Forget about the franchisee values and just think about the real estate value. Well, he also bought some giant-sized Mansions as well to add to that.

But as it would turn out he’d regret buying the incredible 76,000 square foot property in Orlando in 1993, which is the city that drafted him into the NBA just a year ago. The regret would be for multiple reasons, one, and the most painful of which, would be getting separated from his wife later in life.

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Shaquille O’Neal was lost in the 76,000 square-foot house

In his recent appearance on the Pivot Podcast, Shaq spoke with hosts Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder, and Fred Taylor about the influence his split from Shaunie Nelson had on him. 

“I had the perfect situation, wife was finer than a mug, kept giving me babies, still finer than a mug. I had it all, and I don’t make excuses I know I messed up. When I didn’t have that, I don’t like to use the D (depressed) word, but I was lost. 76,000 square-foot house by yourself, lost. No kids… I go to the gym and their rooms, nobody was there.” O’Neal shared while choking up with emotions.

Nelson was a film marketer who married Shaq in 2002. The couple would have four children, Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, and Me’arah. In 2007, they separated but reconciled shortly after resolving their issues. However, in 2009 Shaunie filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences” and in 2011 the process was finalized.

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The Big Aristotle was devastated even after having everything in the world at his convenience. But the 12 giant-sized bedrooms would create a distance from everyone at a certain point in time and so it happened.  

He finally sold the mansion last year for a reported $11 million, having purchased it for not more than $4 million some 28-years ago. Not everything about it turned out bad, did it? 


About the author
Akash Murty

Akash Murty

A sports enthusiast, crazy about basketball and football. Like putting forward my opinion on the things I know about, but restrain myself from doing that in my articles because my job is to report. Cover everything Lakers and NBA-related, both old and new.

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