Just a few weeks before Dwyane Wade heads back into a Chicago courtroom to battle it out again with his ex wife, Siohvaughn, this time on visitation issues, Wade's ex mother-in-law, Darlene Funches, put out this exclusive statement through a publicist who described Funches as a, "virtual surrogate mom to Dwyane and biological grandmother of those two gorgeous Wade grandsons." We sent it to Dwyane Wade's publicist but didn't hear back. Sit back for this one--it's a long, bumpy ride.
My name is Darlene Funches; I am the mother of Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, the grandmother of Zion and Zaire Wade—and the ex-mother-in-law of NBA star Dwyane T. Wade Jr.
You may have read about some of the
ugly things that have happened in the divorce proceedings, and especially the
child custody battle, between my daughter and ex-son-in-law. Because Dwyane is a
rich and powerful man, it’s his side of the story that is most often portrayed
in these stories. Such as the occurrences on June 16, 2012, when Dwyane had my
daughter arrested for kidnapping her own children. Regarding this incident,
Dwyane went on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” and sat in that chair across from Oprah …
and lied to her.
He told her that “the day before game 3 of the NBA finals, his sister Tragil was scheduled to pick up his sons from their mother’s home; there was no answer. For eight hours, family members were unable to find the boys and their mother.” There’s a court transcript that reveals this version of events as a series of lies.
First, it was it was actually Dwyane’s younger half-sister Marrya McDaniels who went to pick up the children at Siohvaughn’s home, and NOT Tragil Wade. This may seem like a small point, but his younger half-sister was NOT a court-appointed authorized individual to facilitate transportation for parenting time.
Dwyane told Oprah he was worried about the boys when they couldn’t be found. Why, then, does his half-sister’s testimony reveal that she never attempted to contact Siohvaughn at all on that day when she went to pick up the children? And why did she testify that at some point after 4 p.m. (which is the same time that the Cook County Sheriff’s police arrived), she saw from a neighbor’s residence that the children were being safely supervised in the pool of Siohvaughn’s home enjoying themselves? It was considerably less than the eight hours during which Dwyane claims “family members were unable to find the boys and their mother.”
Despite what Dwyane’s younger half-sister’s testimony clearly indicates—that she saw the children supervised in the pool of Siohvaughn’s home—Siohvaughn was arrested and charged with two counts of child abduction and unlawful visitation interference. But on Aug. 13, 2012, justice was served! ALL these charges were dropped in the Markham Court by prosecutors. And yet no one heard that news.
The efforts to destroy the life of my daughter and her children, sadly, are coming from the person who once came to my door with just two black garbage bags to his name. Dwyane entered my life not long after the death of my firstborn child, Garrica, a premed student who was killed in a car accident on her way back to school. God allowed me to do for Dwyane exactly what I did for Siohvaughn and Garrica: By His grace, I provided a safe home environment for Dwyane; I fed, clothed, sheltered, educated and encouraged Dwyane to pursue and fulfill his dreams. I took him to the doctor and hospital when he was sick, filled his prescriptions, tended his wounds, and even defended him against his own father, who abused him. I took Dwyane Wade Jr., then 17, to get his driver’s license; I opened up his first checking account and taught him how to write checks and balance his check book, and provided him with his own debit card; I motivated Dwyane by rewarding him for his good report cards and grades.
I remember when Dwyane knocked on my door late one Friday night in May of 1999, and asked me if I had meant it when I said I would never let a kid go hungry or have no place to live or not have what they needed to go to school, or no clothes to wear. I told him I did, and he said, “Mama, I’m home.” I found out that Dwyane was kicked out during one of many abusive and violent episodes at his home between his father and stepmother.
Before Dwyane moved in permanently, there were many explosive fights in his home and many nights when he and his younger half-sister Marrya McDaniels (the same sister that on June 16, 2012, was outside my daughter’s home with police to have my daughter arrested) came knocking on my door because it was late and they had no place to go to. They would spend the night, and I would go looking for their parents to bring them back home. Once, after Dwyane had permanently moved into my home, Dwyane sustained an injury when Wade Sr. clotheslined him in the throat. When he told me what had happened, I got in my car and drove over to Dwyane Wade Sr.’s house and confronted him. I stated very clearly to him that if he ever put his hand on Dwyane again, I would personally make sure that he sat in a jail cell for as long as the sentence could be mandated by the law. To this day, I have never been told that Dwyane’s dad ever put his hands physically on him again. I bless God for that, because God did not allow me to fear him.
When Dwyane began attending Marquette University, I worked with his coach to set up a surgical procedure on his knee; worked with the physical therapist on Dwyane’s rehabilitation; worked with another coach to schedule dental appointments and orthodontic surgeries. My repayment was this: Dwyane and his attorneys went to court to remove my daughter off the NBA health insurance plan. Even worse, the Cook County Court’s Family Division went along with Dwyane and his attorneys.
It was right after the NBA draft in
June 2003 that Dwyane’s transformation for the worse began. Then it escalated to
an unbelievable level that was, in my opinion, officially sanctioned when Cook
County Court enabled him to now become “legally abusive.” Dwyane is no longer
physically putting his hands on my daughter; however, he continues to verbally,
psychologically and financially abuse my daughter and my grandsons—by using his
money and influence to keep his children away from their mother. Dwyane’s
decision to take my grandchildren away from their mother was not an act of love,
but of punishment, selfishness and hate—and the manifestation of a pattern of
This isn’t the first time wealth and fame has revealed its power to corrupt. I just hope that Dwyane Wade will wake up to what he has allowed himself to become and to get right with God. Dwyane’s greatest offenses have not been to his wife, his children or me—his greatest offenses have been to God.
[End of statement.]
And to Oprah. No one--besides Tom Cruise & James Frey &.. oh, never mind.