For years, the public has wanted to know what happened in Hollywood couple Gabrielle Union and Dwanye Wade’s marriage when the former NBA player told the Bring It On actress that he was fathering a baby with another woman in 2013, who he’d met while they were broken up.
Around the same time, Union and Wade had been trying to start a family of their own. Union has since revealed her diagnosis with adenomyosis, a diagnosis which caused her to struggle with infertility, experiencing multiple IVF cycles, and “eight or nine” miscarriages.
In an essay for Time ahead of the release of her memoir, You Got Anything Stronger, Union recalled the traumatic moment Wade broke the news to her of his impending child. She writes, “It should go without saying that we were not in a good place at the time that child was conceived. But we were doing much better when he finally told me about the pregnancy. To say I was devastated is to pick a word on a low shelf for convenience.”
She added, “There are people — strangers I will never meet — who have been upset that I have not previously talked about that trauma. I have not had words, and even after untold amounts of therapy I am not sure I have them now.”
Union went on to write about her struggle to conceive a child of her own, writing that she had considered taking the drug Lupron, despite its intense side effects that she said could include early menopause and brittle bones. Wade, however, stopped her, telling her, “You’ve done enough.”
“I didn’t receive this as concern at the time,” she wrote. “It sounded like an acknowledgement of failure. Because at that point I would have sold my soul to get out of the endless cycle of loss. What was the going rate for souls? What was mine worth, anyway? The experience of Dwyane having a baby so easily — while I was unable to — left my soul not just broken into pieces, but shattered into fine dust scattering in the wind.”
Union continued, “Clearly, my feelings weren’t originating from a healthy place. So much of what made the decision so difficult was that if I didn’t submit to a surrogacy, then I was convinced I needed to let Dwyane go. Even if he didn’t want to, I had to let him find someone who could give him what he wanted.”
Eventually, Union decided on surrogacy which gave the couple their daughter Kaavia James Union-Wade, now 2, in 2018. However, she didn’t find the process easy: “This growing bump that everyone thought I wanted to see was now a visual manifestation of my failure,” she wrote. “I smiled, wanting to show I — we — were so happy and grateful. But part of me felt more worthless.”
Union said she was overcome with emotion when she saw what was soon to be her daughter during an ultrasound. “It was suddenly incredibly real,” she explained. “Dwyane took my hand, and there was so much happiness on his face, I lost it. My cry was a choke stopped up in my throat, tears streaming down.”
“It was grief,” she continued. “I’d had so many miscarriages … looking at the screen, I understood how many potential babies I had lost. That’s why I was crying.”
Wade previously recalled the moment he told Union about his son with another woman in the 2020 ESPN documentary D. Wade: Life Unexpected.
“Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do is man up and tell Gabrielle Union that I’ve had a child with somebody else,” he said in the film. “I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t eating.”
“When you hold something in that you know is going to come out and you have this information and you know it’s gonna f—k somebody’s life up, that you care about, that you love, if it don’t hurt you, then you’re not human,” he continued. “Me and Gab just went through something that you never want to go through and we still came out of it.”