Judge to D-Wade’s ex-wife: Don’t tell kids he had you arrested
BY LISA DONOVAN AND RUMMANA HUSSAIN Staff Reporters June 26, 2012 10:00AM
Dwyane Wade and his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches-Wade
Updated: July 28, 2012 6:19AM
A Cook County judge told Dwyane Wade’s ex-wife Tuesday that if she tells her kids the basketball star had her arrested during the NBA Finals for delaying a visitation hand-off, she’ll lose her chance to see the boys.
“If you tell them, ‘Your daddy got me arrested,’ I take away visitation,” Cook County Associate Judge Helaine Berger said. “The children should not be in the middle.”
The divorce of the Miami Heat star and Siohvaughn Funches-Wade may be long over, and the ink on the judge’s child custody order dry for more than a year, but the battle between the two continues.
The showdown played out again Tuesday in a downtown Chicago courtroom during a contentious hearing that included Wade’s ex-wife taking the Fifth, and her attorney accusing Wade, who just won his second NBA title Thursday night, of being too busy to be in court.
Attorneys for both trotted out witnesses before the judge. The issue: Should the basketball star’s ex-wife have her visitation rights yanked or at least supervised in the wake of the delayed hand-off of the boys to their dad on Father’s Day weekend?
Associate Judge Berger put off ruling on the matter until July 9. However, she told Funches-Wade she can’t spend time with her kids in the Chicago area until she reaches her decision.
If she is cleared to travel by a separate judge overseeing her criminal case stemming from the Father’s Day incident, Funches-Wade can go to Florida to see the boys, 5 and 10, during her scheduled visitation, which runs from Friday until early July, Berger said.
Funches-Wade, who divorced the Richards High School grad in 2010, is facing misdemeanor charges, including child abduction.
Dwyane Wade was given sole custody of the children in 2011. His ex-wife was given visitation rights. Dwyane Wade’s attorney, James Pritikin, said Funches-Wade has been “unstoppable and relentless” in trying to alienate the children from their father.
Funches-Wade’s attorney said it was the basketball star who was doing a disservice to his children. He questioned why he wasn’t present in court Tuesday.
“He’s too busy to be involved with his children,” Michael Haber said, blaming Dwyane Wade’s celebrity for blowing a “misunderstanding” out of proportion.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Funches-Wade declined to testify, invoking her Fifth Amendment right. Her right arm was in a sling — apparently hurting so badly she had to take her witness oath with her left arm.
It was unclear what was wrong her arm — although she did allegedly tangle with sheriff’s police on June 16 after the Wade boys weren’t turned over the star’s sister. The sister, Maryya McDaniel, was to take them from the South Holland home where their mom lives to Midway Airport to catch a 3:05 p.m. flight to Miami to be with their dad on Father’s Day the next day.
McDaniel talked about arriving to pick up the children around noon — as scheduled by a mediator.
As the hours passed, McDaniel reached out to her sister and the mediator — retired Cook County Domestic Relations Judge Karen Shields — to find out what to do.
Shields testified she repeatedly called Funches-Wade and Funches-Wade’s mother but neither answered their phones.
After sheriff’s police were called, they and McDaniel were granted access by a neighbor to their property to see what was going on at the Funches-Wade home. There, McDaniel said, she spotted her nephews in their backyard pool.
McDaniel testified Funches-Wade called out to officers, asking why they were there. “She said ‘who are you and what are you doing here?’ ” McDaniel testified.
Eventually, police turned the boys over to McDaniel, who then had to make arrangement to put the boys on a private plane for a flight that arrived about 6 a.m. the next day.