Story by 89 WLS Editor Matt Lo Cascio
Siohvaughn Funches, the former wife of NBA star Dwyane Wade, camped outside the Daley Center in Chicago on Friday with a homemade sign that read, "NBA Miami Heat Star Mother of His Children On the Streets".
Funches told the 89 WLS Sports Pregame Show that she took the measure of embarrassing Wade in public -- his hometown nonetheless -- because she wants her voice, her freedom and because Wade owes her money.
"He owes me quite a large sum of money."
Funches said a court order dictates that all of Wade's endorsement companies are supposed to deposit funds directly into an account for her, but she hasn't received anything.
"He hasn't complied with that order and neither have those endorsement companies made any direct deposits. That went on for years.
"So I took care of myself and our two children, purely living off of savings. The savings dwindled down. I was advised by my lawyer to find a bankruptcy attorney. I went into the courtroom and I asked the judge, 'Please, let's just settle this matter because if I'm destitute I can't be a mother,' Funches said.
It's not just endorsement money. Funches said she is not getting any money based off of Wade's salary, and years went by without her receiving any financial help whatsoever from Wade.
"I need you to understand this: for several years in a row I got nothing. Nothing at all."
She said at one time a judge gave her enough to pay her tuition, which she said amounted to $10,000. But nothing else from Wade.
"I'm out on the streets right now because we can't reach any sort of an agreement. "
But here is the kicker: Funches also told the show that she doesn't want any money from Wade, just her voice and her freedom.
She said that Wade refuses to give her the money she is due unless she agrees to refrain from speaking out about their relationship. She won't agree to that. So instead she camped outside the Daley Center in Chicago with her sign and spoke about her difficulties on 89 WLS, comparing herself to Tina Turner, who survived an abusive relationship to become an American icon.
"All I want is my freedom and my voice. I want Mr. Wade to leave me alone, he can keep his money. I told them very clearly -- my voice is not for sale."