Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are ready to wed! While it's happy days for the Being Mary Jane star and her Miami Heat honey, their road to the altar hasn't been without some, um, technical fouls. In the five or so years they've been together, Union, 41, and Wade, 32, who are both marrying for the second time, weathered a nasty divorce, custody battle, brief breakup, and a love child. As the unsinkable pair prepares to say "I do," we look back at their bumpy road to happily ever after in a romance timeline Wade and Union meet for the first time when they're hired by promoters to co-host a Super Bowl party.
The basketball player is married to his high school sweetheart, Siohvaughn Funches, and the Bring It On actress, who was divorced from NFL player Chris Howard, is in a relationship, so they have little interaction. He was on the other side of the room holding bible study. Wade files for separation from Funches, who had just given birth to their second son, Zion, a month earlier. They also have a son Zaire. Divorce proceedings start soon after — as do rumors that Wade is secretly dating Union.
The jock reaches out to the actress to apologize for the gossip and they become platonic friends. In the middle of a bitter divorce with Funches she accused him infecting her with an STD; he sued her for defamation , Wade helps his pal Alonzo Mourning host the annual Summer Groove, a four-day charity event including an all-star basketball game, comedy show, block party, and dinner.
Union, whose relationship with Wade has evolved into a romantic one, attends several of the events as the hoops champ's guest, though they don't pose for photos together. Oops — photographers catch them together anyway! View photos Union attends a charity basketball game co-hosted by Wade in July and while they skip the red carpet, they are snapped together courtside. Splash News More February She doesn't pose for photos with her beau, but is obviously there with him. While his acrimonious divorce with Funches rages on, Wade files for sole custody of their two young sons alleging that his ex couldn't "be considered a fit and proper person" to raise them because she exhibited threatening behavior, used abusive parenting methods, and had extramarital affairs.
A peeved Funches files a lawsuit on behalf of her sons naming Union as a defendant. She accusing the actress of engaging in "sexual foreplay" with Wade in front of the children and says Union's behavior with Wade is causing the children emotional damage.
Wade publicly refutes his soon-to-be-ex's claims and publicly defends his girlfriend, calling the lawsuit a retaliation tactic for his custody bid. Wade is given temporary physical custody of the children. Weeks later, an Illinois judge finalizes his contentious divorce.
However, financial and custody issues are not yet resolved. Amid all the drama, Wade and Union make their red carpet debut as a couple at the Summer Groove event — one year after they were first exposed as a couple at the event. A judge dismisses Funches's lawsuit against Union. Wade and Funches face off in court to hash out their custody arrangement. On the stand, Wade denies allegations that he was abusive toward his sons or ex-wife. He also answers questions about his relationship with Union and denies engaging in sexual foreplay in front of the children.
View photos The pretty pair makes their red carpet debut at the Summer Groove event in Getty Images More March Wade is awarded sole "care, custody, and control" of his sons.
In the judge's ruling it says, "This court finds that [Funches] has embarked on an unstoppable and relentless pattern of conduct for over two years to alienate the children from their father, and lacks either the ability or the willingness to facilitate, let alone encourage, a close and continuing relationship between them.
The couple appears on the cover of Essence and opens up about their relationship. We both took failing at marriage hard.
The next time it's gotta be forever. In an interview with Jet, Union denies that she played any part in Wade's split with Funches. Dwyane and I made a decision very early to not react to the negativity," she tells the mag. Besides, "My life is just too easy to track. We were submitting plenty of proof for the times [Funches] said I was in Miami. So, it was like, obviously you're not telling the truth. And then the courts dismissed the case. There's no way that I would trade it for people who refuse to simply acknowledge the truth.
The couple quietly takes a break for several months, beginning after the holidays until early spring, but they are still in contact. The financial portion of Wade and Funches's six-year divorce is finally resolved.
Their agreement stipulates they can't badmouth each other — and his relationship with Union is off-limits as well. During the trial, Funches sits outside the courthouse with a cardboard sign that says, "NBA Miami Heat star, mother of his children on the streets. During an appearance on The Tonight Show, Wade admits that he and Union recently reunited after a split.
We kind of took a step back. We supported each other, but we took a step back for a little while. At the end of day, we came back together and said, 'Listen, we want to continue this. We want to try to continue to get better each day. We're going strong now. Wade becomes a father again when a woman he was seeing during his split with Union, Aja Metoyer, gives birth to a baby boy named Xavier.
The child's paternity briefly remains a secret. With the help of his two sons as well as his nephew Dahveon, whom he also raises, Wade proposes to Union. They debut her ring on Instagram and are over the moon. However, the celebration is short-lived. One week later, news breaks that Wade has a love child , which he confirms in a statement in which he calls his third son "a blessing.
View photos The couple celebrating their engagement moments after Wade popped the question. Getty Images More [Related: Union talks to Glamour magazine about why she got back together Wade.
Moving forward, I decided my work schedule has to make sense for our family. So everyone should go into the relationship knowing, 'I'm here for you and you're here for me. It's the wave of the future. Wade and Union send out their save the dates, which come in paper and video form. She previously revealed some details about the wedding, telling Arsenio Hall that the Miami bash on Aug.
It's just us and the kids. And we're just riding out, just us. If you're not about us and we don't both have a relationship with you, you're not gonna make it. The couple hits the gym together in advance of their wedding, sharing an ab fab photo on Instagram. They also share some sweet couple shots. However, it's unclear who is going to use it because there are reports that they are making their guests sign a confidentiality agreement and that they are banned from bringing cameras and cell phones to the affair.