people, several different people.
EBONY: What does that mean?
SW: I call on one day and "Auntie so-and-so" is babysitting. I call on another day, and "Uncle so-and-so" is babysitting, I call on a different day and Zaire is crying because he hasn’t even seen Zion for two days. So they’re separated from each other.
EBONY: Do you feel in your heart that he had legal advantage over everything because of his wealth?
SW: Money and fame made every bit of difference. This was not a case about justice or what was righteous before court; this was clearly a case about fame and wealth. I watched men, before our case was called, be hauled off to jail for not paying child support and spousal support. Mr. Wade did not give any child support except for three months. Mr. Wade went over two years without giving a dime of support. The only way I was even able to feed my children was living off of pure savings, that’s it. While Mr. Wade rode around in a car that was worth more than most people’s salaries for five years straight. Even if he didn’t want to give me anything, children need to eat, children need clothes and children have to be educated. Our oldest needed extensive therapy because of what happened to him, which was directly a result of Mr. Wade. I had to pay for all of that out of savings.
EBONY: How do you feel you’ve been mischaracterized in the press?
SW: Mr. Wade has done what is very typical of abusers: If a person experiences mental cruelty, physical violence, and emotional violence and they speak out against it, the abusers response to that is, “That person is crazy.” A forensic psychologist did an evaluation on my family, and said that, Zaire has explained that Mr. Wade has hit him with a closed fist to his chest. Zaire has not lied; it’s her job to forensically evaluate custody cases and the court appointed her. She evaluated me and she testified to this: “A lot of what Mrs. Wade has gone though has been a response and a reaction of what Mr. Wade has done.” She also testified to this under oath: “Those children should be with Mrs. Wade.”
She also testified that if the court gives the children to Mr. Wade, it could be “irreparable harm done to them.” Mr. Wade has screamed at Zaire, telling him to man the “F” up. And when I say “F” I don’t mean “frankly.” He was telling Zaire at 5, 6, and 7 years old to“ man the “F” up”, screaming at him. That sort of thing takes a toll on someone.
EBONY: When did everything start to take a turn? Was the abuse from the beginning or was this something that gradually happened?
SW: It was shortly after the draft. That’s when I believe things began to spin out of control and I began to see sides of Mr. Wade that I never knew. I began to see him do things, and a fear began to develop and root itself in me. I realized how quiet I became. I became protective for my children and myself. He had been instilling intimidation in all of us. It became “go along with it or else”, and we knew what the “or else” was.
EBONY: What was the “or else”?
SW: One of the “or elses” for Zaire was the fist to chest. Mr. Wade would get his balled up fist, as big as he is, and punch him in the chest. He has literally caused an asthma attack.
EBONY: So if you saw those signs, why didn’t anything ever prompt you to leave him?
SW: Let me explain something, fear is paralyzing. It’s so important the women and even men in these situations do not walk in fear. It took years, years for me not to be afraid. The police had been helping him and walking in pure corruption. How safe was I really? I just don’t understand why people were doing this. Even if it was just a sheer hate for me, don’t you have some kind of love and mercy for two innocent children?
EBONY: How do you maintain your sanity?
SW: I believe that this is going to heal many women. God himself has answered me, even in the middle of this. I have hope. It hasn’t destroyed my faith in God or even my faith in people. I still believe in the love of God and that the love of God still flows through people. I haven’t given up on women even though it’s clear what other women have done to me. There was no other man to help me get through this. The only man was Jesus.
EBONY: What was your last interaction with your kids like?
SW: The last time I visited with the