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Udonis Haslem Faces Backlash For Revealing Fiance’s Abortion

Miami Heat baller Udonis Haslem and his wife went through a few rough patches over the course of their pre-marital relationship, but the couple’s decision to share one experience in particular has the public in an uproar.

Haslem and his wife-to-be chose the NY Times to officially announce the news of their nuptials and shared their somewhat unconventional love story, which included revealing that the new Mrs. Haslem had had an abortion earlier on in their courtship when she became pregnant but shared her then-boyfriend’s sentiment that they were not ready to be parents.

via NY Times

When they met 14 years ago, Faith Rein was more focused on the dog and its illegal residence in the dorm than in the starting center of the Gators. When her attention shifted to its owner, Ms. Rein, who, like Mr. Haslem, was attending college on an athletic scholarship, remembers thinking, “He was cute and super chill, but I was dating a football player and he was seeing a girl on the volleyball team.”

They were playing in different leagues, all right. She was raised in a Virginia suburb by a black Baptist mother and a Jewish father and had been a 100-meter national champion at age 10.

“I was a Miami ghetto kid,” said Mr. Haslem, now 33, “with a drug-addicted mother, a stepmother who never married my father, and a son from a high school fling. I fought on the streets, watched friends die from drugs and violence, and learned to shoot hoops in Liberty City. I had no idea if she even liked me.”

Mr. Haslem thought Ms. Rein was special because she was reserved and not full of herself. Yet when she did discuss her background, he found it intimidating.

Ms. Rein, meanwhile, was intrigued with his free-flowing conversations, which demonstrated his intelligence yet further illustrated the disparity of their childhoods.

When nothing progressed, Ms. Rein asked him to take her out to dinner. “He joked that he would take me to Popeyes if I paid,” she said.

He found he “liked her competitiveness, intelligence and passion for what goes into winning and losing.”

They met daily, always platonically. “Udonis was a challenge,” admitted Ms. Rein, who was more accustomed to men chasing her. “He excited me.”

Mr. Haslem said: “Faith was refreshing after the loud, confrontational, attention-seeking women I had known. She was bright and motivating, and as a jock, got what I do. But she was not easy to read, and I didn’t want to spoil our friendship by moving too fast.”

The now-married couple the went on to share the decision early on in their relationship to terminate a pregnancy. They say it ultimately brought them closer together.

By May 2001, however, she and Mr. Haslem had become a couple, spending most of their free time together.

Their first challenge took place the following spring when she became pregnant.

It was her junior and his senior year, and he had begun training for the N.B.A. draft. Despite the pregnancy, she was busy with track meets and helping him complete homework. The timing was bad.

“I am not a huge fan of abortion, but we both had sports careers, plus we could not financially handle a baby,” said Mr. Haslem, noting how he struggled with supporting Kedonis, the son he had in high school, who is now 14 and who lives with his mother.

“Udonis appreciated that I was willing to have an abortion,” Ms. Rein said. “I found him caring, supportive, nurturing and all over me to be sure I was O.K. I saw another side of him during that difficult time and fell deeply in love. He had a big heart and was the whole package.”

Haslem and his new wifey caught some public backlash from the pro-life community and others who felt that it was inappropriate that they reveal their abortion decision in the mix with their wedding announcement… you agree?



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