CHICAGO – Dwyane Wade returned to the witness stand Monday, pledging to be a committed parent if he is awarded custody of his two young sons and admitting he wished he would have sought professional help to save his faltering marriage.
The Miami Heat star spent six hours testifying following a full day on the stand Friday. He and his ex-wife, Siohvaughn, are embroiled in a custody dispute for the boys, ages 8 and 3, and the hearing will resume Wednesday.
Wade said he would be willing to arrange equitable visitation rights for his ex-wife. And he expressed regret for not seeking earlier intervention that might have headed off trouble in the marriage.
"I take a lot of responsibility," he said. "I would have taken it a different way. I would have (sought) professional help ... I feel that I could have (done) it in a professional way, get professional help, get family therapy."
Wade, dressed in a black suit with narrow striped boxes, spoke in a quiet voice as he answered questions from attorney Lester Barclay, assigned to represent the interest of the couple's children.
Wade described a stormy relationship with his ex-wife and claimed that Siohvaughn Wade denied visitation with their children. He described one scheduled visitation last March when he could not reach his wife or children for a prearranged pickup.
"I had no knowledge where my kids were and I got very afraid," he testified. "I thought she took them away and hurt herself and possibly them ... I immediately thought the worst."
Siohvaughn Wade's attorney said one son became ill with headaches at school. Siohvaughn Wade took the son to a hospital for examination and Dwyane Wade did not find out until the next day.
Wade also said visitation with his children had been irregular for many months despite agreements with his former wife. He said since filing his petition in late July, he was now seeing his sons on a regular basis and has almost daily phone contact with them.
Barclay last month recommended to the court that Dwyane Wade be awarded custody. In June, he was awarded "physical possession" of his sons although the children still live with their mother.
Last Friday, Wade denied that he had abandoned his children, used drugs or owned weapons. He also confirmed that he's dating actress Gabrielle Union, but denied that the two engaged in sex acts in front of the boys.
Wade, who was joined in the offseason by fellow superstars LeBron James and Chris Bosh, has settled four civil cases in Miami stemming from failed business deals. His divorce from his high school sweetheart was finalized in June after nearly a three-year separation.
Wade, who has been plagued with a recent hamstring injury, has missed some preseason training with the Heat. He said prior to Monday's session that he's feeling fine, but would not be on hand for the team's NBA preseason game Monday night.
"My goal is to be back and healthy for the beginning of the season," Wade said.