We here at CherryOnTop have our popcorn popped and our DVRs set for the season 4 premiere of Basketball Wives, which airs tonight! To mark the occasion, we recently caught up with everybody’s favorite ‘basketball wife’, Tami Roman, to dish on the drama of the new season, her new castmates Kenya Bell and Kesha Nichols, and the demise of the friendship between Evelyn Lozada and Jennifer Williams (you may be surprised about what she said). Check it out below:
The last time you and I talked, we spoke on your various film projects. How is that going?
TR: So far so good. We’re getting ready actually to start up with another film that I’m going to be producing called The Promise Keeper, and that will be a full feature this time. And I’m doing another independent low budget film as well called My Sisters in Need that I’m producing. So I’m taking the producer’s hat very seriously and trying to get that going.
What about the possibility of getting your own show? We also spoke about that the last time we talked.
TR: I’m looking a little more into hosting and doing some other stuff like that and/or producing a reality show, but not necessarily specific to me and my life.
I have to ask you about the recent revelation that your 15-year-old daughter got a tattoo. Did you receive any criticism from anyone about allowing her to get inked?
TR: If I have, I’m not aware of it because I really don’t get on the blogs and stuff like that. I’m sure there’s something out there, but I’m just not aware of it. You know for me, it was like my daughter is 15. She will be 18, and she really wanted a tattoo. Rather than have her possibly sneak and do it and she’s going to get it anyway, so I figure let me oversee it. Let me make sure the place is clean, let me make sure the people know what they’re doing, they’re respectable artists so that she’s happy with the work. So that’s how I approached it. I deal with the real all the time, and a lot of parents don’t. I sit down and talk to my kids about everything, and so making sure that this was something she definitely wanted to do – I have tattoos. I have ink, so for me, it’s like you want to do this, I’m going to oversee it and make sure it’s done properly.
During your first season on Basketball Wives, you, your ex-husband Kenny [Anderson], and your daughters sat down and made peace with the past to a certain extent. How has the relationship between him and your daughters been since then?
TR: In all honesty, when I came on the show, my direct motive was to patch up the relationship between him and my daughters, and just own up to us not co-parenting properly. Since the show, nothing really has changed with regard to his relationship with the girls. I’m not trying to throw him under the bus or anything like that. You know I think he’s just kind of in an awkward position. My daughters really look up to the gentleman in my life right now. He’s been in their lives for about 4 1/2 years now. So I think it was just an awkward position for Kenny. He didn’t really know how to inject himself into the girls’ lives now that they actually have a closer bond and a closer relationship to someone else.
How is everything going with your hair line?
TR: It’s actually doing very well. It’s Curls by Roman, which is the brand, and it’s being distributed by Crème de-la Crème Hair. When I came on the show, people had a lot to say about my hair, but people didn’t know me before the show because I’ve always been very serious about my hair. I think people kind of twisted the fact that I was coming off of a hardship, and they were like, “Well her hair wasn’t cute. How she got a hair line?” (Laughs) They caught me at a recovery moment and not really what I stand for with regard to my hair. So I wanted to do something that was organically me. I’ve worn a weave since I was 15-years-old, and I know all there is to know about hair. Textures, curl pattern, weft, you know, I’m real serious about it. So I thought that was the best venture for me. And it’s been doing very well.
Let’s talk about Basketball Wives. We’ve been hearing and reading a lot of stuff about the new season, particularly when it comes to former BFFs Jennifer Williams and Evelyn Lozada. Will they be the only ones battling this season, or will this season be full of drama like past seasons?
TR: I think this season, as every season, will definitely be filled with drama all the way around. I think that’s the most poignant thing that’s happening right now because people are so used to them being friends, but unfortunately, as we always say, when you put 6-7 women with all these different personalities into a confined space where they have to be around each other for 6-7 months – you know, we’ve been taping since October, and we’re still taping – people are going to butt heads. So I think there’s a lot of drama that people are going to see, but I think that’s the most poignant one that’s happening right now because people just aren’t used to those two not being affiliates.
When it comes to Jennifer and Evelyn, what’s it been like watching their friendship fall apart the way it has?
TR: From my standpoint, I always looked at them and said, “How are they best friends?” Because I didn’t really feel a lot of friendship love. Like I know my diehard friends, we don’t function in the way they function, so I can’t say that I’m very surprised. I always felt that there was a little tension towards Evelyn from Jennifer. I didn’t really know what it was, couldn’t put my finger on it, but now that this thing is starting to unfold before my eyes, just as it will for everyone else, I’m seeing what those underlying tensions were, and they’re all going to be brought to the forefront this season.
What you just said about feeling “tension” from Jennifer towards Evelyn is similar to something Evelyn said in a recent interview about there always being something weird or off about her friendship with Jennifer.
TR: Yeah, I have to tell you on the outside looking in, I definitely noticed it. I always saw Evelyn trying to always be there for Jennifer, but I never saw that really reciprocated. And so, however, okay, well that’s their friendship, that’s the way it works for them, but for me looking at the friendship, something just didn’t really seem right. Now I’m coming to understand what it really was.
Do you think there is a little jealousy there on Jennifer’s part?
TR: I’m not going to say it was jealousy because I think that people will come to their own conclusions as to what they feel it is as the show unfolds. But, and I don’t have any beef with Jennifer, and I don’t have any beef with Evelyn. I’m just basically an outside party that just felt like their relationship wasn’t what I would consider to be a real true, unconditional friendship.
Your perspective is interesting because Evelyn has been getting a bad rap in this situation with some Basketball Wives fans calling her a bully and having the opinion that she’s being mean to Jennifer.
TR: I think it’s because she’s more vocal. My grandmother used to say, “Sneaky is as sneaky does.” You know, just ’cause you’re quiet and demure doesn’t mean you don’t have your stuff with you too. I think Evelyn and I are similar in the sense that we’re really outspoken about how we feel, and sometimes people can take that and sometimes people can’t, so we actually get a bad rap for being outspoken and saying what we feel. People consider us mean, and people have said I’m a bully. There have been many words thrown out of context to who we really are. So just because Jennifer is quiet doesn’t mean that she’s not doing things behind the scene. I think as people watch the show, they will see certain things unfold that they might not have been aware of, and it may change people’s perspective of how their relationship really was.
Despite some people calling you a bully, you have some diehard fans that think you can do no wrong. I don’t care if you walk into a room and smack the hell out of someone for no apparent reason, a lot of people would still be rooting for you.
TR: (Laughs) The thing with me is I don’t know how to be anything other than myself. When you come into certain situations – I wasn’t going to try to be something that I’m not. At the point that I came on the show, I was like, “You know what, I got on whatever I got on, and I’m happy with it, and I’m just going to be me.” I think people respect that aspect of me, and I’m going to tell you what I need to tell you to your face. I’m not going to go behind your back, and I think people respect that aspect of me. So people calling me a bully, I guess it’s because they see me going against someone who’s not going to be real and not going to speak their mind and not tell me how they feel, and I’m the only one talking. Then yeah, that can appear that I’m coming off as a bully. But I think they should look at the other side of the coin and say that these people aren’t really addressing the issues that bother them ’cause I’m going to address the things that don’t sit right with me.
Let’s talk about Shaunie O’Neal for a moment. She’s been called a puppeteer because some fans feel she orchestrated a lot of the situations on the show and then steps back as drama ensues.
TR: People do say that a lot. They’ve put that on Twitter a lot. With regard to me – and I can only speak about me – she’s never tried to manipulate me or make me do something or go up against somebody. She really doesn’t have to. The beauty of the show is that they put people on there – just like Real World, just like Mob Wives, just like Love & Hip-Hop, just like Real Housewives of Atlanta – they take certain people because they know the character or the type of demeanor a certain person has. She never has to orchestrate anything. Drama is going to happen because we’re completely different types of people. So if you’re in a room with somebody that you are completely different from, then you guys are definitely going to butt heads because you don’t share the same views, and that’s what ultimately ends up happening. I think she gets a bad rap because she is the executive producer, or one of the executive producers, of the show, but I can say with regard to me, she never orchestrated anything or tried to manipulate me into doing anything I do what I do, and I take full responsibility for my actions. (Laughs)
With regard to the 2 new cast members, Kenya Bell and Kesha Nichols, how have they blended with the rest of the cast? What roles will we see them taking on this season?
TR: I can’t give you too much on it, but I’ll say this. Kesha Nichols is very meek and has no opinion on anything. And Kenya idolizes Jennifer, so there you go. That’s it in a nutshell. (Laughs) I don’t think Kenya really knows who she is and who she wants to be or what she really stand for just yet, so she kind of becomes whomever she is with. But she absolutely idolizes Jennifer.
On think I haven’t heard much about is you being in the middle of a lot of drama on this season of the show, which is different from the past few seasons.
TR: (Laughs) I’ve been trying to be good. I have to tell you honestly, when last season went off with the whole Meeka [Claxton] incident, I looked at that just as everybody else looked at that, you know what I mean? It’s like, I’m dealing with some things inside of myself that sometimes I’m an angry person, and sometimes people are on the receiving end that they really shouldn’t be. So I wasn’t happy that the situation got physical with Meeka, so this time around, I’m more verbal than physical. And it’s cool like that. I’ll put it like this, I’m breaking up more fights that I’m actually in. (Laughs)
What’s your future with the show? Do you see yourself doing a few more seasons?
TR: Honestly, I don’t know if we have a few more seasons in us. A lot of us are doing a lot of things independently. Royce is doing an Off-Broadway play. Evelyn has got her t-shirts, her books, her makeup. I’ve got the hair and the movies. Shaunie has got all her many, many ventures, so I don’t know if we have another season in us, and I don’t know if there are anymore women who want to be on the show with us. (Laughs) You know we’ve got a reputation. I don’t know if we can get anybody to be on the show with us, so without some new people, then I think it would just be more of the same for the viewers, and you know, we would bow out gracefully.
Part of that probably explains why Kesha is so “meek”, as you described her. She probably doesn’t want it with any of you ladies.
TR: (Laughs) Yeah, she definitely don’t want it. I mean, she needs to put on a cape because she is super…that chick will run faster than anybody I know! But she definitely doesn’t want to get into anything with anybody. For me, the type of person that I am, you can not say something, but you definitely have an opinion, you know what I mean? So you can speak your opinion, you can speak on how you feel, and at this juncture, she hasn’t even done that. So that’s not somebody I can really be around.
Wow, she’s really always running from situations?
TR: Baby, that is…I know she should potentially have an endorsement with some sneaker company because you will see her run from beginning to end, period point blank. So I hope that comes to pass for her ’cause she definitely gets it in the wind.
In a nutshell, can you tell us what we can expect from season 4 of Basketball Wives?
TR: Basketball Wives is going to be filled with a lot of drama, a lot of underlying tension will be brought to the forefront, a lot of friendships that you thought were solid fall by the wayside, and I definitely am keeping my hands to myself.
The new season of Basketball Wives premieres tonight (February 20) at 8pm on VH1.
- Interview by Mara The Hip-Hop Socialite