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Evelyn Lozada keeps managing to expand her brand, despite backlash from viewers of Basketball Wives.  However, Evelyn doesn’t seem to care what people think of her.  She tells VIBE (yes, she’s a guest editor this month), that if she’s learned anything from fiance Chad Ochocinco, it’s that controversy is a good thing.  Of course it is!  Highlights of her interview are below, but you can read the whole thing here.

How do you develop a tough skin for [naysayers]?
You can’t do this and be sensitive. For example, you know Suzie [Ketcham], she gets a lot of sh*t from the show. After she films the show, she doesn’t watch it or go on Twitter. She’s like, ‘I don’t know how you deal with it.’ I’ve accepted that this is a part of my life and apart of my world now. The more the show became popular, and I started dating Chad, and I got engaged to Chad, it’s been like chaos.

I’m never going to hide and I’m always one of those people that say TV can be a gift and a curse, and at the same time it’s opened up a lot of doors for me that I never would have imagined. I can look at [the show] and say, Maybe I shouldn’t have handled it like that. Maybe I shouldn’t have thrown that bottle at Kenya [Bell], you know what I mean? If I’m blessed to be on TV for another five seasons, you won’t see Evelyn doing that. I’ve learned from that situation. Me and Tami [Roman] do get a lot of heat because we are straight forward and in your face and controversial. It’s not always positive, but I know we can look back and say, ‘You know what, b*tch, that wasn’t cool.’

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What other lessons have you learned from the show through watching yourself?
Just to probably listen. Everyone always says it on the show, ‘Evelyn goes from 0-10.’ And that’s how I’ve always been since I was 13. Where I grew up, most people wouldn’t say, Okay, let’s have a conversation. That’s not the way things were dealt with where I grew up. You running your mouth? You talking sh*t? Things happen.

There’s consequences for that. I’ve learned it’s not all about screaming and yelling and, ‘Oh, you’re a f*cking b*tch.’ Most of the time I don’t get my point across.

So Basketball Wives has been kind of like an anger management tool for you?
Yeah, it has. I was born and raised in the Bronx and went to public school in Manhattan. New York is a hustle and bustle type of place, you’re in cab getting cursed out and everyone is so high-strung. You’re always on defense mode. I love New York; I wouldn’t take anything back, but you become a little aggressive [Laughs].

In your last chat with [Jennifer Williams], a lot was said. Could you ever move forward into a space where you could at least be in the same room with her?
I think so. A lot was happening during that time. I’m one of those people, I said some things and I was just like, that was not cooI. I live by loyalty and I feel like at that point I broke the friend code. I should have never broken that code and I should have never stooped down to that level. Like, if she wants to do interviews and slick comments, it is what it is. I don’t hate her. People just get caught up in this industry; you do interviews and say certain things.

I truly don’t wish her anything negative, we’ve gone through a lot together as friends from moving out, men drama, all types of stuff. It’s just tough having to relive it then talk about it. You never have that time for healing. But now that the show is done and things are calming down, I’m not angry anymore about it and I don’t hate her at all. I don’t really hate anybody, I was just upset how things were handled.

Do you miss her or the friendship?
I miss her. We were friends for 10 years. I was in her wedding, so you know yeah, and your thinking you guys are going to do this show together, your BFF, and then your kind of like what happened? And we are mutual friends with a lot of people, so everything else became weird energy. It was tough.

Now, Shaunie [O'Neal]‘s been taking a lot of heat too. What are your thoughts on that?
I’ve had conversations with Shaunie, and she is in a tough place because she wears all hats, she’s Executive Producer, a cast mate, friend to us…it’s just tough because you’re being pulled from every angle. I can honestly say that from season 1, Shaunie has been an advocate to find a balance.

We filmed a charity event for kids with cancer and it was the most amazing charity event that I’ve ever went to. Even the camera men, grown men, were crying. But it didn’t make the cut and they chose to air the part with me calling someone a fucking bitch instead. She’s an Executive Producer, but she doesn’t know what tapes are being sent to VH1; she doesn’t know everything that is going on. But I can guarantee you that it will look different and not only because of all the controversy, but because she’s been working so hard to find a balance.

Speaking of Shaunie, many are left wondering about her attempt at damage control that occurred at the end of the season finale.  In a totally manufactured scene, Shaunie sits down with her pastor to discuss the implications of the show, ie, her best friends’ actions (never her own, of course).  She says,“At this point, I can no longer defend it.  I can no longer stand by it.”

She continued on the finale by saying, “I’m going into business meetings, and in the back of my head, I’m wondering what they really think about me.  Especially if it’s a black woman or man.  In the back of my mind, I’m like ‘I wonder if she thinks I’m like that … I wonder if she thinks I’m a ghetto hot mess?”

I highly doubt that Shaunie will be leaving the show as she implied…I just think it’s a total PR move.

Also not going anywhere?  Jennifer!  Sister2Sister is reporting that despite the brawling, bullying, screaming, and purse smacking (all of which she was on the receiving end), Jenn will be returning for season five.  Her rep says, “Jennifer is not saying goodbye to the ‘Basketball Wives’ series.  Her blog was meant to clarify where she stands in regards to the drama that took place during the season finale in Tahiti, not as a goodbye letter.”

When will these women learn?  Are they all totally off their rockers?  I’ll tell you who is actually making sense these days–NeNe Leakes (never thought I’d type that!).  She tells the same site, “The truth is the truth. It has just gone too far. Too many fights, my God!”

NeNe, who is friends with Jenn explains that viewers like the drama from time to time, but BBW is just too over the top.  She says, “We don’t do that [on RHOA]. We definitely have had our verbal fights, but never physical fights. I can’t believe the fighting and the bullying. It looks bad. It really looks bad.”

She continues, “They can’t want to do too much in their careers. A good ole argument, everybody likes that every now and then to tune into, but you couldn’t be trying to have too much in your career because that stuff, it don’t work. You can’t represent a product and be that way. That just doesn’t work.”  And NeNe would know, given all her recent good fortune!  Maybe she should do a crossover onto Basketball Wives!

THOUGHTS ON EVELNY’S INTERVIEW? WILL SHAUNIE LEAVE THE SHOW? DOES NENE HAVE A RIGHT TO COMMENT ON THE DRAMA OF BASKETBALL WIVES?

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