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Draya Howard

Basketball Wives: L.A.’s Imani Showalter does not agree that what fans saw on the hit VH1 show is an accurate representation of who she is. This season, viewers saw her bash young newbie Draya Michele and befriend Laura Govan only to toss her belongings into storage. We also got to watch an awkward date. In an interview with VH1 Access, Imani opens up about why she joined the cast, her thoughts on how she portrayed, Draya-gate and just how crazy she thinks Jackie Christie is.

Gloria Govan originally approached her about doing the show, to which Imani responded, “HELL to the NO!!!” However, she continues, “About three months later I was contacted by the VH1 and they gave me an overview of how they wanted this version of BBW to be and the direction they wanted to move in (totally different than Miami, a more positive show without all the fighting and drink throwing), and so after that meeting I agreed.”

Imani reveals, “I’d known Gloria for about a year and was introduced to her sister Laura maybe about 6 months before we started filming. Kimsha (whom I adore) and I met while we both lived Indiana a few years prior when our guys were both playing for the Pacers. The other girls I met on the first day of shooting.” Initially, she had reservations about putting her life out there for the world to see.

She admits, “Before we started filming I was very nervous about how this would be received by my loved ones. I have always been a VERY private person and I like my anonymity, however, I thought this would be a great opportunity to show the other side of being a BBW. We are mothers taking care of our families, supportive friends, faithful partners, and stable positive people.”

Jumping off to what seemed to be the buzz word of the season, Imani shares, “Not all BBW were ‘groupies’ that got lucky, which is a common misconception I hear over and over. I met Stephen in the Lincoln Tunnel (in a car so I didn’t even know he was tall Hahira) not in a club, and I was working holding it down for myself with a VERY well-paying job on Wall Street…. Just FYI.” You know what I think is a common misconception? That you don’t have to be an actual wife to be on a show called Basketball Wives

The ladies don’t get to preview the episodes before they air. They are watching along with viewers, which means the ladies have just learned how they were edited. As for Imani, she says, “I was extremely disappointed with the way I was portrayed. I feel as though I was portrayed as judgmental and mean, which is the farthest thing from who I am… To me, they painted the show to make Draya Little Bo Peep and all the other girls as the Big Bad Wolves, and it was sooooooo not like that in real life.”

Little Bo Peep? Perhaps Draya did get a more sympathetic edit, but that doesn’t change the fact that, edit or not, Imani still called her cast mate “worthless.” She explains, “That was a very emotional and impulsive action on my part. Prior to us going into the passion party (completely off camera and in the hotel lobby), it was brought to all of our attention by Jackie, about Draya’s arrest and what the charges were.” So, Jackie, huh?

She explains, “At the time, Casey Anthony was a huge topic in the news for ‘neglecting’ her child as well, and we all know how that ended…So when the box of adjectives was passed around for me to pick from, I looked on top and that was one of the first words I saw, and out of emotion and in the heat of the moment I just picked it and put it in Draya’s box. I regretted it instantly.”

When asked if Imani feels that the show portrays Draya as being bullied by the other women, she responds, “As a viewer I agree, but as someone that was in a lot of the scenes for the full 2-4 hour duration, I strongly disagree! There were a lot of things that transpired that the viewers have no clue about because A LOT of important details were edited out.”

Speaking of Draya, lately there have been some rumors of a Kimmie Kardashian-esque tape (minus the potty play) that documents the BBW’s reality star’s sexy time with R&B bad boy (I would really like to call him something else, but I’m trying to have love in my heart) Chris Brown. The pair dated for most of 2010, and both are denying that any such video exists. TMZ is reporting that Draya is contacting attorneys in an attempt to stop whoever is spreading the allegations.

Maybe Draya will address the Chris Brown gossip on the first part of the reunion, which airs tonight on VH1 (8PM ET). What we can expect, according to Imani, is for the women’s true colors to shine through. She teases, “I think we all showed who we REALLY are at the reunion. Some came out redeemed, others were exposed for the nut bag they are… You just have to watch.” Nut bag? I wonder to whom she is referring? Certainly not Jackie, even though she answered a resounding “YES!” to fan questions as to whether her co-star was actually crazy…

Watch a preview clip below!

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IMANI’S INTERVIEW? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE WAS UNFAIRLY EDITED? DO YOU THINK THE ALLEGED DRAYA/CHRIS BROWN SEX TAPE EXISTS?


On last night’s Basketball Wives: L.A., the ladies return to Los Angeles where things with Jackie only get worse. Gloria needs a break from her relationship with Matt and Laura gears up for her move to Orlando. Oh, and Kimsha returns!

Back on the mainland, Laura and Malaysia head to Imani’s house to get their “relaxation on.” Apparently my plans for relaxing (quiet time, maybe a massage) are far different from theirs… gossiping about Jackie. Malaysia reveals that Jackie has reached out to her and wants to meet with the group. Laura doesn’t ever want to talk to Jackie again, but Malaysia is worried. She believes that clearly Jackie is off her meds and may need some friends to help.

Shocking! As soon as Jackie runs out of friends, Kimsha Artest (who is in the weekly credits, but has been absent since episode two) resurfaces. She’s been “traveling.” The next few minutes present Jackie talking and talking while Kimsha’s eyes glaze over… Kimsha voices over the scene about how much she hates drama and how she’s having a difficult time following Jackie’s train of thought. I’m disappointed she didn’t get more air time… she seems to be about as real as it gets for this show!

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Jackie Christie
Following the highly dramatic recent episode of Basketball Wives LA, Reality Tea caught up with the woman in the midst of it all — Jackie Christie for an exclusive interview!

In our chat with Jackie, she opens up about the drama involving her costars, the public perception that she’s the one stirring things up, her treatment of Draya Michele, whether she has any regrets about doing the show as well as her business endeavors (she is currently writing her fifth book). Below is our interview with Jackie –

Reality Tea: Hi Jackie, Why Did You Decide to do Basketball Wives?

Jackie: When the producers called me regarding the show I really felt comfortable and knew that it would be a good show, I also knew 2 of the girls prior to filming the show. Having been married for a very long time and having been with my husband Doug through his entire NBA career, I knew I had a lot I could offer the girls as far as experience knowledge and leadership and I’m grateful for having that opportunity to have shared so much with them all.

Reality Tea: How Do You Respond To The Criticism That You Are The One Stirring Things Up Amongst the Remainder of The Cast?

Jackie: That bothers me at times when people fail to realize that I was the one being talked about negatively in the beginning of our fall out, and discussed it with my cast mate who apologized and said she was kidding. But most people in my life that know me already know that I’m a very real and up front person. I believe communication is very important in any relationship, so trying to talk about it with the ladies was my motive but it was not received well. I just tell people when asked to watch the whole season before finalizing their judgment.

Reality Tea: How Hard Was It Being Confronted By Your Castmates On The Most Recent Episode In Hawaii and Ultimately Being Asked To Leave? Who Do You Think Is To Blame For All The Drama?

Jackie: It was bittersweet because I was a bit disappointed that the girls were not able to come clean and put all their issues on the table once and for all. Just be honest, then proceed to discuss those matters like adults but I did have my wonderful husband by my side after the drama, which meant the world to me. I was able to talk to him, and vent as he is my best friend and biggest supporter. He knows me thoroughly & totally understands my heart, and that I care for all my friends, even when they are wrong. With that being said, you will all have to stay tuned until the next episode to see how it all turns out.

Reality Tea: After Watching The Show, Do You Think You Received a Fair Edit?

Jackie: I do, because the editors are given footage and they proceed to then cut it to put the show together. Sometimes they may leave out a line or two or make it look one way when it was maybe different but I feel like they did a great job. I’m happy with the show and I feel like VH1 and Shed Media were awesome to work with.

Reality Tea: Do You Have Any Regrets About Doing The Show?

Jackie: No, I don’t have any regrets but I would rather the incidents with the other cast members would not have happened. I would have liked everyone to come clean and put all their cards on the table, but I have a big heart and forgive people easily.

More of Jackie’s interview below in which she talks Draya, the drama with her daughter, and season 2!

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Basketball Wives L.A.’s star Draya Michele is often referred to as a groupie. Now she may be adding movie star to her resume…”home movie” star, that is.

Friday, per the usual, Draya was tweeting up a storm as she got ready for an evening out on the town. Things then took a drastic turn when Draya revealed that she has an intimate home video that may be surfacing. “So someone is threatening to leak a very private movie,” she says, noting, “There’s only 2 people in possession of it and I am one.”

Draya went on to thank her supporters and issued a “pre-apology” to her family. “I just wanna pre apologize to my family, my son, my friends, and my supporters. We live in a very cruel word… I always assumed it was love that drove certain individuals crazy…. Come to find out it was MONEY and the want for it the whole time,” wrote Draya.

There has been no mention of the tape since, and Draya seems to be forgetting her troubles while partying in West Palm Beach. A screenshot of her tweets is below -


Meanwhile, Gloria Govan is taking the news of her ex-fiancé’s new personal life in stride…you know, those rumors that he has been getting more than a little cozy with Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria. In an interview with Sister2Sister, Gloria opens up about the toll the show took on her relationship with Matt Barnes, her future dating life and those pesky stories about how quickly Matt has moved on…

While Gloria doesn’t blame the show for the demise of their relationship, she does believe that editing didn’t paint a true picture of the kind of fiancé she was to Matt. For example, when she told her sister that Matt “can bounce” if he’s not happy with how she does things, Gloria claims that the scene made her look disrespectful to her mate. She admits, “That was a heartfelt conversation between me and my sister. I was on the verge of tears. They didn’t show all that. That’s not how I feel. I actually kinda like him.”

Of the show, Gloria says, “I think it definitely brought on added stress to our relationship. We’re filming five days a week for hours at a time. That brings on added drama and added stress. The show wasn’t the reason Matt and I have gone our separate ways, but it has added some unnecessary drama.”

However, while Gloria seems to choose her words carefully in regard to her ex, she’s skeptical of his denial that anything is going on between him and Eva Longoria. She jokes, “Dang. I haven’t even been out of the house for a month.” She insinuates that the rumors are true, stating, “Those are the things that float around that start to get to you in your relationship. I know he denied it, but I don’t really know too much about that situation to say it’s not true, but I don’t know enough to say that it is. It wouldn’t surprise me.” Hmmm…is she implying it happened before they split?

She continues, “I’m not sure if I think they’re rumors. I think at this point having been with Matt, I don’t really put anything past him. He hasn’t directly said, ‘I’m doing this. I’m doing that.’ I’ve heard from some sources that it could be a definite possibility.”

While Gloria says she isn’t dating yet, she isn’t opposed to pursuing a new relationship. She reveals, “At some point in time when I am starting to look to seriously date, it could be a celebrity or another athlete from another sport.” No basketballers? Gloria asserts, “I’m attracted to athletes, but I have enough respect for Matt not to date one of his colleagues.” Plus, I’m guessing she’d rather have a celebrity.

Well, as nice as that is she does get in a few digs…perhaps aimed at Eva or maybe castmate Draya Michele. Gloria muses, “If you continue to date athletes, you’re going to be considered a groupie. At some point in time, you have to have respect for yourself and not dip into the same cookie jar.”

A new episode of Basketball Wives: L.A. airs tonight at 8PM ET on VH1.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ANY TRUTH TO THE MATT BARNES/EVA LONGORIA RUMORS? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF GLORIA’S INTERVIEW? ARE YOU SHOCKED TO HEAR THAT DRAYA HAS A SEX TAPE?

Draya Michele was recently interviewed by Wendy Williams (oh Lawd!) in the “Hot Topics” segment of her talk show and I have to say Draya totally held her own against Wendy’s digs. The two actually played well off one another… perhaps Draya could be the Andy Richter to Wendy’s Conan O’Brien.

Right from the start of the interview, Wendy asks Draya how she made it on Basketball Wives: L.A. given that she’s not even dating a basketball player, much less married to one. Um, has Wendy seen the show? I once saw Michael Jordan play minor league baseball (yes, it was during that career hiccup) and had a teacher in high school who played college ball with him at Chapel Hill. That pretty much qualifies me as a Basketball “Wife.”

Wendy follows up by calling her guest “slutty” and questions Draya about that pesky rumor that Laura Govan’s ex boyfriend and baby daddy Gilbert Arenas had his way with her in a locker room before passing her off to a couple of teammates? (Keeping it classy, Gilbs!) Draya handles herself with humor, responding,“I would have millions [of ball players] by now if I were doing crazy, wild stuff like that.” She continues, “The three basketball players… I haven’t even been with three basketball players in one month, let alone day.” Jokingly, Draya adds, “I like to space them out a little bit.”

Wendy refers to her guest, saying, “This girl has gotten around.” Draya takes the show’s host in stride. She claims it’s been over three years since she has dated a basketball player. After being asked if she fears future suitors will see her as nothing more than a trick due to the public nature of her escapades, Draya explains to Wendy, “Anything you do in your past can be cleaned up.”

Draya also doesn’t get visibly rattled when asked about the child endangerment charges which have been alleged against her. Draya responds, “I discussed it in 2010. I discussed it on the show, and it’s just like, I just want to move on with my life and show the people that I’m not this person that they created me out to be.” She then changes the subject by telling Wendy she sees a bug in her hair (it’s hilarious). When the twenty-six-year-old Draya is asked her son’s age (he’s nine), Draya laughs that it is no time to start with mathematics.

Discussing her nine month relationship with hip-hop star Chris Brown, Draya says it occurred post Rihanna and that he was never violent towards her. She reveals, “We really didn’t discuss her. I saw a different Chris Brown.”

When it comes to her stripping past, Draya is brutally honest when she states: “I stripped for a few years. Kinda like off and on just whenever I needed something.”

After receiving backlash for the interview, Wendy Williams spoke up, citing Draya’s refusal to answer her inquiries as questionable. Wendy states, “If you’re going to continue to be on your back and only exemplify behavior that we saw on ‘Basketball Wives,’ or defensive, nasty behavior — which I don’t think you were nasty yesterday. I actually liked meeting you, and I loved your Fendi dress — but I don’t think that you did anything to defend your reputation of coming up lying down. That’s all.”

The host continues, comparing and contrasting Draya’s celebrity to that of Kimmie Kardashian. She says, “Both of you have had your come-up on your backs. Here’s the difference, Draya, Draya’s people and Draya’s fans: Kim owns how she came up. Kim then got a machine behind her, led by her mother and the rest of her family, and has swapped America with some Jedi mind trick where we now love the Kardashians for good, for bad or indifferent.”

I can’t tell if that’s a slam against Draya or a slam against Kimmie and momager Kris Jenner! But at least Draya can take comfort in the fact that Wendy Williams liked her wardrobe. Personally, I thought the interview was equal parts snark and side-stepping, with both ladies holding their own. I don’t think that Draya was portrayed as a victim any more than Wendy came across as a bully (well, maybe a little…). I’d still like to see the pair collaborate with their own gig.

The video interview is below!

Photo Credit: Koi Sojer / PR Photos

YOUR THOUGHTS? DID WENDY OVERSTEP ANY BOUNDARIES IN THE INTERVIEW? DO YOU THINK DRAYA SHOULD HAVE ANSWERED THE QUESTIONS MORE DIRECTLY?


Following the ambush on the recent episode of Basketball Wives LA, led by her costars, Draya Michele is now speaking out on doing the show plus the way she was bullied treated by said costars.

Below are excerpts from Draya’s interview with Sister 2 Sister -

Tracy: Has the show been what you expected?
Draya: It’s pretty much worse than I expected only because I’m always the topic of the discussion and I really didn’t expect to play such a major role

Tracy: Do you think they haven’t warmed to you because you’re not a wife?
Draya: I think they don’t have a respect for me because I’m not with any basketball players. I don’t think it’s about not being a wife. It’s only two people that’s married; everybody else is just technically a babymama.

Tracy: Your co-star Imani Showalter called you “worthless.” She apologized, but why do you think she and some of the others have such a strong and negative opinion of you?
Draya: They say a lot of things, but I’ve heard worse things from people who are more important. They’re not that important to me, but the things that they say are not that important. Everybody has dirt. Everybody has issues. If you can throw stones at somebody else, there’s obviously something going on with you. I don’t care to know about anybody’s personal life. I’m in my business.

Tracy: You’ve said on the show that you’re going to stop being nice. When?
Draya: You can expect a lot of things. Just when you think it’s safe, it’s kinda not again. I can’t fly off the hinges at first … If I fight with everybody, there’s no more me. I know what I’m doing. I’m playing my part the way that I’m supposed to. I don’t kiss nobody’s butt.

On twitter, a fan asked Draya what the other ladies would have to talk about on the show if she wasn’t on it, she responded: “Menopause !!!! Lol” Ouch.

And while Draya, real name Andraya M. Howard, maintained on the show that the police report detailing how she neglected her son was fake, the reporter who first broke the news back in January insists the report was absolutely the real deal. Draya even went as far as to claim the reporter lost his job for doing the story — which also appears to be false. Below is a statement given by Philadelphia journalist Steve Henshaw -

“This item was published in the 9/16/11 edition of the Eagle about Howard’s court case. The article I wrote was based entirely on the police report (the affidavit of probable cause) that I had in hand. After Howard’s mother called to complain that the story was inaccurate, I called the police officer and he said the story was very accurate. Howard’s entering ARD status is tantamount to a guilty plea. Why would a judge order her to 40 hours of family counseling if he/she didn’t believe that what the police officer reported he saw/heard was true? Andraya Howard shows her character when she accuses the police and the paper of making up facts after she has under oath before a judge accepted the punishment.”

The original article written by Steve was published back in January. A new article was written in September, which revealed Draya was in fact sentenced for the child neglect case involving her son. Below is an excerpt -

“Howard was accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which allows first-time offenders to clear their record after serving probation. She was sentenced in Berks County Court to two years of probation and ordered to attend family counseling and perform 40 hours of community service on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.”

According to the original report (which is still up on the website), Draya — a former stripper — was arrested back in January of this year after her 7-year-old son called 911 at about 2 a.m. and told dispatchers he was home alone. He told a Patrolman he called his mother’s cell phone about 20 times to find out where she was. She said she was at a tanning salon and would be home soon.

Cops revealed the apartment looked like it had been ransacked, with women’s undergarments scattered throughout the living room. A small dog was in a cage, and dog feces and dog urine were in several places in the apartment. Cops witnessed Draya’s son getting a TV dinner from the freezer, standing on the counter and putting it into the microwave. Draya’s mom was then given custody of her son.

So there you have it folks! It appears Draya lied on the show about a reporter “faking” a police report. Plus why would anyone or any journalist for that matter go through the process of falsifying a police report as that’s a pretty serious offense. Not that this excuses the behavior of some of Draya’s costars or anything.

As for Draya, she maintains she loves her son very much. While the episode aired on Monday night, she tweeted: “Of course im going to cry. I’m a mother. This involves my child. I will cut, steal, kill for him.” Below are some photos of Draya with her son Kniko -

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON DRAYA’S INTERVIEW AND THE POLICE REPORT BEING REAL? DOES THIS CHANGE YOUR VIEW OF HER OR THE CONFRONTATION BY THE LADIES?

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