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.”
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?