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Draya Michele

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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Last night’s Basketball Wives LA picked up where last week’s drama left off…a whole lotta Jackie hatin’. With the ladies comparing notes on gossip the trip doesn’t go as smoothly as a relaxing trip to Hawaii should go, but hey, that’s why we watch!

Yeehaw! The tense group of ladies is heading horse back riding with a dry Draya executing knock-knock jokes about avoiding the drama. Jackie thinks the entire outing is fake. Her horse is very feisty. Draya keeps telling her that the horse can sense her bad vibe. Jackie does not find her humorous at all. All of the ladies, sans Jackie, are getting along and having so much fun.

Malaysia, the sisters Govan and Imani convene at the hotel for mimosas. Imani tells Gloria that her beef with Laura was based on Jackie’s twisted gossip and things between her and Gloria’s sister are cool. As if she could sense the women discussing her, Jackie walks in followed by Draya. Jackie immediately cuts through the small talk because she wants to rid the group of the mounting tension…but she seems very defensive.

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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?


Aloha Basketball Wives L.A.! The ladies head to paradise and drama was not far behind. Jackie encourages Imani to confront Laura…but when she does, I’m guessing Jackie wishes she had kept her mouth shut. There’s about to be a coup amongst the group — after a successful surfing lesson.

The sisters Govan are shopping for swimwear to take on their upcoming trip to Hawaii. Laura quickly runs down her take on the ladies. She thinks after her talk with Jackie, things are straight between them. Her friendship with “Iman” has gone from a ten to a cool two, and don’t even get her started on Draya. Gloria hopes they can all have a lighthearted good time. Good luck with that.

Across town, Imani is hiring movers to rid her garage of all of Laura’s belongings. Imani had agreed to let her store some things when she moved back to Los Angeles, but now that she’s heard that Laura has been talking smack about her she’s no longer going to be her free storage unit.

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In the world of Basketball Wives: L.A., it’s hard to keep up with who is the lady Jackie Christie and her cast mates love to hate. On the most recent episode, Laura Govan is the target, but up until then, Draya Michele bore the brunt of Jackie’s wrath. After the ladies confronted Draya about past child neglect allegations (leaving her in tears), the group received backlash for bullying, with Jackie as the ringleader.

In a recent interview, Jackie speaks out about the “misconception.” She says, “The biggest misconception is that we are mean and bullies, and we don’t like Draya, but that is not true. We all have something to offer; it’s a lot of judging that goes on, especially because of the way things seem on TV. But once you get to know us as a whole, we all are not bullies and are caring, compassionate women. But we are not bullies—we all are really good people once you get to know us.” Say it one more time and people may just start to believe it!

Of the infamous scene, Jackie, like all reality veterans before her, blames editing for creating a situation that appeared to have all the ladies ganging up on Draya. Jackie explains,“See a lot of people didn’t get to see everything that was being discussed. It comes off like I was being a bully, and it seemed as though we were all just coming down on her, but there were a lot of things that was edited out. Draya wasn’t crying from what I was saying to her.”

She continues, “A lot of things were talked about and said throughout the whole conversation, and yes, I am crazy about my husband, but who wouldn’t be? But I wasn’t just saying it to Draya in a way that came off to be aggressive, even though that is how it may have appeared. Yes, I do have a strong personality, but I also am a loving and caring person.”

Finally, moving on from the Draya drama, Jackie addresses her missing cast mates, Kimsha Artest and Tanya Williams. If you recall, it has been SEVERAL episodes since we’ve laid eyes on those women. Despite a fake facebook page hurling accusations that Shaunie O’Neal orchestrated their absence, both women claim they left on their own because they didn’t like the way their cast members were behaving constant drama.

However, Jackie says we shouldn’t count Kimsha and Tanya out for good yet. She reveals, “I like both of them. I do miss their presence on the show—they are going to come back on a few of the future episodes. We stopped filming now, but they did do a lot of filming separate from myself, because a lot of times we don’t film together. But I do like both of them; I would love to see them be a part of the show again in the future.”

Switching gears from Los Angeles to Miami, recently Royce Reed of the original Basketball Wives claimed she was leaving the show. Once again heading to Twitter to track her career decisions, Royce has changed her tune and decided to return for season four.

Royce tweeted, “Well, As stated last week pertaining 2 BBW season 4 tht things may change and after SEVERAL conversations I have decided 2 return for Season 4. How much, I don’t know because I won’t compromise my career. I was NEVER cut/fired and my decision to return is solely based on negotiations, and messages from my fans. I love y’all and u will see a different side of me Season 4. #ImOuttie”

While many of her fellow cast mates have threatened not to film with Royce, she did receive some love from Tami Roman, who responded, “OK, I don’t know whether 2hug u or smack the ish outta u-girl don’t take me on emotional roller coaster LOL-welcome back :)”

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JACKIE’S INTERVIEW? IS SHE A BULLY? ARE YOU EXCITED ROYCE WILL BE RETURNING TO BASKETBALL WIVES: MIAMI? DO YOU THINK SHE WAS EVER REALLY GOING TO LEAVE?

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