On last night’s Basketball Wives: L.A., Imani and Laura need action, Malaysia designs baby bling, and the sisters Govan can’t wait for Draya to get in the ring…literally.
After the wedding, everyone heads to the clerb to celebrate with the happy couple. Gloria remarks that she thinks Jackie and the girls are taking it hard that Draya was a no-show. Um, why? They all seem to pretty much dislike her, but whatevs. They can’t focus on that when Imani starts crying to Jackie about how lonely she feels and how she’s given up on love. Crying to the bride after her wedding. Sounds like someone is trying to steal some wedding thunder, and now Imani is the center of attention. No one seems to mind, though, and the ladies group-hug it out.
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As the new season of Basketball Wives LA heats up, we are learning a bit more about the ladies and their pasts. Laura Govan made a splash in the premiere after she attacked fellow cast mate Malaysia Pargo. After the smack down, the two women maturely (shocking!) discussed the situation and vowed to move forward with their friendship. Laura blamed her anger on a bitter break-up with her long time love, Gilbert Arenas.
In a recent interview, Laura opens up about reconciling with her ex, the drama behind the show, and why she’s more than what you see on the VH1 show. Check out her interview with Essence.com below.
We don’t know much about you except what we read on blogs and see on the show. Who is Laura Govan?
One thing is that I’m a dedicated mom of four. I’ve played basketball all my life. I coached on a college level and I attempted to play overseas, but I was injured. It was time for basketball to end for me. I worked for the Golden State Warriors, which is where I met Gilbert [Arenas], my fiancé. Then I got my masters in Sports Psychology. I was in a masters PhD program but I started having children so I stopped. I’ve had four kids in five years. My youngest is three months old.
You refer to Gilbert as your fiancé. You two are back together?
Yes, we are, and we plan to get married soon. When and where, I don’t know yet. I feel like we’re already married though, ten years, four kids later. People say he’s a mess, and I’m a mess. You know what, we’re each other’s messes. Everybody has breakup and make-up moments. It just so happens that ours is out in the public. You learn to grow. At this point in our lives Gilbert and I have been there, done that; the drama, the chaos. We’re older now, and we’re more mature. Now we’re better parents, and we’re taking the steps to make things better. Regardless of our past, we want our kids to see a good future.
You got a lot of flack for fighting Malaysia on the first episode of “Basketball Wives: L.A.” Looking back, what goes though your mind?
I think it’s horrible. We look uneducated… it was just a really bad look. I feel bad because when you get to know her she’s a good person. On her side, it was a defense situation, and on my end, I was just going through a lot and she happened to push the wrong buttons that day. I feel like had it not been her that provoked me, it might have been someone else. As soon as the altercation ended, there was a little boy there, and I saw my son in him. I just started bawling. That’s when I thought, ‘you know what, I need to go see a counselor.’ I need to start taking steps to take care of myself. For the past five years I’ve had baby after baby. People ask me, ‘do you have postpartum depression?’ I don’t even know what that is. Then the chaos with Gilbert… it’s just been a very chaotic time.
What do you think of the criticism of the “Basketball Wives” franchise?
I think it’s right, to a certain extent. The producers do what they need to for TV. It’s really sad that people want to see us fighting, pulling each other’s hair out and arguing. But you have to pick and take. There’s a lot of good things about us as well, some of us are businesswomen, authors, designers. My sister Gloria is doing a bunch of things. I have a clothing line for after pregnancy. We all have things going outside of what people see for entertainment. I think it’s fair, I think its TV, its entertainment. Don’t go to church talking about it, don’t go watching it for morals, don’t go to church praying for us. [laughs] No, do pray for us. Don’t take it there, it’s just entertainment.
In other Basketball Wives: L.A. news, it has been revealed that Draya Michele isn’t the only cast member with allegedly shady parenting skills. After breaking the story on Draya, MediaTakeOut.com is alleging that cast mate (and pot stirrer) Imani Showalter may have some skeletons of her own in the closet. As you may recall, Imani is having a hard time accepting Draya into the group because of her questionable past.
It’s being reported that when she began dating basketballer Stephen Jackson, Imani told him she only had one child, although in fact she had two children. Apparently Jackson was notorious for dating women with no children, so Imani didn’t want to ruin the potential relationship by revealing that she had multiple children.
According to a source, she had her son live with his father’s family while she pursued a two-year relationship with Jackson before calling off their wedding when he requested she sign a prenuptial agreement. There is no word on whether she regained custody of her son after her relationship crumbled. And she had all those things to say about Draya? It’s a pot/kettle situation if I’ve ever seen one!
A new episode of Basketball Wives: L.A. airs tonight at 8:00 PM ET on VH1.
It’s the start of episode two of Basketball Wives: L.A., and the ladies of Los Angeles are already brawling over brunch. Shaunie O’Neal should be so proud. Malaysia Pargo and Laura Govan are in a fight so large it takes several minutes and several crew members to break it up while Tanya sits at the table like she is waiting for her order to be taken. Classic. I’m impressed to see that most of these ladies are actually currently married to basketball players though, so that is a plus.
Gloria Govan decides to have a barbeque and invites all of the ladies, sans Malaysia…which makes sense seeing that Gloria is Laura’s sister. It will be the first chance for the women to rehash the event. Gloria wasn’t at the lunch, so she is prepared to jump Malaysia the next time she is in the same vicinity. Jackie Christie, Gloria, and Imani Showalter have a laugh over the fact that Malaysia’s real first name is LaQuisha. Imani tells Gloria that Tanya wouldn’t lift a finger to help break up the fight.
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The L.A. cast wasted no time as a physical altercation occurred on the premiere episode! Laura Govan and Malaysia LaQuisha Pargocame to blows after Laura referred to Malaysia as a “rat.” Even more shocking, Laura had just given birth to her fourth child 3 weeks earlier.
In a recent radio interview, Laura’s little sister Gloria Govan reveals she was “upset” about the fight. “Ooh, I was so upset. But you know when I realized what it was really about, I couldn’t really be mad at her. She was going through so much stuff,” said Gloria about her sister. Gloria also promises that fight will be the only physical altercation on the show. How disappointing!
When it comes to her relationship with fiance Matt Barnes, Gloria admits the 5-year romance hasn’t been perfect. This was clearly evident following Matt’s arrest last year for domestic violence. Even more surprising, she doesn’t deny that he’s never been unfaithful to her. “I’m not gonna sit up here and be like, ‘No, you know he’s perfect and we’re fabulous’… it’s never been in my face,” said Gloria.
The rumor today is that Matt might have dumped Gloria. Below is more gossip and secrets about each of the Basketball Wives L.A. cast member as well as their bios!
A new episode of Basketball Wives L.A. airs tonight on VH1 at 8/7c.
Draya Michele – Draya is currently a model and aspiring actress in Los Angeles with several music videos and magazine covers to her credit. A controversial beauty with a history of dating players, the funny and engaging Draya says “I have a million haters. I open the list of haters and it rolls across the floor.” No word yet if any of the new LA wives make that list.
Gossip - Before joining Basketball Wives LA, Draya (real name Andraya M. Howard) had a pretty poor reputation as being a big time groupie. One who has allegedly slept with a ton of athletes, rappers, and entertainers. The former stripper is from Philly and is also a single mother of one. Draya, 25, actually lost custody of her 7-year-old son earlier this year after she was arrested for child endangerment. Her son called 911 and told cops he was being left home alone on a regular basis. Draya also dated R&B singer Chris Brown just last year.
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After taking heat for the portrayal of black women on Vh1’s Basketball Wives, Executive drama starter Producer, Shanunie O’Neal is speaking out in an article she wrote for, of all places, CNN.
Explaining her motivation for creating Basketball Wives, Shaunie describes: “I wanted to show what life is really like when you are with a professional athlete — and that sometimes all that glitters isn’t gold…” Of course, what came with that was non-stop drama off the court that totally eclipsed anything happening on it!
Of course, Shaunie defends her money making venture show and all the screaming and backstabbing that goes with it (because otherwise who would watch): “As you see on the show, I’m not a big supporter of the bickering, drink throwing and fighting, but when you put a group of strong, independent and vocal women who are going through or just came out of a bad relationship together, there’s bound to be a little drama…”
As for criticism of how black women are depicted on Basketball Wives, according to Shaunie she is well aware: “I certainly understand the opinion that the shows portrayal of black women is beginning to look somewhat negative. ” Shaunie goes onto describe: “The problem for me is when black women are portrayed as only being that way and labeled different than their non-black counterparts for the same type of behavior. That’s when it becomes negative and damaging to our image.” Good point – I think some recent episodes of Real Housewives of Orange County demonstrate that!
Shaunie better have her defenses up for the upcoming Basketball Wives: Los Angeles because the dramz has already started! NBA star Gilbert Arenas is claiming castmember Laura Govan who is the baby mama of his three children with another on the way, is illegally exploiting him by participating in the show so, according to TMZ, he is suing to prevent the show from airing!
According to the lawsuit, even though he will not be mentioned by name on the show, his name was already used in the press release to describe Govan’s relationship to professional basketball and “the very presence of defendant Govan and the title of the show is an obvious reference to [Arenas].” In addition to asking the judge to issue an injunction banning the show from airing, Arenas also wants cold hard cash.
Arenas also asserts Govan isn’t a Basketball Wife (true, but are ANY of them?!) but signed up for the show because she wants her 15 minutes of fame on the Tee Vee. Laura who was with Arenas for years but never married, also allegedly had an affair with Shaunie’s ex husband Shaquille O’Neal! Yikes! A picture of Arenas is below.
Laura photo credit – Jonavennci Divad.
So, what do you think of Shaunie’s explaination of how Basketball Wives portrays black women? Will you be watching Basketball Wives: Los Angeles?
Following the mega success of Basketball Wives, VH1 is now planning to expand the series with a new spinoff!
The network announced this week that Basketball Wives L.A. will debut in August! The new series is descried as “explosive” and will follow the lives of the wives and girlfriends of players on both the Lakers and their cross-town rivals, the Clippers.
The Basketball Wives LA cast includes: Kimsha Artest (wife of Ron Artest, Los Angeles Lakers), Gloria Govan (fiancée of Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Lakers), Laura Govan(sister of Gloria Govan and former fiance of NBA player Gilbert Arenas whom she has three kids by), Jackie Christie (wife of Doug Christie, former player for the Los Angeles Clippers) and Imani Showalter (fiancée of Stephen Jackson, Charlotte Bobcats) as well as others.
Shaunie O’Nealwill also serve as the executive producer of this 10 episode, hour-long series. The press release promises “cameras will follow these women as they attempt to juggle their relationships, infidelity issues, children and friendships while trying to find the perfect balance between supporting their families and realizing their own career ambitions.”
“Basketball Wives LA” is coming to VH1 Monday, August 29 at 8 PM ET/PT.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE NEW SERIES & CAST? ARE YOU EXCITED?
Gloria speaks out on the drama with Royce, her fiance Matt Barnes stating that he is “disgusted” with the show, and briefly touches on the scandal of her sister, Laura Govan, having an affair with Shaquille O’Neal. Gloria also reveals her wedding is coming up in August and that she will not be returning for a second season.
And how do you feel about the show? Do you feel like your portrayal is accurate?
To a certain extent. I didn’t know the women coming into the show, so I think sometimes I may come off a little naive. I may come off as the shy-girl-in-the-background type, which is not my personality at all. I’ve never had a problem telling anybody how I feel. On the show, though, I’m being me, 100 percent real the whole time so there’s no surprises. I haven’t seen any surprises.
What did you think of the fact that Jennifer and Evelyn seem insistent on pushing the point that he’s not as faithful as you seem to think he is?
You have these grown women who have been in the game for so long, and you would think they would say, “Hey listen, Gloria, I’ve been there done that for the past 10 years and here are my stories, here is my advice, take it for what it’s worth and good luck.” Instead they have to be so persistent and try to taint our relationship. I look at it as being bitter and jealous. I’m 10 years younger than most of the cast members on the show, I’m 24-years-old, and I’m in a respectful, loving relationship, I’m getting married in August, I have two beautiful kids and a family who loves me, and a lot of them are missing a majority of those components. It’s natural for them to be envious of what I have.
They’ve gone as far as to suggest that they have, maybe secondhand evidence, that Matt has been unfaithful to you. Do you have any response to that?
No. I think that they’re just very scarred individuals who don’t have anything else better to do than try to create misery. They would be happy if I was where they are now, and that’s unfortunate. If you’re someone who thrives on someone else’s misery and you’re trying to break up a happy home, I just think it’s kind of sad.
What did you think about Matt saying the show “disgusted” him in a recent interview?
Matt is very opinionated. I just asked him to make sure that he pinpoints exactly what disgusts him next time. That’s just such a broad and vague comment that it could be interpreted in any way. It didn’t surprise me, though. Matt has told me several times that he doesn’t like the show. It’s not necessarily about my role, but just how bitter the other women are. Bitter and angry and just jealous. He’s just like, “That’s not a good look, that’s not who you are, that’s not who you represent.” I think he’s more concerned about people thinking that I run in this kind of circle, because I don’t. I can’t say that I was disgusted by the first episode, but you know, I wasn’t really a fan.
Your storyline isn’t exactly drama-free, though. When you talk about Royce you say to fraternize with her would be like sleeping with the enemy.
What I mean by that is Royce is Dwight Howard’s baby mother, and Matt is on the same team as Dwight Howard, so being friends with Royce is not worth messing up Matt’s team camaraderie. If Royce comes over here and we’re all buddy-buddy and Matt’s around, that could really end up messing up Matt and Dwight’s friendship.
Obviously the reason she was so aggressive in the boxing ring is because everyone had sort of informed her of your opinion of her. Did you feel betrayed by everyone at that point?
Not necessarily betrayed, I just think that they realize that I’m not going to conform to their little group, and so I think they try really hard to make me the black sheep or the outsider. Which is fine. I don’t have a problem with that, it was just kind of funny that they try to make it seem like I’m the only one who feels this way. They’re so quick to tell Royce, “Oh, well Gloria said this,” but in turn, they were agreeing with me or it may have been that they started the conversation and I just chimed in a little bit. I just think it was everybody’s opportunity to say, “Now we have a way to turn the tables.”
I’m sure that you don’t want to get into it about your sister’s alleged affair with Shaq, but did that add any level of stress as well? The fact that you were coming in with people already whispering about your family?
No. Like I said, in the show, they already formed their opinions and they’re already friends with Shaunie. And although I’m friends with Shaunie, I can’t say that we talk on the phone or we text each other. We are cordial, but she’s not invited to my wedding. She’s not that type of friend, so it didn’t bother me. You guys have already formed your own opinions, and I’m not here to change that. I’m here to say you’re not going to talk about my sister in front of me and think that that’s OK.
Knowing what you know about the way the show turned out, would you do it all over again?
No. No, no.
Would you participate in a second season?
An all new episode of Basketball Wives airs tonight on VH1.
Move over Bravo Housewives! There are some new wives on the block! Pictured above from left to right are Jennifer Williams, Royce Reed, Erikka Moxam, Shaunie O’Neal, Evelyn Lozada, Suzie Ketchem and Gloria Govan, the cast of VH1′s Basketball Wives.
The show will follow the extraordinary lives of seven women who are best friends and either the wife, ex-wife or girlfriend of an NBA superstar. There has also been some major cast changes since the show was first announced last year.
The series will showcase the lives of these women as they drive the best cars, live in the biggest mansions, wear designer clothes and jewelry and only travel first class. However, viewers will quickly see that all that glitters is not gold. In order to protect it, they have to deal with the jealousies and dramas of living in — and staying in — the inner circle.
The most recognizable of the women will have to be Shaunie O’Neal, soon to be ex-wife of Shaquille O’Neal. Basketball Wives premieres on VH1 Sunday, April 11 at 10:00 PM ET/PT.
From what we’ve seen and heard, the show will NOT dissapoint. We also have brief bios and photos of each of the ladies, as well as some secrets and scandals involving the ladies. More of that below -
Royce Reed – The 29 year-old is college educated, and a former Orlando Magic dancer. Royce is described as a firecracker, a strong-minded, driven woman who is no stranger to confrontation. She is also the ex-girlfriend of NBA star Dwight Howard. The two have a son together. Royce is pictured on the right with son Braylon Howard, born on November 18, 2007. Dwight however waited until 2008 to publicly acknowledge his son.
There has also been some major drama between Royce and her ex. After some reports hit the web that Dwight was a bully and a less than stellar father, Dwight took his son’s mother to court accusing her of cyber bashing him, and suing her for $9,205,000 in damages. The douchebag didn’t stop there. He also took Royce to court back in December 2009, requesting that she not be allowed to speak his name on the reality show. Royce has agreed to this according to reports.
Some have accused Royce of being a groupie, she has however denied this saying she dated Dwight for a while before bearing his son. Royce also made some headlines some months ago when she decided to enter a raunchy “dance” contest while in Maimi. The video of that is below.
Evelyn Lozada – The 34 year-old is the ex-fiance of former NBA star Antoine Walker. And yes Antoine is the NBA Player that made headlines last year for being broke after having earned more than $110 million playing professional basketball for 12 years. Not only is Antoine broke, he also owes more than $4 million to his creditors and is facing felony check fraud charges in LasVegas all at the tender age of 33.
Evelyn reportedly bounced once Antoine’s money dried up. But don’t paint her as a villain just yet, as a source tells us Antoine treated her very poorly during their 10 years of courtship. Antoine was reportedly never faithful to her. Evelyn is also said to have a 17 year old daughter. A photo of Evelyn with her daughter is below.
Evelyn Lozada with Daughter
READ MORE ABOUT THE LADIES! -
Shaunie O’Neal – Is the soon to be ex-wife of NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. A lot to report here. The couple married December 26, 2002 and have a total of four children together. Shaunie however had a son from her first marriage and Shaq had a daughter from a previous relationship giving them a total of 6 kids.
Shaq first filed for divorce back on September 4, 2007, citing that his wife was having an affair with her personal trainer. Shaunie denied this claim and they eventually reconciled. This accusation was all the more interesting considering Shaq is VERY WELL KNOWN for his cheating and having multiple girlfriends while married. One of his mistresses, Alexis Miller, got a restraining order against him back in 2008. Another mistress Vanessa Lopez, filed a lawsuit against him in January 2010, accusing him of harassing her.
The biggest shocker however came in November 2009 when it was revealed Shaq was having an affair with Laura Govan, the fiance of fellow NBA player Gilbert Arenas. Interestingly enough, Laura’s sister, Gloria Govan, is a cast member on this show. 5 days after this made headlines, Shaunie filed for separation. It was also reported that Laura was a friend of Shaunie’s.
But before you go feeling sorry for Shaunie, she might not be that innocent. The big rumor is Shaunie was still married to her ex husband Daven Baptiste, when she began an affair with Shaq. Daven was Shaq’s accountant at the time, before allegedly finding out his wife was not only sleeping with his boss, but had also gotten pregnant by Shaq. This allegedly led to the couple’s divorce. Daven has however never spoken publicly about his marriage with Shaunie.
Gloria Govan – Is only 24 years old and is the fiance of NBA star Matt Barnes who plays for Orlando Magic. Gloria and Matt have twin boys.
Above is Gloria’s sister Laura Govan, with fiancée Gilbert Arenas who plays for the Washington Wizards. Laura, who has been on/off with Gilbert since 2001, and had 3 kids with him, was allegedly sleeping with Shaq for the past 5 years. Shaquille’s wife Shaunie O’Neal, is also on the show. TheYBF website was able to get their hands on some email exchanges between Shaq and Laura last year in November. Days after the story leaked, Shaunie filed for divorce. And oh yeah, Shaunie and Laura were also friends. TheYBF site has since deleted the story and emails from their site. A screen shot of the email exchanges between Shaq and Laura is however below -
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Other than her sister’s alleged affair, there’s not much dirt on Gloria though there are rumblings she and her sister are gold-diggers due to their relationships with NBA players. There are also rumors there is trouble in paradise for Gloria and her fiance Matt. There are rumblings Matt has been very unfaithful on many occasions, and the couple will likely not make it down the aisle.
Jennifer Williams – Is the wife of former NBA Player Eric Williams who has played for the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Bobcats. Not much on Jennifer, other than a rumor that her marriage is on the rocks.
Suzie Ketchem – Suzie is said to be the social butterfly of the group. She dated NBA player Michael Olowokandi for 10 years and the two have two children together. There are however rumblings that she’s a groupie and tries very hard to befriend celebrities.
Erikka Moxam – Is a personal shopper from Miami. Not much is known about who she dated or is dating to get on the show.
Youtube video of Royce Reed dancing in a contest in Miami. She’s the one in black.