Shaunie O’Neal

The ladies of Basketball Wives have been working overtime to secure their infamy. And despite a lawsuit, celebrity complaints, sponsor boycott, fan uprising, a former castmember speaking out, and a very popular online petition – the show has been renewed for a fifth season! Shocked? Yeah, me too! No word on whether or not Jennifer Williams will be included in the cast!

All hope is not lost as the producers seem to be listening to fans and promising less chaos and violence in the upcoming season. Shaunie O’Neal faced criticism about the direction the show has been going in at this season’s reunion, which was taped this week. Shaunie swears she’s been campaigning for a less violent show all along and now the network is finally listening to her. Yeah, Right!

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The executive producer of Basketball Wives, Shaunie O’Neal is apparently not happy enough with her VH-1 empire and is going Hollywood. While I think this would be an excellent reason for America’s movie theaters to start serving alcohol like they do in Europe (who can watch this without a box of wine?), Shaunie thinks this will be an inspiring story and tells Vibe that it’s not just ladies fighting. She swears.

It’s fictional. Even though it has to do with basketball life, it’s not actually taking Basketball Wives from TV and making it a movie. And it’s not about women sitting around arguing or lunching all the time. It’s an actual story. It’s a love story. It’s an empowering story. It’s funny. It’s life. It’s similar—we’ve taken a girl who’s just going into the NBA life and experiencing things and showing the whole story. She learns from the organization. She learns from other wives. And by the end of the story, it’s empowering for women and men. It’s so nothing like the TV show at all. No comparison.

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Oh dear… it seems semi-scripted reality television is becoming a totally scripted movie! Fox Searchlite has just acquired the rights to untitled pitch that very closely resembles the plot of Basketball Wives!

It seems master puppeteer executive producer Shaunie O’Neal is interested in spreading her wings into the movie making biz and has been working with famed writer-producer Tracey Edmonds to produce a film that draws “loosely from the lives of O’Neal and some of her friends.”

The idea centers aroung a young woman who follows her boyfriend to Miami after he is drafted into the NBA. “Thrust into the world of professional sports, she meets and learns from the sisterhood of players’ wives and learns from their trials and tribulations.” Gee – where have we heard that story before?

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Basketball Wives is rapidly becoming a cesspool of drama, vitriol, and violence – off screen! Jennifer Williams recently filed a lawsuit and pressed charges against former friend Evelyn Lozada‘s assistant Nia Crooks after Nia slapped her in the face while filming for the show.

Rumors abound have stated the producers are not happy with Jenn’s decision and even going so far as to accuse her of filing suit for publicity or to secure a spot on next season’s cast. Well now TMZ is reporting that producers are so furious they may just file a suit against Jenn in return. Isn’t this blackmail of sorts?

Their reason? Jenn is violating her contract by bashing the show publicly! According to sources, Jenn’s contract forbids her from doing media appearances or press without the network’s approval. And the Basketball Wives contract stipulates cast members must not speak negatively about the show. Due to Jenn’s media tirade against the race track incident, the big-wigs feel Jenn’s behavior is “ruining the brand.” Uh… seriously? Really? Wow…

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We’re bringing you another new photo roundup this week!

The reality stars hit the red carpet for events like the opening of Scott Disick’s new NYC restaurant, the GLAAD awards, and also to promote their upcoming shows!

Above: Melissa Gorga, Caroline Manzo and Kathy Wakile outside the NBC Studios in NYC as they promoted the new season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Below you’ll find: Kyle Richards, Kendra Wilkinson, Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Zolciak, Kris Jenner, Nicole Richie, Holly Madison, Shaunie O’Neal, Tyra Banks, Karina Smirnoff, DJ Pauly D, Bridget Marquart, and more!

Photo Credit: Patricia Schlein/WENN.com

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Must everything about Basketball Wives be messy?  And must twitter usually be the cause?  After introducing her love, Dezmon Briscoe, on Monday night’s episode, all hell broke loose in Twitterverse for Royce Reed.  After Dezmon’s baby mama, Christina Nero, tweeted, “I swear I almost threw up watching bbw fake a$s relationship” and revealed that Dezmon had been sending her “freaky texts,” Royce was adamant she was a liar.  What a difference a few days make!

In the midst of the drama, Dezmon tweeted, “baby mama wanna be messy so I’ll clean it up. I sent the messages she posted …To be on her good side because she has my son.”  Fair enough, right?  He later apologized to his beloved in the intimate and sincere way possible…again via Twitter.  “I could of handled the situation better,” he tweets. “I’m still wrong and I wanna apologize to @Roycelr because she don’t deserve that. Love you.”  Awww…

While Royce is no doubt humiliated, she tweeted, “I was lied 2 and stood by it.  Gonna take a lot more than THAT 4 forgiveness…My heart is broken….y the hell send it just 2 appease sum1″  She makes a very valid point, no?

Even in her VH1 blog, Royce is truly mad…but is it directed at the correct person?  She has posted pictures of her and Dezmon in happier times and posts an open letter to his baby mama.  Yikes!   She writes:

“At the end of the day” (Jen voice) he will not be with her. So the rant she went on and my responses change nothing for her life. Not only do I look like a fool in love, but she looks like a bitter, jealous and angry “Baby Momma.” That’s worse. Fact is, they were never an item. They were never a couple. But for just under a year, she has been angry that he has been with me…I’m sure she wonders why she was never “the one” to marry but just “the one” to do before he met me.

Surely she has some equally harsh words for the dude who actually started this, right?  Well, maybe “harsh” isn’t the right word.  I realize that relationships are complicated, and no one really knows the full story, but Royce has an admitted history of blurred vision when it comes to men.  Is history repeating itself?  She continues:

Do I think Dezmon loves me? Yes! Do I think what he did was wrong? Absolutely. Are we done…forever? Honestly, I don’t know. Readers can say I’m dumb if I go back, but with relationships come mistakes. I was lied to and lesson learned…I entertained it on Twitter. I let the drama get to me despite being told to ignore it. That was my immaturity in this experience coming out. I admit that. Yes, I’m embarrassed, humiliated and broken. But I’m strong. Regardless of what happens I will be okay. Do I love him? Yes. Is that enough to stay? At this point, no.

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Basketball Wives hasn’t premiered yet, but the drama preceding the show has been happening for months! In the latest, the much maligned Royce Reed talks the upcoming season, the arguments, and her opinion of creator and producer Shaunie O’Neal! Oh, and in case your wondering if Royce has any interest in joining the popular crowd – rest assured; she doesn’t!

Royce warns that this season viewers will see a decidedly less dramatic side of her as she stays out of the pettiness and the chaos. “Sorry to bust your bubble, but I’m not really in a lot of the drama,” she tells Sister2Sister. We will see her focusing on her outside projects, though. “I’m really out there just trying to do my own thing career-wise,” she explains. “I have a career outside of on this show.”

As for conflicts, Royce says there are none with the new editions to the cast, Kesha Nichols and Kenya Bell, who she says are definitely getting along a lot better than season one non-factor Meeka Claxton!

“[Meeka] wanted to be cool with certain people that did not want to be cool with her and she pretty much got stabbed in the back like 10, 20, 30 times,” Royce reveals. “I tried to tell her. Tami [Roman] tried to tell her, and it was like in one ear and like the other. You see where she is now … I don’t have an issue with Meeka at all. We’ve actually talked. She’s apologized.” Royce adds that Meeka has since admitted she formed opinions on the ladies before actually getting to know them.

One person Royce hasn’t mended fences with is Shaunie, but don’t expect confrontations between the two. “I don’t film with her. We don’t like each other. I don’t know what her issue is with me. … She was making up lies about me that wasn’t true,” Royce insists.

Denying rumors that Shaunie acts as the puppeteer amongst the ladies, Royce is adamant that isn’t true. “She doesn’t pimp me, and I’m pretty sure y’all see she doesn’t pimp me. My thing is, she does not own the show.”

“She doesn’t make me do anything, say anything … Yeah, it brings in a check, but I refuse to sell my soul for a check,” Royce asserts. Despite some of her mistakes from last season, Royce stands by them and insists she makes her own decisions on the show. “Everybody makes mistakes, it’s just ours is in front of the world.”

Speaking of mistakes and drama, another person Royce will be ignoring this season is resident mean girl, Evelyn Lozada! Darn – who will Evelyn be flinging drinks at then? Oh, nevermind… she’ll find someone!

Speaking of Evelyn, she is denying recent rumors that her abs were drawn on for her recent Maxim photoshoot. “People thought my abs were sprayed on but they weren’t. They are all real!,” she insists to TooFab, while promoting her upcoming book, The Wives Association: The Inner Circle. Does Evelyn really expect people to believe she wrote a book?

Evelyn adds that the shoot was an “amazing experience” even though it was freezing. Is that why she looks upset in every shot? Oh, and she also wants you to buy her new make-up, E by Evelyn Lozada, which comes out this month. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of it on the upcoming season. A photo of Evelyn’s Maxim shoot is below!

ARE YOU SURPRISED ROYCE MANAGED TO RETURN THIS SEASON GIVEN HER FIGHT WITH SHAUNIE? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE WILL STAY OUT OF THE DRAMA? ARE EVELYN’S ABS REAL – YES OR NO?!

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Evelyn Lozada, Royce Reed, Kenya Bell, Shaunie O'Neal, Tami Roman, Jennifer WIlliams, Kesha Nichols, Suzie Ketcham

Taking a break from the latest Basketball Wives drama today to bring you the official cast photos!

With just three weeks until the February 20 premiere, the ladies can be seen sporting their most colorful attires and red bottoms in the new promo pics!

As you can see, the cast photo also features two newcomers! The press release states: “Newcomer Kesha Nichols survived every girl’s worst nightmare, having her engagement broken off by her ball-playing fiancé via email shortly before their wedding. Kenya Bell is in the process of finalizing a divorce from a basketball star and is one of the most notorious and controversial wives in the league, whose infamous reputation is well-known by the other wives.”

EVELYN LOZADA SLAMS JENNIFER WILLIAMS ON TWITTER!

Also, “Shaunie O’Neal is on the path to establishing herself as a business mogul. Evelyn Lozada and Jennifer Williams’ 12-year friendship is in a precarious position. Will it recover from last season’s fracture? Strong-willed Tami Roman continues to be a force to be reckoned with both socially and now in business. Royce Reed and Suzie Ketcham attempt to navigate uncharted waters as new chapters open in their lives.”

In addition to the cast photos, VH1 also released a new promo video for the new season.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE NEW CAST PHOTOS? EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON?

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