Whether you love it or hate it, you really can’t escape the Miami madness that is VH1’s Basketball Wives. The shocking reunion definitely made mouths drop and tweets multiply. Show creator and cast member Shaunie O’Neal even revealed to us that she was “shocked” at some of the reveals. With a third season already creating buzz and Shaunie’s gorgeous boyfriend waiting in the wings, we had to get the dish on her potential marriage, Evelyn’s engagement, new cast members and whether she feels the show is a negative reflection of African-American women.
What more can you tell us about your current boyfriend, model Marlon Yates? Are you two in an exclusive relationship that’s serious?
Shaunie: Yes and yes! We are in a serious relationship now.
Do you think you’ll marry Marlon?
I don’t know. That’s not really a topic of discussion right now. You’re jumping like a year or so ahead. But I’m very happy.
On the season finale, you were instrumental in Evelyn revealing that she’d slept with Tami’s ex-husband. Did you do it because you thought it was right, or because you knew it would be a ratings booster?
Well, I don’t know how I make two women actually physically fight, first of all. Second of all, if you watched the episode, Evelyn tells this in front of cameras on TV, so it was already out there. Either way, Tami would have found out while she was watching the show at home, and probably still want to fight everybody, or she was going to find out that night. With the magic of television, it all happened within two minutes. I don’t think there would have been a physical altercation had Evelyn not been so hurtful with her words.
According to recent news reports, Evelyn has demanded $20,000 per episode for the upcoming third season or she will not return. Is this true?
I don’t know what amount she’s asked for, to be honest. Evelyn and I have talked almost every day since the show and everything is cool. I do know she’s planning on coming back. We don’t talk about how much she’s gonna ask for or how much she’s expecting because it’s really not a subject that I care about. Especially being a cast member and her friend, along with being on the production side, I don’t even want to deal with that. I don’t do numbers, I don’t do salaries. That’s not my department. I want no parts of that.
Considering that you and Evelyn seem to be great friends, can you confirm whether her relationship with Chad Ochocinco is real or not? Some people believe she’s in a fake relationship.
I just go off of what my friend says to me. If she says she’s happy and in a relationship, I would never ask her ‘Evelyn, is your relationship real?’ because I wouldn’t ever think that she would be in a fake relationship. Knowing Evelyn, it wouldn’t even cross my mind. She’s getting married to the man she loves. Enough said to me.
Will you be in the wedding?
They haven’t started planning the wedding just yet. When we were teasing her about the wedding and what not, she said, ‘You know you guys are in it!’ I don’t think they plan on getting married until next summer, she told me.
Do your kids watch Basketball Wives? If so, what comments have they made about it?
My kids don’t really watch the show. I don’t think it’s a kid show. At all. Have they seen an episode or two? Of course. My son went to visit his dad and he said they watched a marathon of it. (She laughs) I did show them their part on an episode they were in. They were happy.
Will you be adding cast members to the third season?
We will be adding to the show. I don’t know how many. Maybe one or two. I’m going to Miami this weekend to interview a few ladies that want to be on and have gone passed their faux interview. Production always wants me to meet with the ladies and see if everybody has some chemistry. As far as the current cast, I think everybody is coming back except for Suzie.
So you think someone’s eyes might get clawed out on the third season?
I certainly hope not! I absolutely do not condone two adults fighting. It’s one thing to have an argument, but to sit up and physically fight is another.
What would you say to viewers who feel Basketball Wives is a bad depiction of Black women?
Are the Jersey housewives a good depiction of Jersey white women? Do the New York housewives represent all New York white women? It seems to always be us that makes it a “Black thing.” I don’t think these ladies on this show depict every Black woman in the world because we know that not to be true. I don’t look at TV and say ‘This person is acting a fool and they set me back.’ Really? No! If we do that, then let’s do it for everybody. If you don’t like it, don’t watch.
(Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)