The Other Side of Reality
BY EMMANUEL URENA
Misrepresentation is a demon that runs rampant through the reality show circuit. Folks sign up for these shows not knowing what they’ve just agreed to—others know exactly what they’ve signed up for, and are still shocked at what comes out of the editing room. Royce Reed was introduced to the world through the hit reality show, “Basketball Wives.” As the episodes came and went, Reed, as well as some of her cast mates, came to be portrayed as a group of rambunctious women who were quick to pop off—which does wonders for ratings, but ruins a person’s image.
Reed recently sat down with Black Men to introduce us to the other side of her, and chat about the show, the new “Basketball Wives LA” spinoff, her personal projects, and her new beau.
Black Men: I’ve read that a few of the ladies won’t be returning for the fourth season. Will you be a part of it?
Royce Reed: As of right now, I will be back, but as I said on the reunion show, it needs to show more of my career. They said that they’re willing to do that, but if we’re filming and I see it’s not going that way, then I can’t say that I’m going to stay.
BM: On the show, we see that beef keeps stirring up between you and some of the other ladies. How are relations between you and the rest of the cast at this point?
RR: The only people that I don’t speak to, or get along with, are Jen and Evelyn. And Evelyn and my issues are really not that deep. As far as Jen goes, I don’t really know who she is anymore, so I can’t say that I’m really missing out on a friendship. Meeka and I are actually straight—she apologized. We’re cordial and respectful towards each other. Shaunie, I don’t speak to at all. Tami is still my girl. Ashley is still my girl. Suzie and I are still Suzie and I. I just don’t tell her anything, but I accept her for who she is. She’s fun to hang out with.
BM: You mentioned that you and Shaunie don’t speak anymore. How does that situation work,
RR: Well, the thing is that Shaunie doesn’t really have clout like that. Her being executive producer simply means that she was part of the idea. She’s not part of editing. She’s not part of the storyline. She’s tried very hard to get people taken off the show, but obviously it hasn’t worked. What would make her do that to me when I never did anything to her, I have no idea why, and at this point, I don’t really care. I wish her well [laughs].
Black Men: Funny you should say that Shaunie doesn’t have that much control over everything, because in a recent interview she stated that she was displeased at how the show portrays the cast in a negative way, and that she’s looking to make a few changes to the show moving forward.
RR: Every time I hear her say that or read where she said that, I think it’s a bunch of crap because she never went against her show—and put that in quotations, “her show”—until she started getting backlash from it. I was one of the first ones to really talk about how the image of the show is not something that I can say that I’m really proud of, but it’s what I signed up for. However, I’m okay with the way that I’m portrayed because it’s me. It’s not all of me, but I’m definitely a fireball. If you have the clout that you claim you do—which I don’t think she does—then she has the clout to change it.
BM: What are some ways that you would change the show?
RR: I definitely would show more of our careers. Even though, we may not all get along, I’m still mature enough, and supportive enough, to say that most of us have other things going on in our lives. I know for me, I have my book, [and] I have another children’s [book] series that’s coming out. Jen has her lip-gloss. Evelyn has her shoe store. Tami is doing a lot of auditions also. But all you see is us arguing. For us to be African American females, even though, we shouldn’t be the face of our culture, we are. People judge us based on what is seen on television, and it’s sad that that’s all they want the show to be about.
BM: Gloria Govan went to L.A. and started her own spinoff of BW. Have you watched any of the episodes?
RR: Yeah, I’ve watched it, and I’m going to support it because it’s the sister show. I feel the same way about that one as I do about ours. I think it could be a little more positive—well, not a little bit—a lot. I’m not willing to sell my soul for a TV show or a check.
BM: Have you met any of the other ladies on the L.A. show?
RR: I haven’t. I feel as if, even though I don’t know Draya, I feel as if I do know her, because I see what she’s going through, and I was kind of put through the same thing. A lot of people say that she’s the “me” of the L.A. cast.
BM: I was going to mention that in my next question.
RR: I actually don’t see that. I think they’re saying that because she’s like the one that’s really in shape, and the cute one, and she’s very free-spirited. But, I was never a stripper, and I think our attitudes are a little bit different. I think in one of her interviews she compared herself more so to Evelyn, and not with her actions, but just with their personalities. I totally agree. I look at myself as being more like Malaysia than I do Draya. [Malaysia] seems very proper, but she’ll pop off if she has to.
BM: Okay, I have to lookout for the fellas, and ask you, are you single right now?
RR: I’m not single [laughs]! I actually have a man now. His name is Dezmon [Briscoe]. He plays for the [Tampa Bay] Bucs. The last time you saw me with a man was when I was with Dwayne and that lasted about nine months. Then, you all saw me date Brian last season. That’s another thing that gets on my nerves, too, when people are like, “Royce had like 20 boyfriends.” I’m like, “Can y’all count?” You saw me date Dwayne and then you saw me date Brian—that’s two.
BM: How did Dezmon sweep you off your feet?
RR: It was one of my best friend’s birthday parties, and she knows a lot of NFL players. They came by to say, “Happy Birthday” to her since they couldn’t stay for the party. I went to shut my door when they got there, because I didn’t even want to deal with any more athletes. We locked eyes, and ever since then it was like, done! We’ve been inseparable since.
BM: You mentioned earlier your books. I read about one in particular titled College Girls. Can you talk to us a little about the book?
RR: College Girls is based on my life and a couple of friends’ lives in college. It’s very real, very blunt and to the point. It’s not sugar coated. It touches on the subjects that most of the movies or books don’t tell. It’s the dark side. It’s the real side that I think I should’ve been more prepared for. I think it’s a good read for young girls who are going off to college. It talks about rape, it talks about STD scares, it talks about relationships, fights, fake friendships—it talks about everything. I’ve gotten nothing, but great reviews for it, and book two will be out next year.
BM: And you’re doing all of the writing for these books, right?
RR: Yes, I don’t have a ghostwriter. That’s something that people ask me, too, if I write my books. Yes I’m the one sitting behind the computer at night until five o’clock in the morning.
BM: What are some other projects that you have coming up that we should look out for?
RR: I have my dance company auditions coming up in the next month or so. If anyone wants information on auditions they can email me at email@example.com. Outside of that I’m auditioning for Broadway plays. Being a mom first, of course. And oh gosh, what else? I’m just constantly moving. I can’t sit still; I get bored when I sit still.