Royce Reed started out the “Basketball Wives” season as the underdog with a bad rep to live down. In BOSSIP’s exclusive interview with her, she tells us how she made the mean girls into friends, admits to hearing some things about Gloria Govan’s ‘model’ fiance Matt Barnes and talks about what makes her “just Royce”
Bossip: So, how has everything been for you since the show has started? How has the reaction been?
Royce: Of course after the first few shows I had to deal with a lot of people who don’t know me. The reaction was “Oh my God she thinks she has to go every where and dance like that. What is she doing? I can’t believe she did that?” But everybody is entitled to their opinion. So, I kinda took it and let it go. The last few weeks have gotten a lot better. People are started to realize who I am. That I am like they say “a free spirit”. I don’t tend to do things worrying about what other people say. I need to probably start doing that more, realizing that I’m in the public eye. And yes I do have a two year old. I don’t think I was doing any harm. and I probably took it so far. But as you seen on the show, I’m just Royce.
Bossip: There has been a lot of criticism from the public about the show being called “Basketball Wives”. Jennifer and Shaunie are the only ones, right?
Royce: Shaunie is going through a divorce. I guess people need to realize is a lot things are named for shock value to make people watch it. But also they wanted to get every aspect of a relationship with a basketball player. You have an ex who is a mother of a child; you have someone who is currently a fiancée; you have a marriage that’s on the rocks; then you have the ex-girlfriend who does not have a child, but was in a relationship for ten years. If everyone was a wife, it would kind of be boring. I know a lot of people who are interested in the life of the mother and child. What they are doing? Where do they go from here? Same as the marriage that’s on the rocks. How do they work this out? What do they do? A lot of people look at this relationship they think it is something that they want. They need to look inside of it to make sure this is something they don’t want to sign up for.
Bossip: Would you consider another relationship with an athlete or consider reconciling with your sons father?
Royce: When I look at a relationship with an athlete I’m not going to say I will never date another athlete again. As far as a dating a high profile athlete, that is something I’d rather not do. I say that basically because my whole life I played sports. I was a gymnast, in competitive cheerleading, I ran track, and played flag football. Obviously that’s something I’m attracted to because that is what we have in common. I don’t want sit there and categorize everyone or stereotype but it comes with a stigma. I think that is the unfair part of it. Its almost like every woman that dates a professional athlete dates has a stigma that they are a groupie or digger – even when they have their own. Not in every case but in my case. I have always had my own. I did not meet him as a dancer. I met him at the movies. It wasn’t a situation that I just walked into like that.
Bossip: Have you been watching the show since it has been airing on VH1?
Royce: Yes I have. I watch it with my family with my parents and my brother.
Bossip: Is it hard sometimes to listen to what your cast members say about you?
Royce: Sometimes, but I look at it like a lot of people make snap judgments by what they hear in the media. They have admitted it. They look at what they hear on the outside versus what they see now as they got to know me. So in the beginning they definitely weren’t feeling me at all. But now it’s like we see how Royce really is because they got to know me.
Bossip: When Jen and Evelyn tried to give you a lecture, what were you thinking? And how hard was it to let Jen try to make you her little personal Barbie doll with that makeover?
Royce: My initial reaction was y’all were standing right next to me? Why are y’all throwing me under the bus? But like I said before, it was more about what they heard about me from others.
As far as the makeover I told Jen she is high maintenance. I’m not like that, I will wear some sneakers and a shirt on go on with my day. My body may be different, but I am happy. I know she gave me a makeover with good intentions and I was not upset. I did not want to turn her down and it brought us closer.
Bossip: We saw the episode when you and Gloria had a dinner. As the night progressed it seemed like she got judgmental. I thought it was interesting when she asked about Matt. Do you know something about Matt?
A. I can’t say that I know something because I wasn’t there, I would have to see it with my own eyes.
Q. But you heard something.
A. Yeah, but I mean, we hear a lot of things. I hear stuff about me that I’m like “Wow, I’ve never even met that dude.” So I can’t say that it’s true or not, but I think she’s kind of either in a state of denial or she just didn’t really keep it real, I mean you signed up to do a reality show, so be real about it. So I mean don’t come across like you’re so perfect and you just live this like amazing can-do-no-wrong life. We were there to be like a support system for each other and most of us laid it out on the line and we got to know each other and it’s like none of us really got to know her because she was always, what’s the word…
A. Yeah, she was always guarded.
Q. Ok, what are some of those crazy rumors? What’s the craziest rumor that you’ve heard about yourself?
A. On the first episode when Jennifer made that statement about multiple players, that’s completely false. It’s only been Braylon’s father and that’s all I really have to say about that. It’s one of those things that’s not even worth the conversation.
Q. Evelyn’s been speaking out about how her photo leak made her realize how judgmental she was of you, have you guys had that conversation at all?
A. We actually have had that conversation a few times and she’s like “Girl I never went through it like, so I can sit back and say I would react differently, but when you’re actually in those shoes you want to go off on everybody!” And she was like “I have to call you and talk to you and ask you for advice. I never thought that I would do that.” Again it brought us closer, because you can never judge someone’s situation that’s not your own and until you’re put in those shoes, you can’t talk about someone else’s life.
Q. That’s very true. Now do you have any crazy groupie stories?
A. Uhm, no not really, because I don’t tend to deal with mess. As you notice on the show, I kind of sit back and let other people like… I just let situations play themselves out. If it’s not my argument or my fight I tend to stay out of it unless it gets to that point where I might need to step in. For the most part, I’m just the type of person where, if I have a problem with you, I’ll say it to your face. That’s how I’ve always been, that’s how I was raised.
Q. The episode where you were sitting at the table at dinner with Suzy when she threw that drink at Sandra, was that a real moment or a scripted moment?
A. That was definitely a real moment. I mean, it was something that we kept hearing through the grapevine in and around taping, someone might send a text to somebody or like “Oh I heard that Sandra is ready to get y’all.” I was like “Ok…”
Q. So Sandra wasn’t something that was put into the script, you guys really happened to run into her at a party?
A. Yeah, well at the party she just came to the party, we saw her and the situation happened exactly as it went down at the table at dinner that day. Like I don’t know if you saw but I was picking food off of Jennifer’s plate, we were so not even on that, we were on a completely different subject and she just walked up and what when down went down exactly like, it was real life, it wasn’t set up, you just deal with it and they just happened to catch it on camera.
Q. What were you thinking when that happened?
A. Honestly? I was like calm down. That’s what was going through my mind, like “Are they serious right now?” We’re at this restaurant and this is really going down right now, I felt like I was watching a movie. I was like “Ok, are we being punked?” because I wasn’t sure. I don’t know, I kind of thought it was funny.
Q. You’ve said in interviews that your parents were pretty protective when you were growing up. Do you think that lead you to being more out there when you reached college?
A. I wouldn’t say that, I tell people that my parents didn’t allow me to go to Prom or Homecoming with anybody, my mom was a chaperone and I rode with her. When I went to college I was so involved with everything, I was a cheerleader, I was a dancer, I was in theater, I never really had a chance to do anything even in college, but I did learn to… it was a culture shock. I had never gone to a HBCU, that’s really when I came into my own and I grew up, but as far as like I guess who I am, I’ve always been boisterous, I’ve always been goofy, I’ve always been silly, clumsy. I don’t know, I don’t think I’ve changed at all, that’s just me. I’ve just been involved in a lot of things, I still am. I’ve always been that free spirit, I’ve always been a little silly crazy thing.
Q. Do you think that public perception about you has actually improved thanks to the show?
A. I think it’s improved. Of course people are always going to have their opinions. Some people just don’t like you, it doesn’t matter what you say or do, their just always going to not like you and that’s one of the biggest lessons I had to learn in college. I went from getting along with everybody and being everybody’s friend to all the sudden people are just talking about me, people don’t like me, making up stuff and I just had to realize that you can’t please everybody, you can’t be friends with everybody. I definitely think that the public perception of me has changed for the better, but I mean as long as I’m happy and as long as my family accepts me and as long as this little one right here is proud of me and he looks up to me, then I’m ok.
Q. Speaking of the little one, we he gets old enough, when he’s like school age, are you going to show him some of these episodes and maybe even like that pool party video, how are you going to handle that?
A. Of course I am. The way I’ve always been raised, my parents have been married almost 40 years and if you hear some of their stories from college, it’s like “What? You did that? Oh my God.” So we can laugh at it, that’s what makes us closer. My family is my foundation, they’re my rock, we’re extremely close. I feel like I can talk to them about anything and they’re always there for me and I want Braylon to be the same way. I’m not going to hide anything from him and I hope that he doesn’t hide anything from me. I want him to have that open close relationship so why not show him something like I’m ashamed of it? I’m not ashamed of it, I grew from it, I learned from it and you move on.
Q. Do you have any regrets about anything? The tweets, some of the tweets that went out before the show, anything at all?
A. I never say that I regret anything because you learn from everything that you do that if you had the chance to do all over again you wouldn’t, so I’ll say that. But I didn’t lie, I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true, so should I have gone about it a different way? Of course.
Q. While we’re on the subject of Twitter, you’re on Twitter now and I’m sure that you get all kinds of comments, some positive and some probably negative, how do you handle when you get like a negative comment on Twitter?
A. I either immediately block them or sometimes I’ll be like “For real? True that. Thank you!” and they don’t write me again. Personally it doesn’t bother me. I always say the block button is your friend.
Q. Is there anything that you wanted to share with people that most people might not know that they haven’t seen on the show?
A. I have my own company “Fantashique”, my dance company, outside of that I’m fulfilling my career. I majored in Education and Humanities, so I’m definitely fulfilling that. I’m just doing Royce, I want Braylon to be proud of me and realize that mommy didn’t sit on her behind and do nothing. I want him to look up to me and be like “Mommy pursued her career and I’m proud of her.”