Tameka Raymond Upset Over Drama On “Atlanta Exes” Caused By Producers Messy Decisions
BOSSIP caught up with Raymond this week and she opened up about bumping heads with Torrei Hart and Sheree Buchanan and shared some details about how show producers have helped amp up the “messy” factor.
In the first few episodes, castmates Hart and Buchanan complain that Raymond is “mean,” but the image consultant, mother-of-five (her son Kile died two summers ago following a boating accident) says she wasn’t surprised things took that turn.
“I think I was an easy target for the “mean girl role,” Raymond told BOSSIP. “I think every reality show has to have a “villain” so it’s not a surprise to me that I’m the one designated to be that on this one.”
She conceded that her Town girl roots (she haisl from Oakland) and background as a stylist has only added to her opinionated personality.
“Everyone around me knows I’m opinionated, but that’s not to be confused with being judgmental,” Raymond says. “I’m not saying you’re gonna go to hell if you wear a white bra. I was paid to be opinionated for so long as a wardrobe consultant. I was paid a lot of money to give my opinion especially in terms of style. I only give my opinion to people I care about. It’s not like I do it to strangers on the street.”
Ironically, some of the women were relatively strangers before filming the show. Raymond revealed that she only met Torrei Hart a week before filming began, but she blames their on camera clashing on their mutual outspokenness.
“I think she was a perfect target as well, to put up against me,” Raymond said of producers’ decision to make conflict between the two women one of the main focal points of the show. “I think they have two outspoken people bump heads and we were both easy targets because we both speak our minds.”
Hit the flip for more on Tameka Raymond’s feud with Torrei Hart from her point of view…
In last week’s episode, Hart and Raymond got into a shouting match which turned into Hart making comments about Raymond’s custody battle and Raymond taking cracks at Hart’s acne and comparing her to singer Patrice Rushen.
“To be quite honest, I don’t recall saying anything to Torrei that would have her up in arms,” Raymond said. “Surely she can’t be all bent out of shape about something she assumes I said to someone else.” Still Raymond does have some regrets about the shouting match.
“One of the darker moments would be the comparison of her to Patrice Rushen,” Tameka admits. “I didn’t mean for that to be offensive to Patrice Rushen or her fans. It was basically like ‘You’re walking around trying to be like Patrice Rushen for no reason.’ It was meant to be a snarky remark.”
And when it comes to Torrei’s outburst, which included several demands for Raymond to “Get in the casket” and “Kill yourself” as well as comments about her kids, Tameka opts for the high road.
“Just thinking about it, it was a very insensitive comment, ” Tameka says of the suicide comments, “I would imagine there are people who are advocates for suicide prevention who were not pleased. It’s not a cute expression to make and especially with Robin Williams recently passing, it’s not something that should be thrown around lightly.”
“Torrei’s comments about my children were disheartening but I understand that hurt people, hurt people ,” Tameka acknowledged. When I hear something that heinous and cold I know that comes from a different place that has nothing to do with me. Since when does me being opinionated call for all that?”
In a similar vein, Tameka caught some flack from Sheree Buchanan after she questioned her judgement about shopping for her 11-year-old daughter in a store with clothing Buchanan admitted she’d purchase for herself. But on her part, Raymond says the public has been supportive of her stance.
“I got a lot of feedback about that,” Raymond admitted. “I have all boys, but in the past I had The Lost Ones Foundation and I mentored girls between the ages of 10-17, so I’ve always been an advocate for trying to keep girls on the right path, abstinence and things like that, I’ve always promoted that stuff.”
Ultimately it’s neither Buchanan nor Hart who Raymond takes issue with, it’s show producers. Hit the flip to read about what Tameka says has been left off the show AND what she feels should have been left off.
One of Raymond’s chief complaints about the direction of the show thus far is producer’s decisions to leave out certain scenes while making issues out of other comments which didn’t even take place on camera. Take for example Sheree Buchanan’s outrage over discovering Raymond had questions about whether she’d ever slept with Usher.
“That’s not something that happened on camera,” Raymond says of the question about Buchanan’s relationship with her ex. “I had that conversation with that person off of the show, it’s not something I would have done on the show. Why it was brought to the show, I have no idea. Obviously it was something I have questions about. I don’t want to be hanging with someone who slept with my ex-husband without knowing. I just wanted to know but I had heard it happened. I didn’t ask that as a part of filming so I was surprised they aired it, because generally they won’t include something that happens off camera.”
Raymond admitted she was frustrated that producers chose to make it a public issue, while they haven’t been open to showing more positive aspects of her life.
“It was messy,” Tameka told BOSSIP. “Ironically they didn’t want to talk about any of my business ventures or things I’m working on because they couldn’t see them, but it’s okay to talk about something I didn’t even say on camera? There’s definitely a double standard. Of all the business ventures and things I have going on when they come to my office, they didn’t want to feature my book “White Bras and Faux Pas,” they didn’t want to film me meeting with my agent, whereas it was okay to film something I didn’t even mention on camera because it added a drama factor.”
On the flipside, Raymond says she also feels that she was depicted as a hater when she called into question castmate Christina Johnson’s new relationship with Willie Wallace because of his previous relationship with another one of Sheree Buchanan’s friends.
“When you see these scenes a lot of them are being shown out of sequence, there’s things that people are not bearing in mind,” Raymond reveals. “During my tea market, the thing that happened was the same week I was going to trial regarding the stuff with my son, the guy who was responsible for the accident. There’s a lot people don’t know the back story on. With Christina, who is one of the characters I really love on the show, she was gushing about her new guy and they portrayed it like I was a hater, but they filmed a scene with Christina and me going to lunch to talk about the blind date and what she was going to wear. I was so excited that she was moving on and deciding to date. When it came out on television it looked like I was sitting at the table being negative and I wasn’t at all. They’re not showing the lunch scene. I found out that Willie was married and still separated and that was my issue, not that the was dating someone.”
Despite reality TV’s reputation for being “messy” Tameka says it’s simply not what she signed up for when she agreed to do the show.
“It’s so funny because I always hear people say “Edit, edit, edit!” and I’d be like ‘Come on…’ Tameka recalls. “I used to call foul and say that was bullisht but now that I’m going through it I see what they mean. More than edit, it’s also sequencing. You might have had an attitude on week 7, you didn’t have an attitude on week 1 – so it’s confusing. All bad… I’ve been offered Housewives in the past and declined because of the drama factor. And then to agree to do this and still have to deal with the drama factor – I may as well have taken the bigger check. No offense to the Housewives, I like them I just didn’t want to be involved with the negativity associated with the show. I’m disappointed to find that the show has essentially the same drama factor. You have people saying things that are worse than having a drink thrown at you. They’re saying things that are highly sacred. Talking about my son? That could have gone really badly. That is not a game. That’s not something I take lightly. That’s when all bets are off. That’s when the Vaseline gets pulled out and everything.”
All issues aside, Raymond says she still looks at the show as a positive experience and hopes that upcoming episodes will reflect the ladies in a better light.
“Overall I feel like it was a great experience,” Tameka told BOSSIP. “I made some lasting relationships with the ladies. I’m just not happy with the way the scenes are being put together and edited. There are things that are being omitted that would change how the public feels. The fact that I met with Christina about her going on this blind date, why would you leave that out? That showed that I was receptive and happy about it, Instead you’d rather leave that out and make me look like a hater. That’s damaging and I’m not happy about it. Perception becomes reality, people believe what they’re seeing because that’s all they have to go on.”
Raymond also told BOSSIP that ultimately it’s up to the network to create more positive TV moments.
“In EVERY show on television on any network I’m sure that actors get mad or characters have bad moments…” Tameka said. “It is the network’s responsibility to highlight the positive and not focus on the few moments captured to create drama 4 ratings. Everyone on television is human you can’t say that they don’t argue or have b****y moments.
Tune in to VH1 on Monday nights at 9pm to see “Atlanta Exes” and for Tameka’s take on each episode visit her website TamekaJRaymond.com
Hit the flip for a few more photos and screengrabs from Tameka’s social media…
Even when fans got up in arms, Patrice Rushen was very understanding of Tameka mentioning her on the show.