Evelyn Lozada famously proclaimed that she’d never date an athlete again on Basketball Wives Season 1. Starting with Sunday’s Basketball Wives Season 2 premiere (at 8/7c), we’ll get to watch her go back on her word and start a courtship with none other than Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. In our preseason chat with Evelyn below, she talks about her recent engagement to Chad, their shared reality TV experience, why she doesn’t feel bad for the “winner” of Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch, Rubi, and she gives us a taste of what to expect from the upcoming season of Basketball Wives…
Congratulations on your engagement.
Thank you so much.
Are you very happy?
I am so happy, I can’t even tell you. It’s crazy how things work. It’s not something I forced. I’m still kind of in shock that this is where I’m at in my life, and I’m engaged to friggin’ Chad. People really thought that this was a publicity stunt. I wouldn’t do that. I’m not that desperate for attention. We really care about each other. We’ve spent so much time together, especially after filming [the season of Basketball Wives]. During filming, I was going to Cinci every chance I could get for three days between filming. But after, we spent a lot of time with each other and now I’m like, “Wow, this feels so comfortable.” It’s awesome.
On this season of Basketball Wives, we get to watch your romance with Chad blossom. Funnily enough, there’s a point early on where you say, “It’s not like I’m going to marry the guy…”
I know! It’s so crazy. I said, “Everybody needs to relax! It’s not like we’re rushing to the altar to get married. I’m just enjoying my time with him.” In light of recent events, I wonder if I’m going to look crazy when that airs, but it’s how I felt at that time.
Was there a moment that you can put your finger on wherein things went from casual to serious?
We were at his house and we were talking at 3 in the morning. I told him everything. No one can come to him and say, “Well Chad, you know, about Evelyn…” It’s at this point: you either love me or you don’t. You know what I’ve done and what I’ve experienced. I think for me, that conversation was like, wow. We’re really friends. It’s special to me that we’re able to talk like that.
Were you concerned to get involved with somebody in sports yet again?
During Season 1, I said I wouldn’t date an athlete again, but when I started filming that, I was in transition. I had just moved out, I just opened my shoe store, I just left my fiancé of 10 years that I was with since I was 23-years-old. I was an emotional wreck. That’s why I cried four out of the eight episodes. I’m glad I got to take a year off to do me and enjoy my friends and get over my relationship. Even if I didn’t end up with Chad, I didn’t want to bring baggage from my last relationship into a new relationship, or judge a new relationship on what my ex did. Chad is a whole other level from my ex, too, as far as women love him. I’ve gone out and I’m like, “Holy hell, you’d think I’m out with Elvis Presley.” But I like that. He’s sexy and he’s fine and we have this real attraction for each other. I’m not worried. I feel like if I dated, let’s say a regular working guy, I’d go through the same things. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. I don’t really think about it like that – I’m in a different space now.
Not only does this relationship intersect with your past of dating an athlete, it intersects with your present of being a reality star, as Chad is, too.
He tells me, “Yeah, I play sports,” but he also sees himself as an entertainer. He’s very entertaining. He has a great personality and people are drawn to him. Thank god his show didn’t work, though (laughs).
When the reports of your relationship hit, Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch was still airing. There was a TMZ report…
All of that was true, too. We were trying to keep it under wraps, because it looks crazy. What people don’t know is that the very last show, before he picked Rubi, he was late to that filming because he was having dinner with me. We laugh about it now.
Did you feel bad about that at all? When I interviewed Rubi, it seemed like she was clueless about your relationship and believed that she and Chad could have a future.
The thing is that show was filmed in, like, two and a half weeks. We all know that dating shows usually don’t work. That’s just what it is. She seems like a nice girl or whatever, but I don’t really feel bad. You filmed it in weeks: you can’t be in love with the guy. You don’t really know him. If they’d been together for months, I’d feel bad, but they don’t really know each other like that.
On this season of Basketball Wives, you talk about how you met Chad on Twitter. That’s the ultimate in modern courtship.
I know! It really happened because of Season 1. We filmed and we were talking s*** about his house [the setting of a party], but it turned out that it wasn’t really his house. He went in on us on Twitter and then me having the mouth I have, I said, “Listen, at the end of that show, I said it wasn’t your house.” He apologized and he direct messaged me and that’s how we started communicating. I think he was still doing Dancing With the Stars at that point. We were communicating at least for two months before we physically saw each other.
Watching Season 2, even before the Chad storyline is introduced, I get the sense that you were on the prowl.
Yeah, I had some time after my breakup and so I was single and going out and mingling and getting back into the dating scene, which is interesting and scary at the same time. With Chad, I wasn’t pursuing him, it’s just crazy how it ended up happening.
How much more intense was this season for you?
Aside from the stalker filming [of last season], which I don’t think anything can top, because you can see how angry I was. I wanted to f***ing kill her. But it was definitely intense. When we wrapped Season 2, I was like, “Thank God.” We’re forced to deal with things we don’t want to deal with. I mean, not forced – no one says, “Hey, you need to…” But you kind of get a sense when you’re filming of the story and where things are going and what needs addressing. But yes, it was intense and then I had a physical fight. It was craziness.
Is being obligated to address things because of the show a good or bad way to resolve issues?
I think it’s good. I’m one of those types of people where if you did something, I’d want to talk about it, but being filmed is a whole different thing. When you see me in the beginning of the supertrailer tell Suzi, “‘Cause you run your motherf***in’ mouth,” that’s me. I’m pissed. It’s just a little scary to show people that side of you. But it’s fine. You either love me or you hate me.
Do you stand by everything that happened during filming, or is there anything you wish you could take back?
I stand by everything except for something I said to Tami about her relationship with Kenny. I actually really like her.
From the beginning, it’s stated that your relationship with Tami could go either way: you could get along or clash intensely. Where do you stand with Tami now?
I like her a lot. I think we’re the same person. We have the same feisty attitude, but at heart she’s really a good woman. She’s real and that’s why I like her. Me and her are cool – we’re past it.
What about Suzi? Without getting too deep into what plays out on screen this season, where do you stand with her?
I will never talk to Suzi again in life. Even when people say something to all of us on Twitter, when I go back to retweet and say something positive, I take her name out. It’s that bad. I feel so betrayed by her. I know I was a good friend to her. I’m the one that brought her on the show. I took her under my wing when she had any type of concern. I feel like what she did to me was malicious. Up till that point, I hadn’t said anything bad about her.
What about Gloria?
You know what? In a weird way, I don’t have a problem with Gloria. It’s a Shaunie thing and, of course, Shaunie’s my friend, so I feel her pain. But if you take the Shaunie stuff out, I don’t think she’s a bad person. I don’t feel anything. If we ran into each other at an airport, we would speak.
Is this the most exciting time of your life?
Yes. It’s exciting because of the show, and also because my engagement has been a topic of conversation on the news and it’s just really weird. For example, we went to church in Cincinnati and we walked out and there was a camera crew. I’m a little weirded out by that whole thing. My life is no longer private. It wasn’t after Season 1, but who I’m engaged to definitely takes it to a whole other level.
It also seems you kind of like it.
Whatever positive comes from it…there have been some negatives, but I don’t pay attention to the negative things people say. It is what it is. Even with the show Season 1, you would have people that would say crazy things on Twitter. But I like my life right now. I can’t really complain.