After seeing the negative reaction to the Shaunie O’Neal/Gloria Govan confrontation on this week’s episode of Basketball Wives, we reached out to Shaunie to find out her take on the arguing and whether there was anything that went down that the public didn’t see. It turns out there was: below, Shaunie explains why they got on the subject of Gloria’s canceled wedding in the first place (she maintains that she did not meet up with Gloria to tease her). She also accepts responsibility, calling the blow-up immature and part of “a bad day.” All this and her reaction to the public’s reaction is included in the interview below…
Tell me what you think about the incident with Gloria.
It was one of those things where Royce called, and said, “Let’s go and see Gloria and Suzie because this is the only time we’ll get to see them.” She had questions for Gloria, even though they ended up not being asked. I was in Orlando with my kids, and that was the only point of being in that city. Getting that call, it was like, “All right, I’m already here, so let’s go.” We kind of go everywhere together when we’re in each other’s cities. I think the whole thing just took its own direction. As soon as we got there, everything deteriorated so fast and went to a whole other place than probably anyone wanted to go. For me, I can say it was a bad day. As I was going into the restaurant, I was thinking, “Why am I even doing this? This is just pointless and out of my character.” I should have followed my gut, but in the midst of the adrenalin and being with my girls and supporting each other, I rolled with it. I guess people are blaming this on the Laura Govan/Shaquille allegations, and it’s so not that. That’s so last year. I think everybody’s over that, including Gloria, but I don’t want to speak for her. It doesn’t come up in my life at all ever. It was other stuff with Gloria and me: there was tension there. And I guess with us all walking into that restaurant, Gloria immediately went into defense mode, which then sparked a lot of nonsense going back and forth between us.
There was also a bunch of stuff said before the world saw what it saw. There were things said before that, which would probably help make sense of why we even got to the discussion on why she didn’t get married. I think Gloria felt like she was being ambushed and that her back was against the wall so she was going to throw out whatever she possibly could throw out. I get that, but the things she did say were things we could never show on TV due to them having nothing to do with myself, Jenn, Evelyn or Royce. She was totally attacking our exes, and saying what filth and dirty and pathetic men they are, which she thought would be insulting to us. I could give a damn. You can talk about Shaquille all day. It really doesn’t matter. Your opinion of him has nothing to do with me. We were kind of laughing at her, like, “OK, so what? We know who we’re dealing with. We already know what these guys have done.” We were kind of laughing at her, and she said, “Look who you picked!” That’s when we went into, “Well, sweetie, you didn’t get married, so there must be something wrong with your dude, too.”
I think the scene would have made a little more sense with that part in tact, but with me being an executive producer, I don’t want to bash the guys. I don’t ever want that to be the show. It was really important to me to protect the guys from that crap. I wish that people could hear the whole conversation, but at the same time, I’m happy they didn’t, because that’s not what Basketball Wives is about. It’s not about bashing the guys. And this wasn’t intentional, I’m sure, on Gloria’s part, but that’s just what she came up with in the midst of the arguing. She said that that’s how I got to be miserable. And the whole bitter part? I absolutely having nothing to be bitter about. My kids and I live the same exact lifestyle we always did during my marriage and as they can see on TV, nothing has changed. We’re going on the same exact vacations, driving the same cars. No one’s hurting. I’m able to maintain my lifestyle and step away and do Shaunie. I’m in a new relationship, I’m happy. If anything, I’m in a better place than ever before. There’s nothing to be bitter about. It was just a bad day. That’s what I chalk it up to. I participated in mess due to the exchange of words that never should have been said.
Do you regret the incident?
I regret not following my gut. My gut feeling was not to even go. It wasn’t that important to me if I ever saw Gloria again. It’s not something that even crossed my mind. What happened there and what was said was absolutely natural. It was a natural reaction and I think most women would have reacted the same exact way. And like I said, it was a bad day and it was immature of us, but had people seen the conversation, they’d know that we didn’t go in there for the sole purpose of teasing Gloria about her relationship.
I think it’s also important to remember that this beef didn’t come from nowhere – you’ve said things about Gloria, and Gloria has said plenty of negative things about you guys and the show.
It says a lot that she’s back on the show. She said she’d never come back and she didn’t want anything to do with it. But she’s back and she asked to come back. Maybe that was what she wanted: those five minutes of bad-ass Gloria. I don’t know.
Any thoughts on following her out to the car?
It had gotten so heated. She was cussing everyone out and whatever, and it was like, “You’re real bad-ass here when you have 30 people in the room that you know will not let anything happen.” I mean, I’m not going to fight. That’s not in my character. But at the same time, you want to be Billy Badass, and when it wasn’t working, when attacking the guys wasn’t affecting us, then it’s up and leave. No, let’s finish.
What has the fallout over this been like? Do you feel bashed on Twitter?
Yes and no. I’m a confident person, and I know what it is. People have questioned my mothering and called me bitter, but I know I’m a wonderful mother and a wonderful human being. I get pissed off and mad and sad and react to things just like the next person. I think there are a lot of judgmental people out there. Some of the comments I read piss me off because it’s like, “You don’t know me.” If you don’t get mad and say some things and react some ways in your life at some point or another that make you think back and say, “OK, I could have dealt with that better,” then you’re not human. But it’s done, it’s said, it’s a learning experience. I don’t think anybody really needs an explanation, but it is hurtful if you question my mothering skills or question me as a person. It’s frustrating to read and listen and ignore when you want to just say, “Are you stupid?” You can’t define me in seven minutes of an edited piece of film.
I also wish that people could take a step back and realize that this is exactly why they’re watching the show. On this blog, a lot of the comments have been angrily critical of you guys, but very few have stated, “I’m not watching this anymore.” That says a lot.
The bottom line is that’s the goal. We want a successful show, but that’s not to say that we’re going on there to argue to get our success. We shot for two or three months and had plenty of good times, but unfortunately, nobody wants to see those Little House on the Prairie moments.
That’s when people would say, “This is boring. I’m not watching it anymore.”
Exactly! Tami was Twittering earlier, “You hate us so much, but you’re still watching.” Hate it or love it, we still have the views and it’s one of those things where every week, someone’s going to judge and have an opinion. We just have to deal with it. But I’ve really got some thick skin, so it is what it is.