At the time of the Basketball Wives reunion taping, the news of Meeka Claxton‘s lawsuit against Tami Roman as a result of their fight in Italy had just broken and was impossible to ignore. When we spoke to all the ladies, most of them thought the lawsuit was ridiculous, especially Tami herself. We chatted with Tami about the entire season, but of course somehow, things kept coming back to Meeka. While there’s no official word as to whether there will definitely be a season four of the series, Tami told me “I will definitely not come back to the show if she’s on it.”
How was it seeing the episode where your girls fired you?
It was difficult, only because my daughters and I have a very close relationship and this was the first time they didn’t come to me directly with something, they put me on the spot thanks to this one [Tami points out her cousin who's in the dressing room helping her get ready]. So for me, they’re used to me being very passionate and emotional about stuff, and they didn’t want that in their career. So I had to come to grips with how maybe sometimes I’m a little over-dramatic. I have to try and fine-tune that now. It was a wake-up call.
How did you watch that and discover “Oh, I am that way.”
I think that’s one of the hidden beauties of reality TV. We’re all on there being ourselves, living our lives, and when you watch these things back we are able to see those moments where maybe it’s like “Yeah, I am a little dramatic!”
[At this point the producers walk in to say hi to Tami and they ask her about the lawsuit Meeka has filed against her.]
I’m just going to take it all in stride. Just gonna be cool as I can be! Which usually goes left somehow! So much has been going on. She’s doing all these interviews and saying all this stuff and I never said one thing other than “I don’t like you.” That’s the extent of it. I don;t like you. I don’t talk about your family, your kids, I don’t give you any attention and you’re just making it your life’s mission to be on every radio station,every inch of you, talking about me.
I’ve had so many things that I’ve wanted to say to her and they’re all going to come out, I just have to keep as calm as I can be.
[After chatting for a few minutes, the producers leave.]
So I guess that’s like the elephant in the room, Meeka is planning to sue you…How do you feel about that situation?
I wasn’t aware of the lawsuit. I found out about it from my publicist and apparently it ended up on a lot of social media websites and stuff, so for me, I was a little taken aback because it was absurd. The fact that she has one threw me for a loop because it’s like, we had an altercation. Period, point blank. People have those all the time. It was a situation where we were in a club environment and all I see is somebody, you know, raising up against me, and it’s like, I have a right to defend myself. So I’m just wondering where she gets that she has a lawsuit when it was a clear defense mechanism and it was just an altercation that happened. It happens all the time, you know? Like, I would never sue Evelyn because we had a fight. We had one of the biggest brawls of season two and in that instance, she had a lawsuit. It was like, you said something, it hurt my feelings, and I punched you in the face. You’ve got a lawsuit. This girl, Meeka, does not have a lawsuit.
So you’re not worried at all?
I get the feeling nobody is excited to have her back if there is a season four, so if she does sign on for another season, would you just not work with her and not be in scenes with her?
No, it’s not about not working with her, it’s about if she’s on season four, I will not return. It’s not about you can be in scenes with other people and I won’t work with you, it’s “If you’re on season four then Tami will not return.” I will definitely not come back to the show if she’s on it.
Did you expect things to go the way they did with her?
Listen, it’s a reality show. You know what you’re getting into when you sign on. So for me, we’re all in the show together, we’re being ourselves when we get into certain situations and things happen, but at the end of the day, I advise people to look at it for entertainment purposes only. Don’t put a lot of weight on some of the things we do. The fact that you’ve now turned that into a very ugly environment, I never expected a lawsuit, I never expected…look, nobody wants to work with her. She’s just somebody that came into a situation where for the most part we have our altercations and we have our disagreements but we’re always able to work through them, to show some resolve. And here you come and it’s literally like poison has taken over. People aren’t friends with Royce, usually we can work through those things, but you’ve just created this tear of never-ending stuff that’s very ugly and nobody signed up for. For me it’s like, no I didn’t expect that and no, I don’t want it to continue.
It was kind of shocking to see you do an impression of her in front of her face, were you trying to get under her skin or did you not even care what she thought at that point?
Here’s the thing. I don’t do too many things behind people’s backs. I would have been a shady character if I had done that around the girls and she had no idea of it. I bring stuff straight to you. For me, I wasn’t talking to her, we were all at dinner, it was comical. It was an inside joke, that’s how I was approaching it, it was just “This is what I think of her” and I’m going to show her that.
So you didn’t worry about hurting her feelings?
That IS who she is. And in the end, that’s what she’s shown us. So for me it’s like, alright, that’s who you are, and if it’s not who you are, this is the time for you to speak up. Anything you need to say, now is the time to come clean, let us know who you really are, stop being a chameleon and just blending into whatever situation and just be yourself. And she still didn’t.
Was your distaste for her the sum of a lot of things, or was it really just what you said at dinner, that it was Meeka’s comments about how she’s not like you and her clothes and hair are nothing like yours?
It was the culmination of a lot of things. Outside of the stuff with me, it was also the situation with Royce, and Meeka going back to Suzie and stuff, there was that point in the vacation where I was like, let me just be cool with her and have a good time, and lo and behold I find out she’s still talking. And none of it she said to me. Like, being at the very prestigious polo event where nobody was even talking to her and she caused this whole big blow-up. It was so many things that just added up. Not everybody is the type of person who can come out and say what’s on their mind, some people are more meek, then you have people like me who are very open and candid, I understand that everybody is not like me, but when I talk to you and I’ve given you at least twenty opportunities to say what you mean and we’re just talking and you still continue to just lie, that bothers me.
Are you worried about what’s going to happen at the reunion?
I am a little worried. Only because I don’t know who’s going to show up. I still don’t know who Meeka is. Is it the person who’s going to try and come at me like the person in Rome? Is it the person who’s going to sit up there and lie all the time? Is she finally going to tell the truth and show us who she is? I don’t know, and that worries me because you like to be able to know who you’re dealing with and where that person stands, and she’s never given us that opportunity.
Suzie’s been in the middle quite a bit this season—
—Suzie’s caught between a rock and a hard place because she’s the only person that everybody talks to, so if there’s a situation that involves Royce, then Evelyn, Jen and Shaunie are not going to talk to her, so Suzie gets that information. I’m not the type of person who tells other people what someone says, I leave it for somebody to tell the other person themself, I’m not that kind of back and forth, back and forth type of person. So she’s just in a bad place.
Everyone calls out Suzie for talking too much in Rome and telling you what Meeka told her, but if she hadn’t said anything to you, do you think you would have been mad at Suzie for withholding that information?
Maybe. Yeah, probably.
So you weren’t mad that Suzie was telling you what Meeka said, you were just glad to know the truth.
I’m always happy to know the truth. For me, if it had come out down the line that Suzie knew this information and didn’t tell me, I would have been upset with her, there’s more of a connection there with Suzie than I have with Meeka.
Were you surprised that the t-shirt situation with Evelyn resolved itself so easily?
A little bit. We’re both very stubborn and adamant about what we believe in. The fact that we could reach a compromise so quickly was a good thing.
The shirts are still online though and she’s still selling them, does that upset you?
I’m not the t-shirt police. I got two kids, a man, my mother, a job, my life, I’m not sitting online trying to figure out how many t-shirts Evelyn has sold. All I know is that we made an agreement and hopefully she will honor that. That’s all I can hope to see, but I can’t monitor that. I will tell you, she’s a smart-ass bitch, because those t-shirts are selling. I think I’m gonna get me some. I might have to enter the t-shirt game.
If she’s still selling them, does that affect your trust in her?
It’s not a reflection of me, the fact that she’s still selling them doesn’t reflect negatively on me. She is the person that will suffer. We sat on TV and reached an agreement and if you don’t honor that, you’re the person that people view as untrustworthy. You’re grown, you’re going to make your own decisions and do what you wanna do, all I can hope is that you honor what we discussed.