I was on set at the taping of the Basketball Wives reunion special recently and was fortunate enough to chat with all the ladies on the show about what they thought of the dramatic third season: The fights, the fun moments, the drink throwing, everything. Here now is my first dispatch from the day, my interview with “motormouth” Suzie Ketcham, who is taller and more beautiful in person than I expected, and one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. I spoke to her the morning of the shoot, before the reunion taped, and she opened up about why you won’t see her throwing drinks in anyone’s face these days, and talked about how if she and Tami ever get thrown in prison, she’ll be Tami’s bitch.
Hey Suzie! So, do you have expectations for today, or is it just anything goes?
I always try to stay pretty cool and even because I hate drama. Maybe I’m doing the wrong thing by being on the show because it gives me such bad anxiety [laughs], but there’s definitely going to be drama and fighting because that’s just the way it is with these girls.
You find yourself at the center of a lot of it and I understand you don’t want to be dishonest, so you tell people everything—
—And people are like “Oh, she’s running her mouth.”
Right, but what do you consider yourself to be?
You know what’s funny, I don’t think I run my mouth any more than any of the other girls, I think it’s that I try to be cool with everybody and because of that, I’m put in these awkward situations. But if you look at my Twitter, I don’t run my mouth on Twitter, I don’t run my mouth on blogs, I mean, some of the girls blog all the time or Tweet all the time and that’s not me, that’s not who I am. But for me to try to stay in the middle and stay cool with both sides is like “Oh, she’s running her mouth.”
Do you think the comparison to Meeka is appropriate? People say you both talk too much, so what do you say to that comparison?
I think I would kill myself. All she does is talk s—. That is all she does. And I’m definitely not that person. I think people misconstrue it as running my mouth or whatever, but I’m just put in bad situations.
Do you wish that when you hadn’t told Tami and Evelyn the things Meeka said hadn’t in Rome?
No. Because if Tami were to find out what Meeka told me, when I’m closer to Tami, then it’s me being a shady friend. And my loyalties lie with Tami. Meeka came on this show being like this tough chick from Queens, and she’s going to come on here and take it over. I mean, she had so many opportunities to tell Tami “Well, you said this,” but why the hell wouldn’t she say it directly to her face? Why are you telling me? And that puts me in a bad situation because I do feel closer to Tami and care more about her. So here I know this information, do I just keep it inside and be a shady friend to Tami? So I talked to Evelyn and was like, look, I don’t feel comfortable, and then Tami walked in. So if that’s me running my mouth, then I’ll run my mouth all day long.
What’s funny is how you’re in the middle of so much drama but you can also provide moments of comic relief —
I don’t watch it, so I don’t really know. I have really bad anxiety, sometimes I have to take anti-anxiety pills because it’s too much to watch myself.
But what about how you wanted to do broadcast journalism? You’d have to watch yourself there.
That’s different, I think just with all the drama and the fighting I’m like, I’m just not a dramatic, aggressive person and it really makes me feel anxiety inside.
What I was going to say before is the moment that was really funny to me was when Tami was laying it all out to Meeka in Rome saying that she heard Meeka was like “People are comparing us, but we don’t have the same clothes or the same hair,” and your reaction was “I don’t wear a weave.”
They showed me saying that?? See, the thing is, that’s the honest truth! People are always like, oh, you seem like a bimbo or an airhead and for me it’s just that I don’t like to focus all the time. I can tune in and tune out very easily. If it’s getting too stressful, I’m like [snaps fingers] I can’t deal. Tune out. I just turn my brain off. Or I’ll say something that doesn’t relate to the conversation because I haven’t listened.
You didn’t really have a major storyline this season as far as having your own drama or tension with anyone—
But do you wish there was anything that was focused on more in your personal life or anything this year?
I’m happy to keep things the way they are and not have beef with anyone, because the second season was all about me and Evelyn fighting and I hated that. I honestly, truly cared about her and I still do, so for me having the third season off of me was great, it was like thank God.
What about showing your romantic life on-screen?
I mean, I’m dating but there’s nothing that major that I want to bring it out. And then I’m worried that if I do bring it out, it’s like, there you go making that person more well-known, and more girls are going to be like “Ahh! It’s him! It’s the guy from Basketball Wives!” and he’s like “Oh, s—!” If ever there was someone who means a lot to me, I’d keep him off the show. I’d be worried that if I do value it, it would get ruined. I don’t even want the guys I date to talk about it or be involved in that part, because for me it’s just kind of like a job, and it’s come to the point where we go out people are like “Suzie! Oh my God!” and I don’t want anyone to be like “Oh, she’s quasi-famous,” or whatever and like me for that. I want people to like me for me.
Do you worry that if kids are watching the show and they see you guys behaving badly toward each other you’ll become a bad influence?
That’s a big thing for me, because in season one I threw a drink. And then I threw a bucket. And there were kids at my daughter’s school who were like “I saw you on the show! Why did you throw water on that girl?” And I was like “Oh. My. God. Little kids are watching,” and that’s not who I am and I hated being portrayed like “Oh, that’s the water girl!” and I was like no, it’s not, I’ve never done that in my life. So I did want to show more of me and who I am. I don’t like fighting, I like to have fun. Life is so short. For me it took my dad battling cancer, dying and really trying to enjoy every minute of his life so happy and stress-free up until the end for me to be like, wow, I need to enjoy every single day and not let stupid drama overtake me.
Do you think this season was more dramatic than the others?
Yes! The crazy thing is that it just all happened, nothing was really set up, the whole Eric and Jen thing and Meeka and Tami, like, here comes this girl Meeka and she’s just talking s— and at polo she was just like “Ahhhh!” and it was insane.
What did you think about that, at first you were really trying to be her friend but then she gets aggressive at the polo match and goes off.
For me, even when I first met her she was kinda like “I’m the s—,” and she was coming into our world and I think that’s why she was pigeonholed, because word got out that here she’s on the show and is going to take it over, but I mean, Tami is a force to be reckoned with. Tami will kill you with her pinkie if she needs to. I even told her, if we’re ever thrown in jail, I’m going to be Tami’s bitch. Tami’s my wife. I don’t want to be that fighter. I did it in season one and everyone was like “Oh my God, she’s this and that,” and I was like, that’s not really me, I did it to make a good show. So I threw a drink in her face. Why not?