The day of the Basketball Wives L.A. reunion, I spoke to Gloria Govan as she was catching up on the season finale and watching herself and the rest of the cast “break up” with Jackie. We watched the final few moments together and discussed the rocky relationship that developed over the course of the season (Gloria admits the ladies were actually scared of Jackie by the end), before addressing the other dramatic cliffhanger of the episode, her relationship with Matt. (More on their split here.) Here’s my complete chat with Gloria, who was so candid and open about everything from her relationship to how much better her experience was in L.A. compared to Miami.
In the final episode, what did you guys do after you all left the restaurant after meeting with Jackie?
We stood outside the restaurant for like ten minutes and were just kinda like “What in the hell?” in the parking lot. We were all confused and they obviously didn’t show everything, but we were like, this girl is crazy. She kept saying “Y’all need to be truthful! Y’all don’t even know what you’re talking about!” But we were like “We made a chart,” we showed up an hour early at the restaurant to make sure we were all on the same page, and when she came in, you know, we were like “Oh my God,” because honestly when we left Hawaii, we were afraid. We thought she was gonna pop out in the parking lot and attack. We were freaked out, seriously. It was to the point where we were asking for security. All of us were like, she’s crazy! And all she kept saying was “Y’all gonna be sorry, you don’t know who you’re messing with, y’all gonna be sorry,” and we were like, “This girl’s got like eight personalities.”
I think Malaysia was the one who joked that she was off her meds, did you actually think that too?
I was always like “Oh, Jackie’s just sensitive, whatever, it’s fine,” but there was that one point where I was like “She needs to be checked out,” dead serious, she needs medical attention. We were actually thinking about looking to get her into a psych ward and get tested.
Was there a turning point that? Because up until right before Hawaii, everything seemed so fine with her.
It was just nuts because she was playing everybody, so she would go up to you and say one thing and when you left, she would go up to the next person, and a lot of times, what Jackie does is the way she feels about you, she’ll tell you that’s how someone else feels to make it seem like it’s not coming from her. She she would be like “Uh huh, girl, they’re saying you’re fat and that you and Matt are terrible together and y’all this and y’all that,” and you ask that person like “You said that about me?” and then you find out “Jackie, that’s how YOU really feel, you don’t have to lie and say Imani said it,” or whoever else said it. But the turning point was Hawaii when Laura and Imani had that talk on the beach. Jackie was so freaked out. She was like “Uh oh.” I’m not there to monitor or regulate or put my two cents in, and you can see that she was wigging out like “What are they saying? Why can’t they just say it in front of the group?” and she was really worried that they were going to realize what she did. That’s when the turning point really came. She was at people’s rooms, she was calling people in the middle of the night, she was outside the door, it was some MacGyver type of stuff.
So the “kookiness” that we saw on the show was toned down from how it really was?
It wasn’t that it was toned down so much, but no one pinpointed that it was her yet, no one ever brought it up, we just all thought “That’s just Jackie,” but when it started to spill over into creepiness, that’s when everyone started talkin’. The thing about Jackie is that she likes to stir stuff up internally and then be the person that tries to fix it, so she’s walking around like the big sister, and then she just talks and talks and talks and makes you think “Well maybe I AM crazy, did I really say that?” and you start to question yourself.
Was it weird to you that Jackie went from like, den mother who everyone looked up to to the crazy one, and Draya went from the outsider to, you know, someone everyone ended up liking in the end?
Yeah, it was kind of crazy how everyone switched roles. Even Malaysia and I went from not really liking each other to her, you know, finding her walk with God and she really came into her own, and Imani, she didn’t like me either, she was one of the ones who was like “If I don’t like your sister, I might as well not like you” and I was like “Imani, I’m the only one here that you knew, I introduced you to Laura!”
How was it working with Laura?
Did you worry at all about her, that her reputation preceded her and she’d get some heat?
Yeah, I definitely thought that I’d have to spend at least the first half defending her, coming from Miami and all those assumptions and that scrutiny. I was prepared for that, but then again, knowing Imani, and Laura having known Jackie, the only two that I was worried about were Malaysia and Draya. I didn’t know them, they didn’t know my sister, that was the only time that I was on edge. But in terms of working with her, it was hilarious. We shot a lot together and we’d always laugh. the crew had to be like “Come back to us, focus up!” It was classic.
It was great to see your family too.
My parents are hilarious and it was really cool for people to see our character, where we came from and mom and dad still together after 36 years.
What did the rest of your family think of you doing another series after you had such a tumultuous time on the Miami show?
They know I’m a strong person, obviously very hard-headed at times, but I think with my sister on board, they knew we wouldn’t do anything to ruin our family values or our reputations or anything like that. They were way more supportive. And they know I want to get into films, so they were like take this as an opportunity.
How’s that going?
Auditioning has been amazing, I’ve gotten some callbacks, and just the opportunities I’ve gotten through sponsors and appearances have been great. This is a stepping stone, I’m not going to be a reality star forever, so it’s been good.
How was it doing that lingerie photo shoot?
I was so nervous.
What were you doing that for?
It was for something called TITS, “Two In The Shirt,” but Matt came through to support, and I think, you know “lingerie photo shoot,” you’re never really sure if anything shady is going on. I have been working out a lot to get my body back, so I was excited, but so nervous too, I mean, walking around in a thong was like “Oh, God.”
Did you try to change your style between Miami and now?
Absolutely. I think once people see themselves on TV they’re like “Ooh.” Either you look good or you’re like, I gotta do some work. And when I came to L.A. I was like “I need to get on the Stairmaster,” and L.A. is full of so many appearance critics, even if you’re going to the store you gotta be fly, out here, if there’s a snowstorm, you better have on them Prada boots. So I was like, I gotta step things up!
How different is this cast from Miami?
So different. I think, first of all, we all have kids, so I think for a lot of us, our priorities are different. I think that’s why we filmed so long, we all had other commitments and our priorities were different. And also, we may not all have guys, but a lot of us still have to deal with them to a certain degree because we have kids with them, so I think that comes out in how we approach certain situations. Because we ARE moms, we aren’t going to be throwing water week in and week out. We’ve had our boiling points, obviously, but it wasn’t like a constant occurrence for us because we were like “No, I’m a mom and my kids aren’t going to look at me like I’m stupid.” I think that’s the main thing that distinguishes us from Miami.
Was this a more pleasant experience for you?
Oh, hell yeah. I had a great time. I had a blast.