EDITOR’S NOTE: During the Basketball Wives 4 Reunion Show, Shaunie O’Neal promised that the next season of the show would be more balanced and that cast members would “work out issues in a non-violent fashion.” That said, we gave each of the cast members an opportunity to share their experiences from this season on the show with us, and we wanted to give them all equal airtime to present their opinions to you in an unfiltered way.
Kesha Nichols made a name for herself in an unfortunate way this season on Basketball Wives. Even though she made a lifelong friendship with Royce Reed and tried to stay out of drama as much as possible, after making some offhand comments that came back to Tami Roman, she was on the receiving end of Tami’s anger during a girls’ trip to Tahiti that left audiences shocked and left Tami apologizing for the way the situation was handled. When we spoke to Kesha at the Basketball Wives reunion, she told us straight out of the gate that she wasn’t thrilled to be there, but that contractually, she had to attend. Since she’s a lemonade-out-of-lemons kind of girl, we gave her the floor to go off on one of the positive things that came out of her appearance this season, which is that she now considers herself something of an advocate for people who have been bullied. Here’s Kesha Nichols, mostly in her own words.
So how are you feeling being here?
I’m contractually bound to be here. [Laughs] I have to be here. Otherwise, I would have skipped it.
Do you have any regrets from the season?
Honestly, this whole season I’ve been waiting and hoping that something positive would come, and I don’t think they’ve really shown anything positive about me, about black women, about women in general. And I honestly didn’t realize that I was being bullied when I was in Tahiti, I knew that Tami was being mean to me and that nobody was sticking up for me, but when I watched the episode, that’s when I realized I was being bullied, and I’ve been lucky, never in my life have I experienced that, so maybe the reason why I was on the show was to see what it was like to be bullied and be a spokesperson for people that are being bullied.
I had a conversation with Royce about doing another season if the show comes back, and I don’t know why I would. I’m never going to film with Kenya again, I’m never going to film with Tami again, so what purpose would I serve? I’m not about this life, so why would they want me to come back? And Royce was like, you have so many fans and people who look up to you, if you don’t come back it might look like you’re running. No, it looks like I’m removing myself from a negative situation. That’s all you can do when you’re being bullied by someone. Remove yourself from the situation. Because, clearly, not saying anything doesn’t work. This has definitely been a learning experience for me and I’m not going to let it break my spirit. I can make something positive out of anything, but it’s definitely been very hard.
I have it in me to snap, but it has to be about something I care about. I’m not going to fight a woman who’s fighting a battle with herself, it has nothing to do with me. And I wrote about this in my blog, but the rest of the women who didn’t step in are secondary adult bullies. I’m allowed to have an opinion about somebody going off on me, and she was mad at me because I said she was acting a fool, and what was she doing? Acting a fool again. What’s she going to do today? Beat me up because I called her a bully?
I keep saying how lucky I am that I have a support group around me and family and friends who love me all around, but some people who don’t have that might go hurt themselves. What I’ve endured could take me to a really dark place and I haven’t let that happen, but there are people who don’t have the tools to help themselves out of situations like this.
I read that you emailed Tami after she had her heart attack to bury the hatchet, did she ever get back to you?
No. It wasn’t an email to bury the hatchet though, it was to let her know that no matter what happens on reality TV, real life health problems and real life issues outweigh that. I’m a good person, I don’t want Tami to die from a heart attack, I don’t want her to be sick or be hurt, so to hear that she had a heart attack, that’s serious. So as a Christian, and as a caring woman, I wanted to reach out to her and let her know she was in my prayers. And did I get the same treatment? No. I was sick in Tahiti. Did one person ask me if I was all right? No, they were pissed at me for coughing. Sometimes I don’t even know how to respond to questions in these interviews because the behavior is beyond me.
How is your life outside the show?
The rest of my life is awesome. My boyfriend is amazing, we just moved in together in New York, my dance company’s doing well, I have some great auditions coming up, lots of stuff in the works, I’m just trying to get through this reunion, then the sky is the limit.