Royce Reed is able to joke now about the infamous pool party scene from season one that became her legacy for a while on Basketball Wives, but it seems like it took a little while to get there. But that scene, in which she showed off some interesting dance moves in a contest, was a learning experience for her, she says. “I don’t live my life regretting anything, I live it learning from it,” she told me at the Basketball Wives reunion, and that’s why the Royce we’ve seen this season is a more mature version of the woman we’ve gotten to know. Hear what Royce has to say about all the fighting, her own relationship drama, and what would have happened in Tahiti if she had been there to witness it.
The blog posts you write for us have gotten a really positive reaction this season, you’ve come out as being like this voice of reason on the show these days.
The way I write is really just the way that I feel and it’s not be attempting to be the voice of reason, or me being right or wrong, I just write how I feel. If it comes across like that, great. Not everybody is going to like what I have to say but that’s why opinions are like a—holes, everybody has one.
Since you weren’t in Tahiti, what was it like for you watching Kesha go through what she went through?
Watching it, I feel like I was lied to because I heard about Tahiti, I heard two different stories, and I’ve always been told “there’s two sides to every story and then there’s the truth,” but the side of the story that I got from Tami was completely different than what I saw. So I kinda feel like she lied to me, basically, and made me feel like a fool because I stuck up for her in so many instances because the person I met is so completely different from the person I’ve been seeing on TV. I feel like I can still say that Tami can be better than that, but I think the environment she’s putting herself in is very toxic. People say “She’s been through so much, that’s what makes her be this way,” but you can’t use that as an excuse. I’ve been through some of the same things that she’s been through and, not that the way I act is right or better, but there are different ways to approach situations, and the way that she did it was being a bully and I can’t condone that. She can get mad at me all she wants to but I’m never going to condone bullying.
So what’s the state of your relationship?
I haven’t spoken to Tami. I texted her when she had the heart attack and she texted me when I was going through my stuff or whatever, but it wasn’t like a full-on conversation.
Let’s switch gears. When are you going back to Broadway?
I’m going back in June, Father’s Day weekend, for about two weeks.
I don’t live my life regretting anything, I live it learning from it. I mean…I’m never going to make that pool party disappear, so it’s easy for me to talk about it and bring it up now. At some point you grow up. At some point you look at yourself and say “That probably wasn’t a good look, I won’t do that again.”
But there’s a difference between shaking your butt at a pool party and getting in a fight.
Oh, definitely. There’s a big difference. Me dancing at a pool party was me having fun, I wasn’t harming anyone. But it definitely was not a good look. When you fight and you bully somebody, that’s like you’re trying to harm someone and bring someone else down. It’s totally different, you can’t compare the two. But yes, I had a problem with me shakin’ my butt and I haven’t done it in years.
I know you’re cordial now with Jennifer and you’re friends with Kesha, is there anyone else in the cast you speak to?
Every now and then Kenya will text me to see how I’m doing, but that’s really it.
And how are things with your dad?
We’re better. He actually came to my dance company’s showcase, and I think him actually seeing what I do gave him a different outlook on what I do. He was basically trying to talk me into giving up dance on the show, but when he saw the performance, he was standing up and clapping and just happy. I think he now realizes why I do what I do. The smile on those girls’ faces, I’m keeping them away from so much negativity and building up their confidence and self-esteem. Their heads are held high, their grades are improving, I do it for them, and that’s what makes me feel good.
Has he watched the show? I wonder if he feels bad about how some of his scenes with you played out.
I think he regrets some of the stuff he said, or at least the way it came across. Because watching it, he realizes the tone and how condescending it can be, and he’s changed a little bit. He’s not going to change overnight. My dad is the only person that can turn me into a twelve-year-old like that.
Are you relieved that you didn’t go to Tahiti?
Oh, yeah. I definitely want to go, hopefully this summer. First of all, all of that wouldn’t have gone down had I been there. I was there, she wouldn’t have been able to take it that far. Because when you see something like that happening to someone, you know that it’s wrong and when you try to make excuses for it, you become part of the problem. When you don’t say anything, you become part of the problem. The fact that they sat there and smirked or tried to say “This is where Kesha made a mistake,” I’m like I don’t care! Kesha can say whatever she wanted to say, that doesn’t give you the right to bully anybody.
You really put your relationship out there this season.
People kept telling me, Royce, don’t put this on TV, don’t put this on TV. But when I decided to do this show, I was like “I am going to be as real as I can be,” because that’s the problem with a lot of these shows, people put on fronts, and that’s never been me. If I go in, I’m gonna go all in. But now I feel like everybody was right and maybe I shouldn’t have put certain things on TV. I did it, but I’m not gonna do it anymore.