Interview: Evelyn Lozada from VH1 Basketball Wives
From infidelity with NBA star Antoine Walker, his gambling problems, Michael Jordan to details on upcoming episodes. NOTHING was off-limits for VH1 Reality Star Evelyn Lazada. In her most personal interview yet, Evelyn Lazada gives me the scoop!
Q: So what do you think about the show so far, is it an accurate portrayal of you and the other ladies lives?
EL: I think it is. So far, I’m pretty happy with how editing is going. Obviously, when you sign on to do a show like this, you never know how you’re going to look or how you’re going to be portrayed. I’m happy with it so far. I think it’s been pretty entertaining. I actually think the episodes are a little short but maybe I’m a little bias.
Q: Do you think that since you’ve already been through all of this drama before, that the other ladies like Jennifer tend too lean on you for advice and support a little more?
EL: Jennifer and I have been friends for ten years. I was with Antoine for ten years, so we both started our relationships about the same time. And I remember when we were both working and lived normal lives before we got engaged to these guys. So we became really close. I’m happy that she’s on the show. Whatever we talk about on the show is what we would talk about if we weren’t being taped.
Q: You were in a VERY long-term relationship with former NBA player Antoine Walker. I know you stated that you and Antoine were sleeping in two different rooms near the end of your relationship and just in an overall uncomfortable situation. But how and why did it get to that point?
EL: This is one of the misconceptions. And the reality of it is that my relationship with him for the last year or maybe two years; we weren’t in the greatest of situations. We had a lot of drama and my whole LIFE revolved around this man. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I have this teenage daughter. So yeah, we got to a point where things got so bad that we weren’t communicating. I knew I wanted out of the relationship, I just didn’t know where to start being that I wasn’t stable. I’m opening up this business and he’s been the bread-winner for ten years!! So, it was tough. I was sleeping in a whole other room. And we had good days, even though I was sleeping in the other room and days that it was bad and we just didn’t communicate. It was kind of like walking on egg shells….
Q: Was their infidelity on his part?
EL: Yes, and he knows.
Q: What did he think about you doing the show?
EL: He wasn’t happy. He didn’t know what I was going to speak about. And once he started realizing I’m not really out to bash him and I did it for my business, it was okay. And I told him I did speak about infidelity and he stated “I don’t really care and I’ll let the world know”. Basically he told me he doesn’t have anything to hide but that was the main reason we separated.
Q: The infidelity got to a point where it was blatant on Antoine’s part. It was a usual scene for journalists like Stella Foster, Bill Zwecker or my spies to see him with three or four young ladies at Ontourage or Creshendo in Chicago. I personally remember seeing him at his 8 Foundation party gala in 2007 at Excalibur nightclub with several ladies. How could you or did you turn a blind eye to this?
EL: The summer of 2007 I moved to Miami. My daughter had finished junior high school and was going into high school. It was an understanding that she was going finish school and I was going to move here to Miami to be with him and two months later he ended up getting traded.
I avoided going to a LOT of Chicago events because there were always those hanger-on types and his friends. I could see the fakes and the real people. It was so frustrating to me! Every time I came into town there was always some drama with some friends!
His family and I didn’t have the greatest of relationships. I avoided going to anything, I mean- I didn’t go to ANYTHING! And people were like well, you didn’t support him but at the same time. I kind of felt like he didn’t want me to be there, he had these women and all these other people there. Basically, he wanted to have his cake and eat it too. I was here in Miami taking care of the house and my daughter and then he would be in Chicago, doing whatever it is he was doing. So no, I didn’t turn a blind eye.
I think in 2007, I was just to a point where I was in my second engagement with him. What people don’t know is that we got engaged twice. We got engaged on 2006, and then I found out he was cheating on me and then he re-proposed in front of my family. And I really believed him. I know if Dr. Phil was sitting in front of me, he would be like- this man has cheated on you and he’s NOT going to change. But I believed and I trusted in him. I knew what was going on; I was just in a messed up situation. And…I didn’t know what to do. He was my security blanket basically.
It was a lesson to me and a lesson when I speak to my daughter. Don’t revolve your life around somebody and don’t give them that much power. And I gave him that.
Q: Some of Antoine’s so-called friends that ran his charity organization were convicted felons, accused murderers and overall, not the best of people. Do you think it was his friends that were Antoine’s downfall? And how did you survive in an environment like that?
EL: I didn’t even know about all that! That shows how out of the loop I am. He kept a lot of that private. Whenever I said anything like, let’s say like about Fred Billings; I always got a weird vibe from the guy and it’s just what it is. Whenever I said anything to him, his approach was “this is my business” and if anybody who knows Antoine, that’s how he is. “This is my business, and I’ll do what I want do, you don’t know them.” And that’s how he was. And he was very private about that, even about the gambling. I found out about the gambling when everyone else was finding out. I knew he liked to go out and gamble, but I didn’t know anything was on the level of where it was. That’s what also made me make my decision and say you know what, I don’t even know what else this man has going on.
Q: Antoine gambled quite a bit. And I’m not talking about small amounts here. Also, I saw a special on ESPN where someone stated that Michael Jordan was a bad influence on Antoine and caused a lot of his financial problems. What do you think about that?
EL: You know what: Antoine’s a grown man. I read that before and he’s a GROWN MAN. Antoine would go alone and play cards and do whatever it is he was doing. Michael Jordan wasn’t around him every time. I think to place blame on Jordan, it’s ridiculous. Antoine’s a 30 plus year old man and I think he knows better! Nobody was putting a gun to his head. He likes playing cards and that’s what he likes doing in his off time so I think it’s unfair to Jordan.
Q: The picture leak. Did you know about the leak before it became public? And do you know who it was that leaked your pics?
EL: This is all being investigated. What people don’t realize is that it’s bigger than pictures. Before my computer was hacked into, I had almost 6,000 emails in there. I never thought I was going to get on this show and this was going happen to me.
The very first day I started taping the show. I started getting emails and text messages, from someone who I had no idea who they were. They started to harass me, almost threatening me. For a second, I did think that, could this be Antoine? But, knowing Antoine, that’s not even in his character to do something like that to me. And then as things went along I found out it was this woman. Right before the pictures were leaked this person was taunting me with my own pictures. She was saying things like “I’m going to make money off of you, I hope your show pops, I hope your show is successful, you’ll see I’m going to ruin you”! So, I knew I had to have a conversation with my daughter, I was freaking out.
This person being that they hacked into my email account also emailed Antoine the pictures and he got into contact with me. “Evelyn I don’t want no involvement in this, I don’t know who’ve you pissed off but I think their going to put those pictures on the internet.” And sure enough that Saturday, I get to work, my phone is ringing and a friend of mine is like what the hell is going on! And I’m like what happened, she’s tells me my pictures are all over the internet.
It’s bigger than the pictures because this person hacked into my email and was spoofing me. I don’t know if you know what spoofing is but they were using my cell number and text messaging my daughter and making it appear that I was text messaging her (spoofing). It started getting scary, and that’s why it’s bigger now than just pictures being leaked. I can deal with that. But now my daughter is being harassed. It got to a point they were saying “Your mother is a hoe, wait till these pictures get leaked you’ll be embarrassed in school”.
Q: Why do you think they did this? Was it for the money, revenge or just jealously because your living this fab life?
EL: I have no idea. I know who this person is. I’ve seen her in passing. I have no idea why and that’s what scares me. And that’s why the investigators are like this is scary! I’ve never had a conversation with her. Maybe if her husband tried to talk to me or maybe something like that then I could understand. But as God as my witness, I never had a conversation with that women and that’s why it’s even more chilling. It gives me the chills just thinking about it. I’ve never done anything to her. And she just targeted me for no reason.
If I didn’t have a daughter in high school I would be like: I’m proud of my body. I live in Miami, people are top-less on the beach and it is what it is. But I have a daughter in high school and that was the most hurtful thing. For someone to be like oh, your mother’s on the internet and young boys talking about it, it’s embarrassing. I own a business in Miami. I don’t want to look like I lead them or I’m trying to pimp myself out to make money. I would NEVER do that. But you’ll see it, the truth will come out. I’m a true believer that you can’t do stuff like that to people. Try to destroy them when I know I haven’t done anything to you. And I really know in my hearts of hearts that God is going to handle it. I KNOW IT.
Q: So you are taking legal action against this person?
EL: Oh yeah. There are attorneys and investigators involved… it’s big!
Q: Is it hurtful to see the media and bloggers making assumptions about you and the other ladies without even knowing you?
EL: Yeah, it is. But when we stopped tapping, one of the things that the producers said to us is “do not read the blogs”! I don’t read comments or get on these sites because you’ll drive yourself crazy. I just ignore it because everyone is going to have their own opinion. Everyone’s not going to love you.
What’s crazy to me is they see you for twenty-two minutes on TV, and they feel like they know your whole life. It’s part of it, putting your life out there. I have thick skin.
Q: So far Basketball Wives has not disappointed, what can we expect in the new few episodes?
EL: I’ll just say this, the person that was allegedly stalking me, you’ll see how that plays out on the show. Shaunie will confront Gloria. I finished recently taping in California and I took a six-hour plane ride and was literally awake the entire time, because it was so intense. It gets better by the episode.
Q: What do you really think of Royce & Gloria?
EL: Let’s start with Royce. Royce initially I judged her. I would see her twitter rants and I judged her by her being a dancer. I have actually grown too really like that girl. She’s a free spirit and she’s not a bad person. Does she handle things the way I would, NO- totally not. But you know I judged her and I’ve gotten to really like her.
Gloria is living in a fantasy land. I really feel that people say that oh, your hating on her. I think she’s amazing, and she has an amazing family! Matt is very involved with the kids and I won’t take that away from her. But I kind of felt like whenever we were having conversations or we were being interviewed about groupies. I felt like she would look down at us like she’s never dealt with that and I know first hand that she has. So stop frontin, and be real! Your on TV, these girls are going to come out the wood works! So I just feel that she’s portraying herself like she hasn’t dealt with certain things and I know first hand she has. She’s in denial.
Q: I didn’t know you owned a boutique in Coral Gables, please tell me more about it!!
EL: I do, it’s called Dulce. We’re going to have our one-year anniversary on Thursday. It’s been great! I have a lot of athlete wives. I also have Ciara and Bow Wow’s mom. We’re getting a good following. Apparently Lisa Raye wants me to send her stuff! Everything here is very high, sexy, different, sting-ray material high-heel shoes. You know how you go to Nordstrom and Neiman’s and they have the same stuff. My shoe store is Edgy.
Dulce- 286 Miracle Mile Coral Gables, FL, 33134 www.dulceshoes.net
Q: What made you decide to do this show?
EL: Shaunie calls me one day and she’s like I have an idea. Mind you this was a while ago. How everything evolved is just crazy! She told me that she’s pitching this reality show and would love for me to be on it. Mind you, she and I were always good friends. And I thought I’d be crazy not to do it for my shoe store. Four out of eight episodes have been in my store. So, how could I pass up that opportunity? Then next thing I know we’re doing one on ones and their like OMG we love Evelyn! I went from having normal days at homes to eight to ten people in my house. I mainly did it because of my shoe store.
Q: What’s one thing you want the public to get from this show and seeing you on TV?
EL: Just that we are real people. I have weirdos calling my store saying OMG you’re a celebrity. We’re normal people. Even though I lived a certain lifestyle with him, I took my daughter to school, cleaned my own house just like you. I’m a normal humble person. We take care of our children we don’t have nannies I mean some of us do. But we’re just normal people. I think sometimes people get so caught up that OMG, she’s with an athlete and she’s living this life. And it’s not like that, we have feelings. And I wear my heart on my shoulder, that’s why you’ll see me cry probably two more times because it’s not easy being with these guys. I dealt with a lot of stuff. I will say this, he knows he did what he did and he cheated and he wasn’t the greatest guy. We had good times and I will NOT take away the fact that he was an AMAZING father to my daughter. My daughter loves him to this day! She really does and that’s been difficult for me too. Even towards the end of his career, they would do Yoga together, go to the movies together and talk on the phone. If anything she’s closer to him than her own dad. And I would NEVER take that away from him.
Q: Are you dating?
EL: No. Everyone asks me that. But no, I went on a blind date on the show, you’ll see it on Sunday. Cool guy, I’ve seen him around in Miami. But no, God hasn’t brought me that person yet. Maybe on season 2
Q: Has this changed your view of dating NBA players?
EL: You know at the beginning of the show I was like no, hell no, HELL NO! But I don’t want to judge everyone by one person and it’s so hard not to do that from what I’ve seen.
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Tags: Antoine Walker, Basketball Wives, CHICAGO, Evelyn Lozada, Jennifer, LaShonda Matlock, Michael Jordam, NBA, Shaunie, VH1