“Basketball Wives” season 8 debuted on VH1 Wednesday night, and when Jennifer Williams emerged on the screen, the folks inside the intimate screening at Oak Atlanta erupted in cheers.
Although Williams was left on an island on her own at the end of last season, the 43-year-old is now dishing on where her relationships with the cast stand today.
Speaking to Atlanta Black Star after the premiere, Williams explained she and Evelyn Lozada have a long history. The two were famously on the outs last season when Williams and Tami Roman put it on the table that there was a rumor that Lozada had slept with one of Shaunie O’Neal’s exes. And during the premiere, Kristen Scott told O’Neal Williams said it wasn’t “headline news that your ex might have been sleeping with other people,” which would seem to include Lozada.
Couple that with how Lozada washed her hands of Williams after it was alleged Williams made some disparaging comments about her parenting skills, and fans are eager to know if the longtime friends can make amends.
“Evelyn and I have been friends — she was in my wedding in ’07,” Williams said June 19. “But before that, I believe we met in 2000 ’cause I met my ex-husband [Eric Williams] in 2000. If you do the math, that’s a really long time. There’s been a lot of up and downs. There hasn’t been — I’m not gonna say one person is totally at fault but there was a lot of s–t that has transpired and you guys are gonna have to stay tuned to see if it gets repaired.”
That same rumor has caused Roman’s relationship with O’Neal to sever as well. Williams said she only saw Roman once over the course of the season and that she didn’t film often with the group (Williams speculated it was because Roman did not wish to film with Lozada). But she couldn’t pinpoint where O’Neal and Roman’s relationship is headed.
“I don’t really know where Tami and Shaunie stand,” Williams said. “I know that there’s a long history there. There’s a lot of stuff that’s transpired and there’s definitely some things that I’m privy to. I don’t really feel like it’s really any of my business because that’s their personal relationship. … Tami’s definitely not my favorite person, but I understand how she feels. And I’ma just leave it at that.”
One thing Williams would dish on, however, is the way she feels about O’Neal’s status as a cast member and the executive producer. She said the setup can get “a little tricky.”
“I feel like… you can sway the narrative of the story,” she explained. “It’s kind of really not authentic and it’s honestly unfair to the cast. And so, I feel like you should pick a side. When you’re sitting here with us and you’re filming, you’re a cast member like everybody else and so you should be subject to certain things. So, therefore, if somebody says something you don’t like, you shouldn’t be able to ‘Oh, I want this out of the show.’ That’s bulls— because that makes it not real anymore and we’re on a reality show — this is not a scripted show. … But it’s only the first episode so we’ll see how the rest of the season goes.”
Circling back to Scott, Williams said she has no issues with her cast member, who was introduced on the show last season, telling O’Neal what she said about her ex.
“That was a big scene between Kristen and I and it was kind of my first scene back and how did I feel about x, y, and z so they’re gonna encourage her to say what I said. … I don’t fault her, I don’t blame her,” Williams said. “It’s her second season, she’s new to this so it’s understandable. So, I’m OK. I’m at the point with this show [where] I don’t take anything to heart. I realize what it is. I have my real friends and I’m able to differentiate.”
Among her real friends is “Basketball Wives” newcomer Dominique Lenard, who has been photographed with Williams many a time on Instagram.
“She brings a different perspective,” the Classy Girl Wardrobe creator says of her stylist pal. “She’s real, she’s true. She’s unfiltered. And, I feel like a lot of these girls, they can easily be swayed…. I just appreciate her.”
“Basketball Wives” airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on VH1.