Story by Zondra Hughes
Images by DeWayne RogersThe celebrity wedding used to be a thing of wonder, one of the most anticipated media events in modern history. And then Kim Kardashian got married — and allegedly made a profit — only to divorce her husband 72 days later.
The public was not amused by that chain of events, (publicity stunt?) and now most of us are suspiscious of a reality show star who makes a public display of the walk down the aisle. Clearly, there must be an angle: Is the marriage for profit or product placement? Is it for higher ratings or sheer publicity?
Enter “Bad Girls Club” star Natalie Nunn, who recently tied the knot with her fiancé, ex-NFL player Jacob Payne, in a wedding ceremony that will be featured on WE tv’s “Bridezillas” in June.
She knows that some folks are giving her the side-eye of disbelief — especially since few knew that she was engaged.
But Nunn says there’s no angle, she absolutely loves her husband.
“I met Jacob last year and we started dating at the end of September,” Nunn says. “He’s a very humble guy, and he has the biggest heart in the world. He’s so free-spirited and he cares about everybody. He’s really laid-back, smart, athletic — all of that.”
Although she’s a reality star who taped her wedding for a reality show, Nunn insists there’s nothing fake about her nuptials.
“It’s a little bit upsetting because certain people in Hollywood have done things like that; it’s fake or whatever,” Nunn says. “I was raised in a Christian church. My bishop is the bishop who officiated our ceremony. When it comes down to it, when God’s involved, I don’t play around. So, my wedding is as real as it can get. My ceremony was as real as life itself. I can’t believe that people would ask [if the wedding was real]. Wow, and all because one person did that?”
Just a week after her wedding, the newbie wife seems nothing like that other Natalie Nunn, who brawled with fellow bridesmaid (and “Bad Girls Club” member) Florina Flo Kaja, when they were members of Tanisha Thomas’ wedding party.
Media outlets reported that Nunn put the smack down on Kaja, a payback from a fight that occurred between the two during the fourth season reunion.
In a press statement, Oxygen reps insisted there were no punches thrown: “While filming … for “Tanisha Gets Married” there was an explosive verbal argument between former ‘Bad Girls Club’ cast members, Natalie Nunn and Flo. The two engaged in a heated exchange with each other while celebrating Tanisha’s bachelorette party in Atlantic City, N.J. No punches were thrown.”
Natalie Nunn the newlywed wants to package those fight club moments and ship them off to the land of Lost and Forgotten, because she’s not on that brawling tip anymore. Nunn’s maturing, with her water color eyes set on something larger, more tangible and relevant; she’s focused on love, life with her new husband, experiencing new adventures, and exploring new opportunities as a couple.
But, children are not on the agenda just yet. “I’m not really thinking about kids right now,” Nunn says. “We have so much that we want to do as a couple and in our relationship. We want to travel the world, my lifestyle was not [privileged] like his when I was growing up. And the last several years, going to college and all of the opportunities that I’ve had, he hasn’t necessarily had that lifestyle. So, that’s what we want to do together as a couple and change the world.”
Proof of this dramatic change will be evidenced in the upcoming season of “Bridezillas,” where, gasp! Nunn was not the source of drama.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Nunn was not behaving like Bridezilla, it was her wedding party and family members who were bringing the beast to the bash. There were heated exchanges, and a catfight or two, unpredictable ugliness that even the cameras weren’t prepared to see, according to the gossip site Radar online.
Rolling out asked Nunn about the validity of the report.
“Oh, Radar,” she quips, confirming the report, without giving much detail about the drama. “… I literally slept like the last week trying to rejuvenate. So much drama. The whole time we were filming like crazy. It was the bridesmaids, some family — [there] was a lot of drama. The bridesmaids really gave me a hard time. It was so hard with cameras following me everywhere.”
The root of the madness — women vying for attention and special treatment as the cameras are rolling — is the drug that makes the “Bridezilla” reality show so addictive.
“It’s a reality show [and] everybody wants to look pretty on TV,” Nunn explains. “The one thing with girls is — like they all have their own names as if they’re the ‘Video Vixen,’ or they all have this image to uphold. So, [the bridesmaids complained], ‘this isn’t the way my makeup is supposed to be,’ and it was just so much drama. And it made it harder.”
Finally, Nunn issued an ultimatum to the wedding party, “I said, if they didn’t want to be in the wedding, I don’t care and you can leave. It was crazy.”
The peacemaker is a far cry from the short-tempered Natalie Nunn who ruled the roost while on the “Bad Girls Club” — just ask Amber, or Portia, or any other cast member who crossed the line. But, no matter what you think you may have seen on the show, Nunn is adamant that she is not a bully.
“I never really was a bully, I’m a bad girl who stands up for herself and I don’t let people just say things about me,” Nunn clarifies. “I am totally against bullying, but I am not against somebody sticking up for themselves and not allow[ing]others to push them around or walk on them.”
Earl and Karen Nunn of California’s Bay Area welcomed Natalie Nunn into the world the day after Christmas in 1984. Young Nunn’s multicultural background (Puerto Rican, Brazilian and African American), gave her a unique look, but it was her athleticism and book smarts that set her apart from the rest.
At Aragorn High School in San Mateo, Calif., Nunn was named Most Valuable offensive Player on her soccer team, and she competed in the 2002 Junior Olympics for track. At the University of Southern California, Nunn played soccer throughout her entire college tenure, and earned a degree in sociology to boot.
Nunn describes herself as “a very loving, caring, good hearted, go-getter and a hard worker. All I do is work. I’m always on the Internet on my phone.”
Nunn has learned her lesson about running on empty, and is mindful of not over-exerting herself after a scary bout with exhaustion landed her in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center just last year.
Nunn still has an active social life, however, these days she says there is generally a charity or benefit involved.
“If I’m out it’s for a charity fundraiser or something like that, I’m not out just to be out. And I give back, right now the store is giving away 500 dresses for girls in the LA-area to go to prom. All my bridesmaids are giving the dresses back that they wore in my wedding because I’m going to donate them to the girls, too.”
Nunn emphasizes just how personal the prom dress giveaway really is. “I remember when I was in high school, let me tell you where my prom dress came from, one of the girls from ‘The Real World: Key West’ [a cast member’s girlfriend] gave me her prom dress because my parents could not afford the $175 prom dress that I wanted.”
Nunn and her husband also participate in a golf tournament to raise money for children stricken with cancer. “Those are the things that we do [besides] me filming shows and him playing football,” she says.
“I’m in my mid-20s. I’m not going to be a perfect angel, but we’re going to try our best to be role models. We’re going to try our hardest and do everything that we can to make people see the good side of ‘Bridezilla’ and ‘Natalie the Bad Girl.’ I’m a bad girl if I have to be, but I’m not a bad girl in my everyday life.”
“Five years from now, I want to still be supporting my family and [viewed] like a positive role model. Natalie Nunn is here to stay,” she adds.