Tami Roman: The Revolution Is Being Televised

Wed., Aug. 10, 2011 4:38 PM EDT
by DeWayne Rogers



My grandmother always told me that there are two sides to every story. But when it comes to Tami Roman, star of VH1’s “Basketball Wives,” there may, in fact, be three. Let’s count them out: there’s the side that the producers of the hit show regularly portray — which is the one that we’re most familiar with. This side shows Roman as a controversial, loud mouth bully. Sound familiar?

Then there’s the second side, which consists of her public response to the harsh portrayals. This typically consists of her conceding that what we’re seeing is, in fact, her, but not the whole story.

But it’s the final side that may be the most compelling. This is the side that never really makes the headlines. It’s the truly personal side of Tami Roman — the never-say-die, quietly passionate side that she’s most proud of. It’s also the side that rolling out got a chance to know intimately during Roman’s exclusive cover shoot and interview. Enjoy.

We have to get this question out of the way. Why did you join “Basketball Wives?”

Well, I watched the first season of “Basketball Wives” and just felt like the things that I was going through weren’t really represented on the show. I had been a basketball wife, and now that I was divorced, things weren’t as golden as they portrayed on the show. I wasn’t eating out and getting manicures every day … and I wasn’t drinking all night, every night. That wasn’t my world, so for me, I felt like my individual story would be valuable.

You’re a television veteran, but were you prepared for the real-time responses and criticisms that celebrities now experience with social media?
When I did the “Real World,” we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, or blogs, so I didn’t really know how people felt about the things that I did, [unless] they took the time to write a fan letter. So social media is very new to me, and it’s something I had to get used to because people will criticize you, judge you and lash out at you. People will feel like that can say anything to you and you’re just supposed to take it. I haven’t always done that because I’m a human being with feelings. So if you hurt me or my loved ones, I’m going to address it accordingly. I realize now that I can’t do that though, I can’t curse out every person who doesn’t like me on Twitter.

Do you feel like the producers have done a good job portraying you?
I think that the producers have done a fantastic job of blowing out of proportion one aspect of my personality. Now I’m not going to say that it’s the editing, and I’m not going to try and blame it on anything else, because Tami will go off on you [laughs] … that is a part of my personality. Whether you like it or not, I’m going to tell you the truth because I feel like everybody should be able to deal with the truth. That way, you can know what you’re dealing with. I’ve always been a big fan of that, of honesty and loyalty. So while what you see on TV is a part of my personality, it’s not all of who I am. I think that the audience who watches “Basketball Wives” is only seeing that aspect of my personality 100 percent magnified. They don’t see me working with my charity, and they didn’t see me when I was a part of corporate America going to work in a business suit every day. And they don’t see me with my mother, or me with my dude. There’s so much about me that you don’t see because that’s not what “Basketball Wives” wants to show.

You said that you are a fan of the truth. Do you ever have problems receiving the truth if it’s not what you want to hear?

I prefer the truth, and anybody that watches “Basketball Wives” knows that is all I asked … just be truthful with me, and if you have an opinion directly about my life, say it to me. Don’t talk behind my back. So whatever you have said, I think that everybody should be woman enough to bring those opinions or concerns to the person directly. When that’s not done, that’s when I really have a problem with you.

The word on the street is that you’re about to become an author. Is that true?
Yes! I’m working on my book, and I will say that several ladies on the show have books coming out … well, all of us except Suzie [laughs]. I know with my situation in particular, everybody knows me from the “Real World” and from “Basketball Wives.” I think that there is so much more to my life that they don’t know about and that they don’t get a chance to see. So I want to really open up myself to people to give a lot of backstory to me, my family, how I was raised, and the things I’m going through or have gone through. Hopefully, someone can read my book, understand my situation, and learn how to get through something similar that they may be going through.

You have always come across as a very strong woman. Do you ever have moments where you feel weak or vulnerable?

Yes, I do all the time. There was a point in my life where we fell on hardships. After years of spending money and living through people, I woke up one day and all of that money was gone. I was at an all-time low … I had to get on food stamps, I had to go get on medical assistance, and I cried a lot. But I realized that I did it to myself by trying to live up to images, and trying to live up to public perception rather than being true to myself. I vowed from that moment on that I didn’t want my daughters to see me this way, and that I was going to do whatever it took to bring us back to the top.

Do you now appreciate each day and value all of your newfound successes?
Absolutely. God made me appreciate the small things. He made me appreciate my daughters; He made me appreciate just having a roof over my head … not a mansion, just a roof. He made me appreciate having clothes on my back no matter who makes it. He really brought me back to a place of love and just having clarity of thought. So I appreciate everything that has come my way and I’m trying to give back.

So how would you use your rediscovered platform to reach, influence and positively impact the world?
Well honestly, I’d love to be doing panels, expos, and things of that nature so I can speak directly to younger girls. I feel like wisdom is the best teacher, and I have been through a lot. That’s why I’m so hopeful that my book will actually come out, because I think people will be like “well damn, you’re still here, and you’re still standing and still fighting.” So I want to be able to use “Basketball Wives” and dilute the imagery that is seen on that show by doing panels, and doing expos so people can see the other side of me. Because I’m not always yelling, and I’m not always fighting … I’m just not always that person, so I would love to be able to mentor youth and give back. That’s the impact that I want to make on society.

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  • Anonymous

    Last season at first I thought Tami was just plain crazy, and needed meds, but I started to like her as we got to know her, I was really routing for her when it was revealed that Evelyn had an affair with her husband.  But this season she has really dissapointed me, she is helping to perpetuate the stereotype that black women are angry, and can’t get along with each other.  Yes Meeka was wrong, and runs her mouth entirely too much, but when she didn’t want to own up to the things that she said about Tami, just know what kind of person she is, feed her with a long handled spoon and keep it moving.  I don’t care how mad you get at 30+, hitting someone, is so barberic and classless, I don’t care what she says, her defense mechanism kicked in, whatever, Meeka was not posing a threat to her, and she needs to learn how to control herself, what kind of examle is she setting for the two young ladies that shes raising?  I would be embarassed if my mother was carrying on, on national tv that way.  Last season she blamed the antics on the alcohol, what is her excuse now?  Shaunie wants to be respected as a business woman, but one of Tami’s public outburst at very classy and exclusive affairs will end up affecting her in the long run.   I have always though of rolling out as a positive vehicle for our people, but after seeing them wanting to put her on a magazine cover, I guess I was mistaken, and I will be cancelling my subscription.

    • Danie

      It’s no secret that no one on this earth is perfect. There is so much more Tami Roman than yelling, screaming, and fighting. We only see one side of her on VH1. We don’t see the loving and hardworking mother she is, her dedication to her girls charity, or the other positive things she contributes to society. Rolling Out Magazine simply wants to give Tami a chance to show her other side that isn’t portrayed on the show. Let’s not be so quick to judge people, especially people who have owned up to their mistakes and is trying to change. I believe Tami Roman is a great mother, dedicated business woman, and a caring leader. She just isn’t portrayed that way, which is the vehicle for this article. God Bless you.

      • RedBone

        I disagree with you 100. 
        The main problem with the black community is always sticking up for very
        negative people like THR (Tami Hoodrat Roman) and NeNe Leakes.  A person like Tami really does not have
        anything to offer; they are all selling books and crap.  If you want to buy a book to read, buy
        something useful—like a computer book or a how-to book rather than reading
        about her disgusting life and behavior.

         

        Lord, I hope she mentors white and Latinas girls because
        black girls have enough problems just being black but listening to a THR (Tami
        Hoodrat Roman) will definitely increase the prison population.  And, another thing, young black women you
        better remember that you do more time than men and especially white women—the judges
        will not have any sympathy for you! 
        People like Tami and NeNe will definitely have you doing time in the big
        house!  Another thing, why would any
        smart person want to read Tami’s book—Tami has had more opportunity than 98% of
        black women or women in general.  Tami
        has been on several TV shows, married a rich man, and had a good corporate job.  Why would you listen to someone like that who
        blew all those opportunities and money and we as taxpayers ended up feeding her
        and her kids!  Crazy!!

        • Debora D

          Maybe if her ex husband would have paid child support,  us taxpayers would have not ended up feeding her and her kids. Maybe someone should talk to our young black men and tell them that if you help make a baby it is your responsiblilty to take care of them not us taxpayers.

    • marie

      @Niqque1 i understand where u r coming from but i believe in second chance and thats why us as viewers need to do give her a chance and see what she have to offer.

    • Author Tierra

      you’re ridiculous. You specify that because she’s on tv doing this, it’s a problem; because she’s over 30 fighting it’s a problem. Is your concern her age and the public or the action. If it’s the action, it shouldn’t matter how old she is or how many people are around. Additionally, did you even read the article? Tami is a person who takes responsibility for her actions. She’s not blaming editing and tv, she’s owning up to what she’s done (Unlike Meeka, Evelyn, Shaunie). Just because R.O. featured someone you don’t like you’re going to cancel your alleged membership? That makes no sense.

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  • Author Tierra

    Great story. I believe her.

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  • Optimumgirlsofcolor

    A very real woman, who does not play games. She the prettiest basketball wife, may not be the prissiest but her feisty attitude is what’s making the basketball wives what it is today.Although you would think people with money would have more class, I came to realized that they are human and with more money comes more problems. I enjoyed the last season!!!!  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TSRUNWKFBDGQBU3TICJHRE4YNQ Good Sam

    All these people talking mess about Tami must either be A) Messy like Meeka, B) They have gotten they azz whipped for talking mess or C) They have no flaws and have never been in a fight or wanted to knock somebody out for starting mess.

    Tami did what a lot of us want to do but don’t have the heart to do or just won’t go to that extent to prove a point. Yes, it was very much highschool. Do I dislike her for it? NO!! Everybody she has knocked out needed it. Grease Monkey Meeka was Messy!! She had no business coming in their trying to write checks that her azz couldn’t cash. Meaning, don’t start none, won’t be none. Evelyn’s mouth was too much but I bet she will never disrespect her again. I bet she will think twice about what she has to say to the next chick.

    We forget that Tami was in an abusive relationship with an Alcoholic drunk who phyiscally, emotionally and mentally abused her. She may need counseling but I don’t think she is a bad person at all. She’s the product of a bad environment. There are alot of women that have been through what Tami has gone through and turned out worse. Some even resort to promiscuity, or start sliding down that stripper pole to deal with their issues. Tami just knock hoez out if they get out of line.  Do I promote this behavior? NO!! But I do understand her issues (not that I’ve had to experience it but I have seen others from working in a homeless shelter). I don’t support negative behavior at all. We as black people need to do better and I hope Tami gets the help she needs.

    Should our children look up to this? NO!!! Who’s letting their child watch this obvious adult show? BBW is not for kids so that shouldn’t even be a part of anybodies response to her article!

    Praying for a better her and not throwing stones. It’s all love. #TEAMTAMI

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TSRUNWKFBDGQBU3TICJHRE4YNQ Good Sam

    All these people talking mess about Tami must either be A) Messy like Meeka, B) They have gotten they azz whipped for talking mess or C) They have no flaws and have never been in a fight or wanted to knock somebody out for starting mess.

    Tami did what a lot of us want to do but don’t have the heart to do or just won’t go to that extent to prove a point. Yes, it was very much highschool. Do I dislike her for it? NO!! Everybody she has knocked out needed it. Grease Monkey Meeka was Messy!! She had no business coming in their trying to write checks that her azz couldn’t cash. Meaning, don’t start none, won’t be none. Evelyn’s mouth was too much but I bet she will never disrespect her again. I bet she will think twice about what she has to say to the next chick.

    We forget that Tami was in an abusive relationship with an Alcoholic drunk who phyiscally, emotionally and mentally abused her. She may need counseling but I don’t think she is a bad person at all. She’s the product of a bad environment. There are alot of women that have been through what Tami has gone through and turned out worse. Some even resort to promiscuity, or start sliding down that stripper pole to deal with their issues. Tami just knock hoez out if they get out of line.  Do I promote this behavior? NO!! But I do understand her issues (not that I’ve had to experience it but I have seen others from working in a homeless shelter). I don’t support negative behavior at all. We as black people need to do better and I hope Tami gets the help she needs.

    Should our children look up to this? NO!!! Who’s letting their child watch this obvious adult show? BBW is not for kids so that shouldn’t even be a part of anybodies response to her article!

    Praying for a better her and not throwing stones. It’s all love. #TEAMTAMI

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TSRUNWKFBDGQBU3TICJHRE4YNQ Good Sam

    All these people talking mess about Tami must either be A) Messy like Meeka, B) They have gotten they azz whipped for talking mess or C) They have no flaws and have never been in a fight or wanted to knock somebody out for starting mess.

    Tami did what a lot of us want to do but don’t have the heart to do or just won’t go to that extent to prove a point. Yes, it was very much highschool. Do I dislike her for it? NO!! Everybody she has knocked out needed it. Grease Monkey Meeka was Messy!! She had no business coming in their trying to write checks that her azz couldn’t cash. Meaning, don’t start none, won’t be none. Evelyn’s mouth was too much but I bet she will never disrespect her again. I bet she will think twice about what she has to say to the next chick.

    We forget that Tami was in an abusive relationship with an Alcoholic drunk who phyiscally, emotionally and mentally abused her. She may need counseling but I don’t think she is a bad person at all. She’s the product of a bad environment. There are alot of women that have been through what Tami has gone through and turned out worse. Some even resort to promiscuity, or start sliding down that stripper pole to deal with their issues. Tami just knock hoez out if they get out of line.  Do I promote this behavior? NO!! But I do understand her issues (not that I’ve had to experience it but I have seen others from working in a homeless shelter). I don’t support negative behavior at all. We as black people need to do better and I hope Tami gets the help she needs.

    Should our children look up to this? NO!!! Who’s letting their child watch this obvious adult show? BBW is not for kids so that shouldn’t even be a part of anybodies response to her article!

    Praying for a better her and not throwing stones. It’s all love. #TEAMTAMI

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  • MsRoyale

    I definitely applaud Rolling Out for giving Tami a chance to tell the other sides to her story. We must remember that on BBW we only see clips/moments of several days. We really don’t all the things that are said and done during the course of shooting this show. We only see the “blowups/main event”. They never really show alllllllll the events that lead up to that those “blowups”. If you are going to do a show about anything, then you have to show all sides and types. I agree with Tami , the show was one sided. All ex-wifes/girlfriends of athletes/stars etc do not always have it good, when the relationship is over. Do we totally agree with Tami behavior as portrayed on the show: NO! But lets not act like is not real! The Good thing is this: Transformation is possible, but it takes time.

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  • Tonii

    Love ya Tami……keep doing what u do!!!

  • Phyllis_neal14

    Good for u Tami,
         i am an Aries as well as yourself. i feel your pain, struggles and triuphs
       Phyllis

  • Superheroine2011

    Another fellow Arian chick lol!

    Hey, isn’t Kenny Anderson  currently BROKE & LIVING OFF HIS “BECKY” wife now!!!!!!!!!!??????

    I’d say Tami truly got the LAST LAUGH ha! haaaaaaaaaaaaa!  …. ;)

  • Backup off Me

    Tami is on the C.O.M.E/ U.P.

    team Tami R.  team Tami R.    team Tami R.  

  • Sgrose637

    AFTER THE SNOW DIVORCE AND ALL THE OTHER BLACK AND WHITE SUCCESSFUL MEN, WHO HAVE DESTROYED THEIR FAMILIES.. IT DOESN’T HURT TO HEAR ONE MORE STORY. IF YOU NEVER BEEN AT THE TOP AND THEN AT THE BOTTOM BECAUSE THE MAN YOU TRUSTED CHEATED AND LEFT YOU BROKEN AND BROKE. LET TAMMY TELL HER STORY. I’VE BEEN MARRIED 42 YEARS AND MY BABYDAUGHTER IS IN COLLEGE AND WE CAN’T WAIT TO KNOW THE COMPLEXNESS OF ANOTHER BLACK WOMAN. AS FOR NENE IF A MAN DID YOU WRONG WHY CAN’T YOU BE ANGRY. WHITE WOMAN GET EVEN AND SMARTER AND THAT I HOPE IS THE FUTURE FOR THESE BLACK  SISTERS OR ANY WOMAN WHO HAS GONE THRU THIS TYPE OF PAIN.ONE KEY COULD CHANGE ONE PERSON AT A TIME LIFE. KEEP WRITING SISTERS, AND POUR YOUR SOULS INTO THE BOOKS.

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