Evelyn Lozada on growth: ‘I put so much negativity into the world’

photo courtesy of OWN
photo courtesy of OWN

“I know I’m a good person.”

Evelyn Lozada utters those words with the commitment of a woman who’s had to remind herself to love herself. And if that’s something she’s had to learn, it appears that she’s finally in a place where she can do exactly that. She rose to fame on VH1’s “Basketball Wives” and became a fixture of “bad girl TV” before her brief and tumultuous marriage to former NFL star Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson ended in domestic assault and she took time to become an advocate for domestic abuse victims, published a book and became a mother again as she and her fiancé, L.A. Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford, welcomed a baby boy, Carl Leo. Her latest show, “Livin’ Lozada,” is more about her growth and her domestic life, and she says that she’s finally found peace of mind in her real life and made her peace with reality TV.

“A few years ago, I thought I was done with reality TV and then I got the opportunity to have a show on OWN and it felt perfect,” Lozada tells rolling out. “I felt like I wanted to show what my real life looks like. People are just seeing a part of me on Basketball Wives and I felt that I had so much more to offer. I wanted to show the world my relationship with my daughter, my relationship with my fiancé and who Evelyn really is.”

But developing a reputation for having a quick temper on a drama-filled reality series can sometimes pigeonhole those types of stars. Lozada says that people have been supportive of her evolution as a woman, however.

“It is what it is. You have your naysayers. I’m used to it,” she says and shrugs. “I started ‘Basketball Wives’ in what — 2009? 2010? It’s been a long time, so I’m used to the commentary — especially this season with me discussing the miscarriage or me discussing domestic violence. I want to use this platform to inspire women and show women that even though you may think I live a certain lifestyle, I’m just like you. I’m using all of my life experiences to help women as much as I can. I didn’t have to film my miscarriage but I felt like it was a story that needed to be told because a lot of women go through it. Even though everybody has an opinion and things seem so traumatic, I’m trying to use it to teach lessons. I’m trying to use it to help women as much as I can. I’ve gotten so many positive emails and messages and it’s been great … I know I’m a good person. I know the world sees one side of me, but I always knew I was a good person.”

Lozada says she wanted to do the show with the Oprah Winfrey Network because she trusts the brand. She says, “The reason why I decided to do it again is because I know [the OWN Network] is about uplifting and inspiring. Yes, you’ll see certain situations because I’m not trying to shy away from that; but their goal is to uplift and be positive. That felt good for me. I put so much negativity into the world with the shenanigans and everything I’d done before. I remember [TV personality and life counselor] Iyanla Vanzant asking me years ago, ‘Why don’t you use this platform to do something positive?’ And it was hard, because I was on that show with the women and it got crazy and it is what it is, but I have that opportunity and I’m happy about that. I keep saying that when I retire from reality TV, people are going to know that I’m a good person!”

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