How does one describe Tami Roman? She is a mother of two, ex-wife to Kenny Anderson, a reality television maven and as real as they come!
Many don’t know that Tami was on season two of MTV’s “The Real World: Los Angeles,” in 1993; but then again most people don’t know Tami also worked for a reputable financial firm in corporate America.
Tami became a household name upon her second season debut on VH1′s “Basketball Wives.” She was greeted with skepticism by the original cast, but it wasn’t long before she was the “It” girl and a fan favorite. Her unabashed attitude garnished criticism, but it was exactly that factor that catapulted “BBW” into the massive show it has become.
The thing about reality TV and BBW, is that only gives you the tip of Tami’s iceberg. “The show is not indicative of who we are on a everyday basis. I’m a mother. I’m a business owner. I’m a book writer. I’m a script writer. I’m an actress. You will see none of that. I’m a mentor to young girls. You don’t see that because that’s not the drama.”
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Speaking to Tami shed light on the woman versus the personality whom we’ve seen smack a chick or two. “People have to remember you are watching what they want you to see and the moments they want you to see. But I am just like every other African-American woman out there,” said Roman (not to be confused with Nicki Minaj’s alter-ego).
Despite her attempt to reconnect her children with their father on the show, Tami revealed, during our 30 minute interview, that she and her ex-husband Kenny Anderson aren’t friends! She is raising her two daughters on her own and they are her “living testament” (in case you want to know the real her)!
“My daughter just got accepted to Pepperdine for Pre-Law. My youngest daughter is pursuing her musical aspirations. I have some great children. That’s another thing–if people want to know what Tami is about, they are my living testament! That’s what I’m about–honor roll students. They are bilingual young ladies (French and English) and that is not the typical African-American journey, but I made sure that my kids had the best of everything at the level that I could provide it at the time and moment I was living. I’m so proud of them. They are true representatives of what Tami is about.”
Being a single-parent isn’t even slightly easy. Tami would know, she was once the recipient of food stamps after poor financial choices. Nonetheless, it is a sensitive topic for her. Her patience was put to the test when cast mate Suzie referenced them during a dinner for Shaunie O’ Neal. But, unlike the Tami we have grown to love–she didn’t swing first and ask questions later.
“That’s the journey I teeter-totter on because everything inside of me wanted to punch her. Had I punched her, I’d have millions of people saying, ‘There goes Tami again, she’s always fighting.’ I’m trying to show people there’s more to me than just putting up my fists. I know Suzie outside of ‘Basketball Wives’ and she really is just that simple. She’s like a dumb blonde. She really didn’t mean it maliciously. She called me all night long because she really didn’t mean it from that standpoint, so that’s why I forgave her. But what I wanted her to know in that moment was that ‘Basketball Wives’ didn’t make me. I felt by her bringing up the food stamp comment, that was the implication…like my bank account is OK because of ‘Basketball Wives’ and that’s not the case.”
“Truth be told, I probably made more than those girls in season one and two just from my regular job. I needed her to understand–don’t put that out to the world like when I came on ‘Basketball Wives,’ I was on foodstamps. That was a moment I had lived maybe three or four years before ‘Basketball Wives.’ People mix up the time frame because I introduced that moment of my life on ‘Basketball Wives.’ But I wasn’t just coming off foodstamps. Look at my resume, I have been in the game a long time. I’ve been a regular on series making a lot of money. Because of poor financial decisions is why my family fell on hardship and I take full responsibility for that but it’s not for lack of money.“
A recent episode, where cast member Jennifer Williams was slapped in the face has led to much protest. Tami was caught in the middle of the beef between two friends. Before the drama escalated to what it is now, Tami had this to say about Evelyn’s antics and their faulty friendship:
“I just have to go off the premise that they were good friends in theory and in concept. I dont think in the true concept of bestfriends is what they were.”
Clearly Jennifer and Evelyn weren’t as close as we though but most people couldn’t understand why Evelyn was so mad over the blog Jennifer wrote about her forthcoming marriage with Ochocinco. As a friend, shouldn’t Jennifer be able to speak her peace on the issue?
“I met Kenny, my ex-husband and we were married in 8 months. Love does happen that way sometimes. I just come from the school that when someone is your girl–no matter how you feel about what they’re going through–you should come to them, but in terms of public perception, it should always appear that you have that person’s back because your friendship is with them and not with the rest of the world. So I think that’s where Evelyn was coming from. You can feel however you want to feel about Ocho, but tell me first. We haven’t even had conversation about him, we haven’t had dialogue. You’re my girl, have my back to everyone that’s involved. I’m not saying you have to sugarcoat stuff for me. You’re my girl, I want you to tell the truth but it’s just that. Tell me the truth.“
After talking for a while, I wondered if Tami heard about my interview with Brian White, where he bashed reality TV and it’s many participants (including you, the viewer).
“Brian is a friend of mine. We go way back. I am familiar with his interview. I think that people put too much weight on reality TV in general and I think that people need to look at us like six women who are living our lives out just like everyone else is; there’s just a camera in our face as we do it. We are not saying that we are the majority, we are not saying this is how all black women act. We’re only living our journey. We are going to make mistakes. There are going to be times we handle situations properly. I had my own moments when things went left and when I go home I go,’Oh boy why did I do that?’ So I’m making the same mistakes and taking the same road someone out there is taking. Everything is not going to be perfect, no person walking is perfect and I think people need to stop judging us and just understand this is for entertainment purposes only.
“People have to remember you are watching what they want you to see and the moments they want you to see. But I am just like every other African-American woman out there. I have my own things going on. I got my own drama. I got bills. I got a car note just like everybody else. They forget that because they see us on TV, they think we aren’t human.“