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Meeka Claxton on 'Basketball Wives' Drama, Addresses Tami Lawsuit

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Hell hath no fury like a woman … on reality television, especially if that show is “Basketball Wives.”

By now everyone’s seen the infamous episode where Tami Roman strikes Meeka Claxton in the face while on vacation in Europe and now Meeka would like to tell you her side of that exchange and why she doesn’t think Ms. Roman is going to leave the show.

Are you ready?

ESSENCE.com: Did you join “Basketball Wives” to promote your real estate business? Is it odd that you’re the only wife?
MEEKA CLAXTON: No, we’re good if we sell one house per year because the average commission is six figures. I thought basketball wives were being misrepresented. I didn’t look for the opportunity, it came to me from a mutual friend Shaunie O'Neal and I share who suggested I join the show. I talked it over with friends and decided to join and show the other side of wives’ lives. It was weird being the only wife, I didn’t know how the other girls would receive me. But I was excited because I wanted to show my great husband, family, business and work we do in the community.

ESSENCE.com: Did you and Tami Roman have issues before you joined “Basketball Wives”?
MEEKA: She’s from the older school of wives, [her ex-husband] Kenny Anderson retired the first year my husband Speedy started playing around 2000 so I didn’t know Tami at all. I’m sure she doesn’t know me either. She’s just a ‘negative Nancy.’

ESSENCE.com: Did you expect her to hit you at the club in Italy?
MEEKA: No! I didn’t even know we were going to have a conversation, Tami’s opinion never mattered to me. I think that’s why she kept at it but, like I tell my children, you have to ignore bullies. It wasn’t until I was escorted out [of the club] that I realized that she had on flip-flops and to me if you’re dressed like that in a club, you’re ready to fight.

ESSENCE.com: Why file a lawsuit against her for a reality show fight. Is that even legal? 
MEEKA: I’m well within my rights. I refuse to fight on TV. It was embarrassing. We were the only Black people there and we’re adding to the negative stereotypes of Black women. I was disappointed in Tami as a woman and adult, [the lawsuit is] about consequences to your actions. My kids won’t see this. They aren’t watching ‘Basketball Wives.' Tami’s attitude was so toxic I had to spend a day apart from the girls before [the fight happened], then that happens?

ESSENCE.com: Tami’s said she’s going to quit if you return next season …
MEEKA: I don’t think she’s going anywhere. She’s been doing this television thing for a few years so I think this is where she wants to be.

ESSENCE.com: What do you think about the public outcry over how “Basketball Wives” negatively portrays black women?
MEEKA: I feel bad that Shaunie O’Neal is taking the brunt of the criticism because we’re contributing to the problem with our actions. That’s where I’m going with [my lawsuit] with Tami, you can’t do that.

ESSENCE.com: It’s presumable that Shaunie greenlit your fight ...
MEEKA: I don’t know how much creative control she has. People often have producer as their job title but are too busy to be present. I hope she didn’t sign off because that’s sad, especially from someone who was actually a wife.  

ESSENCE.com: What did you think of Eric Williams throwing a drink on ex-wife Jennifer Williams?
MEEKA: I’m glad the cameras were there, God knows what he would’ve done if they weren’t. He seemed angry. That’s the thing, there’s so much more to our lifestyle. It’s a crazy, jet-setting, blessed life, and there’s more to us than drink throwing.

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