Reality Bites

Deb Lorenzo and husband Irv GottI and their children enjoy some quality time.
ESSENCE.COM May, 01, 2009

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Two years ago Murder Inc. record label founder Irv Gotti and his family allowed cameras into their home to document their life on the VH1 reality show “Gotti’s Way.” From left are: daughter Angie, youngest son JJ, Gotti’s estranged wife Deb, Irv, and Sonny.

Read our exclusive interview with Deb Lorenzo »

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In season one, Irv and Deb argued constantly about his infidelity and commitment to the family. We’re curious to see how things play out this season.

Read our exclusive interview with Deb Lorenzo »

3 of 30 VH1

As Irv juggled his family and personal life, Deb remained quietly unhappy. However, Gotti will have to learn not to cross the new boundaries Deb has set for their unconventional relationship.

“This is the first time I’ve set boundaries,” says Deb. “I let him know he can’t continue to do spend a night on the weekends with me and the kids because I have to get on with my own life.”

Read our exclusive interview with Deb Lorenzo »

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Deb says she has a new attitude this season.

“Last season I was extremely quiet and just accepting of the way things were,” she admits. “Watching myself on television was an eye-opener.”

Read our exclusive interview with Deb Lorenzo »

5 of 30 VH1

Deb banks face time with one of the little men in her life, JJ.

“It’s still hard for me to tell Irv that he has to take the kids on the weekends,” admits Deb. “In some odd way I feel so guilty, like I’m breaking up my family.”

Read our exclusive interview with Deb Lorenzo »

6 of 30 VH1

Sonny and JJ have a little fun, Caribbean style.

Read our exclusive interview with Deb Lorenzo »

7 of 30 VH1

Deb and Little JJ admire Sonny’s hoop skills.

“I hope whatever Irv and I decide about our relationships that our sons will be cool with it,” says Deb. “I realize when I brought up divorce last season it was really upsetting to my youngest son and I probably shouldn’t have involved him.”

Read our exclusive interview with Deb Lorenzo »

8 of 30 VH1

Deb on inspiring daughter Angie:

“I talk to her about breaking the cycle, getting her education so she doesn’t have to depend on any man, and not even just that but so that she can be empowered and confident in what she has to offer herself first.”

Read our exclusive interview with Deb Lorenzo »

9 of 30 VH1

Deb has changed for the better since last season.

“I can honestly say that I used to hate Irv and everyone affiliated with him because I was so angry, bitter and hurt, but once I learned to forgive and was saved, everything started to fall into place,” Deb confesses. “I’m back in school now and I’m just loving where I am in my life, spiritually and otherwise.”

Read our exclusive interview with Deb Lorenzo »

10 of 30 Courtesy of Deb Lorenzo

The Gotti clan is all hugs for the camera.

Keep clicking for more of our favorite reality TV stars.

Read our exclusive interview with Deb Lorenzo »

11 of 30 Bravo

Tyson shares some of his wisdom with 3 of the 16 contestants from “Make Me A Supermodel.” The winner nabs a $100,000 prize, New York Model Management contract, Cosmopolitan fashion pictorial and the chance to become the next great supermodel.

Check out our interview with Tyson Beckford »

12 of 30 Bravo

Bravo took its “Real Housewives” franchise to new heights when the cameras ventured to the Dirty South and allowed the world to live vicariously through five ATL scene stealers. The adventures of DeShawn, Kim, NeNe, Lisa, and Sheree are truly addictive. According to Lisa, last season’s drama pales in comparison to the antic brewing for this season.

Our complete Atlanta housewives coverage »

13 of 30 Bravo

Lisa Wu Hartwell, the consummate professional. A real estate broker, fashion designer, screenwriter, actress and author, Lisa keeps her eyes on the prize. She shocked her loyalists when she was ready to rumble with Kim Zolciak. This season Lisa says viewers will see more of her sensitive side

Our complete Atlanta housewives coverage »

14 of 30 Bravo

How could we not love Dwight, the honorary “sixth housewife,” on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” His frankness and hilarious musings take the show over the edge.

Our complete Atlanta housewives coverage »

15 of 30 Bravo

Who is Big Poppa? Much to the disappointment of fans, the identity of Kim’s secret “fiancé” and benefactor remains a mystery. Now that the engagement is off, the bigger mystery is how she will continue to support her shopping sprees and chain smoking without his credit card.

Our complete Atlanta housewives coverage »

16 of 30 Bravo

Sheree Whitfield, a recent divorcee, mother of two, fitness guru and aspiring designer, allied with ace dame, Kim, nemesis of Nene Leakes. This season is sure to be heated with more high drama.

Our complete Atlanta housewives coverage »

17 of 30 Bravo

DeShawn Snow, the peacemaker, was not asked to return because she was too sane for “the circus” of a show. Despite failed fundraisers and being ousted, Snow continued to work to become an ordained minister under her spiritual mentor, Bishop Eddie Long.

Our complete Atlanta housewives coverage »

18 of 30 Courtesy of Dwight Eubanks

Dwight Eubanks, Nene’s BFF, had no problem letting the ladies know when they were simply “dreadful!” Now, the flamboyant divo claims he’s getting married to a woman, what’s next?

Our complete Atlanta housewives coverage »

19 of 30 NBC

On this season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” T-Boz was “fired” early on by the Trumpster. Many thought she was too “quiet,” and therefore booted. But T-Boz recently talked to ESSENCE.com and set the record straight.

“I just laugh at people’s comments because I wasn’t as quiet as they made it seem,” explained T-Boz. “Remember, that’s what they call ‘editing.’ There’s a lot of stuff that folks didn’t see, but for the most part I got along with everyone once I told them what I thought, so everyone was cool.”

20 of 30 ABC

Don’t count out Lil’ Kim. The diminutive rap diva is doing big things on this season’s “Dancing With the Stars,” performing her heart out and winning over the judges weekly. Though the winner is ultimately determined by the viewers, in our eyes, the Queen B has already taken the crown.

21 of 30 ABC

Warren Sapp captured our hearts as he strutted his stuff to the final round on the last season of “Dancing With the Stars.” Who knew this NFL vet knew had such footwork?

Check out more pics of Warren Sapp on “Dancing With The Stars” »

22 of 30 MTV

Call her the last woman standing. Dawn Richard, formerly of Bad Boy’s girl group, Danity Kane is the only member to remain on Diddy’s label, with a solo project on the way.

23 of 30 Mark Mann

Focusing on family values, “Run’s House” takes us back to the days of “The Cosby Show.” The show, which delves into the lives of hip-hop legend Joseph “Run” Simmons, his wife, Justine, and their six children, is a refreshing take on the Black family.

See more photos from “Run’s House” »

24 of 30 MTV

Angela and Vanessa Simmons, center, along with their cousin Jessica, right, and friend Alycia, left, moved to Los Angeles and brought MTV’s cameras along for the ride on their new show, “Daddy’s Girls.” The talented ladies left their families to start a new life in Hollywood.

Read our exclusive interview with Vanessa and Angela Simmons »

Watch a preview of "Daddy’s Girls »

Read our exclusive interview with Vanessa and Angela Simmons »

Watch a preview of "Daddy’s Girls »

25 of 30 E!

Rap star Snoop Dogg takes viewers inside the life of his not-so Huxtable-like family. Here, Snoop is surrounded by his daughter Cori, oldest son Corde, beautiful wife Shante’ and youngest son Cordell.

26 of 30 BET

The drama of Keyshia Cole and her family is must-see TV. Truth be told, we like Keyshia, but the show would be nothing without the wild antics of her mom, Frankie, and her sister Neffe.

Read our exclusive interview with Keyshia Cole’s sister Neffe »

27 of 30 BET

“The Way It Is” is the highest-rated series in BET’s history. Neffe and Frankie are said to be working on their own reality shows, and we’re sure there will be plenty of high drama.

Read our exclusive interview with Keyshia Cole’s sister Neffe »

28 of 30 BET

When BET turned its cameras on the lives of a group of young Black professionals living in Harlem, we were a bit skeptical. But we slowly warmed up to the sometimes catty, mindless drama of the “Harlem Heights” crew.

Read our exclusive interviews with the cast of “Harlem Heights” and see more photos »

29 of 30 BET

On “Baldwin Hills,” we’re invited inside the world of upper middle class Black teens maturing in Baldwin Hills, an affluent Black neighborhood in Los Angeles.

30 of 30 BET

“Baldwin Hills” star Etienne has a heart to heart with his mom, actress, singer and activist, Sheryl Lee Ralph.

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