KESHA NICHOLS, one half of the duo, is a professional dancer hailing from North Carolina who has recovered from, and celebrates the not-so-private breakup with her ex-fiancé, baller RICHARD JEFFERSON.
In an exclusive chat with Juicy, KESHA speaks on the difficulties of being the new girl, starting over in life, and what she hopes to gain from reality television.
JUICY: How did casting for Basketball Wives come about?
KESHA NICHOLS: Basketball Wives started shooting for season 1, about a month or two after my wedding was cancelled. They approached me and asked me to be on season one but I felt it was too early and I needed to focus on starting my life and career over.
They came back to me again for seasons 2 and 3, and I was just focused on other things. But when they called about season 4, I got to see the popularity of the show and at that time I was accomplishing some personal goals I wanted to have in my life. I was ready for something new and exciting and they called at the perfect time.
Juicy: You joined KENYA BELL as a new cast member. What is the relationship like between you two versus the other girls with already established relationships?
KN: I knew KENYA BELL from Milwaukee because my ex and her husband played there together for a year. Coming in there with someone I knew was comforting in the beginning but you’ll see how the story unfolds.
It’s always hard being the new girl coming into the situation, especially something like this where the girls know each other and have already built relationships. But those relationships aren’t always healthy or positive so I’m really just learning about all the girls. I didn’t want to come on the show with any preconceived notions about anyone. I’ve watched the show but it’s different to actually know someone in person and know who they really are.
Juicy: Have you made a bond with any of the women? Do you have a favorite?
KN: ROYCE REED is definitely my favorite. I think people thought we’d be in competition with one another since we’re both dancers but that’s totally not the case. ROYCE and I clicked from the moment we met.
We have a lot in common and she’s someone I can be silly with and really just be myself with. It’s like, a lot of times while the other girls are talking smack about each other, me and ROYCE are off doing cartwheels on the beach (laughs).
Juicy: Quite often cast members are in the midst of other people’s arguments. How was it being in the middle of JENNIFER and EVELYN’s strife throughout the new season?
KN: Jennifer and Evelyn’s history runs very deep. They definitely go at it throughout the season and everyone will get to see it. But for me, being the new girl, even if I want to say “Guys don’t fight, don’t argue,” I don’t know their history and it’s not my place to say anything. You’ll probably just see me sitting around and observing with a look on my face like “What am I doing here?”
Juicy: A big part of JENNIFER and EVELYN’s disagreement comes from things that were said about EV’s fiancé CHAD OCHOCINCO. Did you have to deal with anyone bringing your ex-fiancé, RICHARD JEFFERSON, into conversation?
KN: Yes and you will see me and one of the cast members discussing my relationship with my ex. For me, one of the reasons I was hesitant to do the show was because my ex and I broke up two and a half years ago. That’s in the past—I’ve spent two and a half years getting over it and moving on.
I knew that going on a show called Basketball Wives, I would have to discuss it again and bring up old feelings and emotions when speaking on it. One particular cast member felt the need to give her opinion on my relationship with him and it was really weird for me to defend a relationship that ended over two years ago. I try to go in there with an open mind and not judge any of the women so it was hard for me to be judged about something that happened so long ago.
Juicy: What are you looking to gain from being on the show? What do you want viewers to see or understand about you?
KN: The last time the world saw me, I was heartbroken and saying that I would keep dancing through life. Now, they get to see me doing that. I just want people to know that there is life after heartbreak. My life did not end. It took me a little while for me to get back on my feet and figure out exactly where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do.
My dream is just to keep dancing and help other dancers. I just want to bring Sugar and Spice to the world—I want my dance company to become a household name. I want to represent for children and girls of mixed race, and Black women. I really just want to show a positive side to all the madness.