Kenya Bell and Kesha Nichols should officially be committed on account that they’ve willingly signed up for the popular VH1 show Basketball Wives. I mean, you’ve got to be insane to expose your life’s darkest tales to the world while being thrust into an experiment-worthy circle of drama-filled days and nights, right? Well, when they were first introduced to us as the “new girls” on the popular TV spot, fans rushed the Internet to investigate just who these women were and we believed just that. From the news, Bell was a former Miss Michigan, knife-wielding psycho looking for 15 minutes of fame. And Nichols? She was solely the NBA dancer or The One Who Was Left At The Altar looking to find solace in front of the camera. But there’s much more to the Detroit native and North Carolina-born, respectively.
Both women made their way onto the show because of time spent (more or less) with basketball players. After being asked twice to join the BBW ranks, Kenya–wife of now Italy ball player Charlie Bell–finally decided to carve out her spot. She plans on making the reality show a forum to clear up her good name and step outside the shadow of her hubby while boosting her music efforts. Currently in a complicated separation with her old flame, who she was reported as stabbing during an altercation, the mother of two maintains her innocence on the matter but does dish about her short stint behind bars.
“First of all, it was all a hot, fiery mess. The truth of the matter is he was not mad. I did not stab my husband,” she explains. “It was horrible experience for me. At this point in my life, I think it changed me for the better because I was taught in that situation that when somebody has problems or issues, it’s not in my place to even try to change them. They need to change them themselves. That’s kind of where that whole drama took me. I think I’m in a better place [now].”
Also in a better place is Kesha. The former bride-to-be of Spurs baller Richard Jefferson was swarmed by a the media storm surrounding her devastating break up, and it still looms. Nevertheless, Nichols is adamant about keeping her time past times with Jefferson out of her future spotlight.
“I don’t want to focus on my relationship with Richard. I feel like that story has been told so many times. I’m over that and it’s in the past,” she says before dishing on her current guy. “I am dating someone now. He’s an amazing person, but he chooses not to be in the spotlight, chooses not to have anything to do with reality TV, and it’s just so amazing that I want to keep that part to myself.”
Due to editing and the new ladies’ individual rights to privacy, I’m sure a lot will be left to the imagination, but one thing audiences can assume is a collide between the personalities of old and the new ladies on the scene. In the past, we’ve seen Meeka Claxton enter into the fashionably dressed yet catty waters of Miami and drown. Even a few of the original cast mates (ahem, Suzie and Jennifer) have been thrown over the deep end due to alleged disloyal behavior and simple childishness. So how will the new duo fair in the Shaunie-led crew?
“I’ve developed some friendships,” says Bell. “Some of the chicks are really cool. I dig cool chicks that are working hard, trying to do their thing. For the most part, we’re all out here trying to make it. I really appreciate that aspect of some of the women.”
As for the southern belle, she’s just trying to bring some positive energy to the mix.
“They already have a Tami, they already have an Evelyn, they already have a Jen and a Royce, so they wanted to bring in someone who would be the anti-basketball wife.That’s kind of what I am,” says Nichols. “I’m very different from them and my reactions are different than the other girls and I’ve never been in my life around a group of people like this. These ladies have short fuse and it’s a learning process for me every single day for me.”
She does mention that she clicked with Royce immediately.
“We have a lot in common. We both don’t take life too seriously. We don’t look for confrontation and we like to get out to do things. We both dance, we cheered, we both ran track, we love to rollerblade. We’re more active than the other girls, and we can be silly together.”