SINCE HER RUNNING START on VH1′s Shaunie O’Neal-prepped meal ticket, every detail of her life is entertainment. A messy domestic run-in with her ex-husband, former NFL star Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, sent the 37-year-old spiraling, forcing a Michael Jackson-esque look in the mirror. Around the same time, Basketball Wives opponents refused to band behind the profanity-spewing TV staple that they chalked up as a bully receiving her karmic return. Then there was that whole PR-perfect Iyanla: Fix My Life stint that led some to believe that the Bronx-bred Latina had changed, and others to think that she had duped them yet again. ”It’s crazy how it all worked out,” says Lozada of the timing of the soul-searching opportunity. “It was one of the hardest interviews but the most helpful. I still talk to her to this day.”
Now back in the mix for BBW‘s fifth season, she’s been filming nonstop (outside of the days she gave us face time for this cover). Miraculously she does catch her breath every now and then to build a healthy business portfolio: a follow-up to her fiction book series The Wives Association (a Nikki Turner collab due out this summer), an endorsement from youthH20 water and extending her E by Evelyn Cosmetics line. Above all, her almost 1.2 million Twitter herd still sees her as a reality TV queen. “I’m always going to be opinionated; that’s just who I am,” she admits. “Listen, I’m not ever in life going to do some of the things I did last season, but I’m still going to be me. You don’t ever know what will come out of my mouth.”
Today, it’s not about her unfiltered persona. On her day off, she’s ecstatic about her one-day vaca from the lens. ”I’m not filming today,” she says. “I’m just happy to be at home in my sweats, my hair up, and relaxing all day.”
Time to pull back the layers.