When nude pictures of famous figures leak online, some assume it's the celebrities often putting themselves on blast for attention. But according to Evelyn Lozada of VH1’s Basketball Wives, privacy can easily be compromised in the information age.
“It’s bigger than just pictures," Lozada, whose nude pictures hit the Web recently, tells VIBE. "When I started taping the show, I started getting these random harassing emails and text messages every day of taping and I couldn’t figure out who it was."
The harassment was so severe, she says, that Lozada’s 17-year-old daughter was sucked into the drama. The stalker who hacked into Lozada’s email and threatened to “make money” off of her began sending spoof text messages to her daughter pretending to be mom.
“Imagine if someone texted my phone from your number but it isn’t really you, that’s what spoofing is,” says Lozada. “It was happening to my daughter where they were pretending it was me. God forbid somebody lures her somewhere and something happens to her. I can’t have that happen.”
The FBI is involved as a result, but fans can watch the beginning of the soap opera unfold in forthcoming episodes of Basketball Wives. Lozada enlisted the help of her friends to launch her own investigation.
“We used [fellow castmember] Suzie as the spy because she used to be friends with the woman I suspected. Come to find out, it was her [and] she's another basketball wife,” says Lozada of the woman who is not part of the cast. “I don’t know why she’s doing it. Nothing has ever happened between us. I think some people really are just jealous.”
On the show, Lozada makes constant mention of being image-conscious because of her daughter, but now that one of her most intimate moments has been exposed the next phase is damage control.
“At the end of the day I’m grown. Those pictures were taken in the privacy of my own home. It wasn’t like I was sleeping with a bunch of guys but of course I was mortified,” says Lozada. “Thank God my daughter and I have the relationship that we have because I told her beforehand that this could happen. If I didn’t have my daughter I’d be like it’s whatever but she’s in high school and boys are going to see that so that’s what hurt me the most.”
Once her naked pictures leaked online, Lozada says she experienced the same judgment she initially placed on Royce when the show first began. Despite the setback, there is a positive lesson learned.
“This experience taught me not to judge people because certain things don’t always make them a bad person,” says Lozada. “This woman is stalking me and trying to defame me and that’s hurtful to me [but] at the end of the day, I’m an amazing mother [and] very humble regardless of the lifestyle that I was living. I’ll always be that little girl from The Bronx.” ⎯Starrene Rhett