Royce Reed feels misunderstood. But instead of focusing on her reputation she's working toward becoming a positive role model for her two-year-old son with Dwight Howard. The breakout black sheep from VH1’s Basketball Wives and former Orlando Magic and Miami Heat dancer hasn’t yet been able to live down the infamous incident where she got low at a Terrell Owens pool party for a pair of Clippers tickets. Despite that indiscretion, she's hoping to put the scandal behind her.
“I know I took it too far at the pool party but people base their opinion of me off of what they’ve read or based on an isolated incident and that’s not me,” Reed tells VIBE. “I’m going to teach Braylon [my son] to look up to athletes and role models as stars. Admire their craft and if you want to be that successful then look at that, but realize that you don’t know them personally. You don’t know what they do behind closed doors [because] it’s not always that person that you see with that big huge smile⎯that’s not how they really are in a lot of cases.”
Reed also plans to teach her son how to be self-sufficient. The theater enthusiast was once a biology pre-med major at Florida A&M University, but she followed her passion and pursued a major in theater education. The recent Lisa Maile Acting School grad is not auditioning for major roles just yet because she's focusing on her entrepreneurial venture with Fantashique, an urban burlesque dance troupe that is classically trained in every form of dance.
“We do a lot of urban based hip-hop but we also do weddings and a lady just hired us to dance at her Church," says Reed. "We do it all⎯ballet, jazz, lyrical⎯everything."
Reed’s reputation makes her seem like the last woman who would enter a Church but so far she's been one of the ladies on the show with the least on-camera drama. However, Reed maintains that while she isn’t involved in most of the cattyness, one smack-talker will come close to being laid out.
“It takes a lot for me to go off but if you really cross me you will feel my wrath so that’s going play out. But I’m not involved in the drink throwing,” says Reed of the forthcoming episode that involves boxing gloves. “I don’t throw drinks. I take it back to the old school and handle it like you’re supposed to handle it. If you think you’re that big and bad, then be that big and bad."
Reed is also still fighting metaphorically to shake people’s negative perceptions about her, but the person who’s opinion matters most is that of her son whose father isn’t mentioned on the show because of an injunction she signed willingly.
“I wasn’t forced to sign anything contrary to popular belief. I want people to realize that I’m not the groupie or the gold digger. He approached me,” says Reed of Howard. "I definitely don’t fill that stereotype of a woman that sits on her behind all day and has babies and her life is set, and I don’t want Braylon to think that I do that. I actually have a job and I want him to be proud of me. I want him and my family to realize that even though when I had him I wasn’t married, I’m not going to sit and do nothing for 18 years.
"I’m going to pursue that career, I’m going to have that job because I want him to be proud of that and I want to be proud of myself," Reed continues. "I’m still going to be a free spirit. I probably won’t be dancing everywhere and dropping it like it’s hot. But I’m just Royce and this is who I am everyday. You live and you learn and you can’t fight everybody. Someone’s always going to have something to say. They talk about Jesus so what makes you think they won't talk about you.” ⎯Starrene Rhett