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Tami Roman Chats 'Basketball Wives,' Changes In Reality TV, Fighting With Evelyn, Jen

The world first met Tami Roman when reality TV was young. She appeared one the Real World LA in 1993 and made an impact with viewers when she got an abortion, got her jaw wired shut and got dragged while wrapped in a blanket by one of her fellow castmates. In other words, she managed to get into drama. Now, nearly 17 years after her first TV debut, she’s back on Basketball Wives. She’s older, wiser but she’ll still slap a broad. VIBE caught up with her to talk about her life since the Real World and why anyone who tries to disrespect her can catch it! ⎯Starrene Rhett

VIBE: What have you been up to since the Real World?

Tami Roman: After I came off The Real World, people back then didn’t really realize that it was reality and that we weren’t acting. They thought I was an actress so I fell into that field. I’ve been doing a lot of guest starring series regular work and being involved in that part of the business. I’m a mom. I have two teenage daughters, one is16 and the other is 14 so I’ve been grinding that out as well, which is difficult at times... I’m involved with a lot of charities and I’m just really trying to find myself again, because also with the acting in that little time span, I was married and divorced so now I’m at the point where I’m getting back to Loving Tami and enjoying Tami as the person I’ve become now.

Not only have you changed, but so has reality TV…

I’m gonna speak now in the context of what I see on TV. We had no idea then that reality TV was going to become what it is today. We didn’t know what we were doing. They put us in a house with cameras and taped us 24 hours a day between three and five months, I think. And they just took the footage and made an episode. But what I witness on TV now is, I think people come into the situation like, “I’m gonna do this to get camera time, “I’m gonna be this type of person, I’m gonna act this way” and they use it as a launching pad for whatever it is they’re trying to do. Coming into Basketball Wives for me, the reason I felt I decided to take part in this particular show was because I watched the first season and I felt I didn’t really get a chance to know those women and get a chance to see who they are and what their lives really are. I felt that I wasn’t represented. I’ve been married, I’ve been divorced and my situation was less than amicable so how they’re driving the Bentleys and the Range Rovers and all this other stuff. That’s not my moment and I felt like if they were gonna put a show out there then they need to show all aspects of having been involved with these high profile individuals. I spoke with the producers and everybody and told them that I didn’t feel represented and that my story would bring some value some substance to the show because I’m not the type of person that’s gonna sit and talk about and wallow about my ex-husband and I felt like I witnessed a lot of that in the first season⎯women arguing and being depressed about their exes and I think I wanted to bring about the aftermath, the ability to fall from grace and reestablish yourself, your independence and be your own person again. I don’t need Kenny to be able to survive and do what I need to do for my children and I felt that was not portrayed.

Talk about the scene in the trailer where your daughters let their father have it.

That was one of the main story points that I discussed with Shaunie and the producers. I wanted to introduce that because I felt it was necessary because Kenny and I⎯we dealt with each other not in a positive manner and that trickled down to our children. I felt it was important to let the world to know that sometimes relationships don’t work out but when there are children involved you have to take them into consideration regarding the decisions that you make because they’re gonna be effected, and when Kenny and I didn’t’ get along, he looked at it like “Well I’m just not gonna be involved,” and he didn’t uphold his responsibility to his children⎯not to me to his children⎯and I felt who better to tell him that than them.

We also saw you scrapping with Evelyn and Jen in the trailer, what was it about them that drove you nuts?

It’s not that they drove me nuts but I look at it this way: With the situation with Evelyn and Jennifer, I’m 40-years-old. I’m probably the oldest one on the show and within my 40 years, I’ve been through so many ups and downs⎯good, bad and different. I’ve lived in a mansion, I lived in my car⎯so I’ve run a 360 and so I feel that I’ve earned the right to be respected and when that’s violated then you’re gonna bring out a different side of Tami and I think that’s what people are gonna see. At the end of the day, whether you like me or whether you don’t, I’m always gonna keep it real and say what’s on my mind. I’m always gonna stand up for myself and you, whoever you are, are gonna respect me. You don’t have to agree but you’re gonna respect me and my position.

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102-Year-Old Woman Evicted From Home To Make Room For Landlord’s Daughter

A 102-year-old woman living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Ladera Heights is being evicted from her home of three decades. Thelma Smith was notified on March 8 that she has to move out so that the landlord’s daughter can move into the single-family home, after she graduates from law school.

Smith was on a month-to-month lease and has been paying “very low rent,” her longtime neighbor told the L.A. Times. She has to be out of the home by June 30.

While Smith’s eviction is legal, as landlords have the right to evict tenants to help relatives under L.A.'s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival told the Times that the law is used to “target low-income paying tenants.”

Smith is a former director of the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation, a Los Angeles-based charity aimed at serving underprivileged youth. She has yet to find a new home, and rejected her neighbor’s offer to move in, but it looks like she’ll be getting housing assistance from Arnold Schwarzenegger. The actor and former California Governor vowed to help Smith, whom he called a “dear friend for a long time.”

“Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless,” he tweeted Friday (May 24). Schwarzenegger went on to state that he will be reaching out to Smith. “Landlords, you’ll hear from me too,” he added.

Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time. Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me too. https://t.co/IJQrclGQ6I

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) May 24, 2019

Landlord Arthur Hilton explained to CBS News that the home was never meant to be a rental property, even though Smith had been living there for 30 years. “This property was purchased by my parents not for rental but for the Hilton family,” he said.

Smith, a widow who never had children, planned to live in the home for the remainder of her life.

See more on her story in the video above.

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Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

Rey Ma Facing Additional Charges In Alleged Assault Against Brittney Taylor

Rey Ma has been hit with additional charges in an ongoing assault case in which she stands accused of attacking former Love & Hip Hop: New York cast member Brittney Taylor. The Bronx native appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court Friday (May 24) where she was arraigned on four misdemeanor charges, according to TMZ.

Although Remy was initially charged with assault, and turned herself in to authorities earlier in the month, she now faces two counts of third-degree assault, one count of second-degree aggravated harassment, and one count of second-degree harassment. She was offered the option to plead guilty to the top charge and enter anger management in exchange for having the other charges dropped but reportedly rejected the deal.

A trial date has been set of July 12.

Taylor claims Remy punched her in the eyed during a run-in at the Pretty Lou Charity Concert at New York City’s Irving Plaza last month. Remy was among the event performers along with Fat Joe, Jim Jones and more. She denies attacking Taylor and claims to have video evidence proving her innocence. TMZ reports that prosecutors have since changed the time of when the supposed altercation took place to line up with the time that Remy would have been at the venue.

Upon leaving the courtroom Friday, Remy didn’t mince words when speaking about going to trial. “Who looks forward to going to trial? I have things to do in my life,” she said according to the New York Daily News. “I have a real job, I have a family, I have a husband, I have a daughter.”

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34 black female cadets from West Point's Class of 2019 pose at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Cadet Hallie H. Pound/U.S. Army via AP

Black Women Cadets Make History At West Point Graduation

A record number of black female cadets are set to graduate from West Point (The United States Military Academy). After completing four years of education and "testing their limits," 34 black women will be walking across the stage at the 2019 commencement ceremony for the first time in the school's 217-year history.

Earlier this month, the black female cadets came together for a pre-graduation group photo. Little did they know, the photos of them in traditional Old Corps uniforms with ceremonial sabers would make their rounds on social media.

“My hope when young Black girls see these photos is that they understand that regardless of what life presents you, you have the ability an fortitude to be a force to be reckoned with,” shared one of the cadets, Tiffany Welch-Baker, in an interview with Because Of Them We Can.

Although West Point admitted its first black cadet until 1870, the academy didn’t graduate its first black cadet until the Reconstruction in 1877. In 1979, Vincent K. Brooks was made the first black captain of the Corps of Cadets. In 2017, Simone Askew became the first Black woman to lead the Corps of Cadets.

Senior cadet Stephanie Riley told The Associated Press in another interview: “I just showed myself and those who thought I couldn’t do it initially that yes, I can. And not just, ‘Yes, I can.’ I can show other little girls that yes, you can come to West Point. Yes, you can do something that maybe the rest of your peers aren’t actually doing. And yes, you can be different from the rest of the group.”

The class of 2019 includes a total of 223 women, another milestone since the first female cadets' graduation in 1980. The total number of graduation African-Americans doubled to 110, while the number of graduating Latinos became the largest, 88, in the academy's history. West Point also appointed Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as its first black superintendent in July 2018.

Not only will West Point be graduating its 5,000th female cadet, but it will also have its highest number of female Hispanic graduates, 19. The commencement ceremony is set for Saturday, May 25, with Vice President Mike Pence delivering the commencement speech.

Congratulations to the black ladies of West Point's graduating Class of 2019!

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