Basketball Wives’ Imani Explains What Really Happened With Draya

Imani Showalter of Basketball Wives LA is self-described soccer mom but viewers may know her as a hater because of her now infamous diss to fellow castmate Draya, a woman who she called “worthless.” However, when VIBE got to chat with the ex-fiancee of Stephen Jackson, we got to know a nicer side. And now Imani wants to set the record straight. She promises that she and Draya are on cool terms and she’s not as mean as people seem to think.

Here, we got to the bottom of what really happened with Draya, and how much Casey Anthony actually had to do with that.

What element do you bring to Basketball Wives LA?

Apparently, I’m ultra conservative. This is something I’m finding out about, myself. Like I said ive been behind the scenes even when I was with Stephen, I was never the one going out, partying or being on the internet in pictures with him. I was comfortable in my role as a mom and staying home. A lot of the other girls are young and want to have fun. They party and there’s just a lot of views that I have that I don’t think the other girls have so that’s how I’m different. I was raised by my grandparents, so I have very old fashion views on things. I think there’s been a lot of that shown but I don’t think it was shown in the most positive light. I don’t expect everybody to live how I live but I don’t want to be persecuted for that either.

I’m glad you mentioned that because there seemed like there was editing the Draya situation at the passion party.

You called it [laughs].

Was it because of the child abandonment case against her that you said that to her?

Honestly, right before we did the passion party there was some discussion amongst all of us⎯not Draya⎯but the rest of the girls about the situation. One of the other castmates brought it to our attention and was like, “Oh my god, did you read this? I was crying when I saw this, she’s horrible, ” and so on. And this was on the heels of the whole Casey Anthony case as well, so just reading that and having that in my head⎯I mean we all sat downstairs and said whoever could do something like this is worthless. That’s just what you say, it’s not who she is obviously⎯and so with that fresh on my mind, when I got to the passion party and I looked at a box of adjectives that’s the one I pulled. I know a lot of people were outraged and said that I was judging Draya but what I say to that was that every word in that box was an adjective, a judgment call. If somebody calls you sneaky, funny or happy, those are all judgments. Some are better than others but those are all judgments and that was the position I was put in⎯to take a word and put it in her box, and that seemed fitting.

There were other issues that came into play where people were like, “Talk about it now, put it all out there,” and that was why I was like, “I’m not going to talk about it here.” At that point I didn’t know if it was something that Draya wanted to discuss on TV because it’s a sensitive subject. If I was upset about what I thought or had heard that she did to her kid, then why would I throw that same kid under the bus? So, I was like I’ll play the bad guy for this one and take the L because I’m not gonna do that to her or her kid. And after we talked about it, she said it was fine and she wanted to talk about it on the show. She even admitted that she got it and that if she had read that story about anybody she would have probably said the same thing.

Is there anything about that situation that you would do differently if you could?

I was presented with a police report detailing and outlining allegations that her son had made to the police officers, that’s how the report was set up. It wasn’t like it was a neighbor or someone reported her. It was her son reporting it to the police. Basically, he was saying that she always would leave him but it hasn’t ever been this long. He was worried about her it’s been three days and he couldn’t get in touch with her. There was a dog in the house, and apparently feces were all over the place. He had frozen dinners, he was just worried about his mom and couldn’t reach her. That just wouldn’t sit well with anybody, especially a woman or a parent.

I’m really a nice person [laughs]. I understand it has to be spicy for TV just to keep people’s interest but the whole situation with me and Draya, it was over before it began. I didn’t come to her in an attack mode. You guys saw five minutes of a two hour passion party and then three min of an hour and a half lunch we had so there was a lot of conversation that went into both of those episodes and I was very supportive in trying to be helpful to her and figure out what we can do to help manage this for her and make this go away and help her move forward and help her mingle with the other girls, but they just showed me hating on her and that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Me and Draya are fine. We have a great relationship.