How do you comfortably sit around someone, day in and day out, when you know an ugly rumor that could really affect them? Even more so, how do you call yourself their “friend”?
That’s what I’d like to know after Monday night’s episode of Basketball Wives, in which a rumor, spoken into existence a year ago (but who knows how old) and known by almost every woman in the group, was finally shared with the person who it impacted — Shaunie O’Neal.
The rumor was that Evelyn Lozada had allegedly slept with Shaunie’s ex. And while they bleeped out the man’s name on the show, word on the street is that the ex was her former husband, Shaquille O’Neal, with whom the Basketball Wives producer shares four children. Evelyn vehemently and tearfully denied the rumor, saying she would never do something like that to Shaunie, who in turn, just sat bewildered. She obviously had questions, but the focus of the conversation was on who knew the rumor first — was it Jennifer Williams (who during last season was still at odds with Lozada when she allegedly spilled the beans) or Tami Roman (who Jennifer claims asked her about it)?
If you ask me, it doesn’t really matter. Every woman who knew about this rumor, whether it’s true or not, is guilty of sitting on something that should have been made plain immediately. The fact that they could fraternize and smile in her face, knowing that they’d heard this information, info that Shaunie hadn’t been made privy too, says a lot about all of them.
And I get the idea that “it’s not my business.” You don’t want to be found out as the person who shared the burning hot tea that caused major conflict. You don’t want to deal with possible blowback. But if someone knew some possibly hurtful information about you and someone important in your life, wouldn’t you want it brought to your attention?
I had to keep that in mind when I was told a rumor about one of my best friend’s that blew up a whole relationship.
We were in high school, and I was told by our mutual friend, someone who had actually known my best friend longer and was technically closer at the time, that her boyfriend was going around telling people in school that they were having sex. When I asked her if she was going to say anything, her concern was more about being found out by the boyfriend than for looking out for our girl. As soon as I got home, I called my BFF up and told her. I didn’t bother to ask if the rumor was true, because it didn’t matter. I just wanted her to know her business was being put on front street by someone she should be able to trust. She broke up with him that night, and thankfully, she didn’t tell him I told her.
I told her the rumor not only because I would want someone to do the same for me, but also because, if it got out that it was a rumor spread to many, as her friend, I didn’t want to look like I’d willingly sat on that information. To do so comes off as a form of betrayal. You can’t keep people from saying and doing things about and to those you care for, but once you are made aware of such comments and actions, it’s good to say something so the truth can be cleared up and everyone can know what and whom they’re really dealing with.
And yes, it is a very bad look for Jennifer that she let all the rumors, skeletons and more out of the closet about Evelyn to anyone who would listen — other than Shaunie — when the two women were no longer friends. But it is also a very bad, and also vindictive look on Tami, that a whole year later, she finally let the cat out of the bag. She may not have been “trying” to be messy, but she very much was. In an effort to throw a wrench in the reconciled friendship of Evelyn and Jennifer, to raise doubt about Evelyn in Shaunie’s mind, and to show everyone how messy Jennifer really is, Evelyn tried to force her to admit to pushing some old ass, unverified rumor, not realizing that it was going to come back to bite her, too. And the fact that Malaysia Pargo knew, and wanted to rub Shaunie’s back for support when it all came out, and that Jackie Christie had the nerve to shed a tear about it when asked to share what she too knew (because she loves her too much to hurt her…), proves that Jennifer isn’t the only “bone collector’ in the crew.
It’s good that Shaunie finally knows the rumor, and knows what Evelyn claims to be the truth. But I would also argue that it’s good that she now clearly sees the type of people she has in her circle: