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Jackie Christie Basketball Wives

Source: VH1 / Viacom

You can say a lot of things about Jackie Christie, but if you watch Basketball Wives, you can’t say that she hasn’t exhibited some incredible growth over the years. Once found often in the midst of all sorts of drama, confrontations, and even altercations after joining the spinoff Basketball Wives LA in 2011, she had a change of heart, started attending therapy, and as primarily exhibited on the show, is all about sisterhood now.

That hasn’t come without a few hiccups here and there, though, including a fractured friendship with co-star Malaysia Pargo following a misunderstanding about an ugly rumor, and a question mark in regards to the future of her friendship with former co-star Tami Roman. But speaking with Christie, it’s clear she is on a wave of positivity, and if there are problems that can be fixed with any of her co-stars, past and present, she’s all for it.

“Every time I’m doing a season with somebody, I’ve been on Basketball Wives LA from 2011 to now, I meet them, they become part of the family,” she says. “We become sisters and then I care about them, whether we have an argument or not.”

Christie chatted with us about trying to play peacemaker after a tumultuous Season 8, where some of her most high-profile relationships stand in the present, including with daughter Ta’Kari Lee, and how the most important relationship in her life, with husband Doug Christie, has stayed unbreakable for nearly 26 years. Here are insights in only the colorful way Jackie Christie can share them.

MadameNoire: We know it’s a big part of Basketball Wives this season and it’s affecting everyone’s lives, so how are you and your family faring in this pandemic?

Jackie Christie: You know what? We’ve fared pretty good. We’ve just been making sure we stay safe and keep other people safe. We don’t go out a lot, only when we have to for work or something like that. We’ve just been playing games and watching our favorite shows and getting closer and all kinds of stuff. We’ve been trying to make the best of it.

That sounds really peaceful and chill. That’s important because I know with the show, it can be very stressful. Last season was a lot. I know that you had the issues with Malaysia and Feby [Torres], and then OG had her confrontations that turned into a conversation about colorism. I know you had your thoughts on the latter. Can you share what it was that made you feel like there wasn’t colorism or if you’ve had a change of heart since then?

You know what? I love that question and I would have to say, please, you guys have got to tune in and you will see how everything unfolds. I don’t want to give away the show. I definitely do have this to say: I don’t feel like me or anybody has the right to tell anyone how they are feeling. I think that this is a sisterhood, definitely. My whole thing has always been to try and keep the girls together and try to be that glue. I’m really excited for everybody to see how everything comes together and pans out throughout the rest of the season.

Did you feel though like OG was kind of treated differently compared to everybody else last season, whether colorism or not?

You mean with the reunion stuff and all of that? None of us knew what was going on as far as some of the ladies not really feeling comfortable due to the threats that was made or something like that. I don’t really know, so I didn’t really have much of an opinion on that whole thing because I wasn’t aware of all of the circumstances behind it. I do know that first and foremost, the show, it’s a lot of ladies together and sometimes tempers can flare and people can say things to each other. Hopefully, at the end of the day, we’re able to move through it and grow through it. And I’m hoping that’s the same situation that happens going forward with any of the situations with all of us ladies. There’s a lot of stuff that’s going to happen and unfold in this season that we’re in.

Okay, nice! It seems like you’re going to have a kumbaya, come-to-Jesus moment with Malaysia [Pargo], which will be good to see. I’ve been watching Basketball Wives since the beginning, both franchises, and I know the relationship you guys have had. When you think back to the way everything exploded last season and the drama at the skating rink, do you wish you’d taken the information you heard about her and her family and handled it differently?

I said it last season and I don’t know how much of it resonated with everyone. I think a lot of it did because a lot of fans and people, when I travel, they would come up and make reference to it. But I did talk about it. I told everyone then, I did speak to Malaysia prior. It’s just unfortunate that it got all caught up. I was very hurt. It hurt my soul that the rumors were going around and all that was happening. I thought that Malaysia would know me better than that and know that we’re sisters at the end of the day. We started this thing together. She knows, I hope, that I have nothing but love for her and hopefully vice versa. But at the end of the day, I didn’t do those things, I wouldn’t do those things. As far as talking with the ladies, I’m sure everybody saw it, it was in front of millions of people where I said, “I’m not going to even discuss this.” I spoke to her about it, she asked it not be discussed so I’m going to leave it there. Yet I was still kind of blamed for it. I understand. It is what it is. Everybody gotta tune in to see how this all comes together.

Speaking of sisterhood, Tami Roman is gone from the show now. Where does your relationship stand? You were one of the few people on the cast she seemed close to before her departure.

I will always have love for Tami. I haven’t talked to Tami for a while, at least through the pandemic and a little tiny bit before then. I don’t have any issues with Tami. I pray for her to continue to do well. I pray for all of the ladies. I don’t have an issue with any of the women. People that I’ve had run-ins with in the past, I would think we’ve talked about it. My whole thing is I always preach growth and sisterhood. Me and Tami had words but we made up and everybody got to see that. On camera and off camera, it’s always been a real thing with me and her. I respect her and she respects me. I see all the great things she’s doing and I hope she continues doing that. But yeah, I don’t really have an issue. I heard there were some things being said, but it wasn’t necessarily to me. But people were saying she was saying she didn’t really have friends. But I’d like to think that I will always be a friend to Tami, so that’s where I’m at.

Is there any cast member you’d love to see return to the show or from the Miami franchise whom you’d like to see join?

Oh yeaaaah. You know, I get asked that all the time. Like I said, I have an affinity for all of these women. So  I would say all of them. I wouldn’t mind any of them coming back. I definitely have a special relationship with Sundy [Carter]. I have one with her still. She’s one of my best friends, even now. Brittish [Williams], that’s another one. I brought Brittish in, I’d love for her to return. Mehgan James. I mean, there’s so many. Even Brooke Bailey. People think Brooke and I aren’t friends because of that little falling out we had, but even on the show, I apologized to her for happening to get upset with her and things got out of hand. We moved on and we’re great friends now. She’s like a sister. It’s so many of them. Draya. I’d love them all to come back.

Like you said, you’re big on growth and mending things with the ladies you’ve had issues with in the past. If you don’t mind me asking, I was wondering if you were able to get in a good place with your daughter Ta’Kari, since she was a part of the conversation a couple of seasons ago and she came out with her book. Are you guys in a much better space now?

I love my daughter. I’ve always said that. My daughter loves me and we are fantastic. I don’t really go out, because I don’t think it’s a thing to just go out and be like, “Oh my God, me and ‘Kari are great!” because to me we were always great. There would be private conversations all the time, even during all that mess when people were trying to influence her to do those things. But I forgive everyone, especially my child. One thing I will never do like I said then and I will always say, is I will never throw her under the bus. I will deal as a mother does. You can’t control sometimes how your kids, what things they do, you just have to love them through it. We are fine. I love her. It’s funny ’cause I’ll call her and get advice from her all hours of the day, and it’s the best advice ever. The same with [Chantel], they’re all in different cities. And then Douglas the same thing. My son is still home. All three of my kids are blessings and I’m so happy.

And I did want to ask you, what’s the trick to making it work for 26 years of marriage to Doug? Aside from renewing your vows every year [laughs], what is the trick?

You know what? It is definitely communication. A lot of relationships start suffering when people aren’t communicating. When you’re either trying to read what your mate is thinking or you’re thinking, “Oh they’re upset with me” and they may not even be and confusion starts. Misinterpretation, miscommunication, all of that. Communication is the key to long-lasting relationships because you can put how you feel out there. Being best friends, having fun, letting go of inhibitions, not being hung up on trying to be something that you’re not or trying to relay your relationship with someone else and comparing and all of that. That will damage or slow the process of having an awesome relationship down. We respect one another. I don’t do things to him that I don’t want done to myself. If you put that other person in front of your own, you will always be in love, you will always be happy, and you will thrive. It’s not going to be perfect. You’ll have misunderstandings. Like, he might cook something that I didn’t want for example. I might be a little perturbed, but we don’t let that get into our relationship. We don’t let it linger. If we have a misunderstanding we talk about it. I’ll pick the phone up five seconds later and text him a funny picture or call him. And that’s what it’s all about. It’s about how important is your relationship to you? If you put it first, there’s nothing that can change it.

And what are the plans for renewing your vows this July with the pandemic going on?

If it’s still going to be a lockdown it’s going to be like, “Oh boy.” But if we can get out there, we want to do something really big. Last year was our 25th wedding anniversary. For the 25th, you’re always supposed to do something huge and we ended up getting married privately at home with our minister. We all wore masks. We just kept it real intimate and simple. We want to do something major for this next one. We’re planning something big right now, we just don’t know yet because we want to bring a lot of people together.

What would you say people can expect from this season of Basketball Wives overall? The trailer gives the impression that there will be reconciliation, but then we hear about people not filming together, so it’s kind of hard to gauge what we’re going to get. What are we really about to get? [Laughs]

[Laughs] Well you know what? I can say this. It is going to be major. This season is really going to be an eye-opener for a lot of people and I think it’s Basketball Wives and everything that comes with it. But I do feel like it’s something that people do not want to miss. It is going to be the pandemic ponderosa of all.

Basketball Wives airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on VH1.

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