So much has been said about Evelyn Lozada, it’s hard to keep track anymore.
Many viewers of VH1’s Basketball Wives have strong opinions about the reality star and the show’s violent female-on-female shenanigans. The reunion airs Monday night, meow!
The Broward State Attorney’s Office filed a misdemeanor battery charge last week against Lozada’s assistant Nia Crooks, who allegedly slapped cast member Jennifer Williams at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach during filming in January. A hearing is set for later this month; Crooks could face up to one year in jail.
And there’s that ongoing petition against Lozada at online platform Change.org: Backlash about Ev and Ocho, the upcoming spinoff, filming in Miami, about her nuptials to football star Chad Ochocinco. One petitioner’s comment read: “I have no respect for bullies and women who believe acting ignorant is cool. He (Ocho) has young children, and this woman has thrown glasses, bottles and ran across a table like she’s a part of a wild animal park, will she put on her fake smile and act the proper stepmom?’’
Eeek. It’s all so ugly, but Lozada soldiers on.
“As far as all that controversy, it really has been tough for me because I couldn’t understand why we were being targeted. There are so many other reality shows where women argue,’’ says Lozada. “Why it became a Basketball Wives thing, I can’t say. It’s frustrating.’’
Blame the folks in the editing room, perhaps.
“We wanted to show positive things. A lot of us have done charity events. But we’re not in control of what they air. It’s not up to me. I just film and do what I need to do.”
Some good has come of the Wives scandals.
“I think all the negativity forced all of us to take a look at ourselves and maybe we do need to clean some of this stuff up and be a little more mature. But as Chad says, ‘A little controversy is not always such a bad thing.’ ’’
Business is good for Lozada, who closed her Miracle Mile Dulce shoe store in favor of a thriving online shop. She also sells clothing on her eponymous website (T-shirts with her sayings sell like hotcakes).
And the Bronx native’s love life couldn’t be rosier. The wedding to the Patriots player, whom she met through direct messages on Twitter in 2010, is going on as planned next month at an undisclosed location. The couple had some trouble finding a venue to accommodate their on-camera needs. This morsel was reported by the tabloids but in a more harsh way: rumor was that the pair wasn’t welcome anywhere. Not true, says Lozada.
“That was blown all out of proportion. A lot of the resorts and hotels don’t necessarily like their properties or employees being filmed.’’
Michelle Payer, PR director at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resorts, says. “We would have loved to create a bespoke St. Regis wedding for the bride, albeit without television cameras, as our corporate policy precludes us from participating in reality shows. Had television filming not been a factor, we would have been delighted to move forward.”
Lozada and Ochocinco did indeed find a site, and it will be the show’s “big reveal.”
Still, not all is finished.
“There are a million and one things to do,’’ says Lozada. “Even my wedding planner tells me out of all the celebrity weddings she’s done this has been by far the most challenging.’’
At least the dress is picked out: An Alisa Benay sexy, sleeveless gown. “I want people to look at me, and go, ‘Wow!’ ’’ says Lozada, who has the body to wear anything, really.
Most brides-to-be get to attend to last-minute details, but this one will be headed out on a national book tour for Inner Circle (Cash Money Content, $24.99), a “novel’’ (cowritten with Courtney Parker) about Eve Inez, who marries a superstar wide receiver. Sound familiar?
Lozada will be promoting it at Books and Books Coral Gables 8 p.m. Monday.
“It’s pretty cool, a juicy read,’’ she promises. “You won’t know if I’m talking about myself.”