When I first approached the newest cast member of VH1′s second season of Basketball Wives, Tami Roman, about doing an interview on Today’s Modern Family, I must say I wasn’t surprised by her humble response. “I would be honored to do an interview for you,” she said. By that one simple statement, I knew that Tami Roman was a very different person than what has been projected in the media and by what we see on the edited reality show. Tami is an extremely down to earth, very real chick who was eager and gracious enough to speak candidly with me about her journey from the Real World reality show to marriage to high profile professional basketball player, Kenny Anderson, to single mother on welfare and to finding love again.
Marriage to and Divorce from Professional Basketball Player
When Tami met, fell in love with and eventually married Kenny Anderson, she thought it would be forever. She got everything she had been hoping for when she was younger; a beautiful home, financial stability and a husband. She expressed how she soon began to lose sight of reality as her privileged lifestyle came with a certain status that she felt was now her norm. Although Tami seemingly had everything she had been hoping for since she was a child, she wasn’t prepared for what she didn’t get from her husband; respect, love, honor, integrity and commitment.
Eventually, Kenny had multiple affairs that ultimately led to the demise of the marriage. But because she too came from a broken home and was raised without a father; she didn’t want that for Lyric and Jazz, the beautiful daughters that she shares with Kenny. As a result, she accepted the infidelity for as long as she did because of them.
After the divorce Tami expressed that things got really bad between her and Kenny and Tami admitted to not always making the best decisions regarding her daughters and their relationship with their father. She openly expressed that she did not know how to co-parent and feels as if her daughters suffered because of it.
“By the time Kenny and I got divorced, it was really, really bad. We couldn’t have a conversation for two minutes without yelling at each other, cursing each other or hanging up the phone,” she said.
Because Kenny has been so adamant about Tami keeping the girls away from him and has given that as his reason for lack of involvement; I asked Tami if she intentionally or maybe even subconsciously kept him away from the kids.
“Again, by the time we divorced it [our communication with each other] was really bad. Now we had to try to co-parent and make arrangements for my daughters, who were only 6 and 4 at the time, to see their dad. Kenny wanted me to put my 6 and 4 year old on a plane by themselves and fly them to wherever he was, and I wasn’t okay with that. So, in his mind, I was keeping the kids away from him. In my mind, I was just being a mother and looking out for my children. And so, we could never come to a happy medium,” Tami explained.
Moving forward Tami expressed how she wanted her daughters and Kenny to continue to develop some type of relationship. Although she’s grateful that they have began to do so, she is realistic and knows that it will take baby steps to eventually get to her desired outcome, and that is that Lyric and Jazz will truly know their father as a person and not just in name only.
During the first couple of episodes of Basketball Wives, Tami candidly spoke about going from wife of a professional basketball player to single mother on welfare. During our interview she went on to explain that although she did sign a prenuptial agreement prior to marrying Kenny, that basically said, “what you came with is what you’re leaving with,” that agreement did not apply to their daughters. Kenny did pay a large monthly sum of money for Lyric and Jazz post divorce, for a period of time. However, she admitted that she did not make good financial decisions because she was trying to maintain the lifestyle that she had when she was married to their father; not understanding that the reality was that she was no longer married to their father. Tami described how she let a lot of people take control of her life and in turn, wasn’t making proper maternal decisions for her daughters.
“People would say things like, ‘you can’t live in that house, you need this house,’ or ‘your kids don’t need to be shopping at Target.’ And I allowed all of that to alter my perception of my real reality and that was that I was divorced and a single mother.”
Tami tried to maintain a lifestyle that she admits she didn’t necessarily need and looked up one day and the funds were depleted. Roman holds herself accountable for her financial crisis and insists that she does not blame Kenny for it. She explained that if she had managed her finances the way she should have before Kenny stopped paying child support, there would not have been a downfall, but she didn’t and takes sole responsibility for it.
Tami expressed that she was actually approached by VH1 for the first season of Basketball Wives but turned it down because she had worked for 10 years trying to distance herself from the whole reality television genre. She had actually re-entered into corporate America as a financial analyst and would have rather done that than another reality show. However, as she prayed about her journey and what God wanted her to learn from it, she decided that it would be a great opportunity to be a living testimony. She explained how it took her moving through her storm to realize that Kenny was not to blame for everything that has happened to her, but she had to be accountable for her mistakes after their marriage. As a result, she thought that she could perhaps educate others who have experienced or are experiencing similar circumstances.
“I needed for men to see what happens when you’re not emotionally there for your children. I needed for women to see that when you’re in a situation and making money, it’s not about pushing the Louis Vuitton; it’s about investing and making the right choices for the future instead of solely living in that moment,” said Tami.
What’s Next for Tami
Currently, Tami Roman is definitely in love again and explained how the adversity that she has faced, has actually made her better for her current partner. When I asked about her current beau, I could hear the glow in Tami’s face which made the picture much more vivid. She and independent film maker, which she wishes to remain anonymous, have been going strong for 3 years now and are happy with the family they have created. Although they haven’t solidified any wedding plans just yet, they have talked about it.
“I am so in love and it’s definitely a beautiful place to be. After you have gone through something that’s not right, you can definitely recognize when it is right. Because we’ve both been married before, we didn’t think we needed to get married to validate our our love for each other, initially. However, as we have progressed in our relationship, we have talked about it,” said Roman.
Tami is still acting as well and jokingly said that Tyler Perry needs to hurry up and give her a call for a role in his next film. She is also working on a book about her life, which she hopes will give people an inside view as to who the real Tami is. In addition to all of that, Tami still finds time to give back and is working with a charity called Project Girl; a troop of spoken word artists who range from age 13 to 18, and go around to schools to mentor young girls through spoken word.
From publicly talking about her abortion on the Real World over 10 years ago, to candidly airing her co-parenting issues with ex-husband, Kenny Anderson, on VH1′s second season of Basketball Wives, Tami Roman displays an authenticity and vulnerability that makes her relatable, human and definitely someone you’d want to hang out with. She definitely makes the top of our superchick list!
Please be sure to catch Tami on the second season of Basketball Wives, Sundays at 8/7 Central on VH1.