Vh1′s guilty pleasure reality show Basketball Wives isn’t actually about basketball wives, but the title Basketball Ex-Wives, Former Jump-offs, and Onetime Girlfriends was probably too wordy. TMZ reports that one of the show’s stars, Evelyn Lozada, is leaving. Why? “Evelyn feels producers violated her trust by allegedly divulging sensitive information about an illicit relationship she had in the past. We’re told Evelyn believes producers leaked the information to a female cast member in an effort to incite a violent confrontation between the two women on the show.”
That’s juicy, but which female cast member are they talking about? Our money is on Jennifer Williams. During season one of Basketball Wives, Jennifer and Evelyn were friends and got along really well. Williams had the distinction of being the only cast member currently married to a pro basketball player (albeit a retired one) at the time of the show’s taping, but season two has detailed her divorce from former Charlotte Bobcats player Eric Williams. Crushable hears that Evelyn and Eric hooked up way back in the day – perhaps when he was married to Jennifer, perhaps before – and that the secret comes out soon. The likely culprit? Shaunie O’Neal, executive producer of Basketball Wives and former wife of Shaquille O’Neal.
Shaunie’s no stranger to stirring up drama on the show, and more drama will mean higher ratings, which could result in a bigger payday for her. She has already shown a taste for trashing other cast members in the press, giving an interview to the Los Angeles Times where she bashed cast member Royce Reed and announced plans to replace her on the show. Now that Evelyn is becoming the most famous member of the cast – her relationship with football player Chad Ochocinco has put her in the tabloids – perhaps Shaunie doesn’t want anyone outshining her? Outing Evelyn’s past with Eric is a great way to create controversy for the show and get rid of an unruly cast member at the same time.