Angel Love’s first season of Basketball Wives LA was a mixed bag according to her co-stars but VH1 caught up with the rookie cast member about her experience joining the reality soap opera. The New Orleans native opened up about why she went so hard on DJ Duffey at the reunion and how she’s coping after the loss of both her brother and grandmother while being in the spotlight.
While the season was airing you lost your brother and your grandmother. I’m so sorry about that. How are you and your family holding up?
We’re still coping with it. My grandmother held us together as a whole and my brother, was my baby brother, and he was the only boy, besides my father. Losing those two people in my life was very devastating for me and my family. We’ve been trying to hold it together and remain strong and trying to get through this. Being one of the stronger people in my family, a lot has fallen on me so that’s something that I’m dealing with as well.
At the reunion taping, this didn’t air, but you opened about having been married before and losing your husband to suicide and how you and Angel Brinks bonded over that, can you explain what happened?
When I first met Angel [Brinks], we had a sort of similar background as far as our baby fathers playing in the NBA but I remember her telling me that she was once married and her guy committed suicide and it was so ironic that I had that same story as well. [My guy], we were dating for maybe two years, we got married, then three months later he committed suicide. It was so so hard for me to accept it and adjust to life after that because I thought I had everything I needed. I had just finished nursing school, I just got married, I was happy and in love. My life was just amazing but then my life just crashed. I was really at my wit’s end and I didn’t know how to overcome [the grief] and adjust to life again. Prayers and trying to get a strong relationship with god really held me together.
Was your husband your high school or college sweetheart?
I met him while I was in college and we knew each other for maybe seven or eight years [but I was like], I’m just focusing on school. Then my last semester of nursing school we got together and started dating and we ended up getting married right after I finished school. So, we knew each other [but] he just had some issues that I guess only he could figure out. I’ve been through quite a few things in my life, and the only thing that I knew to help me overcome a lot of battles in life was church.
I don’t know the details but did you know he struggled with depression?
Not really. Like, he was another one to carry his whole family and friends on his shoulders and never let anyone see him being weak. It was a big shock for me, for the longest [time] and I was so done with life and I was wanting to give up at this point too and I had to fight all of those things that I was going through as well.
When you decided to sign up for reality TV were you worried about the spotlight being on your family or bringing up your husband?
I wouldn’t say I was nervous, I feel like I have a very great story to tell and I wanted to be a role model. I’m sure there’s another woman who has gone through it or is trying to battle with something and I’m a living example of my weaknesses that turned into my strength. A lot of it wasn’t shown on Basketball Wives, like me leaving my boyfriend DeJuan [Blair], and moving to LA, and becoming a single mother, and starting my scrub line, and being a nurse. You know a lot of those things weren’t really shown [but] hopefully I’ll get another opportunity to do that.
So let’s talk about what they did show on TV and the reunion. Backstage, when I saw you were in great spirits but then on the show you refused to accept Duffey’s apology. Why?
The issue that I had with Duffey, it wasn’t all of a sudden. I came into this season not being judgmental and I wanted to give everyone a chance. Yes, I saw Basketball Wives before, but I didn’t wanna [assume], “Oh, they’ll treat me the same way,” because I’m not here to judge you. I’m a different person, you’re a different person, and I just wanna give everybody a fair chance. I feel like I wanted to be happy, I wanted to make new friends, and I didn’t wanna start drama.
Meeting Duffey at the beginning, she seemed really cool, and then she just became aggressive and was doing really mean things to me, even spiking my drink. Jackie brought her to a scene with me, and I’m just trying to [get her to] understand what you did was wrong, and you owe me an apology, and she apologized, but then she verbally attacked me that the reason that my guy isn’t with me is because I’m a video girl. She did apologize off camera, and I’m a very forgiving person and I accepted her apology but then she continued to say the same thing about me.
What was another example of her saying those things after her apology?
When she and Tami were at auditions for the music video, and she pulled up a video [I was in] like, “Oh yeah, she’s a video girl look at all these videos she did.” She did that, and then she and Brandi had this moment that didn’t air but it did make VH1.com and it was like, “Yeah, she’s a video girl, that’s all she is is a video girl, and she had a baby with a basketball player, and I don’t even know if she’s a real nurse of not.” They were really talking mad crap about me and I’m like all right, if you apologize to me about what you said, but then you continue to say the same thing about me, then your apology wasn’t real.
Did you try and have a conversation with her about that? Were you certain that those moments were filmed after she apologized to you?
Those things happened after her apology. I was supposed to be at the scene with Tami, I actually met them at the auditions but I had a family emergency and I had to fly to New Orleans and then with her and Brandi [that] happened after that.
Some people on social media have suggested you were going in so hard on Duffey to stay cool with Shaunie and Tami because they seem like they like you. Like you were doing “the most” to secure your job and please the OGs. Have you seen that criticism?
That had nothing to do with me. Shaunie’s issues and Tami’s issues had nothing to do with Angel Love’s issues. I don’t know why [social media] felt like everyone was attacking Duffey. If Duffey didn’t have an issue with me, I wouldn’t have an issue with Duffey. This was a reunion and I never got a chance to see her after seeing all the bad things that she said about me on the show so that was my opportunity to speak.
I didn’t say anything to Duffey, she actually said, “I wanted to apologize to Angel Love.” And it’s like, why? You continue to talk s–t about me. You continue to say all kind of mean, vulgar [stuff], you continue to discredit me. So [you’re] not being real, if you do this for TV like, “F–k, I’m sorry to curse but f–k you, f–k your apology.” You were just fake from the beginning, so I’d rather not be cool with you. I’m just tired of talking about Duffey.
Have you been in touch with her since the reunion filmed?
Not at all.
Shaunie more or less said Duffey won’t be welcome back next season. Are you open to returning to Basketball Wives now that you know what it is?
A lot of people say your first season is really hard, and I definitely went through my rough times, and my ups and downs, but overall I learned a lot and I feel like there’s a lot more of Angel Love that I want the world to know. So, yes, I’m definitely game for another season and that would be amazing.
And what about your friend Angel Brinks, she was sort of vague if she was going to return for another season? Is she quitting?
I’m really not aware of what Angel may be doing next season.
And what’s next for you now that the season is done?
Bad Ass Brown Chicks! That’s my website [because] growing up in the south I would hear comments like, “Oh, she’s cute to be a brown girl” and that is not a compliment. It’s very degrading. Some women would feel like because of the color of their skin they wouldn’t be able to get certain jobs or they’re not able to model or they’re not able to do certain things in life. I’ve done tons of music videos, I’ve done tons of commercials and advertisements, and I’ve also completed college three times, so I am a girl leading by example that it doesn’t matter what color you are, you can do whatever you put your mind to. You can achieve those dreams, just keep pushing, and [it’s] not only about the color of your skin but even if you’re going through a detrimental situation of your husband committing suicide, or losing your brother, or losing your grandmother, you can overcome if you stay strong and be determined. That’s what Bad Ass Brown Chicks stand for, being a strong woman. And my scrub line, Life Angels, shoplifeangels.com, that’s my fashion forward scrub line, that’ll be out in November!
Did you end up keeping those little capes on them?
Laughs] We definitely have capes, and they’re gonna come in all colors. They have all kind of embellishments on them, from zippers to studs, we even have the corset tops. It’s just really giving a new edge to hospital uniforms.
Did you continue to work at a hospital or continue to work as a nurse while you were filming Basketball Wives?
Before the show I stopped working my full time job but I did travel assignments, where I could go and pick up assignments for two weeks. I still have to stay on top of my skills, I worked so hard to get where I’m at so that’s something that I’m always gonna do.