Brooke "Pumkin" Thompson made a lasting impression on the VH1 Celebreality-sphere but all but disappeared from the limelight when Flavor of Love, Charm School, I Love Money, and the like went off the air.
The funny blonde, who delivered the spit heard 'round the world (onto New York) keeps a relatively low profile now, but caught up with VH1 in honor of #14DaysOfLove. Hear what the recovering reality star has to say about her feelings for Flavor Flav, find out who she's still in touch with, and get her take on what Tiffany "New York" Pollard was really like when the cameras aren't rolling.
You're a hard person to track down. Please tell us what's going on with you. Where are you and what are you doing?
Brooke "Pumkin" Thompson: I’m still in [my hometown of] Baskersville and I have a real job now. [Laughs] I work for an accounting firm. Booooring.
Do people still recognize you from your reality days? Like, when you're out and about, living your regular life do people still stop you?
Yes, they do and it's so crazy. It really is because you would think that it would fade away. It’s not as crazy as it was when Flavor of Love was airing but, yeah, people definitely do. I would say at least five times a week.
What is your love life like nowadays?
No. I’m single. No children. [Laughs] Nobody.
Why the choice to step away from the cameras and the limelight?
It wasn’t really my choice. I would still be on reality TV if [someone was] still doing those types of shows. Not to say that I would never do reality television again because I would totally do it again.
What did you think of Flav giving you the nickname "Pumkin"?
At first I was like, well that’s weird. I'm just like so white, I was like, "Okay, like a fat orange thing, right? Like do I look like I have fake baked [skin] and am I like, fat like why is he calling me this?" Flav was like, "No, it’s a term of endearment. It’s like a lot of black people in that community, they'll call you, 'my pumkin.'" Like, it's just a sweet thing so I guess it's grown on me, for sure but at first I was a little insulted.
A lot of the ladies from Flavor of Love and Rock of Love are big personalities on Instagram and Twitter. Is there a reason you're not on social media?
Yes. It takes so much of your life away like I don’t know. I just got so wrapped up in it when I did have it. I was obsessed with it. I wouldn’t do anything else and if I was doing the shows and I didn’t have to work 40 hours a weeks and I had more time to do it, I would do it. I kinda feel like some of it is just ridiculous like, how some of [the girls] act like like they're still some big TV star. Yeah, we were big back in the day, you know what I mean? But like, we're not this generation of reality television stars. I'm not gonna come out with a perfume line and do s---t like that because that was back then. I guess I'm just centered. That was the past, if it happens again and we can be big again like that.
Did something happen that sort of helped ground you from reality TV fame?
I guess I’ve always been centered. I’ve never acted like, "Oh my God we have to [act this way.]" Some of the girls, when we would be out in public they would like act like it was such a big deal that people notice them like they didn’t wanna be bothered. "Oh my God! I'm this big f---ing celebrity." I felt like, hello, we signed up for a reality show. People recognize us and were gonna have to deal with that. That’s what we signed up for. I didn’t let it go to my head.
Have you maintained any relationships with any of your cast mates you did any of the shows with?
Yes, I have. I still talk to Toastee. She's definitely my closest friend from the VH1 shows. I talk to Heather [Chadwell] from Rock of Love, I talk to Onyx who was on I Love New York. I used to speak with more of them but those are kinda the people that I carried it through with. We're friends on Facebook and stuff. Everybody's busy and I understand that.
We spoke to Hoopz recently and she mentioned that you two were close friends but had a falling out after I Love Money. What happened?
I mean she won the show, she had a lot going on. I know she was close to being engaged to somebody. It's just everybody's life is just so busy.I mean if we were on another show together we would still be friends. It’s not like that. It’s just like when we see each other it’s just like we reconnect and it’s just like and instant friendship. I knew that she was super busy with her life and I just don’t like to bother people. I don’t know if she has like, a Facebook. I don't know. I never thought she had a Facebook but I could be wrong.
Reality TV was such a different monster back then, what did it feel like being in that house? Did everything that happen feel real?
I remember I didn’t look at it as a job and a couple people in the house were asking, how did you get this job? I was like, what job? To me it wasn’t a job. I really was going on the show as myself. I didn’t have an agent and nobody got me on the show but myself. We had no idea what the first season was going to be. We had no idea if anyone was gonna watch and then it blew up like, wow. I think back then people weren’t trying to, I think some of it a little bit blown up for camera, but really a lot of it was just us being us.
Do you think that's different than reality TV now?
Now I feel like people go on a show to cause drama because they know if they cause drama they’re gonna make a bigger name for themselves but I think it was less of that back then. That was ten years ago.
Did Tiffany feel like someone who was playing it up for the camera or playing a character? Or is that really who she is?
Oh definitely. I mean, I saw her at the Reality TV Award show and she was much more like, grounded. [Laughs] than you would think she was on TV. I mean obviously that kiss came out between the two of us. She’s definitely a lot nicer in person then you see on TV and I can’t believe I'm saying that. [Laughs]
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When the spit happened between you and Tiffany, did you know it was going to be this huge thing on TV? Did you go into filming knowing you were going to do that?
There was absolutely no thought. It was completely emotional. I was pissed. It’s the lowest thing you can do to someone, pretty much. I didn’t think about it. It wasn’t premeditated. It just happened. I wasn’t like, "Okay, I'm in elimination. Okay, I'm gonna do this so this we make a name for ourselves and the show's number one." I was really so pissed off. It just came out and then afterwards I was like, Oh my God. I didn't know it was gonna be like, the headlines on newspapers. They called it the spit heard around the world. I never ever anticipated that it would be as big as it actually was. I mean it’s still one of the greatest reality TV moments and that's just so crazy to me.
Last question, the big one, because I'm sure you can be honest with us after ten years. Were your feelings genuine for Flav? Do you think you guys would have worked out together?
No, I mean he’s a great person and he’s a nice guy but like sexually, definitely not. I have dated the hot guys though and the personality has to be there too. So like I’ve realized like throughout doing the show and throughout life that you can’t just like, judge just based on pure physical attraction you have to like, go beyond the surface and see if they have a personally as well. Flav does have a great personality but that's pretty much it for me.
Don't miss Pumkin and all the crazy on VH1's #14DaysOfLove Flavor of Love marathon starting February 12th at 2/1c!