You know Kesha Nichols’ story if you don’t know her name. It’s every woman’s worst nightmare. She was all set to jump the broom three years ago with her fiancé, NBA player Richard Jefferson, when she received the dreaded email.
THE email. The email that landed in her inbox the day before the wedding was to happen that informed Nichols that her dream wedding would not, in fact, be going down. Nichols addressed it with grace. There were no slashed tires. Nor did she rip his name to shreds in the tabloids. In fact, it was quite the opposite. She laid low. Save for a high profile Good Morning America interview, we saw very little of her.
Tonight, the former Nets dancer will join the cast of VH1’s runway hit, Basketball Wives at 8pm EST on VH1. And even though her ring didn’t mean a thing, she’s back and stronger than ever.
EBONY.com: Why do a reality show now?
Kesha Nichols: I was asked by the production company to do Basketball Wives starting with season one — that just was right after everything happened with my ex — and I just wasn’t ready at that time. I was just working on other things and when season four came around, I saw how popular the show was and the success of the other girls, and the things that they’re building as businesses from the exposure they got from the show. I thought that it was the right time in my life to do it.
EBONY.com: You handled your breakup quite well. What did you learn from your previous life?
KN: I took the last three years to rebuild my life as it was before I was with my ex, because it was great before. Since I worked so hard, I feel like I’ll never give up what I have now for a relationship or for someone else. I want to be happy in my life and my career … and then I want to add someone to that. That wasn’t what happened in my last relationship. I definitely feel like I’ve learned don’t put all your eggs in one basket. At the same time, I’m not gonna close myself off from love and revisiting that again, you know?
EBONY.com: Has the show been therapeutic in some respects?
KN: Definitely. And just to be able to look back and then see how far I’ve come. And when I watch the Good Morning America interview, I’m like, Oh my gosh how did I do that? And who was that person?
EBONY.com: Honestly, you really handled it really well … no slashed tires?
KN: Thank you. And the way it reached out and touched so many people … I had people hugging me on the street and not feeling sorry for me, but understanding that no matter how great your life is, you can always be humbled. I guess me showing that I was vulnerable and hurt but still not running Richard’s name in the mud. I could’ve gone such a different way with that, so I think people appreciated it and just felt for me.
EBONY.com: It’s one thing to watch it on TV and another to do it. What’s surprised you about filming this show?
KN: Girl, this is the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. [Laughs] But it’s fun, but I never thought I was going to be a reality TV star.
EBONY.com: Since you’re a dancer, does that mean you and castmember Royce Reed commiserated?
KN: Yes, definitely. We like to go and have fun and not really sit and drink and talk. We actually like to be out and have fun, so I definitely clicked with her on a lot of different levels.
EBONY.com: One of the delicious things about the show is the drama. What’s your take on what we’re going to see this season?
KN: The audience will not be disappointed. I’ll say it that way. This is my first time being around it, but honestly, I’m not going to lie, I feel like I just jumped from my couch into my TV screen and I feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m sitting here with these girls and this is really how they are!’ They’re really funny, animated, love the girls and then there’s history and beef that I’m not privy to knowing … but that’s part of being the new girl.
EBONY.com: I know you guys don’t want to reveal too much, but is there anything that you can reveal to us that maybe we’ll see play out in this new season that wouldn’t get you in trouble?
KN: Yeah, no. Can’t go there. You just gotta tune in.
EBONY.com: What about your love life? Are you dating?
KN: Well, I am dating, but you won’t see that on the show. I want to keep to myself and it’s so great, I don’t want to mess it up by throwing it out there for other people’s opinions. So I’m going to keep that one close to my heart, but you can know that I have found my man.
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EBONY Entertainment Editor