On last week’s episode of Basketball Wives, viewers were shocked to learn that Tami had been the victim of sexual assault twice, as well as held up at gunpoint and physically abused which has become the source of her built up anger over the years. In a counseling session that she attended on the show to get to the root of her anger, she revealed:
‘As a kid growing up, I was raped twice. My mom didn’t know about it. That’s an issue for me. I’ve been held up at gunpoint, someone threatening to blow my brains out, torturing me for four days. People have beat me up. People who I thought loved me. That’s why I’m real big on my personal space because I’ve been violated so much by people who that I thought cared about me.
We spoke to Tami right after that episode aired and she discussed her decision to reveal something so personal on the show . She also revealed how her past assaults have played a part in the way she has reacted towards her Basketball Wives castmates and towards David during her stint on Real World, when he tried to pull the blankets off of her semi-nude body.
Check out the interview:
Deciding to share a sexual assault is a big thing. What was the process?
That decision was made over the summer. I sat down with my family and talked about some of the incidents that happened in the past. I though it would be valuable to start dealing with it. I looked at season 2 and realized I had that altercation with Meeka because I have issues with someone violating my personal space. And that comes from the violence in my past. It makes me overly defensive. Literally I wake up every single day with somebody saying something hateful to me. That’s a hard burden to have to deal with. I’m just walking around like ‘don’t f-ck with me’. And in certain situations that’s not the proper attitude to have. So I knew I needed to get help to learn how to recover and move on.
Let’s go back to the infamous situation on Real World between you and David. Do you think perhaps the sexual assaults in your past played a part in you reacting the way you did to that incident?
Well first of all let me be clear, I never said David tried to rape me. But my reaction to that situation – you’ve exposed me, I felt violated – That was one of those moments where it happened two people can be in the same moment and not feel the same way. So I believe that yes, my past had a lot to do with it.
How did your family react to your decision to share something so personal with the world ?
Ultimately they’re very supportive. They want me to heal. We try to talk about anything and love on each other as much as possible. They were a little apprehensive because they didn’t know how people would receive that information coming from me. People see me all the time and think I’m the same way, so I thought that maybe if they understand why I’m this way, they can take this journey with me.
Having now watched the episode, how do you feel about your decision?
Vh1 treated it fairly and with respect. It was a four-hour therapy session. People have been very responsive and supportive. What I wanted to do was accomplished. I wanted to let others out there know, “You’re not the only one.” I want to use my life as a testimony. I’ve been homeless, on food stamps, I’ve always been very open. I’ve dealt with Bulemia, weight issues…I’ve been through a lot and this is just one more thing.
So how are you now? Are you still seeking therapy?
I’m still in therapy. I go through follow-up sessions with my therapist. The whole point was to get to the bottom of my anger issues. I don’t like people all the time. With time I’m learning how to deal with these girls on the show. People will see me handle things in upcoming episodes.