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Royce Reed Claims She’s the True Creator of ‘Basketball Wives,’ but Never Got Credit

Royce Reed, the ex-partner and mother of Dwight Howard’s child, claims she helped create the hit VH1 reality series “Basketball Wives.” She has not received credit as one of its founding producers, she said because she did not know how to ask.

Royce Reed, YouTube screenshot, @Carlos King,

In an interview with Carlos King’s YouTube channel, which serves as a destination for exclusive videos with stars discussing their experiences with “The King of Reality TV,” Reed said she was promptly introduced to the show’s creator, Tom Huffman, during its earliest development. She, along with Shaunie O’Neal-Henderson, assisted in developing, pitching and selling the hit VH1 series, she claimed.

However, only O’Neal-Henderson, the former wife of Shaquille O’ Neal and current wife to pastor Keion Henderson, is credited as one of the executive producers of VH-1’s reality TV series “Basketball Wives,” “Basketball Wives LA,” and “Baller Wives.”

Was Reed the Wife Behind the Series?

According to Reed, who was fired from the original show for an undisclosed reason, O’Neal-Henderson was present but hardly engaged in the initial discussions about the show. The former Orlando Magic cheerleader said the show was being pitched and shopped around to at least eight networks, including the CW, which showed initial interest in the series.

“[Tom] started having me go to all the meetings. I was the one who pitched the show when we went and filmed the little sizzle, I was the only cast member that went to all the stations. I was the only one that was in those meetings. Shaunie wasn’t even there. It was me and Tom,” Reed told King on his show.

“I was the only cast member who went to those meetings,” Reed said. O’Neal-Henderson, she said “was not there… her friend was there…I think she was, like, doing another show.”

This is not the first time Reed publicly claimed to be the founding producer of the original “Basketball Wives.” After finishing her fourth and final season, she penned a lengthy social media explanation with the same story, as reported by The Christian Post on Jan 3, 2013.

Shaunie Turned Down Show, Reed Says

“I’m honestly tired of people stating that Shaunie was over my paycheck or even my role on the show. This came out in interviews before the show aired so I’m not really sure why it’s being hidden now,” Reed said, The Christian Post reported. “The BBW Show idea was that of Tom Huffman, not Shaunie O’Neal. Shaunie originally turned down the idea of BBW because she wanted to do her own show with her then husband Shaquille O’Neal.”

Reportedly, the other show in question was called “Shaunie and Shaq.”

The conclusion was that VH1, formerly known as Viacom, picked up the series with its first episode broadcasting on the network since April 11, 2010.  

When King asked why she didn’t receive credit for creating the show, Reed simply shrugged and candidly told him that she was naive. In a follow-up question, King asked if Reed considered herself the creative producer of the show. She replied, “Yes; I sold the show.”

King went on to jokingly respond by saying the show was stolen from her, to which Reed humorously agreed, saying she was “apparently fired.”

The reality TV series “Basketball Wives” has a total of 11 seasons to date. After starting in Miami for the first three seasons, it got a fresh start in its sixth season in March 2017, relocating to Los Angeles. This season brought together both the original and spinoff cast members. The following seasons kept this mix and the original name “Basketball Wives,” and focused on events in Los Angeles.

Reed was absent during the show’s fifth season, the last season of the original series before it got merged with “Basketball Wives LA,” which aired in late 2013.

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