Ariane Williams is a new addition to Season 3 of “Basketball Wives LA.” On Feb. 23, Examiner.com had the opportunity to interview Ariane by phone and ask many questions about her experience on the VH1 reality show, her fitness & yoga line and also give fans a chance to get to know her better.
Williams is the former long-term girlfriend of DeShawn Stevenson and the mother of his two children. She is introduced to the cast through Jackie Christie and the women know each other from when their partners played basketball together for the Orlando Magic. In addition to the show, Ariane is also in the midst of launching her fitness & yoga brand o2barie.
SF: Having watched the episode, how did you feel when Jackie said her marriage was different from your relationship with DeShawn?
AW: That kinda caught me off guard because shooting with her, she came across as if she could relate and she understood what I was saying. When I saw her interview, her response was different. I kinda wish she would have mentioned that when we were sitting and talking. I'll tell her like I tell everyone else, regardless if I have that paper or contract that says we're married, my duties to DeShawn were the same as any other woman who was married. We had a long relationship, we had children together, we had a home together. We did everything together like a married couple, we just didn't have that piece of paper. I was 21 when I got with DeShawn, now that I'm older, I definitely see the importance of the marriage. But at the time I don't feel that I was any different than any one else that was married. I'm not going to allow anyone to discredit what we had.
SF: Have you developed a friendship with any of the ladies on the show? If so, who?
AW: Yes I've actually gotten to know Brandi (Maxiell) very, very well and I like her. She is very down to earth and genuine. I really love genuine people. I love her spirit. She and I actually have a lot of differences but we just click. She's actually married and has been with her husband for a while. I've known DeShawn since high school so we had some similarities but we just both clicked because we both respect each others roles.
SF: Your conversation with Jackie about your feelings on homosexuality were conflicting with what you said when all the ladies met. Was the due to editing or is there more to it? Would you like to clarify for the fans?
AW: I do want to clear that up because I feel like once I explain it, people will understand. When Jackie asked me that question, as far as homosexuality goes, I look at being gay or lesbian totally different from experimenting, in my opinion. When you are gay or lesbian, you have had an emotional relationship with the same sex, in my opinion. Where you live together, you tell each other you love each other and so on. I've never experienced that with a woman. As far as gay goes, when I said I don't know my stance on it, the controversy on homosexuality is whether it's something you're born with or something that happens over time. I haven't experienced being gay so its not something I can speak on, it's not something I've personally been through. That's what I meant when I said I really didn't know. I accept people for who they are. I'm a character type person. I like people for who they are. I don't care what their sexual orientation is.
When I said that I would be disappointed if my child were gay, it's because I know the baggage that comes with that. I hope that wouldn't offend anyone that I think that way. No disrespect was intended to anyone else, that's just what I want for my family. I support people being who they are, whether they are gay or not. So yes, I do support the cause. I don't feel that people should be bashed for it or taunted for it. The judgment is between them and God that doesn't have anything to do with me.
SF: Are you currently single? Dating? Give us the scoop.
AW: I am very, very, very much single until I'm married. I don't do boyfriends. I am dating slightly... light dating. And dating meaning I'm going out to dinner, going on activities, getting to know people. Right now there's nobody constant in my life, I'm focused on my career. I would like to get married and have more children in the future but what I look for in a husband, I'm very particular. I just don't want to choose the wrong person again and go through that whole emotional roller coaster.
SF: After the last episode, it looks look you might not get along well with Draya. Do you think the two of you will make up?
AW: I don't know, you kind of have to tune in for that.
SF: You're new to the reality television scene and fans don't know much about you yet. What would you like them to know?
AW: I just want people to know don't believe everything you see and hear. Once people get to know me I'm really, really a cool chick. I can get along with just about anybody. I will speak up on things that I feel affect me personally. If something makes me feel some kind of way, I will speak on it whether you feel my feelings are real or not. I pride myself on being a real person, someone who is free of ulterior motives. I want to see everybody to win at the end of the day.
SF: How to you plan on bringing your O2bArie fitness brand to the mainstream?
AW: I'm planning on launching a yoga line for workout. A company that I really, really love and wear all the time is Lululemon. I would like to work with them. I wear the brand and I love it. I want to have my own line. I wouldn't mind doing DVDs. I'm trying to perfect my own genre for yoga. Kind of gearing towards a more sensual yoga. I'm all about empowering women. I consider myself to be a single mom even though the kids dad is involved somewhat. We don't live in the same city, We don't even live in the same state. I'm very interested in getting together with other single mothers and building a support system. I know how hard it is and I can relate. I also want to work with young girls and empower them. Yoga kind of touches on your mind, body and soul. When it touches on all those things, why not your sensual side? I'm a very sexual being. I try to tame that because you don't want to give that away to everyone. I think with yoga what I'm trying to do is help women get that all around satisfaction through yoga so they feel more comfortable with themselves and they get that full satisfaction and you kind of hold off and you share it with the right person. That's what I'm looking to do and go mainstream with it.
SF: In addition to the planned clothing line and yoga instruction, what else do you have in store? What does “taking it national” mean?
AW: I am new to the mainstream. I dated DeShawn and I'm known around the basketball leagues but I've been teaching yoga for the past three years. Everyone around my town knows me as a yoga instructor but I would like the world to know me and what I've been through.
SF: Describe your relationship with DeShawn now. Do the two of you get along? How do you share parenting duties?
AW: DeShawn and I, we do get along. We are co-parenting. He got our daughter a phone so they talk all the time. They text each other and have full on conversations with each other. We are friends, we still try to provide that family dynamic with the children even though we're not together. We do things like take trips like last year we took my son to Disneyland for my son's 5th birthday. We want to let them know that even though we're not together, we're still family. The kids spend their summers with him in Florida. They go with them for about 3 months and he sees them during breaks. We've come a long way.
SF: Is your experience with “Basketball Wives LA” what you anticipated? What surprised you? What would you have done differently?
AW: Going into the show I didn't know what to expect, I just looked at is as an opportunity for me to branch off and do my own thing and become financially independent. I didn't have any expectations going into it .I was just like I'm going to give it a try. It ended up serving it's purpose. I appreciate VH1 and production for giving me the opportunity and the platform to showcase who I am.
SF: What are your favorite shows to watch (besides your own of course)?
AW: I am a reality TV junkie. I watch from anything from Bravo to VH1 to OWN. I watch Dance Moms. One of my fave shows is Sons of Anarchy. I can't miss that show. I really, really love the Braxton show (Braxton Family Values). I love the big family dynamic. I like that it was a show with family and they still had that drama but it was family drama which made it a little less messy I guess. I really like that.
SF: In addition to “Basketball Wives LA” and O2bArie LLC, what can fans look forward to?
AW: I'm working with an agent right now and trying to get into some modeling. Some commercial or print ad work. You might see me in some commercials or some ads. Things of that nature.
Fans of Ariane Williams that live in the Los Angeles area can enter a contest to win five personal yoga sessions with her. For more details, follow @hersource on Twitter. Everyone else should tune in to VH1's “Basketball Wives LA” on Monday nights at 8/7 central to see what happens next.