Facing Reality: Laura Govan
interview by: iman n. milner
For many the Basketball Wives franchise is a means to some false sense of stardom end but for Laura Govan, it’s just a job. The beautiful mother of four doesn’t plan on wearing out her welcome in the spotlight and she’s continued to stay focused on what’s most important to her—her family. Many viewers remember her as the always talked about but never seen sister of Gloria Govan and some see her as the “bully” from the LA show but Laura is so much more. The down to earth and funny girl from Oakland is in fact a breath of fresh air. In fact, she infused our set with kindness and humility–as far as we’re concerned, that’s as real as it gets. So throw away your preconceived notions and get to know the real Laura Govan: no cameras, no producers…only reality.
Edge: It seems that you are often misunderstood, so who is Laura Govan?
Laura: A mother first and foremost. A lot of people that watch the show would probably assume that my girlfriends are the center of my world and that I’m always in pursuit of a party or trying to belong in a “circle” and that’s so far from the truth that it’s laughable. When I’m not filming, I’m always with my children.
Laura: My childhood was a lot of fun. I come from humble beginnings. I had summer jobs, hung out with friends, played sports, etc…Edge: What was the journey to Basketball Wives?Laura: My sister & I (Gloria) actually pitched the idea of doing a spin off series to VH1. On one of the previous seasons of the Miami show there was an episode where I was basically being attacked and lied on by a group of women who had never even met me a day in their life and that wasn’t fair to me. I felt like I needed an outlet to voice my opinions and show people who I really am and not who these women tried to create me to be.
Edge: What made you split and take the show to LA?
Laura: I lived in Los Angeles at the time and so did my sister. Aside from that, I thought LA would be a great place to showcase because it’s so different from Miami in terms of the way people move.
Edge: What’s the biggest misconception about you, your family and/or the portrayal of you and your sister on the show?
Laura: The biggest misconception would be that I’m a bully and I’m always trying to fight with someone. I’m a very nice person and the only time I have problems is when someone takes my kindness for weakness.
Edge: How did you meet Gilbert?
<Laura: I was coaching a basketball camp and he was working out in the gym that I was in. I had zero interest in athletes and turned him down when he first approached me. My father owned and still does own a nightclub in Oakland that I would work in part time, so I told him if he was seriously interested in me then he would come and get a job at my father’s place. I thought for sure this would give him the hint that I wasn’t interested and to my surprise, there he was. Working and taking tickets at the door.
Edge: You and Gilbert have been very open about the ups and downs of your relationship, how did you make the decision to stay together? And what have you learned about love from your relationship with him?
Laura: We have four kids together and so ultimately we always try and do what’s in the best interest for our children. We were seperated for a couple of months and as soon as we saw each other again, we forgot what split us apart in the first place. All of our feelings for one another came rushing back and we fell in love all over again.
Edge: What has motherhood taught you about yourself?
Laura: Patience. I have four children all under the age of 5, so patience is one of the biggest lessons that I learned early on, in addition to time management.
Laura: I think so. The show is produced. Sure, the cameras are always on but of course they’re not going to show me changing my son’s diaper or watching a movie at home with the kids after having just cooked dinner. The reason being is because that wouldn’t be entertaining. The show was created to be entertainment and so that’s what you get.
Edge: What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?
Laura: Probably how domestic I am. I cook dinner for my man and my children every night, do the laundry, drive the kids to school, etc. I really am a modern day housewife.
Edge: My favorite thing to do is…
Laura: Workout. I’ve become addicted to working out and being active. I’m always running or at the Y (YMCA) playing basketball.
Edge: I am the happiest when…
Laura: I’m with my kids. They keep me youthful and on my toes.
Edge: I’d like my legacy to be…
Laura: That I was a hustler. I didn’t stop. I didn’t quit. I want my legacy to be that everyone who knew me loved me and was proud of me.
Edge: And last but not least, what’s next for you?
Laura:I have a work out DVD that I’m releasing this year in addition to a healthy eating cook book. I know there’s tons of cook books out there for different things like low card, diabetic, etc. but my cook book really is for the everyday working man and woman who don’t have time to be in the kitchen for hours preparing their meals. All the recipes are going to be fast, delicious and most importantly quick. It’s also going to include candid and quirky cooking stories. Let’s just say, I made a lot of mistakes in the kitchen before I actually mastered the craft. (laughing)
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Photos by: Stella Simona and Caleb Wilson
Stylist: Jennifer Dawn
MUA: Sydney Milan
Hair Stylist: Jazmayne Chatman