We had the opportunity to sit down during an exclusive interview with Blogger Vivian Billings of VH1’s ‘The Gossip Game’ and the reality star, in the making, was very candid about her experiences on the show and beef with current cast mates. Billings address her issue with Ms. Drama and K. Foxx, and becoming the break out star of the show.
Although our interview was pre-recorded, prior to the explosive fifth episode and blow up with radio personality Steph Lova, Billings addresses how she chooses to handle people when she feels disrespected, especially when it comes to her children. She gets personal talks a bit about her family and her husband, their strong bond among other things. Check out our two-part interview below.
Ms Toni: When did you start a blog and why?
Vivian: I started my blog in 2004 and made it official in 2008. I started a blog because I was helping my husband with his projects and what he was doing in the [music] industry. So I just decided to write about my experiences.
Is that how you got onto the show? Your husband was already in the music industry and that was your entry on to doing the show?
No, my husband had nothing with doing with me getting onto the show. I happen to be dealing with a publicist [Tone Boothe] who had been friends with one of the producers of the show. They already had their cast hand-picked and it was pretty much a done deal. But they wanted to add someone brand new, a fresh face, someone no one really knew. And they wanted to just bring that spice. So I interviewed with them and they loved me and I became apart of the cast.
How do you feel about being called “the bottom of the barrel” by Kim Osorio?
When people talk and comment I really don’t care what people have to say, but, I understand where she’s coming from. In the entertainment world, as far as artists and celebrities, when they hear the word blogger they get a negative thing. And the reason for that is because a lot of major websites, that shall remain nameless, report stories and make up these fabricated lies just to get you to click [on a link] give us [Bloggers] a bad name.
I’d like to consider myself a very reputable site, I have a lot of Blogger friends who are very reputable. So sites give Bloggers a bad name and most artists and celebrities don’t want to deal with Bloggers.
Was your beef with Ms. Drama fabricated to get the two Bloggers or the “bottom of the barrel”, as they put it, to fight? Is that a real beef?
It’s not a real beef in the sense that she never slept with my husband, she never did nothing to my kids and she never took no money away from me so in that sense, no it’s not a real beef. However me and Ms. Drama were cool at one point before this show came to fruition. We were cool. We would see each other at events and say hi to each other. However, when she got around certain people she became a whole other entity that I didn’t know who she was. So, I told her to her face if that’s who she was I didn’t like her.
It was just this ignorant, boisterous, loud, popping off at the mouth for nothing kind of girl and that’s not who I know her as. I know her as a very respectable, friendly individual but that’s not what she was portraying. I told her to her face…she was talking about me to other cast member….so when Angela [Yee] had her party why come up to me and say hi? If you don’t like me, stay at your end of the room and I’ll stay on mine…What you all didn’t get to see is that I told her now was not the time but she kept going and going.
On becoming the break-out star of “The Gossip Game”, being written about and the potential backlash it may bring…
Initially taken aback by being named the break out star of the show Vivian says, “Well I hope you guys do write about me [laughs]. It doesn’t bother me people watching my every move because I believe whatever you do in the dark will come to the light and I’m not worried about anything I’ve done.
Is it tough sometimes? Now, because I now have relationships with certain celebrities that I can’t write certain things. That plays a part in it but I think my stories are respectable. I try not to put my own opinion into a story and try to just report on what it is. If you go through my twitter I always [at] the people I’m talking about so they have every chance to look at the story and see it’s cool. I’m not out to bash anybody.
Are you prepared for the backlash?
What if it’s about your family?
No. I’m not prepared for that. And I handle everybody in the way that I feel I need to handle them. If you have an issue with me keep it on me. Whatever you want to say. You can call me fat, whore, whatever you want to say I can deal with that. But when you talk about my family that’s an issue for me.
On facing backlash, criticism and negative comments especially towards her transgender son/daughter Kayden
I did have a conversation with my daughter about that. My kids come first so we had a conscious discussion about do you want this to be on TV because it was never my intention to bring my personal life onto this show. It was to be about my career and how I go about getting stories. Unfortunately someone [Steph Lova] decided they wanted to talk about my child. And unfortunately because they mentioned something about my child I checked them and the way that I did is what created this story line for me.
Given you appear to have a healthy marriage, are you worried about the stigma of reality TV couples and their marriages ending?
No. Celebrities are busy. They have different schedules and they’re not with their partners all the time. They meet someone they like and they get married but they don’t know each other. I’ve been with my husband for over 13 years. We’ve only been married for 3 so we’ve been through our ups and downs. We’ve dealt with a lot of things and no bodies perfect…he’s a good person. He’s my friend first.
In the second part of our interview, Billings discusses the future projects she may have in the works and building a brand around her website, HipHopGossipSite.com.
She tells cottenkandi.com exclusively she’s no longer working at a hospital since being fired two months ago. She was let go due to conflict over her schedule and filming the reality show.
We also discuss the criticism she’s faced about being a full figured girl.
Are you repping for the big girls since facing criticism over your weight?
I rep for the big girls, big bone girls. Not everybody is small. People do have ass. I’m a bigger girl in the sense that I have big breasts, I have big hips, I have big butt. My waist is actually pretty flat but nobody gets to see that. There’s no rolls and sh*t on me. But I guess when you’re standing next to…Angela Yee is so short and so petite. Sharon Carpenter is very petite so when I stand next to someone like that it’s ‘Oh my God look at that fat bitch’.
Do you feel because of those comments you have to lose weight?
I have loss weight but not because of the comments. I just want to enhance what I already have. I’ve been at the gym. I’ve been cutting down on certain things…I lost over 20 pounds since the airing of the show. I don’t give a damn what people say…I do things for me. With every 10 comments that are so negative I get like 60 or 80 that are so positive. So I focus on that.
On possibly doing another season of “The Gossip Game”?
I hope a season 2 comes. We use to be on at 9pm, then 9:30 on Mondays and now they’ve switched us to 11pm. I’m hoping everything works well with the viewers so we can get a season 2.
On Portraying Who She Really Is On TV
That’s who I really am [on the show]. I’m really big on respect. I give it to people. I show love to people. I don’t judge people. I accept them for who they are and I accept it back. So when I’m not getting it back and I feel like you’re trying to play me and disrespect me that’s when I come at you on a whole other level.
Viv also notes that we can see some growth from her and see different sides to her personality. She notes her dispute with K. Foxx over her attempt to write a story of her “alleged” relationship, or lack there of, with rapper Maino.
On K Foxx’s Issue With Her Attempt To Report On A Possible Sexual Relationship With Maino,
You have to understand K. Foxx is a very emotional individual. That can sometimes be a great thing and that can sometimes be a hindrance because people are going to talk. I’m not here to assassinate her character in anyway. It was a rumor. I never said she did anything. It was a rumor. My whole intention was to get Maino’s side of the rumor and her side of the rumor. But the way she came at me I decided to not even put it out there.
I’m not here to assassinate her character but if she comes for me. I’m gonna come for her. And when I come for her she doesn’t seem to like it.
On Growth & Not Always Being Confrontational
“You can expect a lot of growth. I’m not always gonna be cussing somebody out….I am able to sit down and have a conversation with someone without having to spit on them (referencing spitting on Steph Lova during episode 5).
Of the episode she says, “That Ms. Drama sh*t was nothing. You’ll get to see how I handle people” [on episode 5].
And handle she did. When radio personality Steph Lova talked about her daughter Kayden being gay. In the fourth episode, which aired Monday night, she confronts Steph and spits on her in the heat of the moment.
If you missed the altercation check it out below.
On future projects, Viv has teamed up with her husband on their ‘Ric & Famous’ clothing line. The pair are collaborating on hats, t-shirts and varsity jackets. Although the site is currently under construction the couple have already gotten support from celebrity friends wearing the items and have also shot a few videos to promote the line. Fans can visit, IAmRichandFamous.com, once it becomes available in a few weeks.
*Update*: Vivian tells cottenkandi.com exclusive, she has no regrets about the way she handled Steph Lova and spitting on her. She says “NO! I do not regret spitting on Steph Lova. In fact, if I had to do it all again I would’ve spit at her, then punch her in the face.”
Check out our full two part interview below.
(Photos: Vivian Billings-Instagram/Ms. Toni-cottenkandi.com)