Opportunist.  Mean girl. Gold digger. Bully. All these words have been used to describe Basketball Wives reality star and now estranged wife of NFL player Chad Johnson, Evelyn Lozada.  Lozada now claims to be a victim of domestic violence from Johnson, has filed for divorce and is seeking help to change her life for the better. She will appear on the premier episode of the OWN Network’s Iyanla: Fix My Life with life coach extraordinaire, Iyanla Vanzant, to work on her “issues”.

Iyanla Vanzant calls her a ‘thug among women’.

While these words may appear harsh to an alleged victim of domestic violence, Evelyn Lozada, is notorious for issuing her own brand of violence.

For almost three years, we’ve watched Lozada fight, cuss, spit on, throw bottles, jump over tables, throw drinks and kick countless women and men. She was unapologetically masking and rationalizing her violent behavior under the guise of loyalty to her friends. After years of victimizing others, she now wants to be viewed as a victim herself. This Saturday night, Lozada will submit herself  to help.

First Look: Iyanla Vanzant One-on-One with Evelyn Lozada

In the season premiere of the groundbreaking new series Iyanla: Fix My Life, life coach Iyanla Vanzant confronts the heartbreak and personal crisis of Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada, estranged wife of NFL star Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson. Iyanla works to uncover the source of Evelyn’s innermost pain, giving her the tools to let go and move forward with her life. Explosive secrets are uncovered and difficult truths are faced in the powerful two-part series premiere. Part 1 airs Saturday, September 15 at 10/9c. Part 2 airs Sunday, September 16 at 10/9c. 

Lozada married Johnson during an intimate ceremony on July 4th, but the honeymoon came to a crashing end when the two engaged in heated argument over a condom receipt that was found in Johnson’s car. Johnson then allegedly attacked Lozada by head-butting her, leaving a cut on her forehead. Then in a 24-hour time frame, Johnson was arrested, released from the Miami Dolphins, lost his new VH1 reality show with Lozada and not surprisingly, lost his wife.

Almost immediately following the incidents, it seems Lozada embarked on a nation-wide press tour to tell her side of the story. What could be (and possibly should have been) a private time to deal with “real life” situations, was and is still being played out in the media. The  public reaction has been harsh –towards Lozada. While no one condones domestic violence the challenge is deciding how to feel about her. If “reality” TV is truly real, then the way Lozada portrayed herself makes it difficult to have empathy for her and what she’s going through. It appears to be more of a case of a women who’s had a little taste of the spotlight, and is going to use anything to try to extend her shine.

In no way, shape or form do I condone domestic violence whether it’s initiated by a man or a woman.  I think Lozada is trying to use this tragic episode to bring more attention to herself and the brand of “Evelyn Lozada”. Like I mentioned above, we have watched Lozada attack women (and men) for years. She’s played the role of villainess and now that doesn’t seem to benefit her anymore; now it seems the role of victim is more suiting to helping her become a mainstream celebrity.

I’ve seen clips from the upcoming show; I’ve heard interviews from both Iyanla and Oprah on why, after this show, we are going to change the perception that we have of Lozada because she is a “troubled young women”.  

Hmmm…I’m suspicious. 

As the adage says, “hurt people hurt people”, and I am not shocked to learn that Evelyn Lozada has some deep seeded emotional problems. I just don’t want to be manipulated by them.

I watched the interview with Lozada on ABC’s Nightline a few weeks ago, and I just didn’t feel the sympathy that she’s trying to get many people to feel for her. Unfortunately, I believe the appearance on Iyanla: Fix My Life is going to elicit the exact same feelings.

Yet, there is a silver lining.  I do believe that the show is going to help someone. There’s going to be a woman who is possibly in an abusive relationship or who is dealing with anger issues who will watch this show and decide to change her situation.  I applaud that. What I refuse to applaud is someone using a situation as serious as domestic violence issue to boost a fledgling reality television career.  Why didn’t Lozada come out and partner with a domestic violence organization to try to educate and bring attention to the issues that surround these acts?

So on Saturday night at 10pmET watch the part 1 of the two-night premier of Iyanla: Fix My Life on the OWN Network. I would love to hear your reaction and thoughts after you watch the show.

Perhaps I’ll have a change of heart.

Your Jersey Girlfriend,

Marcelle English