*A lawyer for Shaquille O’Neal sent a letter to VH1 demanding the network halt production on “any further episodes of ‘Basketball Wives’ which make any reference to Mr. O’Neal.”
The NBA star’s ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal is an executive producer and one of the women featured on the show, along with former NBA dancer Royce, Jennifer Williams (wife of Eric Williams), Suzie Ketcham (ex-wife of Michael Olowokondi), Evelyn Lozada (ex-fiance of Antoine Walker) and Gloria Govan (engaged to Matt Barnes).
In the letter, obtained by TMZ, Shaq’s lawyer claims Shaunie signed a confidentiality agreement at some point in their relationship — so anything said about Shaq on TV will be considered a violation.
The second episode of the show, airing this Sunday at t10, reportedly features a scene centered around Shaunie’s relationship with Shaq, according to TMZ. “Sources close to the show tell us it’s unclear whether or not the next episode will make air,” the Web site reported.
Meanwhile, the network announced today it is reteaming with show producer Shed Media for a spinoff titled “Football Wives,” giving viewers a similar behind-the-scenes look at the life of the better halves of professional football’s most elite players.
Production will begin immediately on eight 30-minute episodes set to premiere later this year.
“Building on the success of ‘Basketball Wives,’ we want to take a look at the differences and challenges of being the better half of a player in America’s most popular sport,” said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Production. “We are thrilled to expand this franchise and give viewers access to a new, unique and exclusive world that you have to see to believe.”