Tami, who is Jerry? Was he indeed your manager as he claims?
It’s true. He had been my manager for about maybe 8 years. Yes, we had a long relationship and it had always been an amicable up until this moment. Our particular situation was you know I pay people based on what you do and that had always been our understanding and our agreement. ( They had a verbal agreement) You know if you send me out on an audition and I book that job I’m going to pay your commission. If I go out and I solicit my own work –I’ve been an actress for about 12, 13 years now- and I have these relationships already. If I initiate employment for myself, you’re not going to get commission on that because you weren’t involved in it. So that had always been our understanding and that had always worked for the past 8 years. With “Basketball Wives,” they approached me when they did their first season. They contacted him and you know I just wasn’t really ready to go on a show, talk about Kenny. You know I had moved so past that. In addition to, I really didn’t want to go back to the reality genre. So between the year that they had their first season and the second season which is when I actually came onto the show, my family fell on a hardship I actually introduced that on the show. You know my daughters and I had been on food stamps and we had been on you know medical assistance through the state of New Jersey. And so I was looking for something you know income wise. I was working a 9-5 job in corporate America. And when I watched the first season of Basketball Wives I felt like my story wasn’t on there. You know yo I’m sitting here like in the dark. My lights are out. You know that’s not my moment. I’m not champagne brunching and mani’s and pedi’s everyday and I felt that I had a valuable story to tell…to show my particular situation and what me and my daughter’s were going through so I contacted VH1, Jeff Old is the President of VH1, and said I wanted to be on the show. From that moment on, Jerry you know placed another call on my behalf to Shed Media, which is the production company for our show and I started having communication and dialogue with the executive producer, telling them my story. They liked my story- I was on Season 2. Now for the payment that I received for Season 2, Jerry Silverhardt was compensated. And that’s what he’s not admitting to. When it came to-we didn’t even know we were going to get a Season 3-so we did the reunion and we got the announcement we were going to do a Season 3. As I wasn’t happy with my contract for Season 2, I didn’t feel that he did the best job for me in that moment considering everything I was going through and you know what the value of my storyline that I brought to Season 2, I terminated him before we started negotiating contract for Season 3.
So what your saying is that you never actually had a written management contract with this guy? It was agreed that he would be paid on a case by case basis depending on if he was the procuring factor?
We’ve never had a written contract. It’s always been a verbal understanding and that’s why I’m so hurt by this because this is a person who over the length of our business relationship you know we became friends outside of this. I would hear stories of him telling me that other clients he had would not pay him. He represents directors. And over the years I’ve seen clients leave him. This is a person where you know, people don’t know this about me, but I’ve been working in the industry like I said for 12, 13 years. I literally book a TV show every year as a series regular. Now what people don’t understand about the industry is we do pilots. Then the pilots go through a testing phase and if they don’t test well they don’t get picked up and they never make it to air. But I’ve basically been supporting myself for these 12 years doing pilots. I make a lot of money doing pilots. This is a person who wouldn’t even come to my pilot tapings. This is a person who put other clients in front of me and I never once said I don’t want you to be my manager, you’re not doing a proper job for me. I basically operated on the friendship of it all and being loyal to someone who stepped in and decided to manage me when other people would not. So I’m loyal to a fault. Even when I knew he wasn’t the proper person to be representing me to take my career to the next level which is why I was out there hustling myself. I did a lot of movies with a gentleman named Russ Parr. I worked a lot with Kevin Hart. I worked a lot with Mo’nique and another director, Leslie Small. All were work that I generated myself that Jerry was never compensated on because he was never involved and again that was our agreement. You render a service I don’t have a problem paying you. And so you know he’s told me stories about people not paying him, people leaving him high & dry. He’s never once sued anybody else but here he’s had a full understanding and then just decides to arbitrarily sue me because he feels I’m doing well on “Basketball Wives,” which is a situation he did not initiate and was terminated before contracts progressed.
Do you feel that he may have a point considering he did negotiate one season for you?
There is no merit to his claim and let me just tell you how much of a slander campaign this is against me. This has been going on for a year now. We’ve been with our attorneys and my attorney asked him to present something that says he’d entitled because we presented the papers terminating him. He didn’t rebut the termination. At that time if he wanted to say well you know you’re gonna owe me future money, we would have negotiated that or handled that at that point. You know I would have let that be known then, you’re not getting anything past this moment because you’re not involved and I only pay when services are rendered on my behalf. He never said anything, so once my lawyer got involved with him and said present some paperwork, let us see what you have that says you’re entitled to future wages but he was unable to. So his next mode of trying to bring some light to the situation a year later is him going to TMZ to try to slander my name and my character. But to answer your question he doesn’t even have two legs to stand on. This attack on me is baseless. It’s ridiculous. He even makes himself look even more inept by saying we had an oral agreement. That in and of itself, you shouldn’t even say. That makes you look like the joke that you really have been over the past 8 years.
Well you definitely laid it all out there to set the record straight Tami. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Here’s what I have to say to that. I am a paper whore. I keep emails, I keep copies, I keep everything. So if we were to go…if this were to continue, and go to the next level, I have proof of every commission payment that he’s ever received on every job that I’ve ever done over the past 8 years of being with him that he was actually involved in. I also have proofs of payments of jobs that I received that he did not receive commission because he was not involved in negotiation of those particular situations. Which is basis and proof for what I’m saying as to how our relationship has always been. So for me when you were terminated before Season 3, you understood what that was. You were compensated for Season 2. I actually had another person come in and negotiate my contract for Season 3. That person was compensated properly and did not handle Season 4’s contract and now the people who are handling Season 4 are being compensated properly. I’m not in the game to screw anybody. I come from a very solid foundation and you do for me, I’m gonna do for you. You help me, I’m gonna help you. You provide a service for me, you shall be paid. And anybody that has ever been in business with me knows that they get paid. Some people may say, she made some payment. She made payment. But I ultimately got all of the money that I was due. I never bounce out on contracts. I never do anything like that and going into my personal business, for years in my life, it wasn’t until the year that I fell on the hardship that I actually filed for bankruptcy because I couldn’t. That’s how long and how serious I am about if I created a debt I’m going to pay it. And it wasn’t until I just didn’t have anything that I decided to file bankruptcy cause up until then they were getting 20, 25 you know whatever I had to give I was going to give it because I owed that debt. ( Bankruptcy? She’s really keeping it gully) So I’m just the type of person that handles my business accordingly and handles it properly and Jerry Silverhardt is basically launching an attack on me that is baseless and should not be done.
So basically you feel that Jerry’s feelings or ego is hurt and he’s looking for a payday??
Well you know not to belittle him or undermine him but as I said I know of him by way of a very close person in my circle. That person told me he has now fallen on hardships and he basically has nothing. And so when you are desperate, you do desperate things. And you make decisions out of emotions rather than having a clear frame of mind and clear reference of thought. And I think that he’s seeing me on TV and he’s seeing the success of Basketball Wives as well as my individual success and he’s trying to now come after me and reap rewards on a situation that he was not involved with sowing. It’s sad because I know that he’s in a particular situation in his life and I’m hurtful that he’s going through that but at the same time don’t lash out against me- somebody who had been in your corner and had always done right by you and up until the point that I terminated you, I had always done right by you, but I had to terminate you so that I could do the best thing for me and my career where I was trying to go.
Do you have representation now? Who is handling all of your business?
I actually have an agent. I have a new agent, Tracy Christian, whose been phenomenal and she’d been handling the person who negotiated my Season 4 contract along with Phil Robinson, and that was the power team that I brought in to handle this particular season’s negotiations because everybody should grow, you know what I’m saying, and Season 2 he handled, I wasn’t happy, I moved onto someone who handled it for me for Season 3, who did a great job for Season 3, but I felt that I could have even better situations for Season 4. That’s why I brought in a power duo that could get the best situation for me for this season. That’s all I’m trying to do is progress and grow and do the best thing for me and my children and it has nothing to do with trying to hurt Jerry or be a cheapskate and not pay him. Good, bad, indifferent. Whether you like me, whether you hate me, I just came on and I’ve been myself. Being myself has been lucrative for me and so coming into Season 4, I thought it was necessary that I’d be taken seriously as a force on the show and be compensated as such. And so I wanted to bring in people that could do that type of leverage.
Listen to the interview and check in to Egyptsaidso.com for part 2 as Tami opens up about her new relationship and undoubtedly keeps it real.