Exclusive: 'Basketball Wives: LA' Star Brandi Maxiell Reveals How Cancer Taught Her to Ignore the Haters

Leaving Basketball Wives: LA behind, Brandi Maxiell has no regrets — but it's still hard to watch herself on TV.

The wife of former Detroit Pistons player Jason Maxiell joked in an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com Tuesday that she found it difficult to watch a marathon of the VH1 reality show that aired recently.

"Watching it then, when it comes on TV live, is one thing, but having to go back and watch it when it was like three years ago, I was like, 'Oh my God! Did I say that? What I meant was…'" she said, laughing. "It was tough."

She added, "I don't regret anything, because I feel like everything happens for a reason and it puts you right where you need to be, but it's still weird to see me on TV."

The Brandi Maxiell Cosmetics owner won't resort to the classic reality TV cop-out of editing, however. "I've never been that kind of person where I'm like, 'It was the edit,'" she said. "[The producers] do a great job for me for what [the show] is. ...It's not far off."

Since exiting the show after the last season, Maxiell dove into her two Texas-based businesses — Brandi Maxiell Cosmetics and Midway Salon Suites — as well as her advocacy work as an ovarian cancer survivor.

"I stick to what I'm good at, and what I know is the beauty field and being an advocate, being the voice of not just ovarian cancer, but any cancer," she told PopCulture.

Going through such a traumatic diagnosis when she was only in her early 20s definitely changed Maxiell's outlook on the world and helped her develop her reputation for being a straight shooter on Basketball Wives.

"I was really, really young when I was diagnosed with this disease, but still, it helped me grow and it helped me to appreciate life, things better," she told PopCulture.

And while the worst of the diseases' effects — intense chemotherapy sickness, weight gain and hair loss — are over, there are still things that linger, such as fertility issues, blood clots and lung problems.

One inconsequential side effect of the chemotherapy, the darkening of hands and feet, has ended up being one of the more annoying longterm parts of surviving cancer, as many fans have accused her of bleaching her skin. She hasn't responded to the haters, though, she said. It's odd, but doesn't hurt her like it might others.

"I really don't say anything, because I don't care about people saying something," she told PopCulture. "I feel like anyone who writes a negative comment on someone's page is truly ignorant and has no life, so I don't respond to it. But it does let me know that people are aware of the changes and the difference."

Being such a public figure and going through tough times is never easy, Maxiell added, but she draws on the strength of her mother and grandmother to make it through.

"My mom and my grandmother raised me to be strong, really the sticks and stones kind of thing," she told PopCulture. "It's not to say that I don't have insecurities or worries or feelings or anything like that, but I'm secure within myself to know I'm beautiful and I feel good. I've been through a lot, so I really don't care what other people think."

Besides, she's busy running her two businesses. Maxiell has a long history in the beauty industry, learning makeup skills from her grandmother, who passed away last year from the same cancer Maxiell battled a decade ago.

"She taught me how to do my own makeup — never walk out the house looking barefaced. She just taught me the importance of making sure you're beautiful. You're beautiful with or without [makeup], but when you step out of that door, you're kind of putting on a show," she said.

Her mom, with whom she co-owns Midway Salon Suites, owned a salon for more than 30 years before they joined forces, and her dad had a barber shop for just as long.


"So, I like, lived this world," Maxiell told PopCulture.

Photo Credit: Instagram / Brandi Maxiell