Caught off guard
Less than five months ago, Wilkinson and Baskett were at the hospital celebrating the arrival of their beautiful baby girl, Alijah Mary. Five weeks later, the couple’s world was turned upside down when allegations surfaced that Baskett slept with a transsexual model while Wilkinson was 8 months pregnant with Alijah.
And, if you caught tonight’s season premiere of Kendra On Top, you know the family has some major hurdles to overcome.
According to Wilkinson, who says she’s just taking it “one day at a time,” opting to air the last few very emotional months in the life of her family came naturally.
“I’ve lived the last 10 years of my life on camera, so I don’t think it’s fair or truthful to only show the good without the bad,” she said. “Ups and downs are a part of life, and I’ve always made it a point to be authentic.”
Until now, the “ups” have far outweighed the “downs” in Wilkinson and Baskett’s six years together. When the couple met in March of 2008, they hit it off instantly and began dating soon after. They were engaged by the fall and married the following summer in a stunning ceremony.
Then, in December of 2009, Wilkinson and her NFL pro husband welcomed a son, Hank Baskett IV, into the world. Theirs was seemingly a charmed life — the fairy-tale romance of reality TV. When the couple learned earlier this year they would be adding a daughter into the mix, Wilkinson says she felt as though all of her dreams had come true.
So when the news broke that Baskett had allegedly stepped out on his wife while she was 8 months pregnant, Wilkinson was understandably blindsided.
Wilkinson, who is always refreshingly candid, admits that there have probably been instances since the news broke when she could — or perhaps should — have filtered her thoughts. “But whatever I said, I felt at the moment,” she shared. “So I was being me.”
Still, skeptics are already coming forward, claiming the affair and ensuing drama weren’t authentic, but rather a publicity stunt.
Wilkinson’s response? “Who would be crazy enough to do that? You can’t write this shit! We’re a real family, and all of this happened in real life to us,” she said.
Not everyone is a cynic, though. Wilkinson has gotten an overwhelming amount of feedback from women who recognize how brave it is for her to share her story. “It’s been so encouraging,” she said.
“I just want to say that no one really knows the story unless they are living it. So I get why so many people tell me ‘Leave him!’ but it’s not that simple,” she elaborated. “I don’t mind taking my time, because I don’t want to make a rash decision that will affect the rest of my kids’ lives.”
Where do we go from here?
That much is clear — Wilkinson and Baskett are committed to protecting their kids and making sure they maintain some sense of normalcy.
“[Little Hank]’s in three different sports right now, so we make sure that both parents are still there, and that he grows up with two loving parents. When you have kids, they become your biggest priority,” Wilkinson said.
As for where she and Baskett stand, Wilkinson isn’t nearly so certain. When asked if her husband has given her his side of the story yet, Wilkinson responds, “He denies it. I’m still figuring it out.”
To that end, they are trying. Wilkinson and Baskett attend couples therapy and additionally, Basket attends therapy on his own. And Wilkinson is leaning on her faith and friends for support as well.
“I’ve been praying a lot,” she said. “I think it’s important to find out what you need for yourself in challenging times in your life. I also have the best group of friends who have been really supportive.”
A revealing new season
But as they say, the show must go on — quite literally, in Wilkinson’s case. Because they were wrapping filming of the third season when the allegations against Baskett surfaced, Wilkinson couldn’t contractually step out of the spotlight.
Judging by this season’s trailer, though, the couple’s future is uncertain at best. When pressed about whether she and Baskett can truly move past this, Wilkinson uncertainly offers, “We’ll see, I guess.”
Still, as we all know from watching Wilkinson over the years, where she goes fun generally follows. Although much of her eponymous show this season will naturally be centered on the affair and its inevitable fallout, Wilkinson hints that there’s much, much more to come.
“Everything!” she teased when asked what we can expect to see in Season 3. “You see the birth of my sweet baby girl Alijah, you see all of the craziness as it’s unfolding with this event and some other surprises along the way.”