TNT joins the reality TV craze following the “Private Lives” of women in the country music biz in their newest series Private Lives of Nashville Wives debuting tonight at 10pm ET. We caught up with Private Lives of Nashville Wives star Cassie Chapman who gives us some insight on why it’s taken the ladies of Nashville so long to get their own reality series.
“What’s interesting about Nashville is that we are really private people. As a Southern lady, the first thing you learn as a child is that you keep your business private,” tells Cassie Chapman, a former Hooters waitress/model who is married to Christian country music legend Gary Chapman. “So I think what has happened is that’s it’s just taken so long for people to finally be like, ‘You know what, let’s give people a glimpse of what really goes on behind closed doors and behind the scenes of the music industry and I think it’s so interesting.'”
But letting the public into their lives didn’t come easy. Cassie actually turned down reality series producers three times before finally agreeing to do the series. “I had never ever watched any of the other Housewives shows so after I was contacted the first time, I [thought] I probably should check this out and see what it’s all about. And after I watched it, I said: ‘No, no, no. I can’t do this to my family,'” Cassie laughed. “My husband and I just prayed about it and the calls kept coming and we said, ‘You know what, let’s just try it and see what happens’ and the doors kept opening, and finally I said, ‘Alright God it’s in your hands and here we go.’”
In the first episode Cassie shares a bit of her background and how she and Gary actually met, including addressing how people have labeled her a “gold digger” for marrying Gary, who is 23 years her senior and is twice divorced (his first wife was singer Amy Grant). “We met in the Bahamas. I was there shooting a calendar and his production company was there filming the making of the calendar. It was immediate. It was just an immediate connection. I had no idea who he was so as soon as I pulled in from Miami, from this tiny island, I googled him. I was like, ‘Oh dear God, what am I going to tell my dad.’ And he’s 23 years older than me! Oh boy! But you know it works, it so works. People are always going to have an opinion — some people are going to embrace me and some people won’t, but I can’t dwell on that. I tend to be a people pleasure but right now I have to have thick skin. People are going to call me a gold digger whether or not they know he went bankrupt or not. I did have more money in my bank account when I met him than he did.”
Actually having thick skin should be a requirement if you’re going to live in Nashville, as it’s a town, apparently, where everyone knows your business. The other wives featured include Jenny Terrell, who is vice president of local sales for Internet company LivingSocial and wife to one of Nashville’s top event and party producers, JT Terrell; Erika Page White, a former soap star looking to get back into the business and wife to country star Bryan White; Sarah Davidson, a rising new singer and wife to the award-winning songwriter Dallas Davidson; Betty Malo, wife of Mavericks lead singer Raul Malo; and Betty’s twin sister Ana Fernandez, a single mother with a hot-tempered personality. Betty and Ana definitely add the fireworks to this eclectic group
“Anytime you put six opinionated women in a room there’s going to be drama, but the thing is, we are really good at conflict resolution,” Cassie says. “It’s definitely an emotional roller coaster throughout the entire series.”