Tashera Simmons On DMX’s Infidelity, Yes Men & Her Mother Leaving
Because with his book, he didn’t go into it for real. He told a lot of stuff, but a lot of stuff he left out. We were together for 20 years so I can’t even do a book without him all in it so I feel like that’s the missing piece because there’s so much stuff out there about him. What’s crazy is after all that’s with us being separated, we have more than a husband and wife relationship⎯like best friends. We have so many different relationships and I feel sorry for him when I hear all the stuff that’s going on because this is someone that came from nothing and really made it but he got caught up in this industry. This industry⎯it takes a specific kind of woman to even be with someone on his level. I’m starting to see that. After we separated, I stepped out of the box and I’m just like, how in the hell… It takes a lot of strength and security.
On Vh1’s Behind The Music you touched on X’s infidelity motivating you to leave him. Can you elaborate on that?
He had four other children out of our marriage and I didn’t know. I only found out about one, and it was the one in Maryland that was public. It was all over the news and I still was gonna try to make it work [but] after we did the show Soul of a Man, I guess the women felt some kind of way because he was doing a lot of paying child support behind my back and giving them money without me knowing anything. So once I came out in interviews saying this is my only daughter and this is my family I guess they started feeling some kind of way and they started sending lawyers and all these child support suits to my house and that wasn’t acceptable. I just felt like with the drugs, that in itself is mentally draining. I felt like since we’ve been together for so long I didn’t want to give up on him.
But when he started coming up with all these kids I was like I can’t because for one, I have kids and I definitely don’t want my daughter to think that that’s okay. The drugs already was too much but then the cheating, I didn’t even know he had time to do that. I mean, I never put it past him; I never say never but without protection? There was just a lot of unprotected sex and I have kids to take care of. I started thinking about all of that and I was like, I can’t do it anymore. I felt he took me for granted.
It sounds almost like the Captain Save-a-Ho syndrome, not calling him a ho but…
I really felt like I could help him. But I know now that that’s not something I can do. I had to give it to God. It’s not like he was doing it purposely. He was just living like a rock star. The person I met was never like that. He was always loyal to what he believed in and even before we had kids, he used to tell me⎯because his mom, it’s him plus three other girls and they all have different fathers. When we got together one of the things he said was, “I don’t want to have kids by different mothers, I want to keep all my kids with one woman.” But once he got in this business it all went left. He just got really caught up.
It seems like there are a lot of yes-men in the industry who won’t tell someone when they’re dead wrong.
Oh no [they won’t]. It’s funny because X has a lot of trust issues so I used to always be with him a lot because he knew that if he couldn’t trust anybody else, that he could trust me. The bigger he got he started being around so many yes-men and I started looking like I was wrong because I was the only one telling him the truth. It was like, I watched my best friend lose his soul. He gained the whole world but at the same time lost his soul.
What has communication been like with him since the separation?
Me and him still communicate because of the kids and everything. And I swear, I feel no kind of way. I’m doing a book because I feel like I can inspire and help other women and men through my stories⎯it’s not the end after dealing with what I’ve dealt with and X, or being abandoned as a child. I’m doing a lot of speaking engagements to drug addicted women and kids who have been abandoned because of drug abuse because that’s my area.
Is you mom your first experience with drug abuse?
No. She wasn’t on drugs when she left. I found out later that she ended up on drugs, because she came back 10 years later. But my father was on drugs. He started doing drugs when she left.
How did you avoid overcoming the trauma of your mother leaving, most people seem to end up following a negative path?
It was crazy. When I tell people that story they ask me how I did it. [Back then] I was just in automatic, like I can’t break down because I gotta take care of my brothers and sisters. We had to make it. But now, I really believe it was God. Even then, I was very spiritual and I used to talk to god, he never talked back to me but he made a way. CPS came for us a couple of times but the house was always together and we had a little food in there and we looked good and they knew my father so every time they came we looked fine. That was only God that kept us together. God is definitely the foundation of my strength in this industry, dealing with everything I had to deal with. X wasn’t really the problem. It was everything that came with being a big star. I don’t want to make it sound all bad because there’s a lot of perks that come with living this lifestyle but I’ll say I made a lot of sacrifices. So I’m like all these women that want to get with these stars⎯ if you’re in it for money and fame you’ll have fun, but if you’re in it for them and you really love then them and you really plan to try to hold them down, then you’re gonna have a heck of a time.
In a way, it must have seemed like X was living a real life “Damien.”