It’s very important to know your self worth because as a woman, an icon, a celebrity, whatever—everybody is human and you’re no different from everybody else. You have highs, lows—everybody cries. And for myself, I went through that phase when that happened with the pictures where I just wanted to hide from the world. I started thinking like, “Why did this happen,” “Why did someone want to do something like that to me,” and that was just what first went through my mind.
I never ever wanted anything like that to happen to me because of the fact that people look at you one way because you talk raunchy or they look at you like all you talk about is sex, money, guys—and think this is all your life. No, it’s not my life. It’s entertainment. It’s the city that I grew up in, it’s the things that I’ve been doing and see and it’s other people’s lives that I made a creative point in showing what I saw in my years s growing up. So it was just so many things going on. I was beating myself up [and] I didn’t want to talk to nobody.
I remember getting ready to tape a TV show, it was the first time I had to appear or speak to anybody since that happened and I was getting ready for my album to drop. I had a promotional tour. I had a nervous break down [and] I cancelled everything that I had to do as far as radio and interviews because I didn’t want anybody to ask me anything about it. When I got to the [Mo’Nique Show] I literally broke down on my knees crying and just had a fit, and I remember Mo’ Nique coming into the room and asking me why was I crying and I honestly didn’t know. I felt like I was crying because I was embarrassed and hurt and I would have to go on her show with everybody looking at me all crazy and giving me the side eye. I just felt so violated. But then I thought, this is embarrassing but you can’t hide from the world, you can’t run away from the world unless you want to move to a third world country and I don’t plan to do that. So I just had to swallow and take deep breaths. I had to hold back the tears. I felt like all my fans were looking at me but when I hit the stage everybody was going crazy to the point where it kind of made my mind erase all the feelings.
I picked myself up [and] I stopped beating myself up and said I gotta be an adult. I just had to get away from it all and say, “You know what, you’re stronger than that, you will not let it get you down.” So I just lifted my head up and started walking. I’m a woman. I was hurt and yes, the person that did it was the scum of the Earth, but I will get past this. I stopped allowing me to take myself down. It just showed me I had to dig inside of me. Whether it’s the people around you or whatever it is that inspires you, use that to get you out of a dark spot. —As Told To Starrene Rhett