Tashera Simmons On Filing For Bankruptcy, Celebrity Rehab & Why She Stayed

Yes. And that’s why I want to make sure I express this right because I want to make sure that I come across as positive. X is very spiritual and that’s what used to aggravate me?them demons, that he would let that stuff get to him. And I do still have love for X but I gotta do what I gotta do. People don’t realize that X has been in trouble for the last four years.

What other kind of trouble is he in besides drugs and child support?

I’m dealing with a lot all the lawsuits. X is being sued by several companies and I’m dealing with that because they were trying to take our house. They couldn’t get anything out of X so they put a lean on my house so we had to file for bankruptcy. In my reality show it shows me fighting for my house and filing for bankruptcy to keep my house because tat’s the only thing that would stop it. I’m dealing with reality and it’s crazy. X is over in la la land. He’s in jail chilling, eating, rent free. I’m over here dealing with these four children and the oldest is kind of upset with his father. I’m constantly being positive [but] my son is real close to me. You know how boys are close to their mom so he’s upset about the kids.

How are the younger children dealing with this?

They’re affected a little but not really. The good thing about the little ones is when we separated they were really young and they were used to him always being on the road so when he’s not here that’s what they think and I just don’t say anything because I don’t want them to feel a certain way. One of them, Tacoma, he’s a 10-year-old?he’s a lot like Earl too. It was affecting him in school. I noticed that. He would be real rebellious in school and not want to do anything so I started talking to him about what was going on and he was like, “What’s going on with my father? Kids tell me he’s in jail.” I don’t want it to look all negative but this is real stuff. Even if X wasn’t a super star, a woman would have to deal with this period just having a father in jail.

Are you saying that X sticking around with all his issues would have done more damage?

My kids would have been worse off if he would have stayed, with his habit. If you look at his track record after 2006, when we separated, his life really went down hill. It was like when he would come in the house, it was just this dark cloud. My son and Earl’s cousin sensed it too. It was like whenever he walked into the house a dark presence would come in. I don’t want to make him look bad but that’s just a reality.

What happened to him appearing on Celebrity Rehab?

They definitely wanted him on the show. They were gonna pay him so much money but he didn’t want to do it because he felt like he was going to look washed up, like that would have been the final straw.

Did he ever try to seek professional help in private?

No. He was against it. Now we talk like maybe once a week and I always tell him he needs to seek professional help because he has a lot of issues that stem from his childhood.

Did your mom leaving you affect your self-esteem meaning, that that was part of what contributed to you staying with X for so long?

No, it didn’t affect my self-esteem. I don’t know why it didn’t, but it really didn’t. Even when me and X got together my self-esteem was—I used to always try to build his up and my sisters’ too. The thing is, before my mom left we were really, really close and she instilled a lot of things in me. You know how a lot of women feel lonely and they can’t be alone? That’s not me. I think that’s one of the things that attracted X to me because I was a challenge to him. He always said, “You don’t need me, you’re good by yourself.” His self-esteem has been ruined by what his mother did to him. X never wants to be alone. I just really thought I could save him because I’m the type of person where I’m the friend to the end. But now I know there’s nothing I can do for him. That’s too big of a job for me. I just have to give it to God.

How do you deal with criticism from people about your choice to stay with him?

In the beginning it used to bother me but then I would look at other people’s relationships and realized that the same people’s criticizing me are in even worse situations. I started realizing that I have to start living for me. I’m the only person that has to deal with this so I stopped letting it bother me. I just realized I have to do what I have to do for me and no one can understand because they’re not in the same situation so I just brush it off.

What do you wish for X in the forthcoming months and year?

PAGE FOUR: Tashera On Divorce And A New Beginning

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Cardi B Obliterates Tomi Lahren's Public Taunt With Just One Line

Cardi B is a mother, sister, rapper and now a Grammy-nominated artist, yet in her spare time, she moonlights as a political correspondent.

The "Bodak Yellow" artist took to social media last week to comment on the partial U.S. government shutdown that's now rolled into its 30th day. While Belacalis admittedly didn't have a solution, she expressed remorse for the more than 800,000 federal employees who've been ordered by a judge to return to work without pay.

Cardi B's clip quickly went viral and caught the attention of right-wing commentator Tomi Lahren who took to Twitter to poke fun.

Looks like @iamcardib is the latest genius political mind to endorse the Democrats. HA! Keep it up, guys! #MAGA2020

— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) January 17, 2019

The "I Like It" rapper saw the tweet and with just one line, offered her own scorching retort.

Leave me alone I will dog walk you .

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) January 20, 2019

Lahren then called Cardi B's political comments "moronic," to which Cardi called her a "sheep."

You’re so blinded with racism that you don’t even realize the decisions the president you root for is destroying the country you claim to love so much .You are a perfect example on no matter how educated or smart you think you are you still a SHEEP!

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) January 20, 2019

The partial U.S. government shutdown is now the longest shutdown in U.S. history. The impasse has come by way of Donald Trump's demands for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and new elected Democratic Congress refusing to give in to the request.


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Kentucky Catholic School Faces Backlash After Students Berate Indigenous Peoples March Protesters

Representatives from Kentucky's Covington Catholic High School have confirmed plans to look into their student body after several of their students appeared in a viral video harassing and mocking protesters at an Indigenous Peoples March.

The viral video above spread around the web Saturday (Jan. 19) a day after the protest that took place in Washington, D.C. Teens in the video were rocking "Make America Great Again" to support President Donald Trump and the anti-abortion March for Life demonstration that was also taking place on Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports  Laura Keener, the communications director with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, released a statement about the video: "We are just now learning about this incident and regret it took place. We are looking into it."

In the video below, Indigenous elder Nathan Phillips of the Omaha tribe was reportedly performing a song meant to calm down the crowd when the large group of teens surrounded him, with one eye to eye as he and another elder chanted.

In tears, Phillips recalled the incident, calling for an apology and that the teens would "put that energy into making this country really great." The teens also got their messages mixed up when they also screamed "build that wall" toward him.

"I heard them saying 'build the wall, build that wall,'" he said.  "This is indigenous land. We’re not supposed to have walls here. Before anyone came here there were no walls, we never even had prisons. We always took care of our elders, we took care of our children. We taught them right from wrong."


View this post on Instagram


#ipmdc #ipmdc19 #indigenousunited #indigenouspeoplesmarch #indigenouspeoplesmarch2019

A post shared by KC🇬🇺🌴🌴 (@ka_ya11) on Jan 18, 2019 at 4:42pm PST

Speaking to The Enquirer Vincent Schilling shared how Phillips has been attacked in the past for standing up for indigenous peoples. Schilling, who is a member of the Mohawk tribe, said Phillips was pelted with trash just a few years ago by Eastern Michigan University students who hosted a Native American-themed party.

"As a Native American journalist, I find this to be one of the most egregious displays of naïve – I can’t even say naïve. It’s racism. It’s blatant racism," Schilling said.

"The guy has just been through a lot. To see Mr. Phillips treated this way is an incalculable amount of disrespect, and it's absolutely unacceptable in Native culture. As a Native man, I’ve got it countless times myself I’ve been mocked, I’ve been teased, my culture has been ridiculed. This is just another brick in the wall. I wanted so bad to walk up to those kids and say, 'You know this is a Vietnam veteran, right?'"

Director Ava DuVernay slammed the teens for their behavior as well as a number of indigenous social justice figures.

Thank you to @VinceSchilling of @IndianCountry and many others who identified the proud Native man who is being harassed. He is Mr. Nathan Phillips. I’m reposting this video from “ka_ya11” on IG. This man’s words pierce my heart. The grace. The wisdom. The hope.

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 19, 2019

Thank you for the kind shout-out @Ava

Nathan Phillips and I have shared in a sacred pipe ceremony to honor Native American veterans.

He is a Vietnam veteran, such behavior is terrible.

Again, thank you for your support.

— Vincent Schilling (@VinceSchilling) January 19, 2019

The teens in the video haven't been identified.

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Carlos Osorio/AP

Man Exonerated After Serving 45 Years Forced To Sell Prison Artwork For Money

A Detroit man who served 45 years behind bars for a crime that he didn’t commit, is forced to sell his personal collection of artwork that he made in prison. Richard Phillips, 72, doesn’t have steady income at the moment, and his lawyer is currently battling the state of Michigan to get him compensated for the wrongful conviction that stole his freedom.

"I don't have an income right now," said Phillips while showing off his paintings to Fox 2 Detroit. "This is my income."

In the early 1970s, Phillips was wrongfully convicted for the murder of Gregory Harris. He was sentenced to life in prison but always maintained his innocence. “I would rather died in prison than admit to a crime I didn’t do,” Philips said.

Phillips was convicted through an eyewitness account implicating him and a second man, Richard Palombo. In 2010, Palombo admitted that Phillips had no involvement in the murder and that he didn’t even know him. A new investigation was launched in 2014, nearly 20 years later Phillips appealed his murder conviction.

Last March, Wayne County Prosecutors Kym Worthy dropped all charges against Phillips, officially freeing him from prison. “There’s nothing that I can say to bring back 40 years of his life. The system failed him. There’s no question about it,” Worthy said at the time. “This is a true exoneration. Justice is indeed being done today, but there’s nothing that we can do ... to bring back those years of his life.”

Art played a big part in helping maintain his sanity through the sentence. Though he remained optimistic, Phillips admitted that he never truly believed he would be released. To pass the time, he began painting. He pulled inspiration from everywhere: his favorite artists, photos and even tapped into some of the loneliness that he felt in prison. "It was created in a harsh environment. But it goes to show you that beauty can come from something ugly."

Last year, Detroit's Demond Ricks was awarded $1 million for spending 25 years in prison on a wrongful conviction. As it stands, Phillips is the longest-serving wrongfully convicted former prisoner in U.S. history.

Phillips' artwork will be on display at Michigan's Ferndale's Level One gallery beginning Jan. 18.

See more on his artwork in the video below.

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