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Mary J. Blige Speaks On Divorce And Using Her Music As Therapy On 'Angie Martinez'

Despite battling a public divorce, Mary J. Blige manages to deflect the stress of the legal proceeding by placing her focus on the music.

Despite battling a public divorce, Mary J. Blige manages to deflect the stress of the legal proceeding by placing her focus on the music. During an appearance on Angie Martinez's Power 105.1 radio show (March 30), the "No More Drama" singer said her forthcoming melodies served as a free therapy session while she severs martial ties from her longtime partner/manager Kendu Isaacs.

"Unfortunately he was my everything and you can't make a person your everything because you're giving them too much power," Blige said. "You're giving them God's power and this is why things like this happen. I just gave him way too much, but I gave him all of that so he can feel comfortable in the company of my peers and when he comes around he's not just 'Mary J. Blige's husband.'"

With Blige's 13th studio album, Strength of a Woman (Apr. 28), the award-winning singer hopes that listeners will be able to breathe a sigh of relief thanks to the soundscape's healing power. "This album just embodies what I'm dealing with," Blige told Martinez. The "Be Without You" singer also chuckled when the established radio host said fans gravitate toward Blige's music when she's going through a dark period. "That's so unfortunate [laughs]. It sucks, but it what it is."

Read a few more quotes from Blige's candid interview where she discusses spousal support, a pending book on her life and the positive reception of her album's announcement.

On Kendu Isaacs' Demand For Spousal Support:
"I don't owe you anything. It's not fair. This is very mean to just keep sitting on this and demanding this type of money and taking me through all of this."

On What Prompted The Breaking Point:
"The overwhelming disrespect. You're way too familiar and you're disrespecting me and I can sense that I'm not what you want anymore because now you're starting to throw questions around like, 'Ok, why don't you cook?' 'I haven't been cooking,' or 'Why don't you wear your hair like this?' I never wore my hair like this, so what's up with you? You start to realize that this man doesn't want you and he's just gone all the time. You're by yourself in the relationship. When you realize you're by yourself in the relationship and you're just suffering through it, now it's time to do some investigating."

On The Reports Concerning The Split:
"I'm still in it. It's getting worse. It's really not getting better. More BS, more nonsense, more denial, more stupidity. I can't even believe it's this bad. It should be over by now, but the games that are being played...it's because of what's happening in court. That's why everything is bad."

On What's Causing The Lengthy Process:
"He has the power to make it all go away. If he just would stop demanding what he’s demanding. And that’s not fair to me, because he doesn’t deserve what he’s demanding. Why do I have to pay you? Why do you think you deserve this amount of money? Why do you think you deserve any money? You didn’t make me. You’re not God. So I have to pay you for being my husband and for being my manger? You say you ‘helped me.’ Yeah, you helped, but you didn’t build this career. I was Mary J. Blige before I even met you, so that’s not fair of you. And this is the sickness."

On Remaining Optimistic:
"I definitely feel empowered because I have to handle my own business now. I have to handle everything myself and I just feel like I escaped something really bad, something that could've been worse than what it is."

On Marriage In The Future:
"Right now no, I would never get married again...It's not for everybody, you lose yourself in it. You don't even realize how much you've lost yourself. You lose your identity. You start living to please this man and want to be everything that he wants you to be...I was always desperate to be loved by a man that I felt like 'Oh wow, this is him.' My desperation got me tricked."

On Touring During The Divorce Proceedings:
"I needed to be somewhere other than home thinking about all of this foolishness, these lawyers and this and that. All of the stupidity. I needed to be somewhere that I could vent and express myself and use my music for my own therapy and get some energy back from the fans.

On The Positive Reception Of Her Album Announcement:
“I’m glad. I’m glad. Unfortunately, in this situation, my fans will be happy. They’re going to be happy anyway, but it’s healing time. A lot of us need to get through some stuff that we don’t want to tell nobody about, but I'm going to tell. This is what I’m here for."

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102-Year-Old Woman Evicted From Home To Make Room For Landlord’s Daughter

A 102-year-old woman living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Ladera Heights is being evicted from her home of three decades. Thelma Smith was notified on March 8 that she has to move out so that the landlord’s daughter can move into the single-family home, after she graduates from law school.

Smith was on a month-to-month lease and has been paying “very low rent,” her longtime neighbor told the L.A. Times. She has to be out of the home by June 30.

While Smith’s eviction is legal, as landlords have the right to evict tenants to help relatives under L.A.'s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival told the Times that the law is used to “target low-income paying tenants.”

Smith is a former director of the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation, a Los Angeles-based charity aimed at serving underprivileged youth. She has yet to find a new home, and rejected her neighbor’s offer to move in, but it looks like she’ll be getting housing assistance from Arnold Schwarzenegger. The actor and former California Governor vowed to help Smith, whom he called a “dear friend for a long time.”

“Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless,” he tweeted Friday (May 24). Schwarzenegger went on to state that he will be reaching out to Smith. “Landlords, you’ll hear from me too,” he added.

Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time. Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me too. https://t.co/IJQrclGQ6I

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) May 24, 2019

Landlord Arthur Hilton explained to CBS News that the home was never meant to be a rental property, even though Smith had been living there for 30 years. “This property was purchased by my parents not for rental but for the Hilton family,” he said.

Smith, a widow who never had children, planned to live in the home for the remainder of her life.

See more on her story in the video above.

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Rey Ma Facing Additional Charges In Alleged Assault Against Brittney Taylor

Rey Ma has been hit with additional charges in an ongoing assault case in which she stands accused of attacking former Love & Hip Hop: New York cast member Brittney Taylor. The Bronx native appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court Friday (May 24) where she was arraigned on four misdemeanor charges, according to TMZ.

Although Remy was initially charged with assault, and turned herself in to authorities earlier in the month, she now faces two counts of third-degree assault, one count of second-degree aggravated harassment, and one count of second-degree harassment. She was offered the option to plead guilty to the top charge and enter anger management in exchange for having the other charges dropped but reportedly rejected the deal.

A trial date has been set of July 12.

Taylor claims Remy punched her in the eyed during a run-in at the Pretty Lou Charity Concert at New York City’s Irving Plaza last month. Remy was among the event performers along with Fat Joe, Jim Jones and more. She denies attacking Taylor and claims to have video evidence proving her innocence. TMZ reports that prosecutors have since changed the time of when the supposed altercation took place to line up with the time that Remy would have been at the venue.

Upon leaving the courtroom Friday, Remy didn’t mince words when speaking about going to trial. “Who looks forward to going to trial? I have things to do in my life,” she said according to the New York Daily News. “I have a real job, I have a family, I have a husband, I have a daughter.”

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34 black female cadets from West Point's Class of 2019 pose at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Cadet Hallie H. Pound/U.S. Army via AP

Black Women Cadets Make History At West Point Graduation

A record number of black female cadets are set to graduate from West Point (The United States Military Academy). After completing four years of education and "testing their limits," 34 black women will be walking across the stage at the 2019 commencement ceremony for the first time in the school's 217-year history.

Earlier this month, the black female cadets came together for a pre-graduation group photo. Little did they know, the photos of them in traditional Old Corps uniforms with ceremonial sabers would make their rounds on social media.

“My hope when young Black girls see these photos is that they understand that regardless of what life presents you, you have the ability an fortitude to be a force to be reckoned with,” shared one of the cadets, Tiffany Welch-Baker, in an interview with Because Of Them We Can.

Although West Point admitted its first black cadet until 1870, the academy didn’t graduate its first black cadet until the Reconstruction in 1877. In 1979, Vincent K. Brooks was made the first black captain of the Corps of Cadets. In 2017, Simone Askew became the first Black woman to lead the Corps of Cadets.

Senior cadet Stephanie Riley told The Associated Press in another interview: “I just showed myself and those who thought I couldn’t do it initially that yes, I can. And not just, ‘Yes, I can.’ I can show other little girls that yes, you can come to West Point. Yes, you can do something that maybe the rest of your peers aren’t actually doing. And yes, you can be different from the rest of the group.”

The class of 2019 includes a total of 223 women, another milestone since the first female cadets' graduation in 1980. The total number of graduation African-Americans doubled to 110, while the number of graduating Latinos became the largest, 88, in the academy's history. West Point also appointed Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as its first black superintendent in July 2018.

Not only will West Point be graduating its 5,000th female cadet, but it will also have its highest number of female Hispanic graduates, 19. The commencement ceremony is set for Saturday, May 25, with Vice President Mike Pence delivering the commencement speech.

Congratulations to the black ladies of West Point's graduating Class of 2019!

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