Ashanti, her mom Tina Douglas, and sister Kenashia are the latest guests to appear on Red Table Talk. The trio joined hosts Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Willow to discuss their history with domestic violence.
For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Ashanti shared heartbreaking images of her younger sister Shia’s abuse. Now, the Douglas women are speaking out on what they consider to be the “darkest time of their lives” in their first joint interview.
Shia had previously been vocal on social media about being a victim of abuse. For the esteemed singer, protectiveness fueled her to act. She reflected on a moment when she grabbed a bat from her garage, ready to defend her sister by any means. “As the older sister who wants to protect my younger sister, no one gets a book on how to handle this.”
Shia spoke on the early stages of her relationship with ex-fiancé, Slow Bucks. The pair met when she was a freshman in college and were together for 13 years. She admitted that while the physical abuse didn’t begin until nearly three years before the relationship ended, she suffered mental, verbal, and emotional abuse from the beginning.
“Over time, it’s almost like someone is chipping away. You begin to question yourself and second-guess,” Shia stated. The stress and abuse she endured also led to her having a miscarriage at four months of pregnancy.
Their mom, Tina, became visibly teary as they played a video Shia previously shared where the abuse she suffered could be heard firsthand. The Douglas women chose speak out because domestic violence was such a taboo subject in the past.
“Back in the day, nobody talked about it. It was like ‘You’ll be alright. That’s supposed to happen,'” Tina said.
Ashanti’s appearance comes weeks after Fat Joe sat with the ladies of Red Table Talk to discuss Irv Gotti, who recently claimed to have been “in love” with his former Murder Inc. signee. Red Table Talk streams on Facebook Watch. See the full episode here.
If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, are worried about a friend or loved one, or need help, contact the free, 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).