Regarding you and Terry’s marriage, there is still a segment of the population that believes you always knew you were gay, and that you married her to give yourself a better life. Want to answer charge once and for all?
Yes. I didn’t dupe or take advantage of Terry. I was twenty years old when I met her which people seem to forget. All they thought is that she was my meal ticket out of [Jamaica] but I’ve traveled before and I visited the states many times on several occasions before meeting her. And I had no idea who she was when I met her. When she told me I was like ‘Wow, this is who she is.’ So for me it was all-new. I didn’t know who she was at the time and everything was innocent. It’s not like I didn’t love her. I loved her.
So you’re saying your marriage was an average heterosexual one until you realized you were gay?
I met and led Terry in good faith, I entered the relationship in good faith. We had a path that if anything happened we’d let each other know. Unfortunately, our situation evolved and exploded in our faces. I did things for in our marriage that you do for someone if you’re in love with them. I did her flowers, I’d hold her hand, we’d go out to movies and we’d have romantic evenings together. I did normal things that you were supposed to do in a relationship and in a marriage. I don’t know why people think I took advantage of the whole situation or took advantage of her. We both went in not knowing what the outcome would have been.
And you think your traditional Jamaican upbringing may have delayed you realizing you were homosexual?
Everyone’s experience is completely different. I grew up in a society and culture where we didn’t see same sex relationships, marriages or same sex partners having kids. I grew up in a traditional lifestyle and family. Where once you got older after you went to school college and everything you got married and have kids and you lived happily ever after with the white picket fence. When I came to California I was like wow my world has opened up even more. That was when I realized there was something different about me but this was later.
After you came out to Terry as a gay man you two understandably hit a rough patch in your relationship. Your first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show back in 2005 was a particularly ugly period. andthen there were all the lawsuits back and forth that followed.
The journey wasn’t all great along the way; Terry and I went years without talking and it was too much. It was consuming everything in our lives and we weren’t in a good place. The moment we started talking, things fell back into place. It felt comfortable, like some kind of normalcy with us. We’ve known each other for 15 years—so we consider ourselves old friends.
When did you guys reconnect and what is your relationship like now?
Our reconnection is all recent— it’s only been like a year ago that we started talking again. As Terry would say we’re not BFFs, but I can always call her and say, ‘I was just thinking about you today I hope things are going well. If a movie would come on [that we would watch] from the time we were together, or a song especially would come on the radio that would symbolize [a place we visited], ‘Oh we were in Tahoe skiing or we were on vacation somewhere’ that had some significance in our lives we might text or call each other. We do stuff like that.
I heard after you and Terry’s second and much friendlier joint appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show this month, you accompanied her to a book signing for her new novel, Getting To Happy in Los Angeles. Is your renewed friendship why you wanted to be there?
Terry wasn’t feeling well and I wasn’t feeling well that day and I did it just to show my support for her. That’s her thing, that’s her world and I didn’t want to seem like I was apart of her entourage or something—which I wasn’t really. But it was actually kind of nice being there with her, supporting her and it just felt like old times. It was like déjà vu because I used to go to a lot of the readings with her. When we looked at each other it was like déjà vu and it felt natural and it took a lot for us to get this point.
So you’re divorced, out and proud, getting comfortable in your own public figure skin and have finally made amends with your ex. Are you dating anyone?
Unfortunately no. It’s sad but it’s true [laughs] It’s hard dating. It is so hard. I’m open to the possibilities of meeting somebody. My friends always say it happens when you least expect it. So I’m putting it out there to go with the flow basically. I’m not opposed to dating but unfortunately I’m not.
You’ve got a new gig on the web but what would your ultimate dream job be?
My dream job would to be an ambassador for the [gay] community. I’d like to be the gay face for Blair Underwood. Be on the forefront of awareness and maybe endorse a product I guess [laughs] I’m open to any possibility I’m not restricting myself at this point. Life is too short, I’m living life to the fullest and living it one day at a time. Nowadays with me, what you see is what you get.