Iyanla Vanzant Responds To Critics Who Say She Was Too Hard On Erica Jean

May 12, 2014  |  

If you caught the season premiere of Iyanla: Fix My Life Saturday night on OWN you already know during the episode Iyanla Vanzant laid into Love and Hip-Hop’s Erica Jean something terrible. Questioning the logic of sleeping with a man (Saigon) who didn’t even know her address, much less having a child with him, Iyanla gave her some straight “mommy talk” which some thought was a bit too harsh. When we had the chance to chat with the life coach about the explosive confrontation, she not only stood by her words during that episode, but also her previous commentary about Black women being out of order and needing to do better when it comes to their partner and parenting choices.

Check out the interview above, as well as Iyanla’s thoughts on the #BringBackOurGirls movement and the influx of domestic violence plaguing Hollywood headlines these days.


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  • kiki j

    She didn’t say anything that wasn’t true or anything that we don’t scream into the tv in much worse language. My issue isn’t even her delivery. My problem with her as a whole is that she encourages what I believe has been a problem in the black community for years and that’s expecting the woman to take full blame while accepting the lame excuse that “a man will be a man” so it’s ok. No she hasnt said that bit her constant siding with men or minimizing the male fault is encouraging that ignorant thought process. We need to start encouraging our sons (because it’s starts at home as a child) to take responsibility for their actions and have respect. Admit when you are wrong and then change it. As long as we continue to make excuses for men we will continue to have dead beat dads and disrespectful men.

  • Mrs.Lady

    This is just my opinion, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. There is nothing wrong with tough love clearly that is what Erica J needs. As for Saigon he needs to work on himself because he has little girls himself and the way he comes off at times is not good. It really doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right the both of them needs to get their lives together for the sake of their child.


    This is some mess

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I suspect had this been Steve Harvey, the conversation would be a bit different.

    • Guest

      No suspect needed of course it would’ve been different.

      • Stacy D. Smith


  • starapple

    I agree with Iyanla’s message to Erica. However, I disagree with the method in which it was delivered. The first thing you learn as a “teacher” is that you have to meet your students where they are. Erica was not ready for tough love; she doesn’t seem to learn via tough love. Perhaps Iyanla could have found a different way to deliver such a necessary message. Clearly, the lesson was not learned.

  • crissy b.

    Tough love

  • Guest

    Iyanla got it right.

  • enlightenment

    What kills me about Erica is the “Oh he just sees me as a piece of a*s.” Yet you got a butt lift…for what reason? So guys can see you for your heart and personality? Girl bye.

  • Simone Mackey

    After watching that episode, definitely not after seeing how how Erica’s body language and attitude was towards her and Saigon. However, Saigon doesn’t make it any better by still posting stuff on IG (neither of them do). I hope they get their ish together for the sake of their son, especially Erica. Iyanla should have been as equally harder on Saigon as well with that lips of his. I would been left his behind alone.

  • DeepThinker

    I don’t think she was too hard. We need to be called out more on our sloppiness. I was shocked to find out that Erica is 37 years old, she should know better. Saigon revealed to her what type of male he was BEFORE she even got with him. She still got with him after he disrespected her. She only confirmed his low beliefs of her when she let him treat her the way he did and she was still willing to bust it open and have his child. All of the pain and drama she is experiencing is self-inflicted. Yes, Saigon is a messed up dude, but Erica is on the same low level of being. I hope they both get counseling. Ilyana told her what most women should know – that men don’t take our power, we give it away.

    • They are a glowing example of the generational dysfunction in our community. This story plays out hundreds of thousands of times over and over. In order to break this cycle of loose morals and careless sex, we have make a concerted effort to teach these parents how to make a family out of the village and get on the same page and raise these children to be functioning, well adjusted, members of society so that they do not make the same mistake we’ve been making the for the last two generations.

      • DeepThinker

        I think it comes down to no self-respect and low worth. It’s like nobody cares anymore if you think they are a whroe. I remember in high school it was like a death sentence if someone accused you of sluck a dack, now these girls are competing for who can display the most raunchy whroish behavior. It’s glorified. It’s so sad.

        • You’re right there is a lack of “give-a-sh*t” in our communities where being a star and flashy and rich by any means necessary is much better than being a respectable contributing member of society.

      • EXACTLY!!! We need more “elders” to slap the truth in our face. We need to stop playing victim all the time and own up to the mistakes we make in our lives. Not saying Brian is innocent, but neither is Erica. She is a grown woman who made some irresponsible and selfish choices, and now must live with the consequences of those choices. This generation seems to be seriously lacking common sense and self-worth. We have seriously lost our way if people think Iyanla was being “too harsh” on this woman. Smh.

        • Chey

          Yay! You’re exactly right!

        • Gert


  • She is 1000% correct. It is out of order.

  • Indigo Mcleod

    No she wasn’t!! It’s time females see their faults instead of always blaming the male. Females are quick to take credit but never want to take blame. It was a good episode, touched on the issues with “hood loving”! LOL Who ever thinks she was too hard, got hit with her stone too!

  • Rosemary Davis

    Iyanla is full of bull crap just like T.D. Jakes this woman solves nothing,she beged Oprah for a job and she gave it to her she down talks those whom she is supposedly helping she screams at them and leaves the person in the same state she found them in.The same with T.D.Jakes whose’s a wolf in sheep clothing he doesn’t talk about the spirtuall man on these life classes he only talks about the physical man and prosperity. she has bought into this man’s philosophy and eats it for breakfast,lunch and dinner and serve the left overs to her audience.So they all are washing each others backs..Oprah gives Iyanla and T.d Jakes a check and they are content and Ophrah continues to get rich from both of these ignorant people..

    • Clark Toni

      Exactly Rosemary Davis, who in the world is Iyanla she would not been able to fix her life even a little bit if it was not for Oprah. When you point a finger two come back on you. Who is she too judge.

      • Yvette

        Yet you just judged her.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Moral judgments are wrong…wait… Hahaha.

    • Her words are the truth. Its too bad these faux-celebrities are coming on her show to get a little more publicity and not to do some actual soul searching work. She’s helped many of the non-celebrities get through difficulty and overcome (DMX’s son included) and my opinion is that she should continue to focus on helping them.

      • Yvette

        Agreed! It is very hard to take a look at yourself in the mirror and be completely honest about who you are and the role you played in the events that lead up to where you are in life in relation to where you want to be. If it were easy there would be no therapists, life coaches etc.

  • Anesha Johnson

    I just couldn’t continue watching them act like uncontrolled maniacs in front of their child. That child needs to be in CPS. Both parents are unstable, and have no business raising that child. The both need anger mgmt., parenting classes, and JESUS.

    • Yvette

      CPS is not the answer for that little boy. He will more than likely end up in a worse situation. Erica and Saigon are not bad people and she doesn’t seem to be a bad mother. They just need to stop being selfish and realize that it is not about them anymore and all about their son. Intense counseling and parenting classes would benefit them both.

    • Guest

      Some sort of intervention is needed here. During the season, it was revealed that the child’s language development was delayed. After watching the episode, I think that it is more than that. I was really alarmed by how unresponsive the child was during his parent’s screaming match. He kept playing with his block without reacting to the turmoil. It was kind of scary to me to see how “shut down” he was.

  • Yolanda Harris

    The truth hurts. But I agree with everything Iyanla said to Erica. Erica Jean could benefit from a few more sessions with Iyanla, a therapist, a member of clergy…someone who’s equipped to get her mind right. Saigon wasn’t an innocent in all that mess, but I don’t think Erica was accepting her role in it either.

  • Nino Black

    WOmen are mad at Iyanla because when she was checking Erica the women watching it in a similar situation felt the truthfulness of her message. They didn’t like it, so now they are complaining about how it made them feel. Iyanla made them look in the mirror and they didn’t like what they saw.

    • Yvette


    • 109%

      Say it!!!!

    • Adrienne Ferron

      talk up di things dem….in other words PREACCCCCCH!!

    • enlightenment

      Tell it!! I have absolutely 0% remorse for the two of them, either. Erica J thought she could have a child with “a man who doesn’t even know your address,” as Iyanla put it, and expect a happily-ever-after? Dumb as bricks.

      How can anyone respect you if you don’t even respect yourself?

    • Shaw Sway

      I concur.

  • Sunny

    I’m guessing that at least some of those who think she was too hard on her have probably made similar terrible decisions. I had been under the impression that they were in a relationship, had broken up, and were now having a hard time co-parenting. I didn’t know that these two fools barely knew each other when they decided to have a child together. WTF. This generation is ridiculous.

    • ksmall

      RIDICULOUS! lol. you are so right about everything you said. smh.

  • Melody Carroll

    saigon he a hot mess erica needs to move on in her life and have some rezspect for herself

  • B.

    Erica needed to hear that. I didn’t think she was too hard on her, but I don’t think she went after him enough for the way he talks to her. The one time I had to agree with Erica was after his phony plea of love. He DOES NOT love that woman and that fact that Iyanla was buying it made me roll my eyes. I’m glad Erica said no man would ever talk to her the way Brian does, if he loved her. I hope she remembers that in the future.

    They both act like children and the fighting in front of their son is just wrong. I don’t understand why he can’t go to court for visitation. Why is he just accepting that she won’t let him see their son? Something is not right with their story.

    • Yvette

      You are so right. Great post!

    • KjB

      I kinda understand what he meant by “he loves her”, I think he meant in a bringing forth my son type of love, not the romantic type of love she’s looking for. Iyanla gave her the type of talking to most of these misguided sisters need. Everything fake, false and an illusion and they expect men to be “real” and love them? Who can truly LOVE someone that doesn’t love themselves? To allow a man to speak to you from the beginning disrespectfully, says a lot about what she thinks of herself and it was downhill from there. You meet him where he’s at in life and expect to have a decent “relationship” and when he shows you who he is, he’s a bum, no he was a disrespectful bum all along.

      • B.

        I agree with everything you said, except the bit about love. I don’t define love like that. He doesn’t even like her. Let’s be honest. He doesn’t like her. Him saying love was such a stretch. They both admitted they hardly know each other, outside of sex, so I’m failing to see how love would have even come up. Love is not necessary. What they need to do is respect each other.

    • DeepThinker

      On Saigon’s level I believe he was being sincere. He professed that his father treated his mother the same way. His dysfunctional upbringing has taught him it is okay to respond to a woman this way when she is not behaving the way he wants her to. He probably sees Erica the same way he sees his mother and all women. He’s screwed up and needs mental health treatment too.

      • B.

        I went to see if their relationship had gotten better, and Erica posted something he wrote to her and it was still him calling her names. I don’t believe either of them. It seems neither learned anything from the show.
        I can’t give credit to people who know what their problem is but do nothing about it. Him admitting what his issues are and staying the same way leads me to believe he’s fine with his behavior. He seems a little full of himself. Sadly, I doubt he’ll get help.

  • hi-liter

    She deserved all of it.

    • bigdawgman

      Heck yeah!! Too bad they both ignored the advice she gave them. smdh

    • Yvette

      Yes she did and then some. Unfortunately, what Iyanla laid down to Erica never got picked up because at the end of the show it was revealed that Erica is still posting inappropriate pictures of herself and keeping her son from Saigon. Sigh

    • Shaw Sway

      It’s sad for their Steven that none of it worked. Erica Jean and Saigon needed more than a 2 day intervention with Iylana. Probably with regular counseling, both would be on the path to co-parenting effectively for their son Steven.