Exclusive: Ne-Yo’s Ex-Girlfriend Opens Up About Paternity Scandal & Trying To Find Love On “Match Made In Heaven”
Earlier this week, we told you that Ne-Yo’s ex-girlfriend Jesseca White, who now goes by the name Phoenix, was a contestant on WEtv dating show “Match Made in Heaven.” While on the series, White briefly opened up about the high-profile paternity scandal involving herself and the singer. We were recently able to sit down with the White for her first ever interview regarding the scandal involving her famous ex. Check out what she had to say below.
MN: Why reality television?
I decided to do reality television at the very last minute. It took literally until the day before the show was shooting. A friend of mine called me and was like, “Hey, I think you’d be really great for the show to find love,” and I thought hey, let me just try it. It wasn’t a big, big thing.
MN: So there was no audition process? They just wanted you?
No. I just got a call from one of my friends.
MN: What was it that attracted you to Shawn? Were you actually looking for love or was it more about the show?
No, it wasn’t that I just wanted to do the show. I think that it was just trying something different for love. I didn’t believe that you could find love on a reality show in the beginning, but I felt like all the signs were kind of pointing for me to do it so I just kind of went with it. So that’s why I did it.
As far as Shawn, what attracted me to him was that he’s very charming, he was a good listener and I felt like he got me. So when we had our private moments and we had our conversations, it felt like a deeper chemistry for me. So I appreciated it. And he’s cute too! So that doesn’t hurt.
MN: So Shawn recently interviewed with us and he had quite a bit to say about Black women wearing their scarves and bonnets to bed. He also mentioned White women who go “right to sleep without the head wraps.” What are your thoughts on that?
Is that what he said? Look, we got to protect our edges. I think from his perspective, I think it’s also important that we continue to be sexy while in a relationship. Yeah, wrap your hair up a little bit later, but I’m trying to go to bed sexy. White women don’t have to worry about their edges.
MN: Were you concerned about your past resurfacing when you signed on to appear on the show?
Yes, which was part of the reason why I didn’t want to do the show. I’ve always been very private about my private life even when all of that stuff was happening [with Ne-Yo] in the past. I never said anything. It wasn’t about that and I felt like if I love somebody or if I was ever in love with someone, our personal problems and issues are our own. I just kept it to myself, but I figured it would probably come up. I was hoping that it wouldn’t, but it did.
MN: And how did it come up exactly?
How it came up was that one of the girls ran up to Shawn and told him something. No one else in the house heard it, but I just so happened to hear it. I was like, you know what? No one is ever going to tell a man something about me that I haven’t told him first. Then when you’re trapped in the house with a bunch of women, and if you’ve watched the show, it’s been very unpredictable with how people react in the house, to anything. There’s a lot of sabotage, a lot of fighting, a lot of underhanded stuff going on. I don’t do all that. I don’t like confrontation and I don’t operate that way. So I was like, I’m going to stand up here, take the risk in front of everybody at the same time and I’m going to tell him what I have to say because I really like him so I was willing to take that chance because what I felt for him was real.
MN: His mom looks like she can be a piece of work at times. Were you concerned about how she would react?
I talked to her the night before. I was like, “There’s going to be some stuff that I am going to tell you and your son that you’re probably not going to like, but I’m going to tell you the truth. If that gets me eliminated off of the show or not, I don’t care because I’d rather stand up for my truth and stand in that than not.” And she respected that.
MN: On the show, you described the paternity issue with Ne-Yo and the things that followed as a situation you were thrown into that wasn’t your “choice.” Can you elaborate on what you mean by that?
What I meant by that was that I never chose to be thrown into the media and it was made into this big huge scandal. No one has ever heard me say anything. I’ve never defended myself. I’ve never fought against it. I’ve never tried to clear my name. It’s something that I was thrown into based on what PR people decided to do at that time. And that’s what I meant.