All Articles Tagged "mashonda"
‘He Acted Like A Single Man:’ Mother Of Swizz Beatz’s Daughter, Jahna Sebastian, Offers Clarity On Their Affair
A few weeks ago we told you about London-based recording artist and mother to Kaseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean’s daughter, Jahna Sebastian. In a telling interview, Jahna argued that her daughter, Nicole, was not the reason for Swizz’s split from Mashonda because she made sure that she did not reveal that she’d given birth to Swizz’s child until after the troubled couple announced their divorce. Since our initial report, many of you still had questions regarding the logic behind Jahna’s decision, what prompted her to even sleep with a married man and how she can say that things are “all good” with the producer’s now-ex-wife. We were recently given the opportunity to chat with Jahna, who offered answers to some of your burning questions.
“I don’t want to be associated with those women who look out for a rich man, a baller or any other successful man to help them have an easy ride in life,” the singer/songwriter told me. “That behavior is totally the opposite of who I am and what I represent, I have always chosen to get what I want through hard work myself, even though there have always been great men around. I have always relied on myself. I work hard for my career and my child.”
Unlike the way it is now, the single mother explained that her former lover’s personal life was nowhere near as publicized as it now at the time of their relationship. In fact, Jahna says that his personal life was so under the radar in the UK, that she had no idea he was even married.
“I was not aware of him being married at the time, I thought he was single like myself and he acted like a single man,” the “I Am Free” singer explained. “He was not that well-known here anyway at that time, his private life was nowhere near as publicized in 2007 as it is now.”
“I don’t really follow other musicians lives anyway. I saw this as a meeting of equals,” she resolved before revealing that their affair had taken place prior to her learning of his marital status. “I found out that he was married after things had already happened, but it was too late.”
Shortly after this major revelation, Kaseem returned to the States and Jahna received more shocking news.
“He left to US and I was absolutely shocked to learn a few weeks later that I was pregnant as I did not plan to have children until the age of thirty and definitely not to be a single mother in a situation like that. Career, marriage, then children – in that particular order – was my plan. When things happen not as you planned, the only explanation to that is fate. A child is a blessing regardless.”
On top of learning that she would be bringing a child into the world alone, the Russian refugee was detained during her pregnancy due to immigration issues. However, instead of reaching out to Kaseem for help, she went through the process alone out of her refusal to destroy his marriage.
“When I was unlawfully detained for two months by a major mistake of the Home Office while being pregnant with Nicole, I came out of it without her father’s help or even child support at the time even though I knew from the start who the father was. If I made claims at that time, it would have created a scandal all over the place and caused the divorce, so I chose the hard way. I dealt with all my immigration problems which were actually Nicole’s as well since she could only stay in UK as my dependent, without bothering Swizz or anyone on the other side with lawsuits.”
“I wrote to every person in UK I could think of instead of sending lawyers to Swizz and destroying his marriage. I chose to go without child support for two years and the help of someone who could have easily resolved the situation with his connections.”
“My immigration case was publicized at the time but there wasn’t even one mention of his name, although with that situation it could have made even bigger headlines, but I had to save my child from becoming possible reason of the divorce. I clearly imagined how it would hurt to be in a position of a wife learning that her husband went and had a baby on the side, and so I stayed away from this.”
When the world first learned that Swizz Beatz was divorcing his wife, Mashonda Tifrere, news also leaked that the 35-year-old hip hop producer fathered a child with someone else during their six-year marriage. It turns out the child’s mother is Jahna Sebastian, a London-based singer and producer. During a recent interview with Mara The Hip Hop Socialite, Jahna opened up about co-parenting her daughter, Nicole, with Swizz and why she kept the birth of her child a secret for so long.
While having a child outside out one’s marriage seems like the ultimate betrayal, Jahna insists that her child was not the reason for Swizz and Mashonda’s divorce because she refrained from reaching out until she learned that they were splitting up.
“I did not want the news about my pregnancy and my daughter’s birth to become the reason of his divorce [from Mashonda],” Jahna explained. It wasn’t, because I kept it secret from most people and from the media, although I mentioned the name in my immigration case during that time when I was asked but demanded confidentiality from them.”
“On top of that I didn’t even want to have anything with a married man,” she added. “But I had to put my pride aside to give my child a chance to have a relationship with her father, however it had to happen at the right time. I only reached out with official paperwork after I have found out that the divorce has already been filed for totally different reasons that had nothing to do with my child and I.”
Jahna also discussed what a difficult time she had prior to revealing that Swizz fathered her daughter.
“I wanted to save my daughter from that kind of negativity, because children are innocent. During those two years until I reached out I had to deal with everything on my own without any child support and I was not entitled to any welfare at all either, those were hard times. I have never been on welfare anyway.”
“Having a child in the UK does not give you the right to stay here or get British passport, you have to have other valid reasons to stay and prove that you can also contribute to the community, which I have done. If I didn’t fight for my immigration case at that time, Nicole would have also been deported to Russia. However, at least my daughter has nothing to do with the divorce and everybody was happy to find out about her.”
Now that Swizz knows about Nicole, Jahna says that he has been a good father, seeing their daughter approximately 3-4 times per year.
“Three to four times a year on average. I have always supported their relationship. That was the initial reason I have reached out in the first place because a child deserves a chance to have a relationship with the father.”
“I have always supported their relationship. That was the initial reason I have reached out in the first place because a child deserves a chance to have a relationship with the father.”
Surprisingly, Jahna says she also has a relationship with Swizz’s ex-wife, Mashonda.
“We keep in touch. It’s all good.”
Read her full interview here. Thoughts?
Co-parenting seems like it could be a pretty difficult task at times. Especially if the parents involved have ill feelings towards one another or their relationship ended on messy terms. 35-year-old R&B singer and ex-wife of Swizz Beatz, Mashonda knows all about co-parenting. Even prior to her emotional split from her music-producing ex-hubby, she helped to raise Swizz’s oldest son, Prince from a prior relationship. Although Swizz and Mashonda’s marriage didn’t make it, they continue to successfully co-parent their son, Kaseem. In a blog post titled, The Key To Co-Parenting, Mashonda offers advice to those who may find themselves in similar situations. An excerpt from her post reads:
“Recently, there’s been some interest surrounding the choices that have been made amongst the Dean family, my family, that is. Blended families are universal and very necessary. It’s because I’ve been living in one for the past 12 years that I feel it’s essential to educate others on the dynamics and explain the benefits that are included. My attempt is to shed some positivity and light to single mothers, fathers, ex-wives, stepmothers and all those in between. But most importantly, the children.
As adults, it’s inevitable that we run into complex life struggles, tests and sometimes soul-drenching events. However, it’s imperative that we place 100 percent of our focus on our precious and innocent children. Their mental and emotional well being in these early, tender years will determine who they will become as adults. I am the product of a messy divorce. And I mean MESSY! I watched my parents go through many awful things. Thankfully, my grandmother (who pulled me out of their drama in the nick of time) saved my soul and raised me well and rounded. I don’t know who I would’ve become otherwise. I hope that this honest attempt gives some clarity to all parents and anyone involved in a child’s life.
The key to co-parenting is to focus on your children—and your children only.
Yes, this can be very difficult. It means that your own emotions—any anger, resentment, or hurt—must take a back seat to the needs of your children. Admittedly, setting aside such strong feelings may be the hardest part of learning to work cooperatively with your ex, but it’s also perhaps the most vital. Co-parenting is not about your feelings, or those of your ex-spouse, but rather about your child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being.”
Separating feelings from behavior:
It’s okay to be hurt and angry, but your feelings don’t have to dictate your behavior. Instead, let what’s best for your kids—you working cooperatively with the other parent—motivate your actions.”
Check out Global Grind for more of Mashonda’s co-parenting tips.
A couple of weeks ago our associate editor, Veronica Wells, reported on the scandalous story involving Sesame Street actor Roscoe Orman, who played Mr. Gordon on the popular television program. According to reports, the 68-year-old actor left his partner of 40 years, Sharon Ormon, for a much younger woman by the name of Kimberley Lamarque, whom Sharon says he was carrying on an affair with. He married Lamarque not long after he left Sharon, who gave birth to four of his children. Here’s the kicker: He never married Sharon. To make matters worse, when Roscoe picked up and left her back in 2010, she was left dead broke and in danger of losing the home that the pair once shared to foreclosure. My heart really went out to Sharon. After investing four decades into their relationship and giving that man four children, she walked away with nothing more than what a jump-off walks away with after her man of choice decides that he’s through with her.
A few days later, I reported on a follow-up story. Roscoe’s jilted lover revealed that her ex’s new wife wasn’t the only woman he’d cheated on her with, expressing that he frequently stepped out during their relationship. She also dropped the bomb that Roscoe also had a child outside of their relationship. To make matters worse, she found out about Roscoe’s love child while she was pregnant. Yeah, she and the other woman were carrying his children at the same time. Upon hearing this, my well of sympathy for Ms. Sharon dried up a bit. Make that a lot. After all of that, why stay? When asked why she never left Roscoe despite his filthy, philandering ways, she responded:
“I wasn’t going to jump up and leave my family.”
And this brings me to my point. My vivid imagination took me to those sleepless nights where Sharon probably waited up for Roscoe to come home. I imagine her sad and disappointed face when the paternity suit papers arrived in the mail. I imagined her sitting at her kitchen table, agonizing over the details of the suit, wondering how the man that she thought she knew so well could hurt her in such a way. Then, my mind flashed to an image of her desperately holding onto the love that they once shared, telling herself that if she holds on, things just might get better. As you can see, they never did. In fact, after dogging her out all of these years, he got up and left.
While every situation is unique, most serial cheaters don’t just up and decide to stop cheating to do better, and in my opinion, simply waiting around for them to do so seems a bit foolish. I am not saying once a cheater, always a cheater, because I believe that people that really desire a change have the ability to do it. But, I am saying that if a woman simply rolls over and accepts her man’s cheating ways, why would he stop? He’s getting the best of both worlds. The Mashonda-Swizz-Beatz-Alicia Keys love triangle is another situation that comes to mind. Swizz allegedly cheating with Alicia was really only the final nail in the coffin of his marriage with Mashonda, but it certainly was not the first time he cheated on her, seeing as how he had a little girl outside of their relationship. She stuck around and what did he do? He dogged her out and eventually left her for what he considered to be a “better” prospect. A rather extreme example is the tumultuous relationship between Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta stars Stevie J and Mimi Faust. From the outside looking in, it appeared that MiMi stuck with Stevie despite his cheating (and impregnating) ways for so long that he eventually became bolder with it. And eventually, the fact that she knew he was cheating on her no longer mattered to him.
I understand that there’s probably a lot that went on behind close doors between all three of these couples that we as the public may never know about, but the point that I am trying to make is that tolerating infidelity (from both males and females), only seems to breed more cheating.
Have you ever been in a relationship with a serial cheater?
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.
It’s tough being a celebrity. Why you ask? I mean how are you supposed to choose from the many, many attractive men and many, many smokin’ hot women who throw themselves at you? Easy, you can’t. Celebrities are only human, after all. And while their inability to keep their lust to themselves could cause some problems in their personal life, it provides endless entertainment for the rest of us. So for your viewing, thank God I don’t have all that drama going on, pleasure, here are 15 of the craziest celebrity love triangles.
Tags:alicia keys, amber rose, Angelina Jolie, Biggie Smalls, Brad Pitt, Brandy Glanville, britney spears, Chris Brown, Eddie Cibrian, Faith Evans, jay z, jennifer aniston, kanye west, kevin federline, kim kardashian, LeAnn Rimes, Lil Kim, mashonda, nas, Natalie Nunn, Rihanna, shar jackson, Swizz Beatz
Before you get your panties in a knot, know that my question is one that comes from worry, not an actual desire for her to not succeed. Why? Because I’m a huge Alicia Keys fan. While I tried to resist her cornrow and beads wearing underneath a fedora steez and her talents as a pianist back when she dropped Songs In A Minor, tracks like “Butterflyz,” “Girlfriend,” “A Woman’s Worth” and more had me hooked on her. Seriously, you can still catch me walking around our office singing the intro to “Troubles” with an emphatic, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, YEAAAAAAA!” If that wasn’t enough, Diary of Alicia Keys was another classic; I was one of the first to have her very awesome Unplugged joint; and As I Am with its epic lead single, “No One,” was something I couldn’t help but play from top to bottom. To me, Alicia Keys is truly one of the few genuinely talented people left in our musical generation, with lyrics that are poetry and not some vulgar ish you could find written on a gas station bathroom wall. But with the state of music now, the state of her brand, and the personal drama that keeps playing out in public, I’m wondering if Keys will still be relevant a few years from now.
And I think that’s why I’m worried about Alicia. Despite the usual shade that has been thrown by some, as a fan, I don’t spend my days turning up my nose at her when her name is brought up, when pictures of her and her happy family are posted on blogs, and when interviews are released where she talks happily about her marriage and her son, enamored by the blessings in her life. But I’ve found that many people do, and that’s because while they might have been a fan of hers, they aren’t a fan of her decision to get involved with Swizz Beatz. Not because he’s all that, but because he was once a married man at the time they got involved with one another–separated or not. I wasn’t too happy when I found out about their relationship, especially when Mashonda spilled a lot of details about their love triangle, but I’m not one of those people who harshly judges a musician by what they do outside of the studio, but rather by what they put out there in the industry for the buying public. Maybe that’s why I can still jam to a Chris Brown track when the right one comes on and only care about what Fantasia is doing when she’s got a new album coming out. But while I might not take her personal life…personally, there are plenty of people who won’t let it go, and for Alicia to still be relevant in today’s industry, she needs as many fans as possible, not detractors looking to remind everyone of something deemed negative.
If you’re wondering why that matters, it has a lot to do not necessarily with sales, but with having a strong brand. With albums no longer selling like they used to and even big names struggling to make it platinum, the brand you build is more important in this day and age than the talent you actually have. Sadly it’s true. Ad campaigns, clothing lines, movie roles, documentaries on your life, it all matters. And when you have a strong brand, you most definitely can have a stronger following. Enough people have to LIKE you, your style and your personality. And if she’s losing fans because of her love life, that’s not a good thing. If she doesn’t have a die hard following like Rihanna’s Navy, Bey’s Beehive and Gaga’s Little Monsters, the future might not be all that bright.
Aside from all that, I can’t help but also worry about her music. After her last release, Element of Freedom (which was led by the dull “Doesn’t Mean Anything” but later saved by the very smooth “Unthinkable”), I was pretty hopeful about what this new album, Girl On Fire, had to offer. And after listening to it, I didn’t find myself amped up about it the same way I had been about her previous efforts, but I don’t hate it either. It’s just…all right. As a coworker of mine (hey Jada!) who is also a big fan (and a bit indifferent about the new album as well) likes to say, Keys has a specific lane that she needs to stay in, but still find ways to reinvent herself so as to not to come off dull. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is. And honestly, it’s hard for her to jazz things up when a lot of her music comes out with the same storylines: I could have it all, but I’d have nothing without you meets a powerful love that most people can’t fathom and ends with an uplifting ballad about how women rock!). And it doesn’t help when her husband puts Ruff Ryder worthy beats on her new album and expects her voice to soar over them. While there are some gems on this album, especially “Fire We Make” with Maxwell, “Listen To Your Heart,” “Brand New Me,” and “101,” the album as a collective is a bit underwhelming. It’s an overproduced album with so so lyrical content.
Alicia Keys is from a time before social media and the stans behind it ran the world. She’s from the era when albums were selling in the millions in a few weeks and creative Neo-Soul artists were embraced rather than slept on and given the “Who is that again?” treatment. She’s still one of the brightest stars that we have, no doubt, but when I look at her and listen to her nowadays, I can’t help but feel that her relevance is fading. When she performed at the VMAs a few months back she had to bring out everybody from Nicki Minaj to a flippin’ Gabby Douglas to keep the audience from losing interest after a show that had Rihanna jumping around commanding “We Found Love” and Frank Ocean stealing everyone’s ears and hearts with a simple performance of “Thinkin Bout You.” Even after bringing out her high profile guests, it just came off kind of corny. Her new tracks don’t do her voice real justice and spend too much time forcing her to shout and strain rather than croon and capture your attention. Everything she does these days seems a bit too forced, with the edgy haircut and clothes now, to having Swizz Beatz putting together some of her tracks. Even watching her perform “Girl on Fire” while doing her promo tours had me thinking she wasn’t having much fun. Sad to say, but I think many people, myself included sometimes, are losing the interest that captivated everyone years ago and kept us glued to the screens when she would jump on top of her piano or pound on it, passionate about the music she was performing and making. While I’d rather listen to Alicia any day over most of the mess playing on the radio now, I definitely would pick the old Alicia over this new one any day. So can this new Alicia Keys we see and read about actually stay on top?
I had never been much of a Mashonda fan. It’s not that I didn’t feel she was talented, I just had never heard enough of her music to consider myself a fan. Oh, but Alicia Keys – loved her! There wasn’t a single one of her albums that I hadn’t purchased. Her heartfelt and relatable tunes had gotten me through more than a few tough times. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a die hard fan, but I dug her music and had a lot of respect for her craft. She was, and still is, undeniably talented and that is something that no one could ever take away from her.
I was a bit of a Johnny-come-lately when it came to news of Alicia and Swizz’s alleged affair that was going on while he was still married to his now ex-wife, Mashonda. I didn’t hear about the story when it was hot off the press. I actually didn’t learn of it until Mashonda put out her open letter and that is when I began to back track, reading headline after headline on different blogs and news sites, which provided me with the backstory as to what was going on. When I finally got a grasp on the story and somewhat of an understanding of the love triangle (I say somewhat because from the outside looking in, no one could ever fully know everything that went on) I was absolutely turned off from Alicia and in some odd way, even felt betrayed on some level. I couldn’t understand how someone who sang about and signified strength and womanhood could ever bring herself to violate another woman in the manner that she violated Mashonda. I’ll be the first person to say that Swizz Beatz should bear most of the blame for his affair with Alicia as he is the one who made vowed to love, honor and be faithful to this woman. However, I believe it also takes two to tango and a woman who knowingly participates in a situation such as that should bear some responsibility as well. But, I’ll move on since that isn’t the purpose of this essay.
As I stated earlier, I was completely turned off to Alicia. I viewed her in an entirely different light and just couldn’t bring myself to believe in any of that “Superwoman” or “Woman’s Worth” stuff she was selling anymore. It wasn’t something I did intentionally, but as I heard Mashonda share her story and could hear the pain in her voice, I felt I could relate to her and just couldn’t bring myself to listen to Alicia anymore and she’s released some pretty amazing music since then.
One night after seeing Alicia perform on television at some awards show, a friend who was and still is a big Alicia fan and I somehow began discussing the Mashonda-Alicia-Swizz love triangle. As I shared my opinion on the situation and she shared hers, what was meant to be a simple and entertaining discussion about celebrity news turned into a heated argument; an argument that made me realize I was taking this situation entirely too personally.
And that is when it hit me, my attachment to that situation had nothing to do with Mashonda, Swizz Beatz or Alicia Keys and everything to do with my own involvement in a love triangle and betrayal similar to this one. Thankfully, marriage and children were not involved, but I knew what it felt like to be in a relationship where you believed everything was on the up-and-up only, to turn around and learn that there is another woman. Not just anyother woman, but one who was clearly aware of you and your relationship.
I had a major chip on my shoulder and Alicia and Mashonda were mere representations of unhealed wounds from unresolved issues in my own life. My beef wasn’t just with Alicia, but every woman who has ever assumed the side-chick role. Thankfully, I’ve done much soul searching and healing since coming to the realization and I’m very thankful that I did.
Getting past a romantic betrayal such as the one Mashonda experienced can be extremely rough, but the good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel if you allow there to be one. Making a conscious decision to not be consumed or defeated is the first step. The mental battle of choosing not to dwell on thoughts of what happened to you or falling into the victim role was the toughest, but absolutely necessary. The mental freedom and peace of mind attained as a result is well worth the battle.
Jazmine Denise is a writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
Last week, we reported on an interview done by Jet Magazine in which Alicia Keys addressed allegations made against her that implied she was romantically involved with her now husband, Swizz Beatz, while he was still married to ex-wife Mashonda and that she was indeed a key factor in the demise of his marriage. In the interview, Alicia claimed the allegations were not true and even took a slight stab at Mashonda insinuating that she was simply looking to “knock” her down, saying:
[They] were apart for some time before we ever got together…that doesn’t matter to those who take pleasure in trying to knock others down…there’s no need to fight what’s not true…
Many waited to see if Mashonda would respond to Alicia’s claims considering the fact that she was very adamant about telling her side of the story when news of the alleged affair and the divorce first broke. It appears that their waiting has not been in vain as Mashonda recently discussed the statements made by Alicia in an interview with Global Grind. Here is some of what she had to say:
first reaction to Alicia’s interview
Not much surprises me anymore when it comes to this situation. I truly thought that everyone’s priority was the well being of the children involved. I don’t see the sense in throwing oil on a fire, it just takes us back to point A. The Jet interview just added insult to injury. I can’t figure out how this makes us better. How is it a positive, humanitarian gesture? But artists must protect their reputation and I get that.
Whether she and Swizz were together when he hooked up with Alicia
There have been many stabs and shots taken, thankfully they don’t bother me the way they used to. I’ve never lied about one thing involving the demise of my marriage. No, we were not “apart” or separated, and that’s just a fact that can be proven in many ways. Blessings have a way of disguising themselves. This situation has helped me to understand life and what really matters.
How she’s been affected by Swizz’s infidelity
There is a level of humiliation and criticism that the average person wouldn’t be able to conceive, it really altered my life, but gave me a super thick skin. It’s been a rollercoaster ride. I’ve lost weight, gained weight, lost some hair and almost lost hope and mental focus. For months I saw a therapist because I needed someone to assist me in putting the pieces back together. There was a lot of stress and pain, it’s been challenging. I’ve found ways to cope and not get consumed in a dark space. You have to take care of yourself and move forward. In my case, I have a child and live for him. I have a purpose and I won’t give up on it.
We all thought this entire situation was over, but it seems that Alicia’s interview may have re-opened some old wounds. Now, I’m no Olivia Pope, but something in my gut tells me Mashonda is the truthful party in this whole fiasco; however, the only person who should rightfully have to bear the title of “homewrecker” is Swizz and he seems to be the one saying the least.
Do you think Mashonda should have responded to Alicia?
Jazmine Denise is a writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
‘There’s No Need To Fight What’s Not True’: Alicia Keys Still Isn’t Paying The Homewrecker Talk Any Mind
Alicia Keys has reportedly finally stopped dancing around those homewrecker allegations and address them head-on in her most recent interview with JET Magazine. Keys, who has been on a drama-filled roller coaster since 2010 when her new hubby, producer Swizz Beatz’s ex-wife Mashonda rang the alarm stating that the singer had been messing with her ex while they were still married and that Keys is actually the reason why their marriage fell apart in the first place. For a long time Alicia chose not to address the allegations but she has recently become a bit more vocal about them. She shared that she didn’t bother going back at Mashonda in the press because her allegations simply weren’t true. Check out some more of what she had to say in her recent JET interview.
Why she pays homewrecker allegations no mind
[They] were apart for some time before we ever got together…that doesn’t matter to those who take pleasure in trying to knock others down…there’s no need to fight what’s not true…
Why she and Swizz are a good match
I’d never met a person where I could be fully myself…Swizz and I live in each other’s shadow. So we can occupy the same space and there is nothing but equality. There’s something really powerful about that.
Though Mashonda, Swizz and Alicia have all seemed to move on and let go of past drama for the sake of the children involved, Alicia’s image has been tainted in the eyes of many of her female fans. It could be because so many find Mashonda to be a person whom they can relate to. She seemed to be a mom who was just trying to hold her family together when her fairytale got snatched from beneath her. But, I suppose it depends on how you look at the situation. The stories contradict each other so much that it is clear that someone isn’t being 100% truthful, but I guess no of us will ever know because we weren’t actually there.
What do you think of Alicia’s response?
Jazmine Denise is a freelance writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @Jazminedenise
“We Are Family” is the anthem that Sister Sledge made popular. Blood is blood but kin born outside the mother’s womb aren’t being recognized as they should nowadays. A distinction of separate but equal has taken over, where mothers are keeping their children from having a close relationship with siblings born outside of relationships, or who came into the picture from a parent’s new relationship. The practice may spare the adults hurt feelings, but it’s the children who suffer when they’re not allowed to have a meaningful relationship with their brothers and sisters.
In an ideal world, families would be raised under one roof with two loving parents to help guide and nurture their children into adulthood. Alas, idealism isn’t reality, and sometimes people make less than positive choices that bring children into the world. No one’s life is as perfect as they try to make it out on Facebook. It’s hard raising a family. It’s even harder when a child is born outside of a couple’s relationship. Two high profile examples of that can be seen by former Senator John Edwards and producer Swizz Beatz. They both had children outside of their failed marriages.
Swizz was married to his now ex-wife Mashonda, with whom he had a son with, when he fathered a little girl outside of their relationship by the name of Nicole. He had the child with a singer from the U.K. Mashonda found it in her heart to accept the little one, and even went as far as to wish her mother a Happy Mother’s Day. Whether or not it was sincere or covered in a layer of shade, we don’t know, but she’s made the effort and Swizz has stepped up as a father. When he tweets about his kids, Nicole’s can be seen with her brothers (as Mashonda’s son Kasseem can be seen with Alicia Keys’s son, Egypt), and she often gets her own shout outs and love.
For John Edwards, his lovechild, Frances Quinn, wasn’t immediately a priority. When she came into the picture, he went on national television and denied paternity because he wanted to save his reputation. He finally acknowledged the little girl publicly a few months back when he was acquitted from his corruption charges and referred to her as “precious,” and a lot more: “My precious Quinn, who I love more than any of you could ever imagine, and I am so close to, and am so, so grateful for, so grateful for Quinn.”
His affectionate sentiment got under the skin of many. And while some people have their emotions invested in hating Rielle Hunter, his mistress and the mother of Quinn, that’s no reason to transfer that hostility onto their daughter, or to be upset when her father shows love for her. However, during Rielle’s recent book tour for her tell-all, she admitted that her mistakes have affected Quinn since she has no relationship with her older siblings.
Another example, but with a happy ending, is Sean Combs. Diddy and the mothers of his children have avoided that painful dynamic after letting time pass, realizing that family is family. The producer and mogul had his daughter, Chance, while in a serious relationship with on-again, off-again love, Kim Porter. Of course, soon after Chance was born (five months later), his twins were brought into the world and the little girl no longer was a secret. Porter was said to be devastated, and for a long while, didn’t want her daughters, D’Lila and Jessie around or acquainted with Chance. However, times have changed, and hearts have softened. Diddy recently tweeted a picture of all three little girls hanging out together, and all seems well and good. The adults finally got out of their feelings and put the kids first, because we all know that shunning a child does not change DNA, or past mistakes.
It takes a big person to rise above hardened feelings, but when you’re a parent, it’s what you need to do. No one should have to be 15 and introduced to three grown men who are strangers at first glance, but in reality, are brothers never spoken of or brought around. That’s what happened to me. I still remember the feelings I had and what I did when I met my big brothers for the first time: I just hugged them. I saved the questions for later and just embraced each of them, just glad I got to meet them, even if much time had passed. We don’t have a super-glue bond, but at least there is one. My eldest brother even thought of me a few weeks ago and sent me a story about Kindle helping struggling authors get ahead. It was a small gesture, but he thought of me and that’s what family is about.
Sometimes, tough pills need to be swallowed for the greater good. For the good of the children and the good of the parent as well. There’s no need to keep siblings separated, or blame a child for the indiscretions of their parent. They didn’t ask to come into the world, but since they’re here, why not let them bond with their family?Stephanie Guerilus is a multimedia journalist and author. Follow her @qsteph.
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