Jay Manuel Speaks On Falling Out With Tyra Banks: “Our Relationship Isn’t What It Was”

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"America's Next Top Model: Season Two" - Finale Party

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Jay Manuel worked beside Tyra Banks for America’s Next Top Model for 18 seasons and left the modeling competition in 2012. After he parted ways with the reality show, he and Banks unfortunately drifted apart. During a recent interview on Barstool’s Chicks in the Office podcast, he said their relationship isn’t as close as it was while they worked together.

“In terms of my feelings for Tyra, our relationship isn’t what it was. However, I still will always speak positively about her,” Manuel said. “I respect everything that she represents, every door she’s kicked down—as a woman, as a Black woman; what she represents to so many young Brown and Black girls and boys in the industry, so I will never, ever speak negatively against that.”

Manuel, who worked as a creative director on the show, said Banks wasn’t too happy with him when he decided to move on in 2012 and from there the friendship was never the same.

“She basically just said ‘I’m disappointed’ and that was it and kind of cut me off,” he continued. “And even outside of the show, we would almost talk every day and it was very weird.”

In May, the 48-year-old told Variety that he and Banks were more distant than ever.

“Over the past few years, we’ve emailed,” he said. “To be very honest, we really have no relationship to speak of, which is really sad.”
Earlier this month, Manuel released a book about his time working on the show called The Wig, The Bitch & The MeltdownIn the book, he doesn’t explicitly talk about his time working behind the scenes. He instead speaks of his experience through a satirical lens and bases it on his true story.
“I wanted this book to entertain and that’s why I used satire, and had a lot of fun with it,” Manuel told Variety. “All of the characters in the book took on a life of their own and were just inspired by people in my life, but we write what we know and, as they say, art imitates life — and is often larger than life.”
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