Recently, longtime friends Naomi Campbell and Mary J. Blige sat down for a conversation on Campbell’s YouTube series, “No Filter with Naomi” to discuss their mutual love and respect for one another, love and Mary’s evolution. Check out highlights from the conversation below.
Mary: I know we met, it was in Milan or some place overseas. It was a Dolce and Gabbana fashion show. They were dressing me and I was performing. And we were in the bathroom. I ran into you in the bathroom. I was like, ‘This is too good to be true. The most beautiful woman in the world is here, talking to me. Talking to me’ Wow. And you were so beautiful, so friendly and I’ve never forgotten that. That’s why I love you. Our first meeting was so beautiful.
Naomi: I echo your sentiments. I remember the same. We were in a club called Plastic and we were in the bathroom. And you looked at me and you said, ‘We are from the same tribe.’ And I’ve never, ever forgotten that. And the importance of it being that day, I don’t know if you ever knew. The next day, I went and checked into rehab. That very next day. So, hearing that from a sister, it was important to me. It meant a lot to me. Gave me strength. So I always want to say thank you so much for that.
Mary: You’re welcome. I had no idea. Your presence gave me so much confidence because I didn’t have any confidence in myself, my life, my looks. Any of that. Nobody could tell but when you meet beautiful, strong women like you–like everybody praises you. And then you meet this beautiful, strong model in person and she’s just as beautiful inside as she is outside, it really lifted my spirit and gave me so much confidence. A lot of people are nasty when you meet them. And you were just beautiful so thank you.
Naomi: People can give you all these praises. But your praise to me, what you said to me was real. I’ve known and always known the difference when someone is bullsh*tting me or kissing my a$$. But I know you were talking about me as a person not me for what I do.
Naomi: I feel like this was destined for you. You know, with your divorce. Hurtful as it was and painful as it was, I felt like you had to go through that to have this.
Mary: 1 million percent. I had to go through it and relinquish and forgive and really release people because that’s such a hard time and hurtful time, you can hang on to that stuff and miss your blessing. But I’m not stupid. And I know how God works. So I let those people go for real. I don’t wish them no harm and now I’m gone. And here I am.
It took me a minute to let it all go but I did.
Naomi: Do you still believe in love?
Mary: Of course! I’m never going to stop believing in love. I’m not going to let a horrible situation dictate what the future is for me. I’m going to be patient so I don’t make another horrible mistake but I absolutely still believe in love.
Naomi: I don’t know if you know how many woman, through your music and through your career, seeing where you’ve come, that you’ve helped Mary. I don’t think—do you know?
Mary: I know there’s a lot. And I do understand what I’ve done. I’ve put my life on the line, honestly. And the only thing that can happen is you’re going to move people with normal, everyday problems just like you. So I’ve just been a giver, as much as I can give.
Naomi: People are like, ‘Oh you’re in your forties. Stay in it. Don’t leave it because who are you going to be with?’ I’d rather be on my bloody own, living through my fears than be unhappy. No! That’s not for me.
Mary’s upcoming documentary
Naomi: You’re also working on producing your own documentary for Amazon, right?
Mary: Right. So my production company is called Blue Butterfly. And our project is the Mary J. Blige My Life Album documentary. We did The Clark Sister movie as well. And we have a lot to come. We’re creating content that is important for our culture.
Advice for those who’ve been inspired by her
My biggest thing is you’re doing well. You’ve come so far. Don’t beat yourself up about the things you can’t do anything about. Just don’t. Just remember how far you’ve come and how good you’re doing. You’re alive. That’s great. The things you can’t do anything about, don’t try to lift it. Yesterday? Put it down. It’s okay and just keep going. That’s it. God first though. That’s who gives me the strength.
You can watch the full interview in the video below.