If you hadn’t heard by now, reality TV star Shay Johnson has not been happy with Iyanla Vanzant after her appearance on Fix My Life, and now she’s found an ally of sorts willing to share disdain for the motivational speaker and healer.
Earlier this month, Johnson did a Live with Neffeteria Pugh, Keyshia Cole’s sister, to give her side of the story on why she bumped heads with Vanzant. As we shared with you previously, Johnson went on the OWN series after reaching out to try and work through issues with her mom and two brothers. But when her brothers were allowed to tell her their unfiltered feelings about her without Johnson being given the chance to immediately respond, she couldn’t handle it. She ended up walking off the set after going back and forth with Vanzant about the process. She only returned to the show near the end of her family’s breakthrough when they called her and encouraged her to return. Vanzant refused to work with her at that point, though. Johnson was upset about that, saying Vanzant let her “ego” get in the way of really helping her. During the Live, Pugh shared her own gripes with Vanzant’s methods.
“It was certain things that was said that I was like…so…you supposed to be uplifting and encouraging and giving the people the empowerment to express their negatives and their positives,” Pugh said. “You’re not supposed to direct their negative and their positives.”
Johnson said she felt like Vanzant wanted her to open up old wounds and keep harping on less than pleasant experiences from her past, which she said she didn’t want to talk about and had already let go of. She said certain conversations ended up creating more drama for her with her father and boyfriend, a guy named Trini.
“If I would have known that it would go the way that it went, I would not have brought my family. These were real situations,” Johnson said. “My thing is, this is what’s going on with my situation, and if somebody can help us, let’s try that because we’ve never tried anything. She brought up Scrapp. She brought up Trini saying I should leave him. She brought up my father as if he abandoned me and he didn’t.”
As for Pugh, who went on the show twice with now ex-husband Shelby “Soullow” Lowery, she said that what you think you’re going to get when you take part in Fix My Life is the complete opposite of what you actually obtain from the experience. It’s all about ratings to her.
“This is why she’s not going back is because a lot of people, the narrative and how they perceived the show to be is not what it really is,” Pugh said.
“I went on this show with my husband at the time to save my marriage. It did more torment than healing,” she told Johnson. “This woman, let me tell you. What people don’t understand is, this woman called me a ‘b—h.’ She said, ‘Neffe is a b—h, a guttersnipe straight up out the hood,’ which made me get up, walk off the set so that I could respect my elders. I went back again to make sure that I was not trippin [laughs]…and I got the same results. So it’s not you.”
However, both women said they did learn some things from their time on the show. Johnson said the experience made her want to see a therapist as it worked well for her brothers, but one “not so aggressive.” Pugh also said her experience on the show helped her in different ways, including in loving herself more.
“I should not have a problem with being exactly who I am. If I’m a guttersnipe, I’m a guttersnipe. If I’m a b—h, I’m a b—h. If I’m a ho, I’m a ho. If I’m a hard-working woman, I’m a hard-working woman. It made me understand to embrace exactly who I am with no apologies,” she said. “Then it also taught me on the positive side, Iyanla also taught me that forgiveness is real and it brings your strength in. Iyanla also taught me that using your voice is important. It also taught me that loving somebody is going to hurt sometimes. And you’ve got to be okay with that.”
But all that she did walk away with didn’t stop her from taking a dig at Vanzant’s process, especially now that Fix My Life is concluding filming for its final season.
“Here’s my thing. Why is she done? I’m a tell you why,” Pugh said. “It’s a lot of people saying, ‘You ain’t help me do sh-t, but you caused more harm than help!’ [laughs]”