“I Never Really Got A Chance To Tell My Side” Trans Woman Riding With Teddy Pendergrass Speaks Out

October 23, 2014  |  

Even today, there are a lot of theories surrounding Teddy Pendergrass’ car accident. All we really know was that the singer was riding with a transgender woman and was subsequently paralyzed from the accident.

Sadly, folks got very hung up on questioning Teddy’s sexuality and no one really took the time to find out what happened with these two.

So it’s very interesting that the people at OWN, tracked down Tenika Watson, the woman who was riding with Pendergrass the day his life changed forever, told OWN’s cameras, “I never really got a chance to tell my side of things and it was important to me. Very important to me.”

How they met

I met Teddy in the seventies. I was coming down the street where I lived at. It was close to the studio where he recorded. He called me over to his car and it was a Rolls Royce. I thought he was a pimp because I wasn’t really used to people really having Rolls Royces. So that was the first time and I ran from him. 

Watson, a former prostitute, told OWN that she was working as a nightclub entertainer and model when she saw Teddy again at a popular club in Philadelphia.

I went over and spoke to him and said hi. And I said I just wanted to speak to you. He said ‘Ok.’ And I said ‘I’m leaving because I have to get up early tomorrow.’ And he said ‘I’m getting ready to leave too. Would you like a ride home.’ So I said sure. So we proceeded to go to his car and drove away and that’s when the accident happened. 

The accident and the aftermath 

First the car started speeding up really fast. And I was wondering is he driving fast. But he wasn’t. It was out of control. And I noticed he was struggling with the wheel and all of a sudden I heard this great big bang. Next thing I know the press was there and I got into the ambulance with him and I helped him as much as I could. 

I had contusions from the impact and I had a chipped tooth, which is nothing compared to him. 

I didn’t find out Teddy was paralyzed until it got in the paper. I tried to reach out to him right after the accident. I went to the hospital where he was and there was a woman there. And she said, ‘You’re not going to see him before his son does.’ And she caused this big scene and I just left. 

Interesting.

The story, as I’ve heard it, always made it seem like Pendergrass and this woman were in a full fledged relationship. But in reality, they were just meeting.

What do you make of Watson’s story? Is it different from the way you’ve heard it? You can watch the full clip in the video below.

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