On the brink of the release of her album, Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys' face is on just about every magazine cover citing her big comeback. The latest of these magazines is JET, where in the cover story titled "Bringing the Heat," the Harlem native defended her marriage to music producer Swizz Beatz, making headlines all over the blogosphere when she stated:
"…[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…"
The comment sections were on fire, and all eyes were on the Twitter timeline of Mashonda, Swizz's ex-wife, who remained mum on the article...until now.
In every situation there are three sides to a story, we've heard Alicia's, and now Mashonda is ready to tell hers.
GlobalGrind had the opportunity of catching up with the mother, singer and writer to hear her side of things.
Check out our exclusive interview below:
What has Mashonda been working on outside of singing?
I’ve been critiquing my writing skills, taking classes in New York City and traveling abroad to partake in writer workshops. I’ve also been doing some motivational speaking and talking to the youth about caring for themselves and preparing for their future. I do spend most of my time with my son, so I’m a full time mother. I just want to be clear that this interview isn’t about me promoting my projects and I don’t want to get caught up in speaking about the past. Talking to GlobalGrind about my present life is just more of a way for me to share my journey and where I am mentally today.
What was your initial reaction when you caught wind of Alicia's JET Magazine 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.
In the interview Alicia Keys says "…[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…" Did you feel like this was a indirect stab at your open letter?
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.
Most people have to deal with their divorces and infidelities in private, but your situation unfolded in front of the public. How has this taken a toll on you?
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.
It's clear now that Alicia, Swizz, their marriage and their child have to be a part of your life, being that you two share a son. Do you think the public/media will ever get over the "triangle" and allow you all to be adults without pointing fingers?
The public/media enjoys sensationalism, they take pleasure in seeing celebrities make dysfunctional choices. People have unrealistic expectations for celebrities and they don’t realize that they are only human. They have unresolved pain, scars and they make mistakes. What happened in my “triangle” is an old chapter. I forgave everyone involved and I’ve been in a great space. It took five years to get here but I made it, I feel like a victor. At the end of the day, no one can tell me about the life I’ve lived and what I’ve endured as a wife, mother or human. My divorce was just one lesson of many to come, I’ve moved on and I’ve done so in a great way.
Alicia and Swizz are two people in the spotlight, when, if ever, will you be comfortable to sit down with the pair to clear the air?
They are normal people who have been blessed with talents and great opportunities. Being a star in my eyes isn’t solely about your success in the business, it's about your success in your personal life, the success of your soul. I’m always ready and willing to sit with the co-parents of my son, that’s not even a question. There isn’t one doubt in my mind that one day it will all come together the way it’s supposed to. We are all a work in progress.
What about the rumors of you starring on reality TV? Is this something you would ever consider?
Reality TV will only work for me if I can choose the cast and the situations I’m apart of. As of now, there are no TV shows of my life being filmed. My life is already a motion picture event.