Karrine Comes Clean
Karrine has just published a tell-all autobiography, Confessions of a Video Vixen, which sits high atop most best seller lists. In it, she admits to sleeping with Puff Daddy, DMX, Xzibit, Jay-Z, Ja Rule, Doctor Dre, Ice-T, Bobby Brown, Usher, Shaquille Oâ€™Neal and Vin Diesel, to name a few.
When I first interviewed her a couple of years ago, Karrine Steffans was making the transition from Hip-Hop ho to legitimate Hollywood actress. She was then enjoying her big screen debut as Larenz Tateâ€™s wife in A Man Apart, an action-adventure flick starring Vin Diesel. During that tame tete-a-tete, she never let on about the sordid, suicidal, sexually-depraved, alcohol and drug-addicted life she had been leading, despite being a single-mom. Nor did she discuss bottoming-out after an overdose which left her broke, blacklisted and living in a car with her little boy.
Because Karrine was such a shameless name-dropper, I distinctly remember repeatedly asking her about all of her famous friends. But every inquiry led to a very dull dead-end. Now, she has just published a tell-all autobiography, Confessions of a Video Vixen, which sits high atop most best seller lists. In it, she admits to sleeping with Puff Daddy, DMX, Xzibit, Jay-Z, Ja Rule, Doctor Dre, Ice-T, Bobby Brown, Usher, Shaquille Oâ€™Neal and Vin Diesel, to name a few. So, I figured it was high time I track Karrine down again to find out why she lied to me the first go-round. Furthermore, I needed to get the lowdown on what life in the fast lane had been like for this naughty girl affectionately referred to as â€œSuperheadâ€? by the gangsta rappers and the rest of the long list of famous lovers who shared her bed.
BSN: Why were you so very tight-lipped about the nature of your relationships with all the celebrities you knew the first time we spoke?
KS: Well, that wasnâ€™t the appropriate time. We were talking about A Man Apart. Everything has its own time and space. And there are some people that I mention in Confessions, and some that I still didnâ€™t.
BSN: Yeah, like in the book, you hid the identity of a very famous lover of yours you called Papa. Care to share his name now?
KS: Iâ€™m still not going to tell you.
BSN: Why not, when youâ€™ve confessed to sleeping with so many others?
KS: At this point itâ€™s inappropriate, because of a promise I made to him that he would remain anonymous.
BSN: How about a hint?
KS: What I will say for my readers is that Confessions has a really big clue about who he is.
BSN: What has been the reaction of the lovers you did name to the book?
KS: Thereâ€™s been no reaction. The celebrities named in the book are fine. Itâ€™s kind of surprised me that people find what I said so amazing, because people who are inside of the industry know all the stuff that I couldâ€™ve said.
BSN: But letâ€™s take someone like Ja Rule, who has a wife and kids. I would imagine that he might be very upset.
KS: Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s uncomfortable. But, no, heâ€™s not upset. This is not news to him, or his wife, or his family. Itâ€™s not like his wife just found out. She knows her husband and that I was not the only girl. He had hundreds at that time, and Iâ€™m sure thousands over the years as he traveled the world. So, itâ€™s not like anyoneâ€™s surprised, even if itâ€™s uncomfortable.
BSN: Do you have any misgivings about tarnishing the image of so many icons?
KS: Iâ€™m surprised that people think theyâ€™re important. To me theyâ€™re not. Theyâ€™re just people you run across. The names I gave away in Vixen are throwaway names. Theyâ€™re nobodies compared to who else I have in my phone book.
BSN: Like who?
KS: There are some people who are very powerful who I will never name, because I want to be able to work in this town when Iâ€™m done. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s easy to give you throwaway names like Jay-Z. Iâ€™m not in the music business. I donâ€™t work for Def Jam.
BSN: So, you see Jay-Z as a nobody?
KS: Not that heâ€™s a nobody, just nobody special.
BSN: Did you mean to imply that Puff Daddy, I mean, Diddy and Xzibit are gay when you mentioned their taking you to a gay nightclub?
KS: Iâ€™m not implying anything. That was an experience of mine. Iâ€™m just saying what happened and what was said. Any conclusions would have to be drawn by the readers.
BSN: Did you really sleep with Vin Diesel? Iâ€™ve interviewed him several times, and heâ€™s always sounded like such a gentleman. He even told me he wasnâ€™t a womanizer, but that he was saving himself for the right woman.
KS: [laughs] Really? Thatâ€™s a load of [expletive]. He wasnâ€™t saving himself when I was with him. It bothers me that people find it necessary to paint pictures. Truth and honesty is my thing.
BSN: Iâ€™m gonna ask him about you the next time I speak to him. Why did you put so many sexy photos of yourself scantily-clad in the book, if youâ€™ve put that lifestyle behind you?
KS: Iâ€™m not uncomfortable about anything Iâ€™ve put in the book. Itâ€™s just the truth. Those pictures are fine. Theyâ€™re pictures from my past, of things that I have done with people I have known. Theyâ€™re from stages of my life, and all of that is relevant to this book.
BSN: The nicest picture is the one of you and your son, Naiim. Was he scarred by all the two of you went through? How is he doing?
KS: All these things happened a long time ago. My son is seven, and he doesnâ€™t remember any of that stuff. For the last four years, heâ€™s spent every day with me. Thankfully, I got my wild ways over with while he was still basically a newborn. He was two and three years-old.
BSN: Is there any truth to the rumor that youâ€™re now dating Bill Maher of Politically Incorrect?
BSN: How is that relationship?
KS: Wonderful! Itâ€™s the best Iâ€™ve ever had?
BSN: Does he have a good relationship with your son, too?
KS: Nope. They donâ€™t have one. They donâ€™t need one. Itâ€™s unnecessary. Why would I introduce my son to a man Iâ€™ve only known for four months, no matter how great the relationship is. If Bill and I are together half a year, maybe Iâ€™ll consider it. But even then, itâ€™s still dating. Thereâ€™s no need for them to meet each other.
BSN: So, does your son then have a relationship with that rapper whoâ€™s his biological father?
KS: They donâ€™t have a relationship. They donâ€™t know each other. They never have.
BSN: Do you consider yourself totally through with that self-destructive lifestyle?
KS: I havenâ€™t spoken to any of those people, for the most part, for over four years. There are some Iâ€™m still cool with. Weâ€™ll see each other and speak, say, â€œHow you doinâ€™?â€? and keep going.
BSN: What enabled you to move on from playing the party girl?
KS: Most people grow. The person youâ€™re reading about in that book is 21. Iâ€™m 27 now. You would hope that I would grow and expand and change just from the natural progression of life. And thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve done.
BSN: Why kiss and tell?
KS: It was easy for me to write about it, because Iâ€™m so far removed from that character. The person I was in that book was a character. Sheâ€™s not even who I am today. People who know me, recognize a definite difference in my poise and in my personality, because Iâ€™ve grown.
BSN: I agree you donâ€™t sound like the same person, but maybe you had drug problems when I spoke to you.
KS: At that time, no. I was already out of that lifestyle by the time I talked to you.
BSN: Have you burned too many bridges to return to acting?
KS: No, I have no interest in it at all. It doesnâ€™t move me whatsoever.
BSN: Why not?
KS: Because Iâ€™m a power fanatic. I like to own things, and have them be mine. Acting doesnâ€™t belong to you, if youâ€™re not the writer or the director.
BSN: So, what will you work on next, then?
KS: The movie version of this book. Theyâ€™re bidding on the rights to it right now.
BSN: You recently had a tiff with Tyra Banks during the taping of her new talk show. Do you care to share your side of it?
KS: There are a few things that tend to infuriate me. One is ignorance, because I have become accustomed to speaking to very intelligent people like Gore Vidal and Al Franken on a regular basis, since dating Bill Maher. Therefore, when Iâ€™m in an interview with someone who is not intelligent, but flat-out ignorant, idiotic and stupid, or just an ass, it really gives me a headache.
BSN: So, how do you deal with jerks like that?
KS: Iâ€™ve walked out on interviews, when theyâ€™re so beneath me and what Iâ€™m trying to say. And then there are people like Tyra who are hypocrites. Women especially, who have slept their way through their whole careers. And itâ€™s not a secret within the Hollywood circle.
BSN: So, Tyraâ€™s been around the block.
KS: Iâ€™ve always heard about it from men weâ€™ve both slept with.
BSN: Iâ€™d think that the two of you should have had a great conversation in that case, swapping stories.
KS: No, not 15 years later, now that she has her own talk show where sheâ€™s well-groomed, all made up, and has on a $5,000 wig. Donâ€™t get me wrong, Tyraâ€™s done well for herself. You have to applaud her for all that sheâ€™s achieved, coming from that model world, and expanding, which is wonderful. But letâ€™s not pretend that you havenâ€™t done some of the people and things that Iâ€™ve done.
BSN: So, Tyra didnâ€™t want to â€˜fess up?
KS: Anyone in that position, in an interviewerâ€™s position, to do it well, should always remain objective. Thatâ€™s part of the job.
BSN: So, you feel that she attacked you instead of interviewing you?
KS: When someone talks to me, and theyâ€™re personally attacking me, because thereâ€™s someone in my book that sheâ€™s been with, because of the people that sheâ€™s slept with that we have in common. When youâ€™re making me seem like the bad one, like only Iâ€™ve slept around, like only Iâ€™ve dated famous people, then I find it necessary to say what youâ€™ve done. We should just be honest.
BSN: So, she made it personal?
KS: Yeah, and then I felt the need to get personal back.
BSN: So, are you saying Tyra slept her way to the top?
KS: I have a list of names of people thatâ€™ sheâ€™s been with, including women. Letâ€™s not go there, because I am the truth-teller. And Iâ€™ll tell it all. So, hopefully, she realizes that now, and sheâ€™ll stay clear out of my way.
BSN: Do you hope your book will warn young girls of the sexual exploitation, drugs and other pitfalls of appearing in gangstaâ€™ videos which await them when they arrive in Hollywood.
KS: Yes, thatâ€™s whatâ€™s happening. Girls are getting it. Theyâ€™re understanding that the life they thought existed in Hollywood doesnâ€™t really exist. It just doesnâ€™t. Iâ€™m not just saying that because my past is a little skewed and I had a hard time. Even now that my life is great, and Iâ€™m way better off physically, financially and emotionally, I can still look at it and say, this place is such bull-[expletivie]! And it is.
BSN: Where do you go from here, professionally?
KS: Iâ€™m just going to continue what Iâ€™ve been doing, which is writing. The next book is the paperback version of Confessions, which will have more information. Then, Iâ€™m writing a novel for next summer, I believe. And Iâ€™ll continue to write. I already started a book on relationships, on being a woman, and how we mess up our relationships trying to be too independent. I am a writer. Video Vixen was not a fluke. This is what I do, and itâ€™s my job now.
BSN: Well, thanks for giving me an honest interview this time.
KS: Thanks, Kam. I appreciate it.
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