Tashera Simmons: "I’m Not in Love with Him Anymore" [EXCLUSIVE]
How she and DMX overcame their differences to make the show happen
Tashera Simmons is best known as the estranged wife of DMX, one of the most popular rappers in hip-hop history. Fans loved X for his aggressive rhyme style and for being so candid about his inner demons. However, behind closed doors, Tashera had to deal with the dark side of X and says it was more intense than his fans could ever imagine.
Part of the troubled rapper’s issues were his highly-publicized drug abuse -- which has landed him in and out of jail over the past decade -- and his rampant infidelity (which lead to several children out of wedlock).
X and Tashera eventually split and hadn’t been on speaking terms for the past 6 years — that is, until DMX thought it would be a good idea to appear on VH1’s “Couples Therapy.” So far, their road to recovery has been bumpy, but in this exclusive interview with Loop 21 Tashera promises there's a silver lining.
[ALSO READ: DMX Owes $1Mil In Child Support?]
Loop 21: Being separated, how’d you two come together for “Couples Therapy?”
Simmons: X went to VH1 to pitch a whole other show and they thought it would be more interesting if he and I were a part of this project. He told them that we weren’t together, but they said, 'Maybe we can just get a friendship going.' Me and him were really not on speaking terms at all. Just for the kids. I would send nannies when he was in town. I already knew there were a lot of things we hadn’t talked about and I didn’t feel like exploding on TV, but he usually never wants to deal with anything, so that’s what made me decide to do it -- after a week of him asking.
Loop 21: In the first episode, you seemed to shut down when he exploded. Are you desensitized to his behavior?
Simmons: When I was there, I was like, “I’m not doing this on TV,” and then after watching it, I felt sorry for myself like, I cannot believe I was enduring that kind of disrespect and didn’t find nothing wrong with it. Any time he would go off like that I would just ignore him and shut down. For the first 10 years we were together, he wasn’t like that. He always had a bad temper but never exploded on me. It never got physical thank God, because I [would] probably be dead right now.
Loop 21: Last year, DMX appeared on addiction specialist Dr. Drew's show "Life Changers." It seemed like a good start. What happened?
Simmons: Dr. Drew was reaching out a lot; he didn't think "Couples Therapy" was a good idea. He thought that X should be dealing with his drug problem before even trying to deal with his marriage, but X didn’t feel like he had a real drug problem.
Loop 21: How did other people in the "Couple's Therapy" house react to DMX?
Simmons: I think they were very intimidated by him. Angelina Pivarnick [from "Jersey Shore"] wasn’t, though. We were calling her “Little DMX” in the house because she was a mess. All day, every day, she was just cursing [her boyfriend, celebrity chef Chris Nirchel] out. X wasn’t even that bad. And the gay couple ["Amazing Race" winner Reichen Lehmkuhl and model Rodiney Santiago], when X wasn't around, would say, “He’s speaking crazy, girl!” Everybody else kept their distance.
Loop 21: I imagine you bonded with your castmate Linda Hogan.
Simmons: I love her. We clicked off the bat. I called her Mama Linda. She says in her past marriage [to pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan] that he used to be very verbally and mentally abusive. She went through the infidelity, too. He didn’t have any kids on her, though. But she related to my situation and said that seeing X and I made her reflect like, “Thank God I got out of that situation."
[ALSO READ: Tashera Speaks on DMX's "Rape" Claim]
Loop 21: From the looks of the trailer, it seems like your relationship with X moves in a more positive direction.
Simmons: It does. You’re gonna start seeing more of our connection. You’ll see the love that we still have for each other. But I’m not in love with him anymore.
Loop 21: Would you do any more reality TV?
Simmons: Yes I will. I want to do reality TV that’s positive, not that fake ignorant stuff where people just party and beat people up for nothing. I want to do stuff that’s real life drama, the stuff that we go through every day. I just finished my book called “Finding Tashera." And I do a lot of public motivational speaking.
Loop 21: What did you learn about yourself through this experience?
Simmons: That I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. I found myself on that show. You know how you just get so lost in a relationship and you don’t realize it until you’re out of it? Once I left out of that house, I have not been the same person.
Loop 21: What do you want women to take away from watching your experience?
Simmons: That you have to know your self-worth. I really went through a crazy hell experience in my relationship and I made it out of it with no scratches. I just want women to be inspired. It doesn’t matter if they’re famous or not, you can’t let someone treat you however they want to treat you. It’s not all glitz and glamour.
Watch X's antics below: