Exclusive: "Hollywood Exes" Andrea & Mayte Talk Friendship & Goals
The reality TV stars open up
"Hollywood Exes" is nearing the end of its first season, and though it's had its fair share of heated arguments like any other reality show, the distinct personality and path of each woman has kept viewers in tune for another.
Loop 21 caught up with triple threat Mayte Garcia - a singer, dancer and actress - who met Prince at the age of 16 before touring with, choreographing for, and ultimately marrying him, and her fellow castmate-turned-friend Andrea Kelly, R. Kelly's more-than-ex-wife who's now focused on her children, her dance companies and giving back to charity.
Loop21: Why did you decide to join "Hollywood Exes"?
Kelly: People were on my timeline like, 'There’s this producer who’s looking for you' and I’m like, 'I don’t know about this,' but one of the publicists who I love said it was legit. When I talked to them, it was supposed to be for 15 minutes and we ended up on the phone for two hours. We just connected in such a way that I was like, I would be honored to be part of an ensemble like this; we’re talking about entertainment royalty here. It was a no-brainer for me.
Garcia: I really liked the positivity of it. I'm still struggling to get respected as an artist myself, so I decided to do this show because I get to show that side. I get to show that my mom lives with me, that I have 10 dogs, and my quirkiness. I’ve been approached several times to do a reality show, but I just didn’t think they were the right one.
Loop21: Are you ladies really friends?
Garcia: Yes. I saw Nicole pregnant, I’ve known her for years.
Kelly: Yes. Nicole and I met when I was out here in L.A. visiting some friends. She took me under her wing because I told her I was stepping out and reinventing myself. I said I needed to go somewhere new, a fresh start where I’m not just gonna be R. Kelly’s ex-wife. I get it and I wear it proudly, but you get to a certain point where you’re like, 'Who am I in the world? I want to leave my footprints in the sand, so how do I do that?'
Loop21: You two seem to share a special bond.
Kelly: We do. In my world, I feel like an alien, like there’s nobody who understands what I’ve been through. You know how Santa Claus comes and drops off these gifts once a year but nobody knows he exists? That’s what it felt like—I’m here, I’m having these babies, I’m choreographing, I’m on stage with him and nobody ever sees me, so to have her, it was like, we were very connected like twins separated at birth.
Loop 21: What do you hope viewers and your children take away from you on the show?
Garcia: I hope that women will learn from it, get to know us and see that just because we were married to these celebrities doesn’t mean we didn’t go through loss, heartache, anger and fear. It’s the same deal as everyone else.
Kelly: For my children, it’s really about seeing that I went through a storm. It was a hard time for me, but that’s what builds character in my children. I don’t ever want to lie to them and say the world is going to be rainbows, butterflies and glitter because their dad is famous. They need to know there’s a price you pay because of that last name, but hold your head high, square back your shoulders and face the world no matter what. They’ll see that their mom went out and chased her dream. She didn’t stop for anything. They'll see that if I can walk away from luxury, cars, maids, butlers and the world being given to you, then they can do it. If I know I gave strength to even one woman watching it, then I did what I set out to do.