Karrine Steffans has been called a lot of things – though she's particular about what she answers to and that infamous nickname "Superhead" doesn't work.
Notoriously controversial, regardless of what one thinks of the Caribbean-born beauty, one can not deny her brilliance.
The one-time music video vixen blew the bed sheets off the entertainment industry when her New York Times bestselling tome 'Confessions of a Video Vixen' (Amistad) hit stores in June 2005. The tell-all sold more than a half-million copies and spawned numerous copycat books.
The 30-year-old, mother of one had high-profile appearances on 'Oprah,' 'Bill O'Reilly,' 'Geraldo Rivera' and even became a peer counselor on NBC's daytime reality series 'Starting Over' after the book's release.
Her follow-up 'The Vixen Diaries' (Grand Central Publishing) bowed in September 2007 and while it was successful, the sophomore tell-all didn't move units like its predecessor.
Instead, Steffans made headlines for her confirmed romances with comedian Bill Maher and actor Darius McCrary ('Family Matters') and rumored trysts with rappersLil' Wayne and Bow Wow.
With her new book 'The Vixen Manual' (Grand Central Publishing) preparing to hit bookshelves on July 13, 2009, BV Buzz sat down with the ex-wife of rapper Kool G Rap to separate fact from fiction and find out what's really been going on in her life over the last couple of years.
As only she could, Steffans breaks news on her current relationship status, shares a recent run-in with Essence magazine and opens up about her newfound faith and joining a church.
You mentioned before we got going that you had to change your telephone number because of Essence magazine. Explain to me what happened.
A galley for 'The Vixen Manual' had gone out to the press and Essence magazine, of course, was one of the first people to get it. The woman that I spoke to whose name I can't recall was impressed with the galley and we spoke about the book and she asked me questions pertaining to it. That part of the interview went well and I was very happy about that. When I mentioned something about my current relationship and my current status, it kind of sparked her interest and she began to ask me more questions about my relationship. Unbeknownst to me, she had gotten the phone number that I called from, which was my home number. After my interview was over, she called back like two hours later, which is strange. Usually, people respect your privacy and your space and don't call you. They'll call your publicist. She asked some follow-up questions. I was taken aback by the phone call, but I took it and answered her questions, which were all about my relationship which made me a little uncomfortable. I proceeded to give her answers publicly that made absolutely no sense. I feel that my relationship in-depth is nobody's business at this point. She was asking me very personal and in-depth questions about my relationship. I proceeded to give her backwards answers and things that made no sense so that she wouldn't have a story and couldn't piece it together. Because I had done that, the next day she gave my home number to some other woman at Essence who called me to fact-check because what I said made no sense. She didn't call to talk to me; she called to talk to my husband. He was unavailable and I was upset, but they had called my house again without calling my publicist first. I hung up and called my publicist to tell her what was going on. I told my husband what was going on and he was perturbed by the whole situation. My publicist took care of it I suppose and I changed my phone number immediately because I realized my phone number was floating aroundEssence. For me, it was a feeling of journalism gone wrong and it's gone from journalistic to tabloidish. That's not the Essence that I had grown accustomed to. I was frankly quite appalled by the behavior of the representative of the magazine.
Okay, you've mentioned "husband" a few times. I had already heard that you and Darius McCrary had quietly reconciled, but is there something else you need to tell?
The statement is that Darius and I have always been married. When and where is confidential. Our license is confidential. In the state of California, if you live together as husband and wife, then you can file a confidential license. Darius and I have always been married whether it's spiritually or legally, we're married on both levels; legally, on paper, signed, sealed, delivered.
But this isn't a Brandy Norwood-kind of marriage? You're saying you legally went and got married and have a wedding license to prove it. Wow! When did this marriage take place? Was there a ceremony or did you visit the justice of the peace?
Darius and I are not going to explain when and where we got married, if it was before the breakup or after. I've known Darius for 20 years. We've been living together for two years and we are married. We're a couple. That was important for us on many levels. With the help of our pastor and the help of our church, it was the right thing to do for the situation that we're in so whenever we did it, we did it.
Well congratulations! Now that is the perfect transition into the church topic. I have some friends who attend Living Waters of San Fernando Valley and I was told you had been there.
Darius and I go to a church in the valley in California called Living Waters and we have a fabulous, awesome pastor by the name of Barry Lyons. We were going to a Presbyterian church before in Bel-Air. We would go as a formality, but we weren't satisfied. We didn't leave feeling fed. Darius actually brought me to Pastor Barry and the church. He came home and said, 'I found the pastor and I found the church. You've got to meet him' He had already met Pastor Barry and gone to the church ahead of me and knew that was it. We went in, got saved together as a family; us and the kids. We just started our whole life differently with a very strong pastor a very supportive church behind us. It's good and it's the right thing to do.
This is the church that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are involved in and that Jada teaches a class at. Have you attended her women's class there?
I haven't seen Will or Jada at the church, but they are friends of the pastor and friends of the church.
The last time I interviewed you it was at your house and you recorded it for your web video series. There were rumors then that you were pregnant and everyone believed that it was by Bow Wow. You haven't had a baby, so were you pregnant?
That started on the internet and as far as the Internet is concerned, if I haven't said it directly than it's not a fact. I never said I was pregnant. I just never answered any of those questions because to me they're stupid questions. If I spend my whole day answering rumors, I wouldn't have any time to make any money. I just spend my time making money and not answering questions. I have not been pregnant; I have not had any kids. I haven't had a baby in 11 years. Darius and I have two kids [as a family], but I haven't had any kids in 11 years.
What about the Bow Wow rumors. Were you two dating when you and Darius broke up or not?
I don't know where the Bow Wow stuff came from. It came from an independent blog out of Atlanta who had gotten some information from a source that Chad and I had all of these going-ons or whatever. I don't know him so it was impossible. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Well you're calling him by his first name so there seems to be some familiarity there. I'll let it go though. What about the relationship with Lil' Wayne? Speak on that.
I haven't spoken to Wayne in a while. I think everyone knows that Wayne and I were seeing each other at some point and were pretty intimate with each other until about 2007. We remained friends well into 2008, but people grow and they grow apart. You do your thing; you get engaged, you get married and you just do things. I don't think either of us has any interest in speaking to the other one because we're in different stages. There would be no place for him in my life right now.
Who was "Baby Boy" in the 'The Vixen Diaries' book? There's speculation that he was Chris Brown. Some blogs even intimated it could have been Romeo. Clear the air now and tell us who he is.
I am not going to reveal who 'Baby Boy' was. I think that I've had enough of telling secrets and expositions. I am not and it's for his welfare as well as mine at this point.
So the new book isn't a tell-all. You've ended that aspect of your writing career. What is 'The Vixen Manual' all about?
'The Vixen Manual' is completely different because the first two books were a set of memoirs and what I wanted to do with the memoirs was to get all of me out and done so there would be nothing new that anyone could come up with. I wanted to move forward from the life I had. I released those and let the skeletons out of the closet so that I could be lighter and freer in my walk. I went back to a book that I actually started in 2004 before I ever wrote 'Confessions' or 'Diaries.' As I was writing it in 2004 and early 2005, that's when Harper Collins came to me and asked me to write 'Confessions of a Video Vixen.' I stopped writing this book to write 'Confessions.' I kept adding to it over the years and I would find myself going back and re-reading and fixing things because I kept learning things about relationships and whatnot. I would talk to my girlfriends and older women in their 50's and 60's and older married couples. I would just talk to as many people as possible about relationships and how differently we view them. I learned a lot, mostly from my elders. I learned that there is a need to bring the old-school and the new-school together. The old-school by itself may not work in today's time, but what we're doing now in my generation at least, also isn't working. I figured that if we brought the two together that between that we would have a new revolution and a new revelation about sex and sexuality, relationships and even single women would have a different outlook on life if I brought the two together. In the last four years, I compiled all of these conversations into 50 chapters and that's what the manual became.
Okay. Well name some women that you'd like to have a 'Vixen Manual' boot camp with. Who could benefit from this book?
I might want to go after women who have had the same troubles as I've had; women who have been cheated on, women who have cheated. I would love to sit down with Kathie Lee Gifford and talk about her marriage. I think girl talk with her might be fun. I would love to talk to Star Jones about marriage and dating especially after a certain age. I would want to get her insight too about some things that I have learned about other women. I think she would be interesting to talk to. I would like toJada Pinkett Smith. None of these women are for me to tell them what to do. These are women who I look at their relationships and I want to know more about them and how they feel about them. I want to share experiences so that we can all talk about what we've learned together. I think Jada has an interesting relationship. We assume from the outside that it's very strong and I would like to talk about that with her. I'd like to talk to Jennifer Hudsonabout love and being famous and finding love and being leery about why people are with you and around you and how you can scope out that kind of thing. I'm interested in that especially at this time and this state of her life. She's in a pivotal moment where God has given her an enormous tragedy to utilize His will. I'm interested to find out how her relationship and her engagement is, if it's still on and how that comes into play with what I think God has for her. My final would be Kim Kardashian. I think she would be an interesting person to talk to about relationships. I wonder why her ideas are about dating under the microscope and being so young and a porn queen and dating someone that everybody on the planet wants to be with at least once.
You and Kim could always share your Ray J stories too, right? [Laughing]
[Laughs] I guess we could talk about Ray-J, but actually I'm over all of that. I'm too old to be talking about anybody that doesn't live in my house. I hit 30 and I just woke up and got it. I have a husband and two kids, a house and a career. I had a dog, but she ran away. Other than that, everything is regular and normal. I'm too old for anything. It's like they say, 'I'm really too old for this s-t.'