Jessica White states that “The T.O. Show” jeopardized her brand and reputation:
ESSENCE.COM: Ms. White, we loved you on “The T.O. Show” not only because you represented for the sisters, but held your own, including heating things up with T.O. Are you two officially an item?
JESSICA WHITE: We met on a photo shoot. T.O. and I had a couple dates a while ago, but we were friends before the show was filmed and will always be great friends. However, we both moved on a while ago.
ESSENCE.COM: How do you feel about the criticism you received because of your art of seduction when you greeted T.O. in only your lingerie?
WHITE: Reality shows are anything but reality. Creative editing is always interesting to watch and makes for good TV. I was very upset how the [episode] was edited to make it look as if [Terrell] left and came back to find me in his house [uninvited]. I spoke to him after watching it and let him know how it jeopardized my brand and reputation. So I do not agree with the criticism I received because it did not go down like that in real life.
ESSENCE.COM: Many Black women assume that T.O. doesn’t like Black women and obviously you are one. Still folks are second guessing whether he truly does after he seemed displeased to see you waiting at his home.
WHITE: I saw that. After watching the show, it’s obvious that T.O. loves all women. Again, it was really interesting to see how I was portrayed on the show. He never relayed any of those feelings to me, so when I saw the show I was shocked.
ESSENCE.COM: In the past, you revealed that you were sexually abused as a teenager. How has your healing process been?
WHITE: God and my family have been a huge part of the healing process. Also I’m just really coming to terms with myself and learning to love and trust again, so surrounding myself with the people that have been there for me through my highs and lows is important.
ESSENCE.COM: Absolutely. How did your experience affect you spiritually and emotionally?
WHITE: I was a teenager that was traveling the world living the glamorous life, and unfortunately, I made some bad decisions. I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb my pain. It made me violent and drew in all the bad while it pushed many good people away from me. I have recently come out of a long cycle of truly finding myself and what I stand for as a woman and want to be able to pass that hope and understanding along to other young women who come from abuse situations and have hardships to overcome. So I am in the process of doing various fundraisers to raise funds for my Angel Wings Foundation. I’m also writing a book that focuses on overcoming those situations that tells the true story of another abuse victim and how we as Americans can help fix the holes in the system and stop the cycle of abuse.
ESSENCE.COM: Thank you for turning your negative into a positive to help and inspire others in need. So does that mean we won’t see you on the second season of “The T.O. Show”?
WHITE: You never know, but definitely not in my lingerie or in a romantic capacity!
T.O. knows he couldn’t handle that anyway…
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