“Love After Lockup” Premieres Jan. 12 On WeTV
One of the couples from a new reality show focused on relationships with recently released ex-cons said they wouldn’t want that life for anyone.
“I recommend it not be done,” Andrea, a single mom of three from Utah said of her unconventional coupling with former gangbanger turned rapper Lamar, who served 18 years for armed robbery.
“There’s so much pain, there’s a lot of tears and lonely nights,” Andrea said. “You’re fighting to be together.”
Andrea and Lamar’s unlikely love story illustrates just that: devout Mormon Andrea met Lamar through a church ministry that wrote to inmates. Their friendship began with Andrea teaching Lamar about Mormonism but eventually evolved into a relationship, and Andrea spent the next six years waiting for him to get out, flying from her native Utah to spend time with Lamar at different prisons around California.
“It’s like you’re in a relationship, but you’re not,” Andrea said. “I hid it from my family and friends and my Mormon community. It was worth it, but it was lonely. It wasn’t easy.”
When Lamar got out and came to live with her and her kids, Andrea said she had to accept that she was no longer “the center of his world” as he balanced work and spending time with his family and friends. And then there was the time that Lamar’s relative exposed teetotal Andrea’s 13-year-old to marijuana.
Nevertheless, the pair has stuck it out and are now engaged and Lamar said he hopes the show will help erase some of the stigmas around people in prison.
“I want to take away the stereotypes that just because you’re in prison, you’re a bad guy and don’t need love,” Lamar, who raps under the name “Baby Nucc,” said. “I really love this woman, and I got out and I’m here with her and support and take care of her. It’s not all bad just because of your situation and circumstances. Anything can happen in life.”