Tashera Simmons Talks New Book And Relationship With DMX
If there’s one thing that Tashera Simmons wants to make clear about her new book, it’s that you might think you know her story, but you really have no idea.
BOSSIP caught up with Tashera earlier this week as her new memoir, “You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea,” hit shelves and she gave us a very revealing inside scoop on what to expect from the book along with a whole lot more
Check out our interview below:
You seem to have a handle on not being afraid to tell your story without completely slandering DMX. How are you able to find that middle ground?
The book actually is not a tell-all, it’s just telling my story. It’s very detailed, but I left a lot out. And I say that at the end, because it’s not about bashing him. The reason why I didn’t wanna put it out there like that is because for one, he is the father of my children. And even though he’s done so many painful things to me, I still love him very much. I’m not in love with him but, we’ve known each other since we were kids.
I feel like he’s still a human being at the end of the day and I feel like the demons that he has got the best of him. You know, that’s not who he always was. I’m just happy that I got out of the situation. I don’t feel bitter and I feel no kinda way towards him. I tried to tell my story as positive as I could without throwing him under the bus. So, that’s mainly the reason why.
What made you write the book now when so much of your story is already public?
But, see, that’s the thing, what’s already public isn’t even HALF of the story. People coming up to me in the public gave me the inspiration to write the book because I honestly didn’t even feel like I had a story before that.
The title is “You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea.” And the reason why is because at first, “Finding Tashera” [the book’s original title], was exactly what I was doing because when we separated, I didn’t know who I was. I had given literally 25 years of myself to him. We got together when we were 18 and we learned everything together. But he was very dominating and I guess a little controlling and I’m very humble and meek so, I always was following his lead. But as I went on, I realized that I was being labeled as this wife of a rapper who, regardless of what he did and all the kids that he had, people would always say ‘I know she was still good and living in this big house’ and ‘she probably got a whole bunch of money because he’s made millions’ and I’m like, “no, you think you guys know but you have no idea.”
So, I was like I have to put a book out but, I wanted to do it tastefully. I’ve done plenty of interviews & magazines where they asked me to try to throw DMX under the bus but, I was like no. I’m not gonna do that, I’m just gonna tell the story and let everybody figure it out for themselves. I DID put a lot out there [in the book] because I had to, but it’s still not everything.
The former Mrs. X continued to open up as our interview continued.
Next, she described witnessing Love & Hip Hop hot head Erica Mena get brutally abused by her babydaddy and how she was able to help. She also reveals whether or not anyone ever stepped in to help her when she was being abused by DMX. Hit the flip to hear what she had to say.
Erica Mena cited you as someone who helped in a situation where you witnessed her being abused…
Yes, this was before [she was on Love & Hip Hop]. She was with someone famous out of the Terror Squad and we were all in a famous producer’s house out in Miami. And I was witnessing her get beat really bad and no one would do anything, including my ex-husband and all his friends. So, I jumped in and tried to break it up because he was really pounding on her. And by me trying to do that, it made X have to jump in and pull me out of it and out of a room where I was basically fighting them trying to get back in and help her. And she always held that for years before she was even “reality star” Erica Mena.
I wound up running into her at a fashion show and they were like “Erica Mena wants to see you.” And I didn’t know who she was because I don’t really watch much TV but, she came over crying. And I’ve met a lot of women who’ve come up to me crying and saying that I’m an inspiration so, I thought that’s what she was doing. But she said “you don’t remember me?” And I’m like “no.” And she said “I’m the girl that was getting beat up and you jumped in and helped me.” And then I remembered and I was like “Oh my god.” And she said “before you did that, I thought that it was ok to get beat because no one told me. I felt like I was supposed to do what my man says to do.” And she said that he beat her that day because she didn’t serve him first and when I jumped in, she said she realized that it was not right. And that really touched me.
Has anyone ever stepped in to help you or pull X to the side when he was being [verbally] abusive?
Never. Everybody was always intimidated by X. They would say something after the fact, like “I don’t know how you deal with it.” He was VERY verbally abusive… and mentally and spiritually. There was plenty of times in public where he would just call me a stupid b*tch for nothing…like maybe if I didn’t get his boots fast enough…just stupid stuff. Really demeaning me and downgrading.
To be honest with you, I knew it wasn’t ok. But I just didn’t know what to do; I was married, we had 4 kids…I didn’t know what to do without him. I used to cry to him and tell him I was embarrassed and then he would apologize….get me roses….diamond earrings….all of that stuff. For so long, I never thought I could live without him. That’s why I’m so happy today that I’m on my own. And trust me, it’s HARD. But I’d rather have peace of mind than to sell my soul for money & apologies.
And I don’t want my sons to think it’s ok to talk to women like that, I don’t want my daughter to feel like it’s ok for a man to talk to her like that. So, I realized that I had to break that cycle, even if it took for me to have nothing and lose everything; at least I set some kind of standard for my children.
We gotta admit, we thought most of Tashera’s story was already out there, but clearly there really is way more to it than anyone knows.
She also told us about the phone call she got from X when he learned about the book, how Eve, Jadakiss and other Ruff Ryder fam have responded so far, and even spoke on his affairs with other artists/women in the industry. Check that out next…
Did DMX have any affairs with women in the industry that might surprise the fans? Is that in the book?
Yes. You have to check the book out, since it’s out today. I didn’t put too much though. There’s many more I could have said but I didn’t wanna expose anybody. That’s not why I wrote it. That’s a negative that I didn’t want to get pulled out. That’s not really my character. If people wanna sleep with other people’s husbands, I feel like they have to deal with that at the end of the day.
How did he react to your book?
He called me last month when he found out and he was upset and he said “why are you doing this?” And I said, well, number one, you don’t do anything for the kids so, I’m making my own money. And number two, I haven’t died or lost my mind from what you did to me so I feel like I have a story to tell and I wanna help other women. And he said “Oh, really? So you think people are gonna think you’re strong? Well, I hope you don’t put all of our business in there.” He sounded more hurt than angry though, because then he said “I’m so sorry I hurt you and did all those things to you. You don’t need to put the book out.” So, I think he’s worried.
How have the Ruff Ryders camp and friends of DMX responded to the book?
So far, good. I ran into both of the owners of Ruff Ryders and I couldn’t believe it because I haven’t seen them in years. Cause you know, we worked together; that was family. But in order to get myself together and pull myself away from the X world, I had to separate myself from them too. But we ran into each other and they’re in another place now. Spiritually they’ve grown a lot and it was nice. Their father came and seen me speak and they said a lot of encouraging words to me that I couldn’t believe because I really didn’t know how they would respond.
I also ran into Jadakiss in IHOP and it was all love. I actually went up to pay my bill and they said “Oh, Jadakiss paid before he left.” So you know, he was like congratulations on everything. Styles (P from the LOX) is coming to my launch party, he already had his wife hit me. I think that they seen what I went through and I think that a lot of them felt sorry for me but they didn’t wanna cross that line because that was their boy.
What about Eve? What’s the relationship now and was there one before?
You know, I haven’t ran into Eve yet. But, me and her have always been very cool. She’s stayed at my house, I’ve stayed in her hotel rooms in different cities. But, I actually haven’t gotten a chance to speak to her in 8 years. Now that I’m on the road and doing things, I’m sure we’re gonna run into each other. That should be interesting!
Finally, we asked Tashera her thoughts on Dr. Phil punking out when DMX appeared on his show recently, what she thinks it will take for him to turn his life around and whether or not there were any rumors out about their realtionship that weren’t true. Read about that on the final page…
What did you think about X’s appearance on Dr. Phil?
It’s funny cause I wasn’t gonna watch it but it must have been meant for me to watch it. I came in on the part where he started talking about his kids and how he said that they were well taken care of and that right there hit me because he doesn’t do anything for his children. Before the book, I was embarrassed and ashamed to admit that because I felt like people wouldn’t believe me. So I just used to a lie and say ‘yeah, he takes care of his kids.’ But him saying that let me know that he’s very aware that he’s supposed to be taking care of them.
I was hoping that he was gonna show some type of growth [on the show] but, I could look at him and tell that he was still doing drugs. I felt like Dr. Phil was very intimated and very scared to ask him certain questions. And the things that DMX was saying was wrong…..it was crazy! So, it was sad for me to watch that. I still feel sorry for him.
What do you think it will take for X to turn his life around?
Well, it may sound foolish or crazy but….don’t be surprised if [it happens] after my book comes out that he’s so ashamed that I put everything out there like that. He never thought I would take this step because he had so much control over me. But, I honestly think everybody else wants [him to turn his life around] more than he really wants it.
A lot of the crazy stories that we’ve heard about your relationship with DMX have turned out to be true. Were there any rumors that weren’t true?
You know what, there was something that I read on Radar that was totally not the truth. They asked me for a quote on how I felt about him being pulled over for driving drunk and I said “I’m just happy that he’s still alive.” And the next thing you know, they said that I said he was on a binge for a week and he’s gonna die and all this…..and I was like ‘what?!” All I said was that I was happy he was alive. I would never say nothing like that about him.
Would you ever do Love & Hip Hop with or without X?
I mean I don’t have anything against it. It depends on how they would bring me on. It has to be something positive and something that fits my character. I could see myself being on there as a voice of reasoning. But, I’ve been approached to do shows. I’ve also been approached about making my book into a movie and that’s definitely something that I would like to do. My passion is to go out and just speak and inspire with my story….especially to women who were victims of domestic violence. Women are so messed up from that, especially verbal [abuse.] Cause you know for the longest time, I felt like since X wasn’t hitting me, I wasn’t being abused but that was really scarring. It’s been almost 8 years since we’ve separated and I’m still dealing with the emotional scarring from that.
When can people check out the book?
It’s called You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea and you can pick it up anywhere you can by a book! It’s been published by NBP publications, love them to death. And I’m really looking forward to selling a million plus copies. Go out and get the book, don’t let my life story go in vain. Learn from it!
Considering the hell that this woman has been through, she definitely has one of the most humble, loving and genuine spirits around. Will you be checking out her book?