Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
March 5, 2015

'Rape Trumps Race': Is Bill Cosby's Image Tarnished in Black History?

Bill Cosby ASSOCIATED PRESS

As Black History Month comes and goes, television shows that foster black pride also come and go. I understand that many black men attached their self worth and their manhood to the character Bill Cosby made famous. In retrospect, I do not believe we need to look at television to give us our self worth.

Eric Holder: Ferguson Police Created A 'Toxic' Environment

Eric Holder
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Giant X-Ray Screen Erases Gender, Age, Race To Prove 'We Are All Human'

Psa Love Has No Labels
Love Has No Labels

St. Louis Alderman On Ferguson Police Chief: 'He Needs To Go'

Antonio French
Twitter

DOJ Issues Damning Report On Ferguson Police, Courts

Darren Wilson
Scott Olson via Getty Images

Damian Lillard To Make Mom Proud And Graduate College

Damian Lillard
Thearon W. Henderson via Getty Images

Marissa Alexander Speaks Out

Marissa Alexander
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lionel Richie: 'I Don't Think It's Ok For A Black Man To Use The N-Word'

Lionel Richie Kanye West
Getty

Debunking The Myth That Black Men Are Immune To Harm (VIDEO)

Young Black Men
Cultura/Edwin Jimenez via Getty Images

Inside Chicago's Legacy Of Police Abuse: Violence 'As Routine As Traffic Lights'

Chicago Police Brutality
ASSOCIATED PRESS

"It's The Blackness That Scares Everybody": Why White People Favor "African-Americans"

Black Hands
Con Tanasiuk / Design Pics via Getty Images

10 Ways White People Are More Racist Than They Realize

Racism
David Kam via Getty Images

Prince's Middle School Basketball Photo Is Just The Best

Prince Super Bowl
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Creative Way This Woman Is Helping Detroit's Homeless Keep Warm

Veronika Scott
Scott: Jonathan Fambrough, Coat: AOL/The HP

Marissa Alexander, The One Who Lived

Marissa Alexander
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ferguson Police Department May Fold Due To DOJ Probe

Ferguson Police
Scott Olson via Getty Images

Mo'Nique: Lee Daniels Had A Problem With My Oscar Speech

Monique
ABC

DOJ Finds Ferguson Police Routinely Discriminate

Ferguson Police
Scott Olson via Getty Images

New Obama Plan Aims To Get Tens Of Millions Of Girls In School Worldwide

Let Girls Learn
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

This Satire About Race In America Is Seriously Funny

The Sellout
FSG

How To Create A Sustainable Black Future

Ferguson Protest
MICHAEL B. THOMAS via Getty Images

Ben Carson: Being Gay Is 'Absolutely' A Choice

Carson
CNN

NBA Team Apologizes For, Uh, Odd Black History Month Campaign

Kingleonsis
Washington Wizards

A Look At Race As A Social Construct

Twins
WorldWide Features/Barcroft/Landov

Rush Limbaugh: Obama Treats Netanyahu Like He's 'One Of The Cops That Choked Eric Garner'

Rush Limbaugh
Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

Petition Calls On Alabama To Rename Historic Selma Bridge

Edmund Pettus Bridge
Bill Clark via Getty Images

FOLLOW HUFFPOST

    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    3. View all RSS feeds

WATCH: Dame Dash Talks Lee Daniels Lawsuit

Dame Dash Sway Calloway
Sway's Universe

Everyone Is Saying That Will Smith Is Over

Will Smith
Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Netflix Pays Nearly $12,000,000 To Stream African War Film When It Hits Theaters

Idris Elba
Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

One Quote Sums Up Why John Legend Is The Voice For Justice Music Desperately Needs

John Legend Stage
Robb Cohen/Invision/AP

This Is By Far The Best Kanye Instagram Account Yet

Kanye West
Gilbert Carrasquillo via Getty Images

Derrick Rose Opens Up About Gun Violence In New Documentary

Derrickrose
YouTube

Malik Yoba Denies Outing 'Empire' Co-Star As Gay

Malik Yoba
FOX via Getty Images

Chris Brown Is Reportedly A Father

Chris Brown
Prince Williams via Getty Images

T-Boz Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary Of 'Creep'

T Boz
Newspix via Getty Images

Apollo Theater Set To Commemorate 100th Birthday Of Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday
Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

Kanye West Rails Against Class Divisions

Kanye West
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The 7 Style Books That You Should Add To Your Library

Style Books
Amazon

ESPN Anchor Goes To War With Iggy Azalea's Boyfriend

Youngtweets
Nate Scott/For The Win

Kobe Takes Blame For Miscarriage Wife Suffered During 2003 Rape Allegations

Kobe Doc
TMZ/Showtime

Brownstone Singer Charmayne Maxwell Dead

Charmayne Maxwell
NBC via Getty Images

Madonna Thinks Kanye 'Takes Things Too Seriously'

Madonna Kanye West
Jason Kempin via Getty Images

'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett's Sister Played Denise On 'Full House'

Jurnee Smollett Jussie Smollett
Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

Richard Sherman Wants The SuperSonics Back In Seattle

Sherman Youtube
YouTube

Michael Jordan Fails Yet Again To Win ‘Richest Person In The World' Title

Michael Jordan
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hollywood's Diversity Problem Starts At The Top, UCLA Report Finds

Sony Films Logo
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How Vince Young Found New Purpose After His NFL Dreams Crumbled

Own In Deep Shift Vince Young
OWN

Rockets Troll LeBron James On Twitter After Extremely Testy Game

Lebron James
Bill Baptist via Getty Images

The Definitive Ranking Of Every Empire Song (So Far)

Empire Tv Show
Arnold Turner/Invision/AP

5 Dr. Jeff Teachable Moments From Fantasia's Affair and Suicide Attempt

Comments (77)


Two weeks after being hospitalized for overdosing on aspirin and a sleep aid, singer and 'American Idol' winner Fantasia Barrino revealed in a VH1 'Behind the Music' interview on Tuesday night that she knew exactly what she was doing and wanted to die. All of this comes on the heels of an embarrassing divorce case brought by Paula Cook against her husband Antwaun.

As we all know by now, he and Fantasia had been having a very torrid and public affair. There are even rumors that they made a sex tape together. What were they thinking? Once this divorce case is over, it will open the doors to Paula suing Fantasia for adultery and a substantial amount of money, reportedly in the millions. This will be especially tough on Fantasia since she had already lost her first fortune due to a dysfunctional family life and bad business decisions and was in the process of rebuilding both financially and emotionally.

In her own defense, Fantasia has said that even though she knew Cook was married, he told her that he was separated, was not physically living at home and wanted out of his marriage.

When asked what made her want to take her life, Fantasia responded, "I was tired of people doing me wrong, constantly, over and over again, dealing with my family – my father -- dealing with men and their [expletive]. I was tired. My head was hurting me. I was over it."

Though this drama is far from over for all parties involved, in the spirit of the President Obama's teachable moments, below are five Dr. Jeff teachable moments on love, marriage, cheating and mental health:

1. Proceed with caution and don't ever think you are home free when a person tells you that they are separated and on their way to a divorce, especially if they have children. Quite often people lie about being separated so they can creep. The fact of the matter is that even if they are legitimately separated, they are still working out their issues. And even if they are through with one another, they must still maintain a relationship for the sake of the children. If you are not careful, especially in the early stages of their separation, you may become nothing more than the rebound clown.

2. Research and be cognizant of the laws of adultery concerning your state.
For example, Georgia is one of seven states that still allows the parties involved in an extramarital affair to be sued monetarily by the partner who has been cheated on. That's why if Paula Cook sues Fantasia, she stands to take her to the cleaners for her whole fortune. Oh, the good ole South!

3. Don't tattoo your lover's name on your body if he is still married. Yes, Fantasia has Cook tattooed above her left breast, under her shoulder. Now I am sure she is not referring to her kitchen skills! C'mon, folks. I can understand tattoos of your kids' names, or a deity. Bu the name of your married lover!? The same can be said for taking pictures together, texting, sexting and making sex tapes. This is not just reckless, but stupid. Also refer back to teachable moment No. 2....evidence.

4. Don't ever bad-mouth your lover's spouse, don't engage or taunt that spouse in conversation, and for heaven's sake don't meddle in their conflicts. Stand to the side and let them work it out or duke it out. Don't take sides, no matter what your lover tells you. Don't ever forget there are two sides to every story. Besides, it's none of your damn business!!!!! Allegedly, during a phone conversation between Cook and his wife, Fantasia grabbed the phone and crowed: "He don't want you. ... Maybe the next time that you get a husband, you'll know how to keep him. ... That's why he is here with me." Payback is a beeatch. Now Fantasia is eating "crow" and her goose is "cooked."

5. On a very serious note, be aware of the signs of a loved one being depressed and potentially suicidal, either as a result of a love affair gone south or just from the plain old difficulties of life. Luckily, Fantasia had texted her manager Brian Dickens several very depressing messages that he found very disturbing and dispatched himself to her home, where he found her falling in and out of consciousness after taking the pills. The following are some red flags indicating that your loved one may be experiencing suicidal thinking:

· Saying they are tired of, or not seeing the use in, living

· Telling you directly they want to die or have a plan for suicide

· Leaving or sending notes expressing their regrets, being sorry and or not having a desire to see tomorrow or the future

· Giving away personal or prized possessions

· A fascination with someone else's suicide

· Constant sadness, lack of energy or too much energy, crying or being angry

· Depression, other mental health issues or previous suicide attempts or gestures (faking or a half-hearted attempt). By the way, suicide gestures are just as serious as legitimate attempts; both can lead to serious injury or accidental death!

Bottom line: If you suspect that someone is suicidal, get them to an emergency room as soon as possible and do not leave them alone until they get professional help.

Finally, as for Fantasia (we should really wish her the best in her emotional recovery) and the rest of the folks who get involved with someone who is separated or going through a divorce, even with the best and most honorable of intentions, these situations are complex. In the words of the Commodores, "Love gets slippery when it's wet." Therefore be aware that you can end up a winner or just as quickly a loser because you really are stepping into someone else's constantly evolving mess.

About Dr. Jeff
Dr. Jeff Gardere
, better known as "America's Psychologist," is one of the most sought-after experts in the field of mental health. In addition to having a private practice in New York City, he has garnered a reputation as being a top motivational and keynote speaker, empowerment and media coach. He is a regular featured contributor to BlackVoices.com.

Comments: (76)

Add a comment

Page 3 of 8