She’s the woman you love to hate, but Karrine Steffans is laughing all the way to the bank. Her explosive tell-all book, Confessions of a Video Vixen, released in 2005, sent shockwaves throughout the hip hop industry and beyond. Since then, she’s written three New York Times bestselling books, Confessions of a Video Vixen, The Vixen Diaries, and The Vixen Manual: How to Find, Seduce & Keep the Man You Want.
Emerging from her tragic past, Steffans is ready to set fire to her old reputation and give birth to her true identity. Her latest memoir, set for release on June 2, Vindicated: Confessions of a Video Vixen, Ten Years Later, is slated to become another bestseller.
Once a lost soul who was held captive in a vicious cycle of abuse in a destructive marriage, Karrine is now, in her own words, “a grown woman’’ who has finally found her true calling after overcoming decades of heartbreak, despair and sexual exploitation. In spite of the naysayers, Steffans unabashedly continues to use her pain to educate, uplift and inspire women all of over the world.
A highly sought after speaker, interior stylist, and book publisher, Steffans is teaching women how to be the masters of their minds, bodies, and souls. Forget about what you think you know about Karrine Steffans and learn the truth about the woman behind the brand.
EUR.web: If you could squash one misconception people have about you, what would it be?
KS: I think the ongoing misconception, and it has been for almost ten years, is that I live some sort of wild, sex-crazed life (laughs), whereas the truth of the matter is that in the last 7 or 8 years I’ve been married several times and have done very little dating. I think that’s been the number one misconception.
You are harshly judged because of your past. Do you ever regret going public about your journey?
No, not at all. There’s nothing to regret. I don’t believe in regrets. I don’t think regrets actually exist. I think regrets are things people make up in their heads. So, I don’t regret anything. Everything turned out exactly the way it was supposed to. Everyone has a past. So, there’s nothing there to regret and there’s nothing to regret about sharing. Never regret sharing your journey because that helps other people in theirs, so no one should regret that.
In interviews, you mentioned being in abusive relationships in the past. How did it change your relationships with men?
Well, I’ve always been in abusive relationships. My first abusive relationship was with my mother and so, abuse has always been my language. It took me 33 years to teach myself a new language and so, being brought up in an abusive household––never feeling loved, always feeling put upon, being abused sexually as a child, being raped––all of those things formulated the woman I was, who I am, and who I am becoming. So, when it comes to my interpersonal relationships with men, of course, a lifetime of abuse vastly affected everything I did. I always came from a place of abuse, actually wanting, welcoming, and accepting it because that was my language. It never seemed strange to me.
How have you been able to heal and become more empowered? I know you’re a different person now than you were before.
I am actually the same exact person. People don’t change at their core. If you’re a good person, you are a good person. What changes is our behavior. So, I’m the same person I’ve always been. People who have always known me and who have loved me have seen me this way. But, what has changed is my behavior, the behavior I give out and the behavior I accept, including my rhetoric.
As for the healing, that comes from the writing, from living and writing. That’s my catharsis. That’s why I never regret sharing because it’s part of my healing! My writing is innate, I’ve been writing since I was 5, so even when I was a child, it was how I let things go and gave them back to the universe.
Also, I’ve had a spiritual life coach for the last 15 years and I started psychological therapy back in 2006 while writing my second book. I had questions. I wanted to know what the statistics were when a young girl in her formative years is beaten, and raped. What happens to her afterward? I had questions about the self-mutilation and other things that I was doing in my 20’s. I wanted to know where those behaviors came from and it helped me to be a better writer. I write about myself, therefore, I must know my subject. I have to do research on my subject.
The healing wasn’t always easy and it’s still not easy. I mean, every day we learn things, but it’s what everyone has to do, not just me. Everyone has to grow up and that’s what we’re all doing; we’re just doing it in different ways. Some people have help and some people don’t. I just happen to have a whole lot of help these days and a great support system. Plus, I have this wonderful job that allows me to write it all down. It’s almost like a message in a bottle for me. I write it all down, put it in the bottle, and throw it into the ocean because it doesn’t belong to me anymore.
You have expressed your deep love for Lil’ Wayne. What initially attracted you to him?
When he and I first met, we laughed a lot. He was funny and we talked on the phone for a while before we saw each other in person. I only knew him cerebrally. So, we connected on that level first and then, by the time I saw him and was in his presence, what I loved about him was that he always knew he was who he is. He exuded so much confidence and control over his life, his business and I saw how the other men around him respected him. I am only attracted to powerful men because I am a very powerful woman. I tend to dominate men who aren’t powerful and I don’t like that. So, I loved that he was dominant and that I couldn’t be dominate when I was around him.
I appreciated being the lady in the room. I loved that he was a gentleman, that he would always make sure I was okay. If he was out all day doing something and I was stuck at home, he would send somebody back to the house to make sure I had food and whatever I needed. He would make sure, no matter how busy he was, that I was well taken care of. There is still this chivalrous man in there who wants to make sure that you’re taken care of. I just loved that about him. And he loves. He is not afraid to say I love you. He was very loving and trusting of me and very open and honest with me at times. I felt connected, and the friendship blossomed and continued from there.
Do you believe you will be with him exclusively in the future?
Oh, I would never be with Wayne exclusively. That’s not even possible. That’s a ridiculous notion. The thing about loving someone is that you have to love them the way they need to be loved and not the way you want to love them. And Wayne needs to be loved a particular way. The way I love Wayne is the way he needs to be loved by me. I don’t want anything. I don’t want any parts of him. I don’t want him. There’s no ownership there. I think when people hear the word love, they only think about romantic love. People think that just because you love someone, that means you have to be with them, but that is ridiculous.
According to Greek philosophy, there are six different kinds of love and we love everyone differently. So, you have to be able to put that person in the right kind of love and have a different language with them. So, the way I love my son is not the way I love Wayne. The way I love Wayne is not the way I love my father. It’s all different so, you have to put people in the right love zone. The zone that Wayne is in with me, in my heart, is not a romantic zone. It’s not that. It’s never been that. So, we’re good where we are. We’re just friends so, that works. We’re just people who have known each other for a long time. That’s all we are.
What has your relationship with Lil’ Wayne taught you about love?
Wayne was the first person, other than my son, who I loved unconditionally. I’d never felt that before. I don’t love my parents unconditionally. If you are a bad person to me, you’re a bad person. I don’t care if you’re my mother, father, sister, I will cut you off and not talk to you. So, Wayne was the first person who taught me how to love unconditionally. Over the last 8 years, we’ve had crazy ups and downs but no matter what happened, I still loved him genuinely, as a person. Having to accept that was difficult. That’s hard to swallow because you want to be the person who, the minute someone says or does something that’s not right to you, says, “I’m done with you. This is it.” But, no matter what he does or says, I don’t stop loving him. I don’t stop caring.
It became all too clear in late 2012, when Wayne began suffering from seizures, how important his life is to me, regardless of what has happened. He and I had just gotten into a huge fight a couple of weeks before the seizures happened and you don’t want to argue with someone and they die. You start thinking of mortality and what’s important and that’s when I realized I love this person, unconditionally.
Learning unconditional love helped me have healthier relationships, including my current marriage. I will always be grateful to Wayne for that.
What has your relationship with Lil’ Wayne it taught you about yourself?
Wayne saved my life and he doesn’t even know he did it. He saved my life by reminding me who I am and who I was when he met me. I was in a really terrible place in my life, had given up on myself, and was thinking I could never be happy. I was physically very sick and emotionally drained. It was one of the lowest points of my life. He had just gotten out of prison and it was my first time seeing him in 3 years since he and I stopped talking 2 years before he was locked up. When we were reunited, he reminded me who I was, how beautiful I am, and how smart. He taught me to never forget that. I had forgotten how strong, how amazing––I am so amazing and I had forgotten it!
This is the thing about amazing women or amazing people in general. People are attracted to your light because they want it for themselves. It’s like fireflies. When we were kids in New York, we would visit my dad and catch fireflies because we were so attracted to their light. Put them in jars next to our bed, and then they’d die. Then we’d go out the next night and get another firefly. That’s how people are.
I have always been a light; that’s why I attract certain kinds of people. I don’t go out looking for people. I didn’t go out looking for Wayne. I wasn’t at a concert somewhere. I don’t do those things. You don’t see pictures of me out and about. I don’t go anywhere or do anything, ever. People are attracted to me. The law of attraction is powerful and it’s my light. I forgot I had it because the person I was with captured it, put it in a jar next to his bed, and watched me die.
It’s good you’re shedding light on that because a lot of times, when you look at things, people think she met them when she was in a video. Where did you usually meet them?
Wayne reached out to a friend of mine. He had a birthday party in LA and my friend was the promoter. I’d never met him before. That was September 2006. I came to the party and they were asking people to say happy birthday to him on the red carpet, for a birthday video. I left a video message for him, like everyone else did, saying happy birthday and many, many more. I was still standing in the doorway of the club when a fight broke out. So, I kicked off my shoes and ran out, like everyone else. That was it.
Months later, after reviewing the tape and saw me, and he called a mutual friend of ours and that’s how we met. He traced me down. I’ve never been a groupie. I’ve always lived in a nice neighborhood––always. So, I would meet people at places like the grocery store. I’ve met a lot of people in the neighborhood.
Your critics define you in a negative light, but how do you define yourself?
I don’t. I am not to be defined. I am all things. I am the queen of everything. Every woman is. I don’t define myself and critics don’t matter. To me they don’t exist. I don’t define anything. I am a free spirit. I am omnipresent and bigger than any definition.
When you start defining yourself, you put yourself in boxes and I don’t want to be trapped in anything because I will always evolve––I will always change. It’s like water. I take on many shapes. Everyone should be that way and not define themselves. I am everything.
To read the entire interview click HERE.
To pre-order Vindicated, click HERE.