A Jamie Foster Brown Interview
(excerpted from the May 2010 issue of Sister 2 Sister)
Look guys, those of you who have been with Sister 2 Sister for many dedicated years know LisaRaye and I have had our ins and outs. It’s hard fighting with one of your sisters, especially when we’re both Chicagoans, but it’s even more fun to make up. Life is good. Even through our hardships, life is good.
LisaRaye has had some rough times in the last few years including a very public fight that featured folks getting bitten, her divorce and the loss of her “First Lady of Turks & Caicos” title. I don’t know how she keeps it together. Her former husband, the prime minister of Turks & Caicos, faces charges of high crimes against his country, her mom is sick, her daughter was going through the teenage years and she needs to find meaning and passion in a new life. Her reality show will hit the airwaves about the time this magazine comes out, so you’ll go through that with her via TV One. You’ll see me interviewing her all through her show, but you won’t get to see her like I saw her in this interview. I think a lesser person would’ve been in the crazy house. LisaRaye has an amazing story.
Jamie: Okay, let’s do this, honey. I was watching you in [Gang of Roses]. Girl, who is that guy that wrote that movie?
LisaRaye: His name is Jean-Claude La Marre.
Jamie: What’s he doing now?
LisaRaye: I heard he’s about to do Gang of Roses, Part 2.
Jamie: Are you going to be in it?
LisaRaye: He asked me to. But he said that he had Vivica [Fox] slated to do it as well, so he’s a little leery.
Jamie: Oh, he’s leery because of your relationship with her?
Jamie: Y’all got to go on and do that. Now, some people say that you’re selfish, self-centered, money hungry—things like that. Have you looked at yourself? Like, I’ve got people fussing at me saying, “Well, you’re self-centered, Jamie.” Even though I may not see everything that they say, I have to listen.
LisaRaye: You can’t see yourself. … My image only gets out there from what I talk about. I’ve got to allow myself to open up and be honest with me. So if I want to let people know who I am, I’ve got to let you know I’m human and I’m going through things just like the average person.
Jamie: Well, what you’ve gone through is monumental. It really is. So do you think you’re selfish?
LisaRaye: I’ve never heard that I was selfish, but I definitely hear about the gold-digger thing. And I think the gold-digger thing comes from the whole image of, you know, I need a man that’s got money and I want this lifestyle. It’s that they don’t know where I come from. And I think there was also a rumor that they were saying, “Well, if LisaRaye is so broke, why didn’t she make sure that her daughter still stayed in school?” Well, what makes them think that she’s not in school? The whole story did not come out. So it’s really up to me to get that information out to my public, and that’s why I ended up doing the reality show. And my daughter staying in school in London was not an option for her because when she heard about everything that was going on, she wanted to be close to her mother.
Jamie: She wanted to be with you?
LisaRaye: Yeah. Not that I said to her, “Come on home because I can’t afford for you to go to school in London.” Absolutely not. You know, when you’re a single parent you have that drive that’s going to make you do what you got to do, so she could have stayed in school. But you know what? Not only did she need me, but I needed her.
And just her being there made me realize I’ve got to have that same drive I had when I first came to LA with my daughter—and I was a no-nonsense person. I did that once, I can do it again. And this is so funny because Michael and I actually had a conversation about a week ago.
Jamie: Michael Misick, your husband?
LisaRaye: Mm-hmm. I was able to really release my anger that I had for him with respect to our marriage. I said to him, “You know what, Michael? I am so sorry about the way all of this turned out. If I would have known what I know now about our marriage in the beginning, then maybe it wouldn’t have turned out like this. But I appreciate you and I took you for granted.” He took care of me and embraced my family in a way that a man could and should. He didn’t have to do all he did.
Jamie: And what did he do?
LisaRaye: Oh my god! He took care of his wife. He wooed me and he came after me. He was my Prince Charming. He was that frog that I kissed and was like, wow, okay! I think because it was all such a fairy tale, I was in awe. Like, are you serious? And it wasn’t until up into the middle of it that I was like, “Wait a minute; he’s consistent at this, so this has got to be real.”
And it’s not just the big things. I remember him coming home from work on lunch and he would get out of his suit, put on some shorts and a T-shirt and say, “Come on.” I’m like, “Where’re we going?” He’s like, “Come, we’ll get on the boat and go over to one of the other islands and have a picnic on the beach.” I was like, “Oh, my god, he just came home just to have lunch with me.” Those little things mean something.
Jamie: It could be, in the end, why he’s angry and he hasn’t done what you feel that he should have done. He could be angry because maybe he loved you. Sometimes we don’t know what love is. You knew you were in awe more than in love.
LisaRaye: I’ll tell you exactly what it was.
LisaRaye: I was confused. Because when you date someone that is in that kind of caliber, you tend to think that those things come along with the relationship.
LisaRaye: So my thing was, okay, what are you doing to get closer to my spirit, to my soul, to my mind? That’s what kind of person I am. I felt like, “Are you trying to buy me? I don’t want another tennis necklace; I don’t want another automobile. How are we able to come together and build together? There was a mutual respect of, you’re a pretty girl and you’re a smart girl, we can go places, but I like to build from the ground up.
Pick up the May 2010 issue of Sister 2 Sister to see what else LisaRaye revealed about the incident that led to her divorce.