Tichina Arnold recently spoke with Essence about her career and her former cast members from ‘Martin’.
Essence.com: So do you still keep in touch with Martin Lawrence?
T.A.: Yes, I still keep in touch with Martin. I haven’t talked to him for a minute. I talk to his family.
Essence.com: Your best friend Tisha Campbell Martin and her hubby Duane Martin said the beef they had long ago with Martin Lawrence was squashed. Did you ever feel trapped in the middle of that past drama?
T.A.: Honestly, Tisha and Martin never put me in it. They did a great job of leaving it amongst themselves. Although it broke up a family because the entire cast—we were all very close. It was something that happened and we dealt with it, but it’s long been squashed.
Essence.com: A few Black actresses criticized the Black female bloggers regarding the comments and rumors they’ve made about them. Do you explore the blogosphere and read what they’re saying about you?
T.A.: Yes, I love them! I think they are hilarious especially concreteloop.com. I really don’t get offended by what they say. I remember one time I went to this event and I thought I was decked out. I think my stylist was unavailable and I dressed myself, I can’t remember, but you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t looking good and they said something like, ‘We love Tichina, but she looks like Boy George!’ and I looked at the picture and thought, Damn, I do look like Boy George and I just fell out because to me it’s all about comedy. Another blog said I had chest hairs and I’m like, They trippin’! I look good and I don’t have no damn chest hairs (laughs)!’ Most of the times when the media decides to talk about me I’m like, I don’t care what the hell they say as long as my picture looks good. But it’s only when the comments gets vicious that I can understand where folks are coming from about the negativity and hate, but I just don’t take myself that seriously. I love reading the blogs!
Essence.com: You’ve also been under the same fire as Tisha and Duane regarding your sexuality. There have been silly rumors that you left your first husband for MC Lyte and dated her for a few years before hooking up with your daughter’s father.
T.A.: (Laughs) No, not at all. You know you’re not famous until someone accuses you of being gay. I know a lot of people in Hollywood so I can see them making up stuff like that. It doesn’t bother me. I pay it no attention.
Essence.com: Why do you think it is that everyone is so fascinated with what celebs are doing in their bedrooms?
T.A.: Because it comes with the territory. It’s our responsibility as public figures to be cognizant of how we’re being seen. If you don’t want to be accused of being an alcoholic, then don’t be seen drunk. Unfortunately, creating rumors is a business. Unfortunately, you can’t control rumors and I don’t worry about dispelling any because to do that would mean I’m giving credence to any lies that might be out there about me.
Essence.com: If someone asked you to make a personal assessment about yourself what would it be?
T.A.: That I worked hard, I’ve made all the right choices in my life and even in my mistakes that people have and will learn something. I’m a realist not a sugar coater, so it’s not easy. But I believe in always letting people know what their obstacles are. And at the end of the day, I just want to be respected for my hard work.
To read the rest of Tichina’s interview click here.