Iyanla Vanzant says Karrueche Tran interview will give women 'a voice'
Spritual life choach Iyanla Vanzant is sitting down with Chris Brown’s model/actress ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran for the first time in an emotional heart-to-heart interview on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
According to OWN, “Karrueche shares her deeply personal story following her recent high-profile breakup with the singer after he allegedly fathered a child with another woman.”
In an interview with theGrio, Iyanla discussed details of her interview with Karrueche and set the record straight on a recent TMZ report that said Brown’s ex-girlfriend “kicked Oprah’s people” out of her home.
Watch a clip from Iyanla’s interview with Karrueche below:
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theGrio: Iyanla, what made you want to do this exclusive interview with Karrueche Tran?
Iyanla: She asked. My understanding was that when the story broke, I think our producers just made a call to find out if she would be interested to having a healing conversation, and she said yes. Of course because it was a hot topic, everyone wants the exclusive, but she gave it to us. It was about having a healing conversation.
When you say the story broke, you’re referring to the story of Chris Brown being a father?
Yes, whatever lead to their breakup. What I’m understanding is when the story broke about him being a father and everyone wanted to talk to Karrueche… my understanding is they were still in a relationship at that time.
Without giving too much away, how much do you think Chris Brown being a father played a part in the demise in their relationship?
I don’t really know. What I learned in preparing for the interview was that there had been several acts of betrayal. See for me, this wasn’t even about Karrueche and Chris Brown. It was about hundreds and thousands of young women who make classic repetitive errors and unproductive unhealthy relationships with men. Karrueche represented those women for me. So I was really delighted to be able to hear her side of the story and talk to her about some broader possibilities.
How much of Rihanna, and the saga around Rihanna, would you say impacts Chris Brown’s dealings in relationships with other woman?
I don’t think anybody can be held accountable or responsible for anyone’s behaviors expect the individual. This goes beyond that particular situation. It goes beyond Rihanna, because following Rihanna, there were bar fights, there were street fights, there were violations of probation, there was anger management. To me, just like Karrueche represents hundreds of thousands of young woman, Chris Brown represents hundreds of thousands of young men who are unaccountable for their behavior.
You sat down with Karrueche. Did you try and reach out to Chris Brown’s team? Do you have plans to sit down with him and talk to him?
I didn’t personally; my understanding is that my production team did reach out to his publicists or management team and they were not interested in having the conversation. That’s my first hand information that is what was reported to me when I asked would he be willing to sit down.
Do you have a desire personally to sit down with him?
I have a desire to support anyone that wants to grow and heal and learn. If he wants to grow and heal and learn, it wouldn’t matter if his name was Chris Brown, Brown Chris, Black, Curtis — it don’t matter. But if he is not willing to grow and heal and learn, my desire means absolutely nothing… he’s gotta want it, in other words.
Did domestic violence play a factor at all in Chris Brown’s relationship with Karrueche?
Not to my awareness; we never talked about that at all. I never heard her say anything about that. Domestic violence doesn’t just have to be physical, it can be emotional, it can be spiritual, it can be psychological; violence in general is not just physical. From what I spoke to Karrueche about, there was never any physical violence between them.
Do you think there was emotional or mental abuse towards Karrueche?
In that particular relationship, betrayal of trust, violation of confidence played a factor. One of the things I asked her that was never really clear to me was, what was the nature of your relationship? What were the agreements in your relationship? It’s quite possible that Chris had one idea of what the relationship was and she had another. ‘Were y’all committed, were y’all monogamous, were y’all one-on-one?’ I really didn’t know. But if they were, if they had agreements and commitments in the relationship, and these agreements and commitments were violated… if trust was violated, if boundaries were violated, if promises were broken… yes, I do believe that is a form of emotional, psychological abuse.
TMZ posted a story about your interview with Karrueche. They said that basically the interview had to stop at a certain point because Karrueche was uncomfortable and you and the OWN team were asked to leave the house. Can you set the record straight on that?
That’s not true. Let me set the record straight. Her management was not happy with the line of questioning because… if I’m going to support you in healing growing and learning, I gotta ask the hard questions. It was her management — it was not Karrueche. I left the house… they never put me out. Once outside, I asked to have a conversation with Karrueche, because I wanted to know her desire. And we, between the two of us, we decided that’s what we’re going to do. The headline didn’t say, “Karrueche Tran ends interview with Iyanla,” the headline said, “Karrueche Tran throws Oprah’s people out.” I’m not an “Oprah’s people.” So that story was totally false; we were not put out. I left, and then Karrueche and I spoke, and we went back into the interview.
Ultimately, what did Karrueche want to accomplish with this interview?
She wanted people to hear her voice. Her experience was that, as the result to her relationship with Chris and as a result of many of the things that were said by her and about her on social media, that people had the wrong idea of who she was. That she was putting up with bad behavior because she wanted an opportunity from him. That she was either unintelligent or irresponsible in going in and out of the relationship, and there were just some things that she wanted to say personally. Again, the blessing and the grace is because of who she was in a relationship with, people would listen. But there are hundreds of thousands of young women who go through that exact same scenario and never get to have their side of the story told. For me, it was more about a demonstration of what not to do and what to do and how to heal from it when you do it.
We heard that OWN is doing the spin off with Jay Williams. What do you hope is accomplished with this series on Jay Williams?
Well you know, it started prior to Jay Williams when Ms. Winfrey and I did two shows on fatherless sons and two shows on daddyless daughters. So this has been an issue for me for a while. Jay had 34 children, but if you saw any of the follow-ups, we found men with 26, 28, 25, 21 and not in relationships. My hope is that Jay will be a demonstration and the work that I will be able to do with him and that he will do will be a demonstration. This is about building relationships, about powerful and positive parenting, and it’s about us being able to see the damage that we cause when we don’t build healthy relationships and when we don’t do positive parenting.
Will he see you on the show?
Oh absolutely, I’m his coach. The only reason I agreed to have anything to do with the Jay Williams project is if it were directed towards healing, and he agreed. This is not the Jay Williams show; this is Jay Williams as a demonstration for hundreds and thousands of fathers.
Be sure to tune in for Iyanla Exclusive: Karrueche Tran Saturday at 8/7c on the OWN.
Follow theGrio.com’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC.