Monday, June 30, 2008

Marriage Confidential

Well the weather is nice, the sun is shining, and love is in the air. So that means it's that time of year again. Yes it is summer time but actually that is not what I was referring to. I'm referring to the coveted wedding season. But before you love birds jump that broom, stomp that glass, light your unity candle or whatever your tradition is, there is one piece of business you may want to have in order prior to saying your "I Dos."

Now I'm sure you may think you know where I'm going with this, but please keep reading before you assume and dismiss what I'm saying. I know you're probably thinking along the lines of what Kanye West said in his song "Gold Digger." "Shoulda' got that insured, GEICO for ya moneeey(your money) If you ain't no punk holla' we want pre-nup WE WANT PRE-NUP!, (yeah) It's something that you need to have Cause when she leave yo' ass she gon' leave with half." Okay well you partially got me, yes prenuptial agreements are vital in some marriages. But that's actually not what I'm speaking of. I personally think even more crucial than a prenup would be a Confidentiality Agreement (Or as I'll refer to it in this blog CA).

Now you're probably thinking as I did when I got married that hey I'm just a regular Joe or Jane. I work my 9-5 for a minuscule salary just to pay my bills and do a little extra, so why would I need a prenup or a CA? Well I agree that for us regular folk a prenup or a CA aren't really things we think about when we decide to get married. That is unless you think those lucky numbers in the fortune cookies may have a chance at showing up in tonight's lotto drawing. So yes pending luck the average person may not require a prenup or a CA. However, you must admit that the idea of a CA is sort of intriguing. So you may as well continue reading to find out why. Lol

Okay so unless you're working a 6 figure job, or have a position of prestige the CA may not be for you. But for people such as celebrities, athletes, and politicians well it should be mandatory. Why, do you ask? Well I'm glad you asked that question. You see we all know that in a marriage you're joined together with a person that you're supposed to be able to tell your inner most thoughts, fears, and secrets to. Well God forbid you and that person split up or divorce for any circumstances. But if by any chance you do, let's just say that the other person has no obligation or incentive to keep the things they know about you to themselves. So, what's to stop them from spreading your personal and intimate business? The answer is nothing, that is unless you have a nifty Confidentiality Agreement.

So what can the CA really do for you? Actually it's not about what it can do for you but it's about what it can prevent from happening to you. Let's look at some examples. You've probably all seen or heard of Tricia Walsh-Smith aka the Youtube Divorcee'. Well in the midst of a bitter divorce she decided that she was going to air out her soon to be ex-husband's dirty laundry and discuss their divorce. But instead of just telling his friends, family, and or co-workers she took it a little more extreme. In this technological age there is no better way to put someone on blast than by using the Internet. And not just any old Internet site, but with a video on

Now I personally feel like she was totally wrong for doing this regardless of how wrong she felt he was being in the divorce. I mean yes he may have told her he can't have sex due to high blood pressure and she may have found condoms, porn magazines, and Viagra but should that be told to the world? That's obviously something personal he didn't even want her to know, let alone the millions of Youtube subscribers. But somehow the media took a liking to this particular video and the next thing you know the video is being played on the news and shows like The Insider. So, what she may have done thinking it was seemingly harmless, has become a huge ordeal. And information that should have remained private has now been exposed on a worldwide level. She's even gone on to do 2 other videos updating the status of the divorce. I even found that she has her own website now where she is also discussing information about the divorce. So I'm sure some of you are thinking, well doesn't she have the First Amendment right to express herself as she chooses just as long as she's not saying anything that is false and defaming his character. Well based off the episodes of Judge Mathis I've seen in the past you would be correct. Although her husband was smart enough to protect his money by having her to sign a prenup, he did nothing to protect his character from being assassinated. However, if he was really smart he would have had a CA and then he wouldn't be going through what he is now. As soon as this video surfaced on Youtube the judge would have slapped her with a Gag Order quicker than a pimp slaps a hoe that's come up short with his money. Unfortunately, he did not and I'm sure his soon to be ex-wife will continue broadcasting his business and information regarding their divorce until her number of hits drastically decreases and no one cares anymore. Also, I'm sure that with her being an actress and writer that this whole exercise of free speech will land her some type of book, movie, or reality show deal in the end. So kudos to Tricia way to get around the air tight prenup her husband's lawyer drew up. I'm sure she read it and didn't see any CA in there and there we have it.

Now speaking of Book Deals our next example comes from the book "Confessions of a Video Vixen" by none other than Karrine "Superhead" Steffans. I'm sure most of you are familiar with Superhead and her book so I won't get into who all she screwed and what she said about them. I personally never read the book, however; I do recall being in a book store one day and reading an excerpt. Well what I read was pretty shocking to me. She was describing an incident that took place with her then (now ex) husband rapper Kool G. Rap. So if you haven't read the book, basically G.Rap suffered from some sort of seizures and took medication for this condition. However, as she stated he was too masculine to even take the pills and as a result on this particular occasion had a seizure while on the toilet. She then went on to explain how she had to wipe his ass so that when the paramedics came he wouldn't be embarrassed. Now as I'm reading this I'm thinking come on now of all the things to tell you had to go and tell this. I'm sure I am not the only one that had a lot of respect for Kool G. Rap. But I have to be honest that after reading this, it's sort of tainted my view of G.Rap especially his hard core rap image. So again, in the case of Kool G. Rap he could have spared himself some embarrassment had he had a CA when he married Superhead.

Other notable "tales from the ex" as I like to call them include rapper/actor Mos Def's ex-wife Alana Wyatt Smith and her tell-all book "Breaking the Code of Silence." Also, former New Jersey Governor (The Gay Governor) Jim McGreevey's ex-wife Dina Matos McGreevey has a tell-all book called "Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage." Actually, come to find out that her book was only a response to Jim McGreevey's previously released book entitled "The Confession." Likewise, famous Oscar winning actor Marlon Brando's ex-wife Tarita Teriipaia released "Marlon, My Love, My Suffering." Next, there is Marc Anthony's ex-wife Dayanara Torres' book "Married to Me: How Committing to Myself Led to Triumph After Divorce." I doubt if Hollywood actor/director Clint Eastwood felt "lucky" when his ex-wife Sondra Locke wrote her book "The Good, The Bad & The Very Ugly." Former baseball slugger turned Steroid snitch Jose Canseco's ex-wife Jessica Canseco is doing some snitching of her own in her book "Juicy: Confessions of a Former Baseball Wife." R&B superstar Whitney Houston's ex-husband the infamous Bad Boy Bobby Brown is releasing "Bobby Brown: The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But." Let Bobby tell it Whitney is the one that turned him on to cocaine. Also, there is a book in the works by crooner Tony Bennett's ex-wife Sandra Grant Bennett that may destroy Bennett's good guy image. Lastly, Britney Spears first ex-husband Jason Alexander is even trying to write a book about their 55 hour marriage. This one I don't understand. How many pages can you even fill up surrounding a 2 day marriage? But as you can see if someone will buy it they will write it.

Nevertheless, there are those not fortunate enough to get a book deal. Therefore, they don't hesitate to accept magazine and television interview offers. For instance Tori Spelling's ex-husband Charlie Shanian spilled it all in an issue of Men's Monthly. Also, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's ex-wife Debra Marshall verbally body slammed Stone Cold on Fox News with allegations of physical and steroid abuse. Finally, we can't forget about the unmarried individuals that never even stood a chance when it came to being outed by their exes. Such as, rapper Nas whose ex-girlfriend/baby mama Carmen Bryan wrote a tell all book entitled “Sex, Drugs and Hip-Hop – Oh, and Did I Mention Love?” Also, P.Diddy's ex-girlfriend/baby mama Kim Porter did an interview in Essence Magazine giving details of their relationship and break up.

Now I haven't had the chance to read any of the material listed above, however; I can bet they all have a central theme. One being long ass titles, what's up with that? Lol. But beyond that I can guess the pages are filled with bitter exes telling how their relationship with (enter celebrity name here) was abusive, how they were cheated on, and how they have been caused such distress and or depression because of the past relationship. Oh and I'm sure there will be tales of alcohol and drug abuse and sexcapades mixed in there as well (You have to sell the book don't you?). Now the rest of the book, I'm sure, will be filled with boring background on the person writing it and their childhood. However, in an effort to get to the good parts about that celebrity they married you'll read the whole book as not to miss anything. If anyone has read any of the above material please let me know if I am on point or not with my assumptions. Now I'm not the one to say whether any of the allegations are true or not. But even if they are true, telling the world won't change what happened to you in the relationship. Perhaps it will give you some satisfaction by getting revenge but that's about it. If you really want to get it all off your chest so that you will feel better, wouldn't a therapist be the best person to seek? But wait oh wait! I forgot to mention the Money! Duh! Of course, silly me they're getting paid to write and publish these books. Well at least be man or woman enough to admit that is why you're doing it. So in the continued theme of exes writing tell-all books I predict that we should soon be seeing books by notable exes such as: Juanita Jordan (Michael Jordan), Shaunie Nelson (Shaquille O'Neal), Al Reynolds (Star Jones), Mary Lee Harvey (Steve Harvey), Malaak Compton-Rock (Chris Rock), and Kevin Federline (Britney Spears). That is unless a CA was signed at some point.

Believe it or not, of all these celebrities, I was only able to find one that was smart enough to get themselves a CA. I'm sure there are plenty others that have CAs and we never hear anything about it (which is the point). But this particular celebrity made news because of her CA. So the award goes to none other than Jennifer Lopez aka J-Lo (I'll accept it on her behalf. Lol). Apparently after ending her 11 month marriage with first ex-husband Ojani Noa, Noa attempted to write a tell-all book entitled “The Unknown Truth: A Passionate Portrait of a Serial Thriller.” I guess what Noa failed to remember or attempted to get around was that he and Lopez had signed a nondisclosure, “non-disparagement” agreement during an earlier legal settlement. So, Noa attempted to black mail or extort (which ever term you want to use) J-LO into paying him $5 million in hush money for not spilling her secrets. Well J-Lo sued him for "violating a confidentiality agreement they had by circulating a manuscript that contained private information about their lives together, report news sources. It was the violation of that agreement that won Lopez the $545,000 - $200,000 in damages for breach of contract, and $348,000 in attorneys’ fees and arbitration costs - along with a permanent injunction against Noa which prohibits him from disclosing any intimate details from their relationship." You see the CA works like a charm every time. Not only were J-Lo's ex-husband's efforts to write a book telling all her secrets thwarted, but he ended up having to pay her and her legal fees in the end.

So in conclusion, let us take a lesson from all of these celebrities that have been burned by their exes. Unfortunately in today's times divorce rates are steadily increasing. Therefore, I do can easily turn into I don't, I love you can turn into I hate you, and I take this man/woman can turn to get this MF the hell outta my face. LOL. So all I'm saying is we all know car/house insurance is a rip off because on average you won't use it and you're usually paying premiums for nothing but the possibility of something happening. But just in case a natural disaster strikes your home, your brakes go out on your car, you want to be prepared and protected right? Well I say the same goes for marriage. Yes I know with being just the average Joe or Jane that having your reputation ruined may not affect you financially like those celebrities. But hell since Tricia Walsh-Smith started it, who really wants to be on the receiving end of the next Youtube divorce video? I know I wouldn't!! I'd want my skeletons to remain in the damn closet like R. Kelly. Although I've been told by my brother that I could talk Jesus out of getting married, that is not the intention of this blog. If you're confident that your future wife/husband will always keep any intimate details of you a secret, then I say do your thing. No CA needed or required, congrats and my best wishes on a lifetime of marital bliss. However, if you're even a little suspect whether or not the person you're about to walk down the aisle with will sell you out quicker than the new I-Phone then the Confidentiality Agreement may be an option for you. I'll leave you with a quote from one last celebrity that was put on blast in a movie after his divorce, Ike Turner in "What's Love got to do with it."

"Eat the cake Anna Mae"


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