Confessions of a Video Vixen

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-01-01
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications

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Part tell-all, part cautionary tale, this emotionally charged memoir from a former video vixen nicknamed 'Superhead' goes beyond the glamour of celebrity to reveal the inner workings of the hip-hop dancer industry-from the physical and emotional abuse that's rampant in the industry, and which marked her own life-to the excessive use of drugs, sex and bling. Once the sought-after video girl, this sexy siren has helped multi-platinum artists, such as Jay-Z, R. Kelly and LL Cool J, sell millions of albums with her sensual dancing. In a word, Karrine was H-O-T. So hot that she made as much as $2500 a day in videos and was selected by well-known film director F. Gary Gray to co-star in his film, A Man Apart, starring Vin Diesel. But the film and music video sets, swanky Hollywood and New York restaurants and trysts with the celebrities featured in the pages of People and In Touch magazines only touches the surface of Karrine Steffans' life. Her journey is filled with physical abuse, rape, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness and single motherhood-all by the age of 26. By sharing her story, Steffans hopes to shed light on an otherwise romanticised industry and help young women avoid the same pitfalls she encountered. If they're already in danger, she hopes to inspire them to find a way to dig themselves out of what she knows first-hand to be a cycle of hopelessness and despair.

Table of Contents

Introduction: NO SHAME IN MY GAME xi
Chapter One: DEATH AND LIFE 1(8)
Chapter Two: TH E SINS OF THE MOTHER 9(13)
Chapter Three: FLOWER OFF THE BLOOM 22(12)
Chapter Four: ON THE RUN 34(12)
Chapter Five: THE GREAT ESCAPE 46(12)
Chapter Six: THE BEGINNING OF THE END 58(12)
Chapter Seven: BREAKING AWAY 70(10)
Chapter Eight: FIRE AND ICE 80(10)
Chapter Nine: PAIN IS LOVE 90(14)
Chapter Ten: AROUND THE BLOCK 104(18)
Chapter Eleven: VIDEO GIRL 122(11)
Chapter Twelve: A MAN APART 133(8)
Chapter Thirteen: MISTER BIG 141(22)
Chapter Fourteen: MIAMI ADVICE 163(9)
Chapter Fifteen: I CHOOSE LIFE 172(13)
Chapter Sixteen: DOG-EAT-D0G WORLD 185(10)
Chapter Seventeen: SUPERHEAD™ 195(3)
Chapter Eighteen: USHERING IN 198(5)
Epilogue 203(3)
Bonus Material 206


Confessions of a Video Vixen

Chapter One

Death and Life

October 2001. I was lying on the hard, cold floor in the bathroom of the famous Chinese bistro Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills. It is one of the most upscale and renowned restaurants in the world, yet I was at the lowest point of my life. With my head next to the toilet, I was alone, in debt, with no friends and no hope.

It had been a long, hard trip that led to this fall. It was a wild roller-coaster ride which included some of the hottest names in hip hop and Hollywood. For two years I rode it out. I was in the middle of it all—dining with P. Diddy, partying with Vin Diesel, going one-on-one with Shaquille O'Neal.

I had money, three cars, a condo in a prestigious neighborhood, a nanny for my son. I had starred in some of the hottest music videos with Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Ja Rule, and Ludacris. I had even costarred in the blockbuster film A Man Apart, opposite Vin Diesel. But here I lay on a cold bathroom floor, hugging the toilet's frigid porcelain, completely hopeless. I was broke, homeless, and probably dying.

The last thing I remembered was my body shaking violently as I sat on the toilet with my head in my hands and my friend Eva hovering over me asking me if I was okay. But now I was on the floor and she was gone. Can I move? was the only thought swirling through my head.

I tried to say something to make sure I was alive. I couldn't. I tried to move my leg, and it worked. I stood up gingerly and made my way to the sink. I looked around the small, one-stall bathroom. It was dimly lit and tiny, yet elegant. I held on to the sink, looking at myself in the mirror. My pupils were fully dilated, and I could feel my knees wobbling beneath me. I splashed cold water on my face, hoping to snap out of the trouble I was so obviously in.

I looked at my jewelry and clothes. I still wore the diamond-heart pendant and the canary yellow diamond earrings that my ex-husband had given me years before. My ring and bracelet were gifts purchased at Tiffany. My long nails were perfectly French-manicured, and my hair was long and black. My skin had been tanned by the Miami sun and my eyes were gray thanks to my colored contacts. My face was made up to perfection, compliments of MAC and Chanel. My jeans were a two-hundred-dollar pair by fashion icon Marc Jacobs, and the rest of the ensemble followed suit. Everything was designer-made, from my jewelry to my makeup to the clothes I wore—even the drugs I'd consumed.

The next thing I knew, I was on the floor again. When I came to from another bout of convulsions, my tongue was swollen and bloody. I crawled up from the floor and made my way back to the sink to splash more water on my face. I desperately wanted someone to walk in and help, but no one came. I began to panic, with thoughts of the late actor River Phoenix racing through my head. Thoughts of him seizing outside of the Viper Room not too far from where I was, on Sunset Boulevard, right before dying.

I thought of how awful it would be if I died in the bathroom at Mr. Chow. I thought of the irony of it all—of the paparazzi waiting outside for Nicolas Cage and LL Cool J, who were both in the dining area eating with friends. I thought of how pretty and rich I looked, yet my life had become ugly and poor. But the most prominent thought was of my son, Naiim. My nanny hadn't heard from me in months and had no idea how to find me. No one even knew my real name or where I lived or who my family was or where I came from. To them, my name was Yizette, a name that I had made up when I was sixteen, during my years as a stripper.

I thought of Naiim and wanted to live. I thought if I screamed his name as loud as I could, God would hear me and allow me another chance at being a mother. God had to know that despite everything I had done until this point, I loved my son and I wanted to do right by him.

I stumbled to the bathroom door, opened it, and began to scream his name into the stairwell that led downstairs into the main dining area of the restaurant. I screamed his name over and over until my voice was gone ...

Confessions of a Video Vixen. Copyright © by Karrine Steffans. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
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