The blogs and tabloids had a field trip with the alleged story that rapper CIifford “T.I.” Harris fathered an illegitimate child outside of his three-year marriage with Tameka “Tiny” Harris. Though the couple denied rumors that they were separating, as previously reported, they’ve yet to deny the latest allegation.
If the rumor is true, this would be one of similar stories made public over the last couple of months. Basketball star Dwyane Wade admitted to fathering a third son while on break with now-fiancee Gabrielle Union, while rapper Ludacris is also the new father to a baby girl with a woman who’s not his longtime girlfriend, Eudoxie.
Whether on “break” or not, finding out that the man you’re in love with not only slept with another woman, but is going to be the father of a child who is not your own, can be a very traumatic and saddening experience - particularly when the whole world is scrutinizing you like you’re in a zoo for display. Living out your personal life with cameras following you everywhere you go can’t be easy, and having to work through such pain in the public eye is something no one should have to endure.
Rather than sensationalizing such stories, people should really have more compassion for these women who have to put on a brave face regardless of what they may be reconciling from within. To chalk it up as “that’s what happens when you date a celebrity” is not only insensitive, but it’s counterintuitive to the lived experiences of these women, who at the end of the day are regular women with feelings and emotions like anyone else.
But you don’t have to be a woman in Hollywood to have your man step out on you and conceive a child with another woman. It can happen just as easily in “the ‘hood” as it does in Beverly Hills.
While the debate on whether men can truly be faithful is one that is deeply complex and overdone, what can be said about such messy predicaments is that the women who are more or less victims in these circumstances - particularly those who decide to stay - don’t get the credit they deserve. It takes an incredibly strong and resilient woman to look in the face of the man she loves and say ‘I forgive you’, after he’s hurt her in such an intimate and violating way. Not only does she have to come to terms with the reality that he shared his body with another woman, but she has to then embrace the child (who’s an innocent bystander) with open arms, when really it’s only a constant reminder of the betrayal.
How women are able to move forward from such hurt is profound. They say “hell has no fury like a woman scorned,” but there’s nothing more courageous and admirable than one who keeps her composure (at least in public) despite her personal agony.
(Photos from left: Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)