I was hurting. I was healing. I had hidden out. I moved out of LA with my daughter to an undisclosed location and was scared and was feeling my feelings. It wasn’t until about two weeks ago when one of my producers I follow on Twitter had put up the Indiegogo campaign link, I realized I had never watched it. At one point I called the filmmakers ‘oh my God this is so good. This is amazing and people need to see it. I’m so sorry I haven’t spoken up before. They were like ‘no, timing is everything, you weren’t ready and that’s fine.”
HB: While you were taking a step back from it, Columbus was doing interviews about it and denied your allegations, which led some like D.L. Hughley to make explosive comments about your motivations. What do you say to people who don’t know you who draw these conclusions?
TM: He denied everything in the media and in the press, but when it came time to sit in a courtroom with a judge that’s when the truth came out. He’s a convicted abuser. So, it’s not about is it true or is it not, at the end of the day he’s convicted of spousal abuse.
I was most upset about [D.L. Hughley’s] comments because I was afraid that it could be a silencer for other women coming forward. I just thought that was an extremely dangerous comment and it was completely asinine. I was upset he directed the comments towards me because when my daughter gets older she can read those types of things and he doesn’t know me like that.
For everybody: I didn’t meet my husband after ‘Stomp The Yard,’ I met him when he was a dancer. We came up together. ‘Scandal,’ all of these things exist because of the both of us. You know when Drake said ‘you wasn’t with him when he was shooting in the gym?’ No! Because while he was just throwing a basketball in a hoop she was doing a hundred other things to make sure that he could comfortably put a ball in a basket. So while my husband was off dreaming dreams and doing that, I was occupying every other aspect of our lives. It was a lot to manage. We don’t have assistants and chefs and drivers and things. We had me: Tanee Short.
HB: What will you tell your daughter when you have to explain those headlines to her one day?
TM: I did write my daughter a letter just coming from my point of view. I also wrote her a letter when Tilly [Key] and Columbus had released that video of me [and her in an altercation] in our home because it’s just such a far departure from what I am. You just happened to see the part that they wanted to show, but if you were to see the full part of that story it would look so bad on both of their parts. Unfortunately most times people only get 10% of the story.
More than anything I just want my daughter to take away that her mommy loves her and so does her d-a-d and just the same things my mom taught me: to be strong, to independent, to make your own money, and to never give up on your dreams for the person that you’re with. I try not to have regrets but if there’s one thing I could do over it’s that I think I sacrificed way way too much in order to fit into the confines of my marriage with him. You know he was so big that I had to shrink myself in order to fit into it. As a creative person I felt like I was dying a slow death.
HB: What is your life like today?
TM: I have to say I’m so happy, it makes me cry. I don’t mean because everything’s so great or because I’m getting a bunch of child support money and can just sit around. I have five or six jobs. I do everything. I Uber cab drive, I Lift cab drive, I temp, I teach dance classes, I promote companies, I’m literally hustling all the time. People were saying, “why doesn’t she get a real job?’ and I just take it. People don’t know. You see the headlines and it seems like ‘oh it’s so easy for her,’ but it’s not. I’m living a life of a single mom in a way lot of women out here are and it’s hard. I say that not to say ‘oh feel bad for me.’ I say that to empower women: you can do it. You can get out of that.
My life six months ago was dramatically different from my life now. I lived in a gated community, I had nannies, to now sharing a room with my daughter in a one-bedroom apartment, barely making ends meet, eating food out of cans. This is a reality. But guess what: I’m more happy now than I ever was in that mansion with the pools and classic BMWs, Mercedes and Audis out front. It was really hard to live a pretty and fake life on the outside, when inside it was a house of horrors. But now I’m proud of my life and I own each and every second of it now. I’m in it and I’m in my skin. I love it. I’m so free.
Watch “The End Again” in the video above. Donate to the Indiegogo campaign to help create the feature-film sequel “Openended.”