You never know how a celebrity divorce is going to play out. But in the case of Monica and Shannon Brown, the two seem to be taking the high road. In a recent interview with RuPaul, Monica shared why she’ll always support Shannon despite their separation. She also made sure to state that it wasn’t another person who broke them up.
RuPaul: You’re going through a hard time now with your relationship.
Monica: Absolutely. But you know what I always say this. Even though I’m on reality tv, I’m in front of people, there’s certain parts and elements of it that I’ve never discussed because when you get married, it is between the two of you and whatever happens within it, it’s us and God. And we fight the good fight because we have children watching us. So the reality is that, no matter what happens, he will always get my absolute respect, gratitude and also my assistance in being a part of whatever his life becomes. He’s an athlete. Everything that he does, I’ll be there to support because that’s what I vowed to do, even when the other side of it does not work.
RuPaul: You have a new song called “Commitment.” How has your definition of commitment changed?
Monica: Oh, my definition hasn’t changed, period! It’s the damn same. Other peoples may have different variables. For me, commitment means that what we agreed to do shall not be broken by anyone or anything, period, under no circumstances. I always say I thank God for change because my old reaction to things when they happened. I’ve grown up a bit. And I have calmed myself enough to understand that kicking down doors and smacking chicks is not the way anymore.
Luckily, for us, it wasn’t another person that was the issue but in the times that I’ve experienced that, I definitely act out very harshly. So that part of the growth has been good. Me being hurt repeatedly allowed me to say, ‘Okay, how do you deal with hurt?’
My understanding when it comes to commitment is that we value, honor, respect each other. Period, nothing changes. And that has to continue whether it’s a friendship, whether it’s co-parenting whatever it is.
Rupaul: Most of us would stay in a bad relationship for way too long. What do you say to friends who may be in the same situation?
Monica: I’ve learned some things because like I said, in my marriage, it wasn’t other people that ever was the issue. So experiencing that before, I always say, you should be getting exactly what you’re giving. And that’s with friendships, that’s with working relationships, that’s with marriage. I’m not limiting that to anything. I’m going to get what I’m giving.
Monica is an interesting lady, so she had some other interesting developments to share, including her relationship with Brandy, and her career in mortuary science.
RuPaul: The other day, I tweeted one of my deserted island albums is After the Storm. I know you had been through some stuff before that album. Can you listen to that album?
Monica: I don’t listen to myself, period. Cuz I’m stuck hearing myself all the time. Typically, when you hear a song, you hear three minutes. But for about 17-20 hours, I’ve sang the song repeatedly to record it as perfectly as possible for you. So sometimes, when I leave the session, I leave the session. I leave it, leave it. You know the first time I ever heard myself back on a regular basis was when I met and fell in love with my–I don’t know do you call him your husband? I guess the law says he’s still my husband. He would listen to me all the time because musically, he’s one of my greatest supporters. And he would just tell me, ‘You jamming!’ He even found a backpack to wear to practice that would play my music. So that was the first time, about nine years ago, that I started hearing myself back. And now, what I’m forcing myself to do is to critique myself the same way.
RuPaul: What’s your relationship like with Brandy today?
Monica: I listen to Brandy. I just don’t listen to Brandy and Monica…The reality is, “Have You Ever” is one of my favorite records of all time. Listening to her is super easy. I just don’t listen to myself. She has one of the greatest voices of all time. Her tone is just immaculate. So I listen to her but me listening to me, I just have not gotten there yet.
RuPaul: Did you maintain a relationship after you recorded “The Boy Is Mine”?
Monica: Not at all. We didn’t maintain a relationship because once the song was released, that’s when all the supposed, ‘They don’t like each other…’ and then it was created to be even bigger by the skits, all the different stuff that was happening that came with the song. But since in the song we were feuding, it basically created that atomosphere and it became almost like a real thing throughout our teenage years. But we’re adults now, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Monica: I had a double bunion-ectomy. I have screws even in both legs. [My doctor] did an amazing job but it was worse than having babies. I could have had three more labors and deliveries before this. It was so bad. I was in the hospital for eight days.
RuPaul: For that?
Monica: Eight days and then I found out some other things. I suffer with hypertension for years. And they had to stop my surgery multiple times because I almost had a stroke. One thing led to another. You know you live to learn and I just stopped eating beef and pork. The doctor said everything in moderation but here’s the thing, I’m from Newnan and we don’t eat turkey bacon in Newnan.
Her career in mortuary science.
Monica: My uncle, Gus Thornhill, he’s really a world-renowned funeral home owner and operator for over 40 something years. So before I was born, it was there. Gus Thornhill, he is the greatest. They named the streets and everything after him. That was a family business. So when I was growing up, being the fearless little girl that I’ve always been, I would fix hands and jackets. And my momma would be like, ‘Don’t touch! Ehhh don’t touch.’ Now that I actually embalm and do all that myself…
Monica: It’s not for the money. Honestly, in that profession, it shouldn’t be for the money because you’re doing something that will be life-changing for every person that will view and miss the person that you’re taking care of. It’s very serious. And my uncle does not play any games in his place of business, which is why he’s been in business for 40 something years. And my cousin trained me and kept me there. I went through my clinicals. I kept everything really low for years, intentionally. I didn’t do anything in my real name. I would stay in the back, work over nights. Because I decided that one day, I would open up these businesses as well, in honor of my uncle but also having a built-in-pastor (Monica’s father), just having everybody right there that is good with counsel and spiritual guidance. And me losing people close to me, at 18–I witnessed a suicide, I lost my grandmother and my cousin had an aneurysm the night after we all went out. That was the toughest year for me ever. And that’s when I started realizing, when you see someone and they don’t look like what you remember, it’s traumatizing. And that piqued my interest.
Later, she spoke about her relationship with Whitney Houston, and whether or not she would support a Whitney hologram tour. You can watch Monica’s full interview in the video below. Her interview starts at the 10-minute mark:
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