It was “tea time” Saturday night on Iyanla Vanzant's Iyanla: Fix My Life. Former personal assistant turned model Karrueche Tran, best known for being the ex-girlfriend of singer-cum-cheater Chris Brown, steeped the tea and then spilled it for viewers to sop up.
The 26-year-old Tran sat down with inspirational speaker and life coach Iyanla Vanzant for a no-holds-barred conversation. Themes of betrayal and healing abound, as Tran offered OWN her first interview since the break-up this month after she found out on social media that Brown, her on-again, off-again of four years, was the father of a 9-month-old baby girl with another woman. “One can only take so much,” Tran tweeted.
The sit-down was said to be a “healing conversation,” but Vanzant took the tough-love approach. She drilled questions in that over the top, overly protective mother kind of way. My favorite: “Was there something you saw in him [Brown] … I call it the promise, the penis or the pleasure?”
Initially, the doe-eyed model was shook as a crook. She appeared meek and visibly uncomfortable. Her voice was high-pitched and responses were staccato. It's no surprise that Tran’s management briefly shut the interview down. Earlier reports claimed that she felt “ambushed.” Her reps confirmed certain questions were axed from the interview.
Chris Brown and Karrueche Tran began dating in 2011, after the R&B star assaulted his former girlfriend Rihanna. Their social media-centric relationship was akin to a roller coaster ride. In hindsight, Tran thought that using social media to express her feelings in an extremely public relationship was a poor decision. “It’s the worst thing to do,” said Tran. Rather, constantly rationalizing the behavior of an unstable ex is, in fact, the worst thing that one in a relationship can do.
Denial isn’t just a river—it is a looming cloud that follows Tran. “I’m only human” was the evening’s catchphrase. Yes, darling, we see that you and your erratic ex-boo are human. Let’s talk about why you accepted being treated inadequately. Brown maintained a relationship, of sorts, with estranged ex-girlfriend Rihanna. And Tran admitted to Vanzant that she was kinda-sorta aware of Brown’s dealings. “I was under the impression that it was a friend type of... not a friend, but not what it became to be. I knew... I didn’t want to believe it [because] I loved him.” Years later, Brown would shack up with his future baby mama, Nia Amey, and heaven knows who else.
But, like many in love, Tran was disillusioned and chose not to see the signs. “I wanted to love him. That’s what he needs, love,” said Tran, whose Tumblr page is tagged “ILove. Period.” She went on to discuss her intentions of taking him to church and meditation. Folks, this is a real-life “Captain Save-a-Bro.” Church and meditation, really? As a meditating woman, I appreciate Tran’s noble intentions, and her desire to see Brown in a state of Zen. But perhaps Breezy should start by seeing a therapist. Small steps. Meanwhile, her inamorato didn’t want to be saved and was disloyal. Been there, done that. Got the shirt and the hat to match.
The naïve thing can only go but so far. Breezy’s career and personal life have been completely volatile—mired in discord and tumult. So why would a relationship with Tran be any different? At 26, I’d like to believe that even the most oblivious of adults would be able to identify a cheater when the perpetrator is caught in the act, and photos are plastered on social media. Wait, is that my boyfriend on Insta with his celebrity ex?! Sadly, to a celebrity such as Brown, a cute face is a dime a dozen.
But for Tran, ignorance is bliss. Poor girl. This is the classic case of an aspiring fill-in-the-blank that gets a come up. She wasn’t used to the attention and the pseudo-celebrity status. She fell in love with Brown and the lifestyle, so it was difficult to let him go.
Kudos to Tran. It takes an extreme amount of courage and humility to admit on national television that she didn’t want to acknowledge the “signs” when her beau of four years had (at least one) “side piece.” Still, she came off super reflective and mature—ready to acknowledge that she is also damaged goods, and ready to move on.
A part of me feels for her. After all, what 21-year-old (Tran was 21 when they met) wouldn’t be geeked to go on a date with a superstar? During the interview, Tran broke down in tears and would rest her head on Vanzant’s sizeable boobs. It struck me: Karrueche Tran is a hurt star-struck girl that attracted damaged goods. Segments later the model’s backbone emerges. “It ain’t no making-up right now,” Tran said.
Sadly, my bet is that Tran gets back with Breezy.
Alas, a prayer for redemption. On an Instagram post Saturday evening, Tran recited her hymn, “This is about recognizing my mistakes and learning from them. I own up to all the poor choices I have made and pray for the better. I pray everyday to God to strengthen me as a human and a young woman.”
From Tran’s Insta to God’s ears. May Karrueche Tran have the strength to stay away from male thots forever and ever. Amen.