Confessions of a Video Vixen,
by Karrine Steffans
By Allison Samuels
Updated: 2:33 p.m. ET June 26, 2005
July 4, 2005 issue - Most likely you've never heard Karrine Steffans's name, but perhaps you've seen her ... face, in such hip-hop videos as Jay-Z's "Hey Papi" and Mystikal's "Dangerous," or opposite Vin Diesel in "A Man Apart." A few years ago, Steffans was not only a booty-shaking, breast-implanted video queen, but arm candy (and, she claims, much more) for some of the most famous men in hip-hop, Hollywood and sports. She shopped at the best stores, went to the best parties and even enjoyed a four-month period during which, she says, one superstar athlete was depositing $10,000 a month in her personal account so she'd be available at his whim. Steffans not only offers scandalous details but names names in a book called "Confessions of a Video Vixen," scheduled to be in stores next week. "I wasn't trying to hurt or embarrass anybody with my story," Steffans told NEWSWEEK. "Because that's what it is—my story, not theirs. It describes what happened to me in graphic detail. I'm just putting it out there as plain as I can. But it's only about 40 percent of everything that happened."
It's more than enough. Some of what Steffans relates is funny, like the night a substance-fueled entertainer supposedly told her he was a member of Al Qaeda, in regular touch with Osama bin Laden. Her personal history is not. She describes having an absentee father, getting raped at 15, stripping, marrying Mr. Wrong, cruising through a few years of celebrity hookups and, in 2001, overdosing on a cocktail of drugs and finally understanding that the party was over. "It sounds dumb," Steffans says, "but I really thought these men cared at least a little bit, and would be there for me if I asked. I'd never done anything to hurt them. But when I was homeless and fighting for my life, no one cared. This is the story that young women watching BET don't see. And I know it was meant for me to tell them."
You may have noticed by now that we're not actually mentioning any of those famous names (except for bin Laden's). Gilda Squire, associate director of PR at Amistad/HarperCollins, says the book was fact-checked against newspaper reports, magazine articles and people "familiar with" the celebrities in question. NEWSWEEK put in calls to three of them. One rep had no comment; one star said, "I can't believe this is happening," and another said he "didn't give a f---" what Steffans had written. Her stories, true or not, may prove so embarrassing that no celebrity would want them aired in court. But somehow we get the idea that we haven't heard the last of her. Steffans—who says she's now in a "very satisfying" relationship with Bill Maher—is at work on a novel and in negotiations for a movie and, inevitably, a reality show. It won't be called "Dancing With the Stars."
July 3, 2005
By LOLA OGUNNAIKE
IN the world of hip-hop secrets are sacred.
Given the opportunity to testify against members of her former rap group concerning a shootout outside a radio station in 2001, the rapper Lil' Kim chose instead to protect them. She was convicted of perjury and now faces up to 30 years in prison.
At a recent concert in New York, the West Coast rapper The Game accused a former boss, the rapper 50 Cent, of being a prosecutor-friendly snitch, the ultimate pejorative in the streets where hip-hop was born.
So it came as a surprise, if not a shock, in the urban music world last week when one of its most celebrated groupies and video dancers, Karrine Steffans, released a tell-all book that catalogs in graphic detail the sexual escapades she claims to have had with some of the biggest stars in the industry, one that has furthered a kind of streetwise policy of don't ask, don't tell.
The book, "Confessions of a Video Vixen," published by Amistad, a subsidiary of HarperCollins, reads like a Who's Who of urban music. Since it was released on Tuesday, it has been the talk of urban radio, and that night it was all the buzz at the BET awards in Los Angeles, with an astonished "Can you believe that?" a common refrain.
But the question has cut two ways; it has been as much about Ms. Steffans's audacity in writing the book as about the veracity of her kiss-and-dish tales.
"In rap there is an omerta, a code of silence," said Minya Oh, a popular D.J. for Hot 97, New York's leading urban music radio station. "You do your dirt, everyone knows you do your dirt, but no one talks about it." Ms. Steffans, she said, has "violated that code and chosen to talk about everything."
Groupies who publish scandal-sheet memoirs of wild days in the back of tour buses or debauched nights in hotel suites are nothing new to the rock world. But Ms. Steffans is the first to pull back the covers on the hip-hop industry.
"We've had to listen to rappers brag about their conquests for ages in their music," said Jawn Murray, a popular gossip columnist for America Online's "Black Voices." "Karrine is the first female to flip the script and brag about her conquests with actual names, and that's making a lot - and I do mean a lot - of people uncomfortable."
At the BET ceremony, he said, one young rapper was eager to know if the book mentioned him. "You could tell he was really nervous because their relationship did not end on the best of terms," Mr. Murray said.
Of the many men mentioned in the book, only the singer Bobby Brown, husband of Whitney Houston, commented on Ms. Steffans's allegations. In a recent interview he called Ms. Steffans's claims "a complete fabrication."
"Karrine is a liar," said Mr. Brown, who cuddles with Ms. Steffans in a photo in "Confessions." "I should sue her." Then he seemed to change his mind. "Nah," he said, "I'll just leave her alone." The book features a gallery of photos of Ms. Steffans with other rap figures like Ja Rule, DMX and Irv Gotti.
Dawn Davis, vice president of Amistad, said the publishing house stood by Ms. Steffans's assertions in the book. "We were very careful in the vetting process," Ms. Davis said, "and those things that we were uncomfortable with were left out."
Interviewed at her home in Los Angeles, Ms. Steffans said she had actually spared the men in her book. "The things that I wrote are mild compared to the things that I could have said, if I was trying to be nasty," she said.
The first chapters portray Ms. Steffans as having had a troubled life: reared by an abusive mother, raped by a thug in her early teens, saddled with a tumultuous marriage to the rap pioneer Kool G. Rap, with whom she had a son. But it was her breakup with Ja Rule, star of the hip-hop collective Murder Inc., that really set her on a self-destructive path, she said.
"After the thing was over with Ja, I think I went a little crazy searching for his replacement," she said. "Once something was over with one of them, even if it ended horribly, that would only make me want to regain what I thought I had."
In writing "Confessions," Ms. Steffans drew from stacks of journals and mementos from her high-flying days. "It got to a point where I was reading this stuff and thinking, 'Ooh, that's nasty.' " She cringed. "I was where, doing what, with who? Everything that I read disgusted me."
Ms. Steffans said she was particularly bothered by her inability to see her relationships for exactly what they were: meaningless at best and harmful at worst.
"Every other page is about some guy that I loved," she said, clutching her heart. "Every other month it was somebody that I met that was so wonderful."
Ms. Steffans, who said she has never had a 9-to-5 job, said her lovers often wired money into her bank account, up to $10,000 a month. In exchange she had to be ready and willing to have sex.
"There was an obligation to be with that person even when I didn't feel like it," she said. "I couldn't say no."
Asked whether she thought she had prostituted herself, she replied: "Absolutely. I think that I have sold so much of myself for so little." Asked what made her pursue this kind of life, Ms. Steffans blamed her tortured childhood. "I never heard 'I love you' as a child," she said. "I never felt pretty or cared for. With these men, I felt glamorous and powerful, and I did feel loved."
She views her memoir as equal parts cautionary tale and therapeutic confessional. "I wasn't going to get better unless I said something and said it out loud," she said. Ms. Steffans, who is dating the comedian Bill Maher, said her career as an author had only just begun. Next up, a Jackie Collins-inspired novel in which names are changed to protect the not-so-innocent.
For now, she said, her former lovers, those who do not appear in "Confessions," can breathe easy.
"Trust me," she said. "There are a lot of happy people wiping their brows right now."
DAILY ● NEWS
Originally published on June 29, 2005
Daily News The Front Page
'Video Vixen' memoir star-studded
Hip-hop and Hollywood playas are ducking for cover now that everyone's favorite fly girl is telling all. After intensive vetting by lawyers, HarperCollins has gone to press with Karrine Steffans' "Confessions of a Video Vixen."
Widely known as "Superhead" (no doubt because of her large cranium), Steffans doesn't hold back when it comes to dishing about her famous lovers. The video-eye-candy-turned-author claims:
· Shaquille O'Neal "was charmingly self-effacing about his sexual prowess and wanted to reduce my expectations," she writes. But "compared to other men," she assures readers, "he was nothing to complain about." She says that Shaq was so impressed with Steffans that, the day after meeting her, he deposited $10,000 into her bank account.
· A small part in "A Man Apart" allowed Steffans to discover that star
Vin Diesel was "a beautiful man ... blessed with an enviable eight-pack and an even more enviable [bleep]."
· After hearing so much about Fred Durst's stature, she gushed, "to actually hold him ... felt like a privilege."
· Sex with "insatiable" producer Irv Gotti "became more like a boxing match." During their affair, Steffans claims, Gotti lent her to his friends as he saw fit.
· After inviting her to his home at 4 a.m., Sean (P. Diddy) Combs kicked his manservant Fonzworth Bentley out of a guest bedroom so he and Steffans could spend 15 minutes making love. "You're one of the best," she says P. Diddy told her. Steffans writes: "I said the same to him, when, in actuality, he was average." Ouch.
· Steffans says she got around to Whitney Houston's husband, Bobby Brown, in late 2002. Steffans says she never saw him do drugs. But she worried for his mental health during a frantic encounter where "he told me he was a member of Al Qaeda and that President Bush was looking for him."
· She made Ja Rule promise to "always come back." But after he slipped out one morning before she woke up, "I looked around for something to take with me, something that would smell like him but wouldn't be missed. On the floor I found a balled-up sock, and I placed it to my face and got the fix I was searching for." Sniff.
· Steffans also tells the whole story of her back-of-the-limo tryst with Usher.
None of the stars' reps we called yesterday responded by deadline. Their handlers can at least take comfort in knowing that, after years of self-destructive star-chasing, Steffans now says, "I am my own woman and look for no one to complete me."
Bunky split not hunky-dory
Nerves may be starting to fray in the bitter divorce of publishing heir John (Bunky) Hearst and his estranged wife, Barbara.
The 71-year-old Bunky didn't show up at the couple's Manhattan Supreme Court trial yesterday because his lawyer, Sharon Stein, said he was suffering from an "anxiety attack."
Stein inflicted a little anxiety of her own on Barbara Hearst, alleging that, during the 15-year marriage, Barbara had two affairs - one of which resulted in the death of her lover.
Stein claimed that, in July 1999, Barbara came over to the home of Hamptons neighbor Gary Swanalander for a romp.
"Mr. Swanalander obtained Viagra without a prescription in anticipation of his tryst with Mrs. Hearst," Stein claimed. During Barbara's visit, Stein said, Swanalander suffered a heart attack.
According a police report, the lawyer said, the deceased was found naked.
Barbara admitted on the stand that she had called 911 but denied having an affair, insisting that she'd simply come to Swanalander's house for lunch and that he'd expired when he went upstairs to change after gardening.
Stein also claimed in her opening statement that Barbara had had a fling with Charles Shawcroft, a contractor she hired to renovate her husband's boat, The Charlotte Lady.
Neither Barbara nor her lawyer, Peter Bronstein, commented on this claim. But Barbara admitted she commissioned the $1.2 million job even though she knew Bunky, who suffered a stroke in 1989, "couldn't get on or off the Lady."
Still unclear is whether Judge Laura Visitacion Lewis will allow a report from a nurse who allegedly claimed Bunky asked her for oral sex.
Seeking to defuse that charge, Bunky's lawyers called on another supervising nurse, Ellen Stahl, who testified that Barbara stopped sleeping with Bunky in 1995. Stein said Barbara permitted her husband the outlet of a "sexual surrogate."
Judge Lewis has urged both parties to reconsider a settlement in order "to avoid what could be a very painful and embarrassing trial." But it may be too late for that.
Kiefer's comic relief
It's been hot this week in Toronto - if Kiefer Sutherland is any barometer.
The "24" star, who's up there filming "The Sentinel," was partying so fiercely Monday night that he stripped off his shirt - much to the delight of female patrons at Trattoria Vaticano.
The actor, who was smoking two cigarettes, has a history of shedding his clothes in public places. In January 2004, he was photographed with his pants down in an L.A. restaurant. This time, he stuck pink flowers down the front and back of his jeans.
Around 2:30 a.m., he decided to head home. A paparazzo hiding behind garbage bags outside claims that Sutherland was about to relieve himself on the trash - that is, until the lensman jumped up and started snapping.
"Kiefer was just joking around," says Sutherland's rep, who denies her client really intended to spritz the photog.
Two Posties free at last!
Two crippling defections at the New York Post will have the Murdoch-subsidized 'bloid limping even more than usual.
Features editor Faye Penn will bring her prodigious talents to New York magazine, and features art director Shanti Marlar will beautify Us Weekly - major coups for editors Adam Moss and Janice Min, respectively.
Guess Penn and Marlar didn't want to be so fair and balanced any longer.
Bono is demanding his hat, earrings and sweatshirt back from a former stylist who picked up the U2 keepsakes at a photo shoot. The rocker has gone to court in Dublin to stop her from selling them. Meanwhile, New York-based Irishman Terence Mulligan will have a show of his "Celebrities Suck" fashion line tonight at Pioneer Bar at 218 Bowery...
Sexy "CSI: NY" star Hill Harper just inked a deal with Gotham Books to publish "Letters to a Young Brother," a motivational book based on Harper's experience as a mentor that includes testimonials from pals like Vivica A. Fox and New York Jet Curtis Martin. Look for it next spring.
With Ben Widdicombe, Jo Piazza and Chris Rovzar
This time the Ben and Jen story is true
Need any more evidence that all is not right with R&B bad boy Bobby Brown? In her new book, ''Confessions of a Video Vixen," Karrine Steffans writes about a bizarre romantic interlude she claims she had with Whitney Houston's husband in 2002. Steffans claims some of her other conquests include Shaquille O'Neal, Irv Gotti, Vin Diesel, P. Diddy, and Fred Durst. She says Brown was one weird dude during their date, telling her ''he was a member of Al Qaeda and that President Bush was looking for him."
July 22, 2005, 1:02PM
Rap-video babe tells all
Beneath the lurid details lies a cautionary tale
By DOUG LYONS
CONFESSIONS OF A VIDEO VIXEN.
By Karrine Steffans.
Amistad, 224 pp. $24.95.
Confessions of a Video Vixen isn't the first story about a starry-eyed babe who gets caught up and turned out by the glamorized world of entertainment.
In fact, Karrine Steffans has penned an all-too-familiar tale: Pretty girl with low self-esteem uses her body to find fame, fortune and love in all the wrong places with all the wrong guys.
Underneath this graphic din of sex, drugs and hip-hop is the memoir of a young woman struggling to survive the trappings of stardom. The streets of Hollywood, New York and South Beach are littered with women who have perfect figures and broken dreams. Confessions doesn't break any new ground in that regard.
The story begins at Steffans' darkest moment in the bathroom of a Beverly Hills hotspot. It's not a very pretty scene for a supposedly well-paid and well-connected video vixen, but it's the starting point of a long road to redemption. From there, she takes us back to her childhood in the Virgin Islands. A mother Steffans simply hated moved her to Florida and eventually forced her to relocate to Arizona to live with a father who had abandoned them years earlier.
There was an abusive marriage to a struggling rap star in Arizona, which produced a child but ultimately ended in divorce. Steffans moves to Los Angeles to make a better life for herself and her son, and the story goes downhill from there.
Unfortunately, Steffans didn't know it. She discovered the power of a beautiful body and a desire to please influential men. She was meeting some of the biggest names in entertainment and was on her way to becoming a star in her field, appearing in music videos with some of the hottest rappers around. She even co-starred in a movie.
Her lifestyle came at a price. She often found favor with men in exchange for her sexual favors. Her antics provided her with money to pay both her bills and her more lavish indulgences; but at times, she was nothing more than a sultry party favor. But, Steffans went along for the ride — literally.
Though the book is billed as a "tell-all memoir," Steffans admits that she isn't telling everything. Still, she shares intimate details of trysts with well-known rap artists, athletes and entertainers. There are familiar names to go with the sex.
Steffans, of course, can't keep pace as the alcohol, drugs and sex take their toll. Her celebrity friends and lovers abandon her, and after hitting rock bottom, she begins the long road back to a more fulfilling life that no longer depends on how well an influential man regards her. Suffice it to say, there's a happy ending.
Still, Confessions is an easy, entertaining read, almost like getting lost in the pages of the National Enquirer while waiting in a crowded checkout line. The book works better on audiotape. Steffans does the narration herself, and the authenticity of telling her life's story comes through.
More important, though, the book is a cautionary tale that contains a timeless message to a new generation of women who believe shaking their rumps on a rap video can lead to a better life. It's not that easy.
Too bad Steffans can't get her story on BET Uncut.
Doug Lyons wrote this for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Video vixen reveals all in star-studded memoir
By George Rush and Joanna Molloy
Tribune Media Services
Originally published July 4, 2005
HIP-HOP AND Hollywood playas are ducking for cover now that everyone's favorite fly girl is telling all. After intensive vetting by lawyers, HarperCollins has gone to press with Karrine Steffans’Confessions of a Video Vixen.
Steffans doesn't hold back when it comes to dishing about her famous lovers. The video-eye-candy-turned-author claims:
Shaquille O'Neal "was charmingly self-effacing about his sexual prowess and wanted to reduce my expectations," she writes. But "compared to other men," she assures readers, "he was nothing to complain about." She says that Shaq was so impressed with her that, the day after meeting her, he deposited $10,000 into her bank account.
A small part in A Man Apart allowed Steffans to discover that star Vin Diesel was "a beautiful man ... blessed with an enviable eight-pack and an even more enviable (bleep)."
After hearing so much about Fred Durst's stature, she gushed, "to actually hold him ... felt like a privilege."
Sex with "insatiable" producer Irv Gotti "became more like a boxing match." During their affair, Steffans claims, Gotti lent her to his friends as he saw fit.
After inviting her to his home at 4 a.m., Sean "P. Diddy" Combs kicked his manservant Fonzworth Bentley out of a guest bedroom so he and Steffans could spend 15 minutes making love. "You're one of the best," she says P. Diddy told her. Steffans writes: "I said the same to him, when, in actuality, he was average." Ouch.
Steffans says she got around to Whitney Houston's husband, Bobby Brown, in late 2002. Steffans says she never saw him do drugs. But she worried for his mental health during a frantic encounter where "he told me he was a member of al-Qaida and that President Bush was looking for him."
She made Ja Rule promise to "always come back." But after he slipped out one morning before she woke up, "I looked around for something to take with me, something that would smell like him but wouldn't be missed. On the floor I found a balled-up sock, and I placed it to my face and got the fix I was searching for." Sniff.
Steffans also tells the whole story of her back-of-the-limo tryst with Usher.
None of the stars' reps we called responded by deadline. Their handlers can at least take comfort in knowing that after years of self-destructive star-chasing, Steffans now says, "I am my own woman and look for no one to complete me."
Jul 17 2005
ENTERTAINMENT EMAIL: KISS 'N' TELL BOOK ROCKS US CELEBS
A SENSATIONAL kiss and tell book has rocked some of America's biggest stars.
Music video star Karrine Steffans’ autobiography Confessions Of A Video Vixen details her lurid romps with stars including Bobby Brown, P. Diddy and Shaquille O'Neal.
Karrine, 26, says: 'I wasn't trying to hurt anybody with my story. Because that's what it is - my story, not theirs.'
Publishers are now considering a UK edition of the book in which she claims rap star Sean P. Diddy Combs romped with her at a party.
'You're one of the best,' she says the 35-year-old told her, adding, 'I said the same to him, when, in actuality, he was average.'
She claims she and singer Brown, 36, got together in 2002 but she began to have concerns about his mental state when 'he told me he was a member of al-Qaeda and President Bush was looking for him'.
She also describes basketball star O'Neal, 33, as 'charmingly self-effacing' about his sexual prowess and says: 'He wanted to reduce my expectations but compared to other men he was nothing to complain about
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I have been waiting a long time for this book. Karrine “Superhead” Steffans new tell all book is out, and I can’t wait to read this shit.
Former “video hoe”, Karrine Steffans aka Superhead ("superior brain or a very smart person. Or it can mean your girl can suck the shit outta your dick.") is known as the most sought after dick sicker in the hip hop industry who has fucked with numerous celebrities like Ja Rule, Jay Z, DMX, P. Diddy, Irv Gotti, Shaquille O’Neal etc... if you get my drift.
Shaquille O'Neal "was charmingly self-effacing about his sexual prowess and wanted to reduce my expectations," she writes. But "compared to other men," she assures readers, "he was nothing to complain about." She says that Shaq was so impressed with Steffans that, the day after meeting her, he deposited $10,000 into her bank account.
Vin Diesel was "a beautiful man ... blessed with an enviable eight-pack and an even more enviable [bleep]."
After inviting her to his home at 4 a.m., Sean (P. Diddy) Combs kicked his manservant Fonzworth Bentley out of a guest bedroom so he and Steffans could spend 15 minutes making love. "You're one of the best," she says P. Diddy told her. Steffans writes: "I said the same to him, when, in actuality, he was average." Ouch.
Rumors have been circulating that some nameless black celebs have contacted top execs at B.E.T. to try and get 'SUPERHEAD' uninvited to the event for obvious reasons, but their efforts may be in vain. According to sources, she will most likely receive a chilly reception from both music and sports celebs in attendance if she decides to make an appearance. But is it possible that B.E.T. made the choice to invite Steffans just so she could help the event bring in a big ratings boost for the network? Why don't you check your tape or watch the replay and see how many times the camera panned in on her in the audience. Steffan's was escorted by Bill Maher and it's no secret that he likes chocolate. He was once involved with Heather Hunter and he was also involved with a fomer flight-attendant who goes by the name Coco (real name Nancy Johnson). According the Smoking Gun, Johnson is suing Maher for $9 million. She alleges that Maher consistently physically, mentally and verbally abused her during their 17 month relationship by subjecting her to 'insulting, humiliating and degrading racial comments. She also claims that Maher reneged on promises to marry her and have children, as well as buying her a Beverly Hills home. Steffans new book, 'Confessions of a Video Vixen' was released on June 28, the same day the B.E.T. awards.
Glass vases filled with marbles crashed all around us as he began tossing linens from the bed. As the marbles scattered, we laughed in unison ... I remember the exact moment that I first laid on my back for him ... My legs were wrapped around his waist and just before his body was to merge with mine, I noticed his upper right chest. On it was a tattoo with the words "Pain is Love." Confessions of a Video Vixen is the widely anticipated memoir of Karrine Steffans, the once sought-after sexy siren who appeared in the music videos of multiplatinum hip-hop artists such as Jay-Z, R. Kelly, and LL Cool J. A top-paid video dancer, Karrine transitioned to film when acclaimed director F. Gary Gray picked her to costar in his film A Man Apart, starring Vin Diesel. But the movie and music video sets, swanky Miami and New York restaurants, and trysts with the celebrities featured in the pages of People and In Touch magazines only skims the surface of Karrine's life. This memoir -- part tell all, part cautionary tale -- shows how Karrinne came to be the confidante of so many, why she kept their secrets, and how she found herself in Hollywood after a life marked by physical abuse, rape, and drugs -- all before she was twenty-six. By sharing her emotionally charged story, she hopes to shed light on an otherwise romanticized industry.
But read her story before you judge her...You can find out more Karrine.com, Interview with BET and a forum I found about her relationship with Usher.
11. Juli 2005
BEKENNTNISSE EINES GROUPIES
Tänzerin plaudert Rapper-Eskapaden aus
In der amerikanischen HipHop-Szene galt bislang die Omertà. Karrine Steffans, 26, Video-Tänzerin und berühmtes Groupie, hat mit dem ungeschriebenen Gesetz der Verschwiegenheit jetzt gebrochen: In einem Buch plaudert sie offenherzig über ihre Sexabenteuer mit berühmten Rappern.
Hamburg - In den
"Confessions of a Video Vixen" beschreibt die Autorin, die unter anderem für
Jay-Z und Mystikal in Musikvideos tanzte, detailliert die sexuellen Eskapaden,
die sie mit den Größen der Rap-Musik erlebt haben will.
Von all den vielen Männern, die in den Bekenntnissen erwähnt werden, hat sich nur der Sänger Bobby Brown, Ehemann von Whitney Houston, bislang getraut, die Schilderungen Steffans zu kommentieren. "Karrine ist eine Lügnerin", sagte Brown, der auf einem in den "Confessions" abgebildeten Foto mit der Schönen innig kuschelt, "ich sollte sie verklagen." Er besann sich aber rasch: "Ach was, ich werde sie in Ruhe lassen." Denn die Geschichten, wahr oder falsch, könnten die Berühmtheiten vor Gericht in mancherlei Verlegenheit stürzen.