fight anyway. She was in his back pocket. He made that very clear. He said it exactly like that: “She is in my back pocket. She is not your girl; there is no group.” It was divide and conquer, and unfortunately, Terry took the bait. That divided the group from the very beginning. But I was blamed, because how can the three of them not be as smart as one person by herself? “Dawn can’t outshine us. She can’t make us look stupid, like we just are willing to deal with pennies.”
EBONY: Will we see any of that En Vogue drama play out on the show? There was a recent lawsuit that made it out there in the news over the group’s name.
DR: First of all, that drama had nothing to do with me. I happened to work with Maxine, but that lawsuit was her. Cindy and Terry sued her. I wasn’t included in that. It’s sad that this had to happen in the first place. We all worked hard for that name, we all built that name together.
A couple of us have left because, like I said, I didn’t want two pennies an album. I’m not going to stay there and be mistreated and abused and watching everybody else make the lion’s share. So by me leaving, they considered themselves the pillar holders of the En Vogue name.
OK, well you can stay in En Vogue all you want. I chose to go out and find out other things about my life. Prayer really helped define who I am as an artist. And going in to do [Lucy Pearl] was also something that put my name out there for another generation who does not know who En Vogue is. I’m grateful for that.
But yeah, we were never drama. I’m ashamed that even had to play out in front of the world the way it did. I think Maxine was ashamed of that as well. But unfortunately, lawsuits do get public knowledge, so that’s why it was out there like that. It wasn’t like the girls did a bunch of press to say, “Hey, we’re suing Maxine” and Maxine saying, “Hey, they’re suing me!” We did one interview and she talked about that, but that was about it. When we’re in the public eye, our lives play out in front of the world.
I will always represent En Vogue in a classy way. That’s why I finally decided to do this show, because I was under the stipulation that there was not going to be any drama. [A producer said], “I want this to be like a Waiting to Exhale situation where all the women are supporting each other and there’s love and there’s drama with your man and whatever, but you guys support each other.” And I thought, OK. If that’s the truth, then I’m going to do the show.
EBONY: And did it stay drama free?
DR: It didn’t always stay that way, unfortunately, but you know… What can I say? I can’t give up too much. I’m just grateful I have my integrity is all I have to say. I was raised a certain way, and that integrity remains with me. It’s something you learn at home. You don’t really give up the structure of how you’re raised. I’m proud to say that I represented my parents very well.