I was having dinner in Miami with a gorgeous woman I'd just met when I got a call from my broker. At one point during the conversation, I said, "Sell 20,000 shares." After I hung up, my date eagerly asked how much money my 20,000 shares equaled. "$200,000," I told her. Her eyes lit up. "For that amount of money, I could lease a Bentley or get a pair of Chanel shoes for every day of the week," she said, adding that she couldn't be with a man who wasn't willing to do for her. "I live a certain way; I expect certain things," she said.
Turns out, one man who was willing to "do for her" was also a friend of mine. I later discovered that he was shelling out cash for the Lexus she drove off in that night. My friend was taking care of her, and here was this gold digger staking out the next victim.
I've been in the entertainment industry for more than ten years, and the more successful I become, the more I keep running into gold diggers. They're the women who know the ins and outs of the industry and can sneak or talk their way into any event. Some of them roll up in the club, but some of them show up in church as well. They're usually decked out in Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton-giving the impression that they can take care of themselves. But they only want to capitalize on a man's potential. They offer no potential themselves. I think gold diggers have gotten about a quarter of a million out of me over the years. How did they do it? Well, I was raised to take care of women, so in my mind I was handling my responsibilities. I was truly doing it out of the goodness of my heart.
After dealing with too many women who cared only about what was in my bank account, I finally found someone special. When I met her at a jazz club, it was the first time I'd looked into a woman's eyes and immediately wanted to make her mine. She was beautiful and intelligent, and we had such great conversations that I made up my mind she was going to be my wife. One night I asked her what her dreams were. I couldn't believe my ears when she said, "Owning a BMW." Here I was falling for this woman, and it turns out that she was no different from the rest. After that admission she later asked for a designer handbag.
Despite all this, I still cared for her and wanted to do anything I could for her. I know I was letting things move too fast-listening to my heart instead of my head-when I asked her to move in with me. But there was a catch. I told her that we needed to sign a cohabitation agreement. (We lived in a common-law state where after a certain period of living together, you're considered married.) She refused to sign and I knew it was over. Within that week I asked her to move out. I cried while she packed, but I don't know if the tears came because she was leaving or because I was stupid enough to put myself in a situation like that.
Now when I meet a woman, I ask a lot of questions up front: "What do you want? What is your past?" I have to make sure she's a keeper before I commit to taking care of her. She must be honest and humble-but just as driven as I am. She has to be my friend first. In the end, the only thing I can do is keep taking a chance on finding the right one. I still believe in love, and one day I'll find it.