Six months ago, LisaRaye finalized her divorce from former Premier of Turks & Caicos and stepped down as the island's First Lady. After finding herself in the midst of her then-husband's political drama, the Chi-town beauty caught up with ESSENCE.com while taping for her TV One reality show to talk about life after divorce, her relationship with her ex-husband and what's really going on between her and Reverend Al Sharpton.ESSENCE.COM: Now that your divorce is final. How have you been?
LISARAYE: Honestly, I feel great. I'm back down to my TV-size and ready to do what I've been missing for the last three years. i gained that weight because I wasn't in Hollywood and didn't have to be so concerned with my weight and was constantly entertaining all the time, eating peas & rice and just being an island girl. Now, I'm back to being the LisaRaye that does television, movies, hosting and sharing my story in hopes to help someone else
ESSENCE.COM: When we last spoke you expressed concerned about being able to walk away from your divorce with what you believe you contributed to the marriage as well as contributions you made to the country. Has that happened?
LISARAYE: In April, my divorce was granted to me, but I'm still fighting for a settlement. I don't understand why he (former Premier of Turks & Caicos Michael Misick) wants to make the attorneys richer by keeping this thing going. He needs to focus on the political fight he has ahead of him and give me what I'm due. I don't want his money, only the money I contributed to the marriage.
ESSENCE.COM: Have you spoken and remained friends with your ex-husband?
LISARAYE: We do talk and text. Friends? Not really. I have no respect for a man who handled his business the way he did. He didn't handle his situation the right way so he could continue his political fight. Why did i have to fight to get a divorce?
ESSENCE.COM: Now that you are no longer The First Lady of Turks & Caicos, have you returned to the country and how have you been received?
LISARAYE: Since my divorce, I have been back a couple of times and the people of Turks & Caicos are the same if not a tad bit more receptive of me because they felt I didn't deserve to be in the midst of government business and put out of the house. People always encouraged me and said, "you have to fight," "keep your head up," "be strong" and "we love and appreciate what you've done, which makes me feel even better.
ESSENCE.COM: Would you ever get married again?
LISARAYE: Absolutely. I am a fan of partnership and love. I believe it's easier to fight this fight of life with a partner than alone. Team work is always better. I know that I will find him, my partner for life, soon enough.
ESSENCE.COM: Many believe that Rev. Al Sharpton might be one of your potential candidates because you two have been seen around town. Is that true?
LISARAYE: (Laughs) I've known Rev. Al since my days as the co-host of "Source All Access" so despite what people might think our relationship is not new. However, he and I have a political relationship. I've been working with Ernie Hudson, The White House's Secretary of Education, and Newt Gingrich on the educational five-city tour where Wyclef Jean and myself visit various schools around the country to talk to the children. We already did Philly and my next stop is New Orleans. But trust me, when I get ready to date somebody y'all going to know about it (laughs). I'm not going to hide it all! I'm going to be cuddling, canoodling and everything else for the world to see!