VH1's Atlanta Exes had our full attention as five women stepped out of the shadows of their past partners to find their own voice. From the beginning, Monyetta Shaw, former fiancé of singer Ne-Yo, had us captivated with her grace, even when faced with the reality she may not be able to have more children after tying her tubes.
Now that Atlanta Exes is wrapped, Shaw shares the full story of her breakup, her hot new business venture and what we would all be surprised to know about Tameka Raymond.
Even before Atlanta Exes, your breakup has been in the spotlight since Ne-Yo posted on Instagram last summer that you all had split. How did that go down?
Monyetta Shaw: We were broken up about two months prior to the Instagram moment. Before that post, it was hard for me. I was like, ‘Ooh, I’m not ready. We should work it out.’ That message made it clear for me it was over. We were both in Los Angeles that weekend. I was with my girlfriends and he was working. He texted me a heads-up he was going to post something. Everybody was checking on me. ‘Are you okay? Are you crying?’ I was like, ‘everything’s fine.’ If I was at home with the kids, I would have been worse, but I was surrounded by girlfriends and they made sure I was having a good time. When I got back home, I loved on my babies.
And didn’t Ne-Yo unexpectedly have a hand in getting you cast on the show?
Yes. The cast for Atlanta Exes had already gone to LA, had their meetings and were picked. That post announcing our split prompted the producers to get in contact with me and see if I wanted to be a part of the show. I originally didn’t see why we had broken up but it all is working itself out. Everything happened for a reason.
How long had you been engaged when you separated and how far along were wedding plans?
It was a pretty long engagement, maybe a year-and-a-half. We were pretty far along in planning. It was going to be a destination wedding and I had visited the place. "Save the dates" were going out and everything. But thank God he told me he wasn’t ready when he did. We could have gotten married and it could have been all bad. I have nothing but respect for the brother. Even as much as it hurt, I thank him now.
There was a strong response to your decision to tie your tubes. How has being on the show impacted you and Ne-Yo’s relationship as co-parents?
We’ve always had a strong relationship. We were best friends before. We’re still friends now and we’re co-parenting. We both thought that we would be together forever so that’s why we did that. He definitely got some backlash from a lot of women for the decisions we made. It’s unfortunate. No one knew that would happen. I don’t bash him because it’s not the relationship that we have and it’s not who I am. I definitely want the world to know that I forgave him and we’re still friends. People make decisions. You move on.
Did your Instagram blow up when Ne-Yo started posting pictures of his new lady?
[Laughs] I will say this; people definitely voiced their opinions. They have no cool; they don’t hold back. I was like, ‘That’s not nice.’ I play it cool.
Have you all talked to the kids yet about mommy and daddy not being in a relationship as a couple?
We have very bright kids. However, we haven’t sat them down for the talk yet. Last time he was here he was looking at houses, so the time is coming to have the talk. Still, the thought of having my kids being raised in a broken family makes me sad because I don’t know that. My parents have been together 43 years and are still going strong. That’s all I know. It still disappoints me to this day. The good thing is throughout our relationship, [Ne-Yo] has always been on the road so it’s not as big of an adjustment. They are used to going to different places and not having dad always there.
Now that the show is over, are there things about your cast members we didn’t see?
Well, there’s a lot to every one of the ladies. Just like me, I have other sides. It takes a lot for me to turn up, only when somebody is really asking for it. Tamika [Raymond] is really strong as everyone can see, but she’s also hilarious. I don’t think you really saw that. I was like Tamika show that side of you. They’ll love you.
What’s next for you?
I have a jumpsuit line launching next spring and have another children’s book coming out. I also have an orphanage in Swaziland, Africa. I'm big on my charity work and giving back. I went on a mission trip a couple years ago and I cannot wait to go back. God has been so good.
Have you had your first post-break up date yet and are people trying to hook you up?
I am taking my time. Sheree [Buchanan] has tried to set me up and she did her thing with Willie and Christina. They are still together. But I'm not good on blind dates.
Would you date an entertainer again?
Honestly, if I meet an amazing guy and he happens to be an entertainer; it's going to take a lot. But, who knows who God has for me? I'm not going to discriminate. I'm just going to be open. As long as they're a good guy, God-fearing and make me laugh.
What did you learn the most through your breakup?
Any drastic changes as far as my body, I'm going to wait to say "I do." I'm kidding. Even if you get married, divorce is still real. I stand by every decision I made. When women love, we love hard. I know I do. You couldn't have told me that we wouldn't have been together. It's life. Just stay true to yourself and make sure you're happy. If you have kids, make sure they're number one and just keep your family first. Love yourself. Love life. Live.