You cannot shame Karrine Steffans. People have tried for over a decade, but it won’t silence the Vindicated author. Whereas some wish the former video vixen was ashamed of her sexual exploits with famous and rich men, she uses her story to inspire other women.
Steffans, along with Claudia Jordan and Mariah Huq, spoke to the ESSENCE Festival audience during the #NoJudgmentZone panel about what it has been like being judged for either being Black women on reality TV, or in Steffans’ case, writing a tell-all book exposing rich Black men. Steffans says she has experienced sexism from both men and women—including model Tyra Banks?
Steffans purposely didn’t name drop the former talk show host, but a quick Google search (and a writer like me who remembers the episode) reveals Steffans is likely referencing Banks. Steffans says there was a glaring difference in how Banks interviewed her versus how she interviewed Dennis Rodman who both visited the show in 2005 to talk about their tell-all books.
“There was a talk show host who no longer has this show who was very angry at me for telling my story of being involved with all these men she knows,” said Steffans.
The fresh-faced beauty mocked the unnamed talk show host by leaning in, putting her hand on her chin and cocking her head to the side to show how the interviewer excitedly and happily asked Rodman about his sexual exploits in comparison.
“So, you slept with Madonna!” Steffans says imitating Banks. “What was that like?”
A YouTube clip shows Banks seems visibly annoyed by Steffans in the 2005 interview. “It doesn’t bother me that you’re not ashamed,” Banks said to Steffans. “It bothers me that...I think you’re a very smart woman, I think you’re very articulate, and I think you do know exactly what you did. And you knew that naming names would attract the press...I want you to be honest.”
Steffans brings up a good point: Both men and women perpetuate sexism thanks to patriarchy. Women are held to a different standard than men for doing the exact same things. Whether or not Steffans was talking about Banks, we’ll let you be judge.