Angela Simmons is opening up, in depth, about her harrowing experience being in an abusive relationship.
The TV personality and entrepreneur is featured as a guest on the upcoming episode of Taraji P. Henson’s Facebook Watch series Peace of Mind with Taraji. The topic of that episode is ‘Why Do Women Stay in Hurtful Relationships?’ Simmons shared what she went through, going from a “great relationship at first” to a nightmare, along with the way the abuse impacted her mental health.
“I dealt with somebody with a temper and I didn’t know. It started off as small things, and next thing you know, stuff is getting thrown at me, I’m against the wall, or I’m jumping out of moving cars because I’m afraid or I’m calling cops,” she said. “I never thought in a million years I was going to be that person. When I was going through it I was like, this is insane. And at the same time you’re not wanting to tell no one around you because you’re in a relationship with the person and you don’t want them to judge them. In a weird way you’re still guarding them but going through it yourself.”
When asked if she noticed red flags before things took the turn they did in her relationship, Simmons said she didn’t.
“No, I think because you’re so in love and it’s fun,” she said. “I didn’t fully see it until it was too late. Once you’re like knee-deep in a relationship and you’re like, is this really my life?”
Simmons said at one point, she blamed herself and wondered if she was doing something in her relationship to make her partner lash out. That wasn’t the only way she coped, even when the relationship came to an end.
“Honestly, some of it I believe I blocked out,” she said. “Eventually there’s a mechanism where you just start blocking stuff out because you realize how much if effects you mentally. It shook me up. I felt horrible after it all.”
The star became emotional, and she wasn’t alone. The conversation also had an effect on the host, with Henson needing to take a moment because of her own experience being in an abusive relationship in the past.
As for Simmons, who has a 5-year-old son from her relationship with late ex-fiancé Sutton Tennyson, she briefly spoke in 2020 about being in an abusive relationship on her WEtv series, Growing Up Hip Hop. She also has a program to help women who’ve been in similar situations.
“I have a program called Pressure Makes Diamonds where I go and I speak to the women and just let them know you’re beautiful — just because you have flaws, it’s what you come out as,” she told Entertainment Tonight last year. “And that’s what makes you beautiful. It’s accepting it and just owning it, and knowing that you grow from what you go through.”
The full episode airs on Facebook Watch on Monday at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET.