Love and Hip Hop is one of the pioneers of messy reality TV and it’s a guilty pleasure for many of us. But the drama doesn’t always just stay on TV. We had an explosive dose of it unfold between Erica Dixon, her 18-year-old daughter Emani Richardson, 18, and Emani’s stepmother, Bambi Richardson. Erica and Bambi happen to be veterans of Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta.
The adults and child (though she’s now an adult) had a showdown on Instagram this week. The conflict began because Emani referred to Bambi–again, her stepmom–as “that lady” during an Instagram Live about her graduating from high school and preparing for college. She wanted commenters to stop asking her about Bambi, who is in the process of divorcing her father, rapper and Love and Hip Hop star Darryl “Scrappy” Richardson.
In response to Emani, Bambi posted a picture of herself with a subliminal caption saying, “It’s giving ‘that lady.’”
For context, Erica and Scrappy dated for around nine years, broke off their engagement in 2013, and Emani is their child. The rapper began dating Bambi in 2013, and she was accused of dealing with Scrappy while he was still with Erica, which she refutes. They married in 2017 and have three children together. In addition to Erica and Scrappy having their issues, Erica and Bambi have had conflict in the past, but seemed to make peace. However, we now know that peace was short-lived.
Erica swooped in to defend her daughter in the comment section of a post on The Neighborhood Talk about Bambi’s comments. “You mean ‘That Old Lying A** Lady’ that was in the hot tub with Benzino. Bih you too old to be trying to be petty with my child,” Dixon wrote.
Emani also commented on The Neighborhood Talk post to make it clear that her intention wasn’t to shade Bambi. It only got worse after this because the mom of three retaliated by putting something Emani shared with her in confidence on Instagram.
“The reason why I never liked your a– is because since your child was eight years old she confided in me about you bullying her and you two piecing her a–,” Bambi wrote in an Instagram Story. “I let people think otherwise and never spoke up because Scrapp was handling it with the court and she was underage.”
Bambi’s main point (or lack thereof) was that she consoled Emani when her mom “busted her sh– all those times,” so she was deserving of respect from both. The LHHA cast member also shared an incident report with the caption, “I love this child and kept my mouth closed but yawl doing the most.”
Emani responded to the claims via Instagram Live, saying her mom only “popped” her because she was being disrespectful but she is well taken care of at home. The drama didn’t end there, but for the sake of time and to avoid getting lost in the pits of pettiness, I think there is an important lesson to learn here. There should be boundaries about how much of your family business you share online, especially when it’s related to a child you claim to love.
In an attempt to beef with Erica and “expose” her, Bambi violated Emani’s trust and shared a private matter she confided in her about with the entire internet; all to prove an invisible point. It’s important to note that Bambi has known Emani for almost half of her life. She has likely damaged whatever relationship she has with the stepdaughter she claims to care about. Since Bambi doesn’t believe in boundaries around family matters, she took it further while trying to prove a point. She recorded a phone conversation between herself and Scrappy about the abuse allegations and shared that with the internet to support her tired case. Another clear violation.
Where do you draw the line when it comes to sharing family business online? I think the answer for Bambi is nowhere because every boundary was crossed. I can understand feeling the need to defend your reputation or stand up for yourself. However, in this scenario, Bambi had nothing to defend aside from a “That lady” comment from an 18-year-old and it’s giving misdirected anger. It feels like Bambi’s goal was to paint Erica as a bad mother, position herself as the hero, and spite Emani for what she took to be shade. And none of this tells me she understands her role as a stepmom or understands that trust is a significant characteristic of love. It also seemed like an attempt to pit a daughter against her mother and I can’t think of many scenarios where that goes down well.
No matter what beef Emani and Erica have or had in the past, that’s her biological mother and the woman who raised her. This means, in some cases, damage is easier to repair. Stepparent relationships are often more complex. That’s why conflict should be handled with thought and consideration. Bambi used neither. If she had asked herself what point she was trying to prove before posting those “receipts,” she may have realized they should have been saved for the family group chat. The thing about putting all of your private family matters online is it can make repairing the damage 10 times harder because you’ve involved public opinions in a private matter.
It’s also disappointing to watch Bambi attack Erica’s motherhood, considering she’s a mom now and her kids will grow to judge her too. Many of us have felt some strong feelings about our moms at some point or resented them for disciplining us. In my opinion, that was a wack weapon to use.
In the event that Emani was being abused, sharing it on the internet still wasn’t the way to go about it, especially without her consent.
Maybe because Bambi “is out” and planning to get a divorce from Scrappy, she thinks burning a bridge is the way to go. The issue with that is divorce isn’t the end of family relations when kids are involved. Scrappy will still be her children’s father, Emani will still be her children’s sister, and the internet doesn’t forget. Perhaps that’s why she’s since decided to issue a public apology.
“Sharing private moments is never a good look and goes against everything that family stands for,” she wrote in an Instagram post with restricted comments. “I have been doing my best to hold it together through my divorce & a few days ago I was triggered & I responded emotionally & publicly. I am not proud of it & I apologize to everyone I hurt and disappointed. I’m gonna take some time to get it together & work on being my favorite version of myself. It won’t be perfect, but it will be me.”