Kimmi Grant Scott, of Love and Marriage: Huntsville fame, found two lumps in her right breast when she was performing a self-exam. By June 2022, she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, the most aggressive form of that particular form of the disease.
“It was hard for all of us to accept,” Scott recalls about receiving that phone call. “I was like, ‘This is Kimberlee Scott. You sure you called the right person?”
She believes the news was especially challenging for her husband, Maurice, who she describes as a “fixer.”
“It was difficult because it’s something he can’t fix,” Kimmi states. She wanted her life to remain as normal as possible. She didn’t want to present as a sick person, which she says didn’t always allow Maurice to see the depths of what she was feeling.
“I still got up and went to work,” she says. “I did the laundry. I still did his meal prep every Sunday. I think sometimes, when he would see me up and about, it could kind of get confusing. ‘Is she okay? Is she not okay?’ I think there were times when he thought I was better than I was, to no fault of his own.”
A part of keeping up that normal life was maintaining their sex schedule, one Kimmi had created in her own mind, without ever speaking to her husband.
“A lot of men feel like when they get married, the sex changes,” she says. “I hear it all the time. Comedians talk about it. And in my heart, I didn’t want that to be our situation. And so I had always said to myself, ‘I wasn’t ever going to let my husband go seven days without us making love.’”
Amid her cancer journey, at one point, she looked up and realized it had been two weeks since she and Maurice had had sex. But with cancer treatments, Kimmi’s libido wasn’t where it used to be. Still, she wanted to maintain the connection. So, she made a decision.
“In my head, I thought, ‘I just won’t finish,’” she says.
Her decision to have sex, even though she knew she wouldn’t have an orgasm, is the reason Maurice made a controversial statement, describing Kimmi as “suffering” through sex.
In case you missed it, in an interview with reality TV producer Carlos King, Maurice said, “There’s a difference between wants and needs. And I’m a person who actually needs sex, not a person who wants sex.”
“Life throws us curveballs like what we’re going through right now. What Kimmi is doing is admirable as a spouse,” he continued. “To roll over and suffer through it, fakes it all for me. Because at that moment, it’s something she completely didn’t desire. I look at it like her standing by me while I’m standing by her. As difficult as it may seem, we should feel that we would be better people and say, ‘Oh no, I don’t want or need sex for however long it takes for you to recover.’ But we then live in reality where that’s not true.”
Later, King asked him, “We need oxygen. We need water. Why do you need sex?”
Maurice responded in jest, saying, “I need sex like Carlos needs mess.”
You may be wondering why the men were chatting about his sex life in the first place. The discrepancy in Maurice and Kimmi’s sex drives has been an ongoing issue the Scotts discussed openly on Love and Marriage: Huntsville.
But this particular conversation left Kimmi feeling unprotected.
“At that moment, I felt like he was more concerned with his banter with Carlos,” Kimmi explains. “And it was very much so less concern for me, our situation, our livelihood and my health. Because he was wanting to make a joke. And I said, ‘I don’t think in relation to our journey, is there any room for jest.’”
It took some time, and some public uproar, for Maurice to understand the severity of the issue.
“I didn’t have a real appreciation for that moment,” he recalls of the backlash received in his home and outside of it. “Just because I was trying to joke about Carlos. It took a while for me to really understand that everyone doesn’t know my heart. They don’t know who I am as a person. They only get snippets and bits of who I am. And I have to be very careful to make sure I’m conveying the correct message whenever I speak because our platform is so big. It has real-life repercussions.”
Maurice’s understanding was aided by the fact that the two spoke to a counselor after his comments went viral.“I felt like once he saw the interview, he would be like, ‘Oh I messed up,’” Kimmi says. “But it didn’t happen that way. We had to actually have a conversation and I had to point out things. Social media had to go crazy. And that’s what made me say, ‘Yeah we need a counselor because I don’t see how you don’t see that this was a problem before everybody saw it was a problem.’ And at the end of the day, he agreed.”
Today, Maurice gets it.
“I didn’t think about how it would affect her, my family,” he admits. “You’re the protector. You’re supposed to make sure that harm doesn’t come our way. However, you’re the person that may have brought harm our way with your actions. It’s setting aside my own personal self and being a little bit more self-aware.”
In his increased self-awareness, he recognizes that the use of the word “suffer” was indeed problematic.
“When Kimmi is doing something out of routine, versus out of desire, that to me was something where maybe she was looking at it from that perspective,” he explains.
But Kimmi says she neither suffered through sex nor was it something Maurice demanded.
“Absolutely never. He’s never asked, suggested, implied, inferred that I just go ahead and do this so he can have some type of pleasure,” she says. “It would never be in a situation where I didn’t feel good. I was never sick, nauseous like, ‘Oh my goodness, let me have sex.’ It’s never been like that. Absolutely, positively never ever.”
While Maurice’s comments initially left Kimmi feeling vulnerable, today the Scotts recognize how the moment helped them grow.
“This situation has definitely given me an opening to have more communication and understanding with my wife,” he says. Kimmi agrees. “That thing exploded so badly that you couldn’t help but read the comments and see the collateral damage from it,” she adds. “As bad as it may appear on the outside, looking in, it was a building block to help us see that words matter.”
That has been just one bright spot in this challenge. There’s one other: the ability to provide awareness to save lives.
“This platform afforded me an insane opportunity to talk to people who look like me, who are disproportionately affected with breast cancer because they don’t go do mammograms, don’t know to do them, can’t afford them. And they just don’t really have a voice,” she says.
“I have been privy to different people this platform has helped. And I’m grateful for that,” Kimmi adds. “Even with the nicks and dings me and Maurice might take on other stuff, this outweighs that nick and ding any day.”