In Part 3 of ESSENCE.com’s series of interviews with LisaRaye McCoy-Misick, the First Lady of Turks and Caicos shares details on her testimony during the inquiry into her husband’s court hearing regarding allegations of governmental corruption. Her estranged husband, Premier Michael Misick, has dismissed the allegations, maintaining that they were invented by his political opponents.
ESSENCE.COM: We understand that you testified on Friday in the government’s inquiry of your estranged husband, Premier of Turks and Caicos Michael Misick, for governmental corruption. Why are you involved in this case?
LISARAYE McCOY-MISICK: First off, I am very pleased with my testimony and the evidence that was presented. I feel really good. I’m involved in this 100 percent because I am this man’s wife and still the First Lady of this country. The commission of inquiry realized that after Michael’s testimony, he had [implicated] me in quite a few things. During his testimony, I was writing down a few of the comments he made and taking notes. The entire time I tried my best to keep my facial expressions neutral so that it didn’t’ give away how uncomfortable I was with many of the things he said. I was summoned because the commission wanted to ask me about certain things that they couldn’t get from his team.
ESSENCE.COM: What sort of things were you interrogated about?
LISARAYE: Our lifestyle. Like, how many times we rented a jet before we purchased our own jet. I told them to my recollection he bought me a jet and we never leased one. Actually, I was going to refurbish the entire jet, which I flew back and forth to Los Angeles in, by adding the family crest in the carpet and some flat screen televisions, and I wouldn’t have done that if I was leasing. Also, our credit card and bank statements were examined to figure out where certain monies were coming from, and I signed a loan document for $6 million that I thought was for a house we were building in Los Angeles.
ESSENCE.COM: Why would you allow yourself to be placed in the dark on such important personal affairs?
LISARAYE: I don’t expect the readers to understand this lifestyle. This lifestyle that I married into was even new for me and on some other level. Things are done differently on this level, so if you have never been there, you can’t imagine, because some things just can’t be taught. When you are dating or married to a man of Michael’s magnitude, you’re not sitting there paying the water and electric bills. You have business accountants handle that. Perhaps people find it hard to believe that I didn’t keep up with my accounts, but here is my husband, a former lawyer, who I established a foundation of trust with. Michael’s brother was our go-to person. Why would I suspect him of doing anything other than what’s best for us? My husband always told me the only reason I’m working is because I want to, but that I didn’t ever have to work again if I didn’t want to. [His philosophy was] what’s yours is yours and what’s mine is yours. In other words, whatever money I acquired was to save it up for me and my daughter. What I had was small money to him and he wasn’t concerned with what I brought in or at least that’s what he led me to believe.
ESSENCE.COM: Considering that you grew up with a dad who was a multimillionaire, was your lifestyle as the First Lady of Turks and Caicos that drastically different?
LISARAYE: Yes. Growing up, I stayed in a child’s place. My father was murdered when I was 20. I was a model and never had a real job and my parents took care of me. Now, I’m married to a man and must serve as his wife and First Lady of his country and I’m being taken care of with the luxuries of a British Caribbean leader, which is totally against the way I was raised. So, while I have grown accustomed to a Hollywood lifestyle, I never had a butler; nor did I have to entertain statesmen and politicians. In Los Angeles, I entertained my celeb friends, but in Turks and Caicos I’ was hosting gatherings of folks to encourage them to bring money to the country by way of tourism. So here I am, used to doing things for myself, but now I have a staff to cater to me. It took me out of my independence, and as much as I love and appreciate the lifestyle, it was something I never truly became accustomed to. Even to cook in my kitchen was a task, and to make love to my husband was difficult. We couldn’t even argue in private.
ESSENCE.COM: We can only imagine how awkward that must have been. Throughout this ordeal, which is far from over, did your husband break your spirit?
LISARAYE: No, he did not make me lose my confidence or self-esteem. Honestly, I don’t understand what I could have done wrong to make him want to put me in this position. I believe I did the best I could do with the best I was given. I don’t think I was a bad person. If I wasn’t a good wife, then let’s part ways. Why are you trying to strip me down to nothing? I don’t understand his actions as a man, a husband or a leader of a country. I’m confused because surely before he met me I was relatively successful and taking care of my own. Why bring me some place, showcase me, use me and wipe your hands of me as if I did something wrong? At least return me the way you found me.
Check back this week when she addresses rumors of an alleged relationship with former NBA star Gary Payton and why she believes her husband had a master plan all along.