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Tamar Braxton blames reality-TV culture as she confirms her suicide attempt

Tamar Braxton in New York City in 2015
Tamar Braxton has opened up about her recent suicide attempt.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Tamar Braxton confirmed Thursday that she attempted suicide earlier this month and blamed the culture of reality TV for damaging her mental health and pushing her to the point where she tried to take her own life.

“I believed that, that as a black woman, as an artist, an influence, a personality I could shape my world, and with whom I believed to be my partners, they could help me share my world,” the singer and reality-TV personality wrote in a long missive posted on social media.

“Over the past 11 years there were promises made to protect and portray my story, with the authenticity and honesty I gave,” she continued. “I was betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid.”

Braxton, who has a new reality series scheduled to come out in September, appeared on WeTV’s “Braxton Family Values” from 2011 to 2019 and “Tamar & Vince” from 2012 to 2017, competed on CBS’ “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2019, and co-hosted the syndicated daily chat show “The Real” from 2013 to 2016.

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“Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life!,” which had been set to debut July 30 on WeTV, was pushed to a Sept. 10 launch date after the singer and reality TV personality was found unconscious by boyfriend David Adefeso in a Los Angeles hotel room on July 16. She was subsequently hospitalized.

“It was only God’s grace and his mercy on my attempt to end my pain and my life that I am here to utilize my voice,” she said in her social media statement.

“I wrote a letter over 2 months ago asking to be freed from what I believed was excessive and unfair,” Braxton said, referencing a missive she reportedly sent to WeTV executives. “I explained in personal detail the demise I was experiencing. My cry for help went totally ignored. However the demands persisted.”

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She said that although she strived to be a good mother, daughter, partner, sister and person, the only thing that mattered was how she was portrayed on television.

Tamar Braxton performs at the BET Awards in 2015.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)

“It was witnessing the slow death of the woman I became, that discouraged my will to fight. I felt like I was no longer living, I was existing for the purpose of a corporations gain and ratings, and that killed me,” she said.

In a June 2 letter to WeTV executives that was obtained by the Blast, Braxton reportedly likened them to the “cruel white slave masters who once chained our forefathers.” She warned them she was suicidal, accused them of exploiting secrets she was not yet willing to share and blamed them for turning her family members against one another, the Blast reported.

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The 43-year-old, who has given herself the middle name “Slave” on her Twitter account, said that the pain she’s suffered over the past 11 years “slowly ate away at my spirit” and blamed her mental illness on “the toxic, systematic bondage that dwells [on] television.”

Braxton lamented the lack of a union or formal representation to protect those who appear on reality TV. Executives “promise us opportunity but produce exploitation, which has only developed a poor portrayal of black people in show business,” she said.

Tamar Braxton, co-founding member of R&B group “The Braxtons,” and her husband, producer Vincent Herbert, are calling it quits in Calabasas.

An executive producer on 26 episodes of “Braxton Family Values” in 2018 and 2019 and an EP on “Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life!,” she pledged to “use my voice and experience to be an ally for every black and brown person who has suffered from the continued exploitation of reality television.”

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Braxton concluded by declaring she would be focusing on finding her happiness “through professional treatment, for the sake of my whole heart, Logan, who I forgot in my moment of distress and desperation.”

Logan, 7, is her son with ex-husband and manager Vince Herbert, whom she split from in 2017. She and Herbert appeared in “Tamar & Vince” when they were together.


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