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Belle Collective is back — and this season, Tambra Cherie is the focal point. In the second half of the season, fans will see Tambra’s pregnancy journey! She has been open about her past fertility issues, and her journey into motherhood with her longtime partner, Demond, is a joyous occasion. The series continues to spotlight six successful and glamorous Southern women who make things happen in their tight-knit community of Jackson, Mississippi, and beyond. Tambra returns alongside Marie Hamilton-Abston, Aikisha Holly-Colon, Lateshia Pearson, Latrice Rogers and Sophia O. Williams, aka “Sogucci.” While Tambra’s journey is one to smile at, her relationships with some of the Belles are at risk.
Blavity’s Shadow and Act Unscripted spoke with her about her motherhood journey, and how she’s balancing her new happy developments with the demise of some of her friendships.
How does it feel to be a mother? We’ve seen your journey on the show. And how did you go about keeping this under wraps for so long?
TC: I probably would say I just have some amazing family and amazing family and friends who knew the importance of keeping my business private for the time being. I just wanted to get to safer places because I’ve had friends who, unfortunately, lost a baby. One of my close friends was pretty far along. She was about five months pregnant. And so I know what she went through. I went through that with her. I learned that you can get pregnant and still not deliver. So that was the importance of me trying to do my part and staying healthy and keeping it to myself and just trying not to be stressed about anything. So I kind of just kept it to myself for a long time. I didn’t even tell my parents for a while.
One of the things that’s cool is that you documented the pregnancy on the show, so you’ll forever have these memories chronicled. But knowing about your previous fibroid issues, and you mentioning wanting to get to a safe place in your pregnancy before revealing the news, was there ever a time on the show that you thought that you probably shouldn’t chronicle it?
TC: I actually had an amazing pregnancy. The only stressful thing that came out of my pregnancy was when you see on the show with the belles, with that whole peace treaty scene. I think that’s probably the most stressful part, having to talk about something from six or seven years ago, that was the most stressful part of my pregnancy. But other than that, it was an amazing journey.
I never thought this would be filmed. But it’s actually a blessing because years from now, you’ll always see it and be able to come back and see that. So that is the blessing and that’s the blessing of it. And also, other women have reached out to me via social media to tell me that my story is so inspiring. Whether they had fibroids like me or surgeries, my telling my story helped them. Anytime you can do that, that is a blessing to me. That’s a true blessing of it all.
You also mentioned in previous seasons [about] your insistence or your desire at the time to have more of a traditional family — you wanted to be married and have a ring and everything before starting your family. So are you and Demond secretly married, or are you now OK with foregoing your dream in order to have the family that you want?
TC: You have to watch the show. Watch the rest of this season to find out how it unfolds. But I will say this, and I do want other women to know I was actually faced with a decision. I had more fibroids to come back. And I did not want to do another fibroid surgery. So I was faced with the decision of do I unfreeze my embryos right now or have another fibroid surgery? And so I chose to unfreeze. I made that decision over waiting for the fibroid to grow and have another fibroid surgery, which could make it even harder. That was a tough decision for me. So I can honestly say that it was based on a health decision this time around. And it wasn’t even based on marriage. It wasn’t based on that. It was really based on what I was faced with when I learned I had another fibroid.
So how has it been balancing being a new mom and working? Because we know that you’re a worker bee; you love working. You have built a very sustainable, wonderful career. And we still see they are booked and busy. So how has that adjustment been for you?
TC: It’s been an adjustment. To be honest, for so long, I put my career first and I was worried about some of those things because sometimes you worry about what if I can’t work? What if I’m not able to work? So now it’s all about balance. I can honestly say it’s been good. And then having people that support you and a good support team around you. Since giving birth, I really do believe women, we’re strong. We can do a lot of things. I believe women can do it all.
So you mentioned that the only drama that you really dealt with was obviously, unfortunately, from your co-stars. Now, before we get into that drama, how were they when they did discover that you were pregnant? Were they supportive of you? Did you feel like that was more of a bonding experience for you, or were you kind of over it after everything had transpired previously?
TC: Oh, some of them were very, very supportive. So Gucci was supportive, and Latrice was very supportive.
Some of the women on the show have accused you of being a liar or trash-talking the other women, which is interesting again, because from the beginning it seemed like you were really the glue or the peacemaker of the bunch. And now it seems like you were kind of the target. So what is your take on that? And is there any truth to anything that’s been said about you on the show?
TC: I’m a journalist. Let’s start there. That’s something I take very seriously because that’s part of my career, my job. I was very disappointed. And they couldn’t even tell you what you were lying about. But if you continue to watch the second half of the season, you’ll see things start to unfold. There were so many things made up. So you’ll see that in the second half. I will be very honest. I don’t talk to two of my cast members who accused me of such things because that became an issue in my real life and my job.
Was there anything that happened outside of filming that we are not privy to that may contribute to what we see on camera? Because it did seem to come kind of out of left field.
TC: No. Before filming, Marie was at my birthday party. That was in September. We started filming in October. And I hosted another event before that, and she was there. So it caught me left field because I knew I did nothing to Marie. I didn’t do anything to her or Lateshia. I was completely thrown off guard.
There also seems to be an attempt to highlight alleged misfortunes in your relationship with Demond. Marie said that you were engaged to another man and there have been cheating rumors that have been brought up between him and the woman you called “the decorator.”
TC: And she mysteriously disappeared.
Why do you think that some of your co-stars are so hellbent on focusing on your relationship?
TC: Misery loves company. I strongly believe that now. It’s crazy to me that we would go all the way back to 2016 or you dig up dirt on someone, an ex, that I actually had to press charges against. And as a journalist, it is documented that this man was arrested in 2019. And for you to sit down with him, that’s dangerous. We know that this man is still hung up on me. There’s documentation of this. He was arrested for trying to get to me back in 2019. And so for your co-star not to realize that is crazy. We are a collective. And women protect women. One thing I’m not going to do is I’m not going to let any man talk about any of my co-stars or any of the women on this platform. That’s just not going to happen with me. I don’t even care if it’s Marie or Lateshia either.
Has anything discussed on the show about Demond negatively impacted your relationship?
TC: Oh, no, not at all. Not at all. Demond doesn’t even watch the show, to be totally honest with you. The man is the guy who gets up and he goes to work every day. I’ve been in the spotlight and have been in entertainment for 20 years now. And he’s kind of used to me being a public figure. He’s used to that.
Has there ever been a time where you think, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do the show anymore?’ Especially now, since you’re in a new phase of your life with your family, the family that you always dreamed of. And you’ve used this platform to further expand the platform that you already had just more on a national level. And sometimes I would imagine that drama is just so unnecessary to anyone’s life. What’s keeping you on the show at this point?
TC: What’s kept me on this show is helping other people and inspiring other people. The messages that I receive from other women across this country, the messages that they send me, are what keep me. I’m a servant. I’ve been a servant for many years now. I entertain on the radio all the time, but I also want to motivate people. I also want to encourage someone and to inspire someone.
What else are you doing business-wise? Are you looking to have a mommy brand now? A lot of people get into that after they become a mother.
TC: First and foremost, I am a radio personality. I did join the podcast world. I actually have a podcast now that I cohosted with two other amazing syndicated radio hosts, one of whom is Gary with a T from The Ricky Smiley Morning Show. We do a podcast now called There I Said It, which is super, super fun, super fun. We talk about some of the hottest entertainment news, just some of the things that we do on air now but just together. I also have a few entrepreneurial things I am working on.