Smiley Reveals How Flavor Flav Saved Her From an Abusive Relationship

"Once in a while I'll throw a dart board at a map and pick a strip club and just work there..."

Leilene “Smiley” Ondrade made an impression on Flavor of Love with her, well, smile and her bubbly personality. In honor VH1’s #14DaysofLove, we caught up with Smiley about life after the show, the real advice Flavor Flav gave her off camera, and her unconventional approach to stripping.

What was the most memorable moment from filming Flavor of Love?
When I did the dancing competition and I danced behind the screen because I actually won a challenge! I was like, “Thank God. I got this in the bag,” because I seemed to be losing at everything. I thought New York for sure was going to win that challenge and I’ll be honest I got her drunk on purpose so she would fall off and get clumsy. I’m pretty sneaky and petty sometimes. Can you add the video in here? I haven’t seen it in eons plus it’s sexy.

What was your favorite moment behind the scenes? Any good stories that didn’t make it to air?
I’ve got two favorite behind the scenes [stories]. One night, we were so bored when one of the girls won a challenge and went on a date with Flav [and we were left at the house.] We begged for some music and Hoopz and Goldie tried to show us all the new dances that were popular and Pumkin was a beat off. [Laughs] The other behind the scenes story was when I got dared to run around the mansion and Pumkin and I ended up with shaving cream on our privates for censor reasons and we ran around the house and jumped in the pool naked!

Were your feelings for Flav true when you were filming the show?
I didn’t know what I was getting into but once I was in the house I figured, hell why not get to know this person. The worst that can happen was I make a friend but no I couldn’t get past my feelings for my ex-husband. I also would like to clarify that I did not sleep with Flav and that the person who I was divorced from was not the person who hit me. I say this because a video with my black eye going to the reunion would later resurface on Charm School. Flav and I used to be neighbors after I filmed the show and he told me [after seeing] the black eye, “You need to drop this loser. He is never going to change. I’m saying this from my heart and as a friend.” I have nothing but love for Flav.

Have you remained friends with any of the ladies from the show? If so, who?
We lost touch. Some of the girls and I are just friends on social media but that’s about it. I did reach out to Becky Buckwild from Charm School. She and I are going to Denver for 4/20 this year.

Was it hard to be so open about your ongoing divorce while you were on national TV?
Yes, it was. I should have just partied and been reckless. I realize some people have me misinterpreted and thought I was cray cray and a cry-baby but anyone who actually knows me 24/7 knew that before filming I had just moved to the United States and was getting divorced five months after marriage. My mom had passed away from cancer and it was a bit much to handle and it all unraveled on television. I was absolutely gutted because this was someone who I had kids with and was with them for many years. My ex looked me in the eye and said, “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” Since the show my ex-husband and I are in a good place. We are civil now it but it took us a few years to get to that point. He is dating someone new and is an amazing dad. For most people, I don’t think it would have been ideal for them to go work or be on television or function but with all the things going on in my life being on reality TV was was an escape from my own harsh reality.

Where does your love life stand today?
Yuck! The dreaded question. I think when you publish that you are with someone or televise your relationship on TV you end up in a curse and with no relationship. Look at The Newlyweds or people from Love and Hip Hop. My love life? I am trying to figure this one out, it’s a work in progress or to be continued. Sadly I got a divorce in 2014 so third marriage down. Unfortunately this person thought I was only into them for the money. I’m like, “Wrong girl.” He was into the past and I’m more about living in the present. He said he didn’t want to answer to anyone which means he didn’t want to think about the other person. I was over being called an idiot or being told I’m imagining things. I do love some of the crazy shit we went through but I probably squashed my dating life about now. I’m more focused on my kids, my dog, traveling and my career. Just overall, I’m more about progressing in life right now.

What are you up to nowadays? Are you still pursuing a career in entertainment?
I’m super busy managing my daughters career and juggling mine at the same. She wants to sing and go on American Idol, The Voice or America’s Got Talent. [When it comes to work] I don’t care about popularity it’s like what I said on I Love Money, I walk in, walk out, and get the job done. I deliver numbers and when I get into that hustle mode I’m heartless. As far as modeling goes, I’ve appeared on several covers of magazine and been featured online. I still am in front of the camera but I am selective on lots of projects. I’m getting my post-graduate degree for a double major in cinema film studies and computers. And yes, once in a while I’ll throw a dart board at a map and pick a strip club and just work there and not tell anyone a damn thing about myself and show up in a town explore it a bit and work a couple nights just because I feel like a fat old cow and it’s nice to know I still got it.

Thanks for your time.
Thank you again to everyone who allowed me into their homes AKA their television and happy 10 year anniversary, Flavor of Love! It would be wonderful to have one last show to properly retire us. I mean, hell if the New Kids on the Block can reunite and have a comeback, I’m pretty sure we can too!

Don’t miss Smiley on the Flavor of Love marathon 2/12 starting at 2/1c as part of VH1’s #14DaysOfLove!