Tiffany Pollard became famous, as the woman named “New York” on Flavor of Love and I Love New York but now the reality star has returned to TV showing a different side of herself on Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn.
In an exclusive interview with VH1, Tiffany opens up about suffering a miscarriage after Family Therapy wrapped, the backlash her mother Sister Patterson has received from the show, and what it was like working with other VH1 stars on The Next :15.
You’ve been back on reality TV in the last few months. Can you kind of break down when you filmed each show?
Tiffany Pollard: I did, Family Therapy first, then I did The Next :15 then I did Celebrity Big Brother.
Are you sick of being called “New York”? Is it exhausting when fans want you to always be at a ten?
I wouldn’t say I am sick of it but to some degree I feel like it’s time to kinda morph into something else, if you will. I never wanna get tired of what I am doing or tired of the way people perceive me. I am really trying to venture out and branch out a little bit more.
Reality TV seems to have changed a bit since you dominated the genre. Was it hard to show the more personal stuff on Family Therapy?
It was definitely hard to make that adjustment but at the same time now I am actually grateful because a lot of people Tweet me that they really love Tiffany, and it just makes me feel way more adult to see that I don’t have to be so over the top to be received. Sometimes when you are doing television you’re like, “Okay, this my moment, let me make it grand, and here I go,” but this show has taken a lot of that out of it for me. I just react as I normally would and don’t have to be at such a high level every time. I just love the fact that people receive me either way.
Was it hard to sign up for this show with your mom, knowing that your relationship would be put under a microscope on TV?
Well, my mom has always supported me, and my brother [in] whatever we wanna do with ourselves. She always supported my stuff on television. Obviously, she has been a huge part of that and we were doing stuff [on I Love New York] at a ten, playing up to the cameras and they are there so you don’t want to come off as stale or boring.
But when we did Family Therapy that was totally different. This is therapy and there has to be truth to therapy and I cannot discredit the show in any way. It was real and I think that we did the therapy for me. I just wanted to communicate better, communicate with her as an adult so that’s why we did it. A lot of that, for me it was my wanting to come on and to learn new techniques and to better our relationship. We have a great relationship but anything can get better.
Your mom has received a lot of criticism. Has it been hard watching the show back and seeing what people say on social media?
Personally, I had a difficult time seeing all of the interviews because I know that my mom is not really like that and how I view her. It just seems like people are seeing stuff and taking it out of context or seeing it the wrong way. That’s my opinion but everybody is entitled to their opinion. At the end of the day it’s about how we feel about each other. I am not trying to sit here and say that everybody is wrong and you know we are the only ones that are right because that’s not fair either but I just think that a lot of the backlash, I didn’t see that coming and I don’t think it’s really fair to her because like I said I don’t view her like that. I am really comfortable and used to my mother, she’s a great mother, but is she a large personality? Absolutely! And I am too and I just feel like a lot of that is really unnecessary.
I know your dad appeared on Flavor of Love, are your parents together?
Um, my mom and dad is an off-limit topic kinda. [Laughs]
You mentioned your mother being a big personality, what is her relationship like with the rest of your family? Does she make the family nervous?
Obviously my family, we love and support one another and everyone loves my mom dearly but we all know we have to cater to her, if that makes sense? If we want things to go smooth and for her to be happy. I mean is there anything wrong with that? I wouldn’t necessarily say there is anything wrong with that. There’s probably one of those people in every household and she’s that person [in ours.]
Are you close with your brother and father?
I mean, absolutely. You grow up and you get busy and you get your own life and at some point you start to raise your own family and your own ideas of what you want. A lot of that is going on with me, but as far as always going home and feeling close? The closeness doesn’t stop like, maybe if I don’t see my family as much as I wish I could but when I go back it’s just like boom, I never left, so I would definitely say I am really close with all my family members.
Was therapy something that came natural to you? Was it something you had experience in your personal life?
No, I was always afraid of therapy because like, in the community therapy is a dirty word. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, you need therapy? I’m pointing the finger at you [like] something’s wrong with you! What do you need medication now?” I never knew therapy could be fun and can be beneficial and I learned so much about myself during the process. It just wound up being a win-win for me and now I am believer of therapy and I think it’s great. Everyone should have someone to talk to that’s on the outside looking in.
How difficult was filming a reality show and then finding out you were pregnant?
I would say to find out that I am pregnant on the show, that was like the most difficult thing because I am finding out and I wasn’t really taking care of myself as a pregnant woman. I am out there exercising, extra hard and doing crunches and I am cocktailing it up and I’m like, “What! Oh my gosh, I am pregnant.” And my mom just didn’t really wanna hear it or believe it or maybe she didn’t even think it was possible. I don’t know, but I really don’t understand why she just couldn’t believe I was pregnant, like I just really don’t understand it. I still don’t.
Is being a mother important to you? Is it something that you definitely want?
I do, I definitely really want these things but suffering the loss that I did and going through that I just feel like things will happen in due time because the loss is really really hard for me. I don’t wanna ever have to feel that way again. When I went to the doctor the first time on the show, the doctor was already telling me that I was high-risk because I was having some bleeding and you shouldn’t be bleeding so I am just really taking time off from the possibility and I just do not want anything to ever go wrong again and feel like that all over again.
Do you think you’ll really name your eventual children Cinnamon and Huckleberry?
If she’s named Cinnamon she is going to want to be a stripper when she grows up so I am going to think of another name for the little girl. I mean maybe I’ll call her Cinnamon as a nickname. Huckleberry, now I am kinda on the fence about that, but I did find a new name if I have a son, I do want to name him Lad.
Did you connect with any of your other cast mates? Form any special friendships?
My mom and I kinda spent a lot of time kinda off to the side with ourselves because like I said this was a different atmosphere for us. We kinda just stayed to ourselves and we didn’t get a chance to go out and really participate as much as I would have liked too, with the other cast mates. Damon Dash was just really a good personality. Obviously Dina [Lohan], I am a fan of her and April and Bam, like everybody had their own thing that they were brining to the table. I definitely made a connection with Dr.Jenn, she is super cool. Everybody in the house was really supportive of one another.
You worked with Benzino, Jennifer Williams, and Laura Govan on The Next :15. What was it like working with them?
Jennifer, I love her! She is super, super supportive and you know everything didn’t air but I went over to her house and cooked her dinner and we got our girl time and Benzino was just like the big brother to everyone on the show and he was really nice to work with as well.
You and Laura got into it at The Next :15 reunion because of a joke she made about light skin vs. dark skin. Were you truly offended?
Honestly, someone Tweeted at me and it was so funny because he hit the nail on the head, he goes, “Tiff, you know Laura is not a racist. You just wanted to react,” and then put the little emoji face with the crying face laughter and it’s so true. Like, before that we were just good, like I don’t even dislike her I just think it was the comment that I was reacting too and not necessarily her. We did get along really well and she took me to anger management and we had a few girl chats as well. No love lost there but I think the dude was right when he Tweeted that.
So as far as your personal life, you brought your ex-fiancé Aktion LA Jackson on that show. Are you guys still together?
Aktion and I, we have an on-again, off-again relationship but one thing about him I would say is that he has really really been there for me in every way that a woman wants a man to be there for her. He is so patient and I am not the easiest person to deal with, Damian. Like, really I’m not easy to get along with, so the amount of patience that this man has in this relationship and what we are doing and I have really have to look at that because I don’t think that I would find anyone else that can deal with me the way he does. He’ll let me sit there yell, scream, be a b—h and then I’m calm and then we can go out to dinner. He has seen it all and he is still here.
Do you think you and Aktion will end up getting married sometime soon?
Aktion and I really want to take things slow. He was telling me the other day, “Tiff, I know we got a lot going on here but I never wanted to take away from what we really have. Our real life and how we feel about each other.” So, we are taking it slow and we are going to try to stay a little bit private about what we do and you know we are going to be out there giving entertainment and doing what we do, but he doesn’t want us to lose our thing and I love him for that. He’s not trying to be like, let’s do this and let’s do that and let’s be all over the place. Like, at the end of the day it’s me and you against the world.