Earlier this week (1/9), I had the pleasure of joining Amina Buddafly for the release of her book, The Other Woman. The intimate meet and greet at BKLYN Commons located in the heart of Flatbush, Brooklyn, included a listening session during which Amina beautifully sang two songs off her upcoming album Music In My Room. After her performance, she spoke to the audience about her inspiration behind writing this highly anticipated tell-all. I have to admit I was a bit surprised to see the man in the center of all the drama, Mr. Peter Gunz himself, step in to watch their daughter Cori while her mommy put on a stellar performance, and it was refreshing to see him supporting her, with no production cameras around.
Amina announced back in September that she was ready to tell her side of the story and she most certainly did with this autobiography. You might think the book's title refers to herself, but throughout the book she often references "the other woman" and though she never says her name, but as fans we know she's speaking of Tara Wallace. The book delves into other parts of Amina's real life, from her upbringing to career anecdotes, but it's the Love & Hip Hop of it that kept us hooked from page one.
Amina writes of growing up in a German household where her parents were together but unmarried. Fast forward to her move to the States, Amina struggled, along with her sisters, the earlier part of her life trying to make their career pop. Several deals with big-named labels fell through, ultimately causing the group once named Black Buddafly, to part ways. Amina's twin sister, Jazz, moved back to Germany but Amina chose to stay behind.
As Amina describes the years of her early career, you get a sense that she was a bit naive in trusting the wrong people to elevate her platform. She speaks of a "situationship" she had with a man named Jay, one, like many of her other "situationships," ended in heartbreak. His friend, Peter Gunz, was there to pick up broken Amina, which helps us kind of understand why she kept going back to him. Alone, in America with family overseas, and Peter was always there... it makes sense. Although his actions and his words often times didn't coincide --- and she realized that --- something about Peter always drew her to him, which is what led to their marriage.
You remember when Amina made her first appearance of Love & Hip Hop.
Peter introduces Amina as her artist but he tells Rich Dollaz how he got "caught up" with her in the midst of his personal drama. In Chapter 8 of her book, Amina dishes on the behind-the-scenes and reminisces about the scene above. She says,
As our life continued to play out in front of the cameras, I could sense Peter's anxiety about the day of truth. He knew it as coming, even though he did tell me to not mention us being married whenever the cameras were rolling. It upsets me, but I knew it was only a matter of time before the secret was going to be out!
Time she did not waste when she told Richie D. If you remember that, then you also recall the infamous license slam on the table followed by a big time five-finger smack delivered by
the other woman Tara.
Amina shares how she felt during this scene, which is the first time she met Tara. She says,
As we kept talking, I remember thinking that I had never felt so disrespected in my life. I thought I was going to have the situation under control but I didn't. She completely took control of the conversation, and it felt like she had most definitely rehearsed what she was to going to say to me, something I didn't do. I couldn't get a word in and it felt like I was being talked down to like I'm a piece of s---t and not of any value.
Amina writes that her relationship with Peter continued to grow on love, lies, and her choice to be oblivious, something it seems Amina often did to avoid dealing with any type of emotion. "I did not want to accept sharing him with other women, but here I was." Amina discusses her first pregnancy and dealing with an absent Peter. She also reveals that he was upset with her for announcing the pregnancy during the reunion show.
Even if I didn't know of other women, I definitely knew of one other woman. The dilemma now was that carrying his child made me feel more connected to him. I hated arguing. I hated it with a passion. Often times I thought about why we fought so much. Then, I would look at myself and think, 'if I don't complain there won't be an argument.'
Amina says that she regrets revealing this to Peter on stage, writing:
I had expected Peter to be upset, but seeing him walk off stage the way he did and not even say a word to me made me realize that I had just disappointed him big time. Despite all the disappointments he had put me through, I still never wanted to do him like that. I believe in treating people the way you wanna be treated and not treating them how they treat you!
Shortly after that moment, Peter returned on stage to apologize to....(gasp) Tara.
As we saw on the show, Peter Gunz had a family getaway with Tara days before Amina went into labor with baby Cori. Peter lied to Amina, telling her he was on a business trip.
In chapter 10, she remembers how angry she was when she found out where Peter actually was.
Yes, I admit, a part of me sometimes just got confused and filled with uncertainty even to the point where I thought, 'Am I crazy? What if he is telling the truth?' Those were the hardest moments. 'Not knowing something hurts more than knowing something that hurts.'
Through all the hurt Peter caused, Amina reveals her most crushing moment was when Peter said she was a mistake that went too far. Like most viewers, I said, "that slap had to be forced." But, according to Amina it was very real, and it was at that moment their relationship changed.
After the scene Amina explains,
A whole week went by and I didn't hear from Peter. When he finally did texted me, he said nothing but hurtful words, which pushed me even more towards the decision I didn't want to make.
That decision was to terminate her pregnancy.
That time was difficult for her especially since after going through with the abortion, Peter's response was shocking. She describes the "massacre" in her bathroom after the procedure and tells what happened after she shared those photos with Peter.
Before I forced myself to clean up, I took pictures of the astonishing mess and sent them to Peter with the caption, 'I'm not pregnant anymore. Hope you're happy now.' Unlike other times he responded within seconds. 'I didn't want you to do that,' he said 'My heart just dropped.'
He apologized, but it wasn't long after that Amina learned of Tara's pregnancy after she went through with an abortion.
Amina's reaction to this was heart-wrenching as she also describes in her book. She says,
...in this moment I felt defeated, as if I had been fighting so hard for so long and, in the end, got knocked out. I knew I was going to have to back away, and I knew that was exactly what the other woman had always wanted and she was going to get it.
Although feeling knocked out, Amina wasn't out of the ring. In Amina reunion tradition, she dropped another bombshell.
'I got accused of spitefully getting pregnant again.' People thought I wanted to have a second baby now because the other woman was pregnant, but the truth is that I was already pregnant when I found out. Yes, I thought it was unfair she got to have the baby I wanted, but having a child to get back at someone was not in my nature.
This choice for her to be oblivious is difficult to understand because she is an emotional (as we often seen) and musical person who expresses these feelings continuously through her music. The music may have been her saving grace, as it is even in her own admission, the reason she was on Love & Hip Hop to begin with.
Now blessed with beautiful Cori and baby Bronx, Amina is ten times stronger than the woman we were introduced to back in season three. She no longer holds resentment towards the other woman, in fact, they're amicable. She says,
As far as the other woman I mentioned so frequently in this book, we are good! I guess I can say that we have learned to respect one another as mothers and women who love hard. We know that neither of us will ever stop being a family to the man who created ours.
If you want to know more about Amina's journey, you'll just have to purchase the book (it's worth it, I seriously read it in like three hours). Yes, we all know the basics of her story, but you will definitely have a better understanding in Amina's way of reasoning by the time you get to the end.
BTW, Baby Bronx is the cutest!