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Former member of ‘City High’, Claudette Ortiz, recently talked to Bossip about being homeless before she got the call for R&B Diva’s, which airs on TV1 and gave some background on her relationships with former bandmates, Robbie Pardio and Ryan Toby.
On four years being at rock bottom:
When I [moved to LA} I had to move my children out of their school. It was a big move from East to West Coast and I had just left my four years of being at rock bottom. Four years of being ridiculed and scrutinized on the internet and four years of having to decide between one bill and the other and having to go to the social services building and you’re case worker recognizes you and says, “Why are you here?” It breaks you down so I was just coming out of that break down and rebuilding myself and trying to get back into the grove of being in the spotlight and being in entertainment. That’s a sadness I believe women do feel and it does show on your face, but you keep it moving, you don’t cry. You keep your head up and keep giving, even though you do have that consistent worry and hear
On struggling as a Single Mom and her decision to do R&B Diva’s:
Prior to the show, I had really hit rock bottom and I was at a crossroads where I just had to [do the show]. All the little odd jobs that I was doing; I was a chef in the kitchen, I tried to open my own businesses, I had my catering businesses and I had a cleaning business but those things were not enough to raise my children. So, I had to make a choice of am I going to continue going this way? Where is this going? I was like man, I guess I’ll just go to the air force reserves. […] I felt like it would pay for school. I didn’t have any degree or anything so….I was having a rough night. I had to leave the place I was at, and I was driving with the things in my trunk and my kids were asleep and I had nowhere to go. And that night Phil Thorton from the show texted me but that night I was upset and I was crying. I was like “God, I know there are people out there that have it way worse than I have it but don’t forget about me. This is still difficult. That’s was when I got the text of like, do I go with the show or …. I never wanted to be apart of reality shows because I never wanted to expose my children on anything like that.
On her relationship with Robbie and nightmare that it became:
I met Robbie before the group (City High)… We started out as friends… we were both singers & knew some of the same people… My older sister and him were in the same grade so she knew him too… they were 2 grades above me… when we first started dating she said to me “are you sure you want to date him?” I asked her what she meant by that & she told me Robbie had a reputation of getting really drunk (since) back then & told me a story about him drinking excessively to the point where he’d passed out. I knew he drank but I never saw that side of it. He was my first boyfriend, we were young I was 16 & he was 18… we were nice teenagers. Everything seemed fine in the beginning but over time it became like a nightmare.
At first it started with me finding out about other girls… I stayed through that… I’m sure every woman can relate to believing a man lying to you about cheating, even when all the signs were right in my face… & that caused problems but it was the drunken fits that really scared me & made want to end our relationship…
On her relationship with Ryan:
We are very close friends. We had both of our sons before we got married… we had a good relationship for a long time. Around 2007 it started fading out, we were changing… we’d gotten together pretty young & so we separated.
We got divorced. We were separated for a year and half before we got the divorce. I think the divorce was [finalized] in 2010.
We were together for 11 years. It wasn’t like what everyone thinks is a love triangle.
I started seeing someone else & had my daughter at that time…My daughter’s father is just a normal hard working business man. He’s not even in the industry…
It seems like Claudette’s struggle are like that of many single moms. Thank God that R&B Diva’s LA called at a time when she needed it most, even though she never wanted to subject her kids to being on a reality tv show. As many of us single moms know, sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do. Hopefully, R&B Diva’s LA won’t get crazy like it’s predecessor, R&B Diva’s Atlanta. Stay tuned…I know I will.
Photo Credit: sheisnyc.com, zimbio.com