Stacii Jae Johnson‘s life is a true story of redemption. After some legal troubles while working for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, the Memphis, Tennessee native lost almost everything including her home and job. Being a true survivor, Johnson joined one of Atlanta’s top radio station as a host and wrote the book “Date, Girl-143 Reasons Why Women Should Date Multiple Men.” Earlier this year, she joined the cast of Centric’s From The Bottom Up, now in it’s second season. Recently, we spoke with Stacii to get her thoughts on the show and cast mates, her challenges during the season and upcoming projects. Read the interview below.
Congratulations on another season! We love seeing your story. Why did you decide to come back for another season?
Stacii Jae: Thank you. Last season I was still trying to maintain my 6 figure income lifestyle. I was in shock and disbelief that my life was where it was. I was way too risky with the money I did have, spending thousands of dollars on producing my first ever single girls club conference with no real money coming in on a monthly basis. I also spent a lot of time during last season looking at another cast mates’ life and seeing the wrong in it because that gave me a break away from looking at my own messed up life. I am totally different now. I wanted to come back for another season and show other women who identify with my journey that there is life after a major fall.
I wanted to show that I am still in the fight and had not given up. I’m not for everyone and I know that. But the women who do get me, I came back to be an encouragement to those women because I know that they are watching because I get the emails and their Facebook messages which ultimately confirms my journey on the show is not in vain. Lastly, I want to show that you can still look good while fighting to push through to claim what you know you deserve. So many times, we believe we have to wear our situation on our sleeve. NO! We don’t. The women in my family said if you gotta leave the house looking as bad as your situation, then stay home.
What’s been most challenging this season?
Its always challenging when I see it at the same time you all are seeing it. LOL….. I be like …..dang….can I see it first to prepare myself for whatever is about to air? Watching me really be honest with where I am in life is challenging as well. But transparency is very important to me.
And your favorite part about this season?
There was a $2 ginger ale scene that was shown this season with me and the girls on the way to this cabin. In the scene, I was not happy with my $2 being wasted for the ginger ale that I bought to help settle the stomach of one of the cast members after she threw up in the restroom at the gas station. That was a defining moment for me. I have learned through my bottom, not to waste a penny if I can help it.
Losing money has taught me to not be wasteful and honor every amount of money I am given. To become wealthy I can’t listen or take advice about spending money and building wealth from people who are not wealthy. Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, paid attention to EVERY penny he spent. It’s been said, he ran a tight ship financially. I will take advice about money from folks like Sam Walton, Oprah Winfrey, Bob Johnson, Suzanne Shank, Bill Gates and Mellody Hobson. Not cast members or commenters stuck on social media who may be a check away from food stamps.
Do you feel like you’ve been accurately portrayed?
The show is a very minuscule portrayal of who I am. My goal is to use the platform to get to “whats next”. One of the things that I believe has been left out and not explained completely is my explanation of what I mean when I say “I am broke”. For me, being broke is not having a consistent revenue stream like I have been use to. I went from making high 6 figures to now my booking rate is $5K per speaking opportunity.
Those speaking opportunities are not consistent, that’s broke for me. It’s difficult to get the totality of a person when the conversations are not complete by the time they air. Chopping me up verbally can sometimes be misleading. I know I what I signed– it’s a 40 page agreement that says “do with me what you like” LOL. And that is what is REAL.
We noticed that one of your cast mates hinted that you may have a potential drinking problem. What’s your response to this?
What is sad is that millions of people suffer daily from alcoholism. It’s a disease that affects many households across the world. I do not have a drinking problem. I was arrested in 2012 and given a DUI. However, I was very scared so when asked to take the test, instead of taking the test, my response was, can I call my attorney. I did not know the laws. I never took the DUI test though. But who knew that not taking the test would warrant an arrest and a DUI. I had two people with me who have publicly confirmed these facts many times. But often times when people do not know the full story and the facts, they make assumptions.
You’ve also been referred to, by the same cast mate as the ‘Black Monica Lewinsky’. Is this a rumor that you’ve heard before? And what’s your reaction to this?
No, this is not a rumor that I have ever heard before. That is the same cast member who stepped to me like she wanted to fight or something during episode 4. I’m a grown *ss woman. You would never catch me fighting another woman or challenging another woman like she did by saying “So what you gonna do about it?” She has publicly also alluded to me being a wino or person that drinks a lot, that I didn’t write my book ….blah blah blah…..and the list goes on and on from her about me.
I have worked hard and dealt with many challenges throughout my career and my ability to overcome is what has enabled me to continue to go higher and higher in life. My reaction to her spreading any of these lies about me is –I’m so past the ignorant sh*t. God has my eyes focused on high, not Facebook Live – kids play or whatever other forum used to spew negativity toward me. God favors me. Life is not a game. I can not get to where God is taking me focusing on things beneath me.
Totally off topic, but if you could cast a new person on the show, for season 3, who would you cast?
I would get rid of a couple of ladies. I would take it back down to 5 ladies. 7 is too many unless the show increased to 1 hour. I would cast Foxy Brown and Lisa Nicole Carson.
Outside of the show, do you have any new projects?
I have my book, “Date, Girl-143 Reasons Why I Believe Women Should Date Multiple Men” that I will be touring this spring on a book tour. I have been wanting to connect my book to more book clubs. So, I have a project that I am working on that will allow me to be in several several cities speaking at various book club meetings in one night.
Instead of traveling to make the book club appearances, I am at home taking questions and discussing my book via Skype. Outside of that, I am speaking and doing television appearances all across the country speaking to singles on dating, love and relationships. Both nationally and internationally. Just got back from Bahamas. I am currently researching and developing my next book. I also have a couple of bigger projects that I am working on that I am restricted from talking about at this point. But to stay connected and for any Stacii Jae updates please follow me on Twitter and Instagram @staciijae and Facebook @StaciiJaeJohnson.