We love Mekhi Phifer, not just because he’s a talented actor but also very handsome. We first fell in love with him from Spike Lee’s Clockers and ever since then we’ve been following his career from the gangster movies like Paid in Full to the doctor roles in ER. While he’s coined a lady’s man, he keeps his love life rather private. The actor headed to Power 105’s The Breakfast Club to promote his upcoming movie release Divergent. While they briefly discussed his acting timeline, they quickly moved to the juicy section, his love life. Very open, he dished lots on his romance with ex-wife, actress Malinda Williams and new wife, Reshelet Barnes (yes he’s off the market).
Check out excerpts of him reflecting on his romance with Malinda and new wife.
Angela Yee: When you first got married, you got married really young, did it affect your career?
Mehki: No it didn’t affect my career, it affected me and helped me learn a lot about myself. I was young, I was like 24 years old and that’s tough being that young in this business, where I was at in this business and being in a tumultuous relationship. Because you try to do the right thing, me and her have a son together. Being in that kind of relationship and that jump in my career at that age, it was tough. I can’t front arguing at home and going through all of that because we were both young and with both our A-type personalities–but we’re really good peoples now. We’re better off, like we’re happily divorced, we’re better off friends and we’re raising our son together now but at the time it was crazy. For a lack of a better term, you’re traveling and girls are throwing it at you and sometimes your catching it.
Charlamagne: You were cheating on her the whole time.
[Mekhi] Not the whole time but you know we were only married for less than a year. Then there was a point because I bought us a house and we were living on opposite sides of the house. We were technically married but you’re going two or three days living in the house and you aren’t even talking to, you talking about walking up and down the stairs past each other and you aren’t even talking. Then you got out in the world and you have your own group of friends and she has her peoples and you just become separate.
Angela Yee: So it was a bad break up.
[Mekhi] Yeah and no, I was kind of relived. I had developed this bald spot in the back of my hair because I was stressed and I didn’t even know it was stress. But once we got separated and I didn’t make it hard, I left her with the house and all of that and just left. I left with my clothes and my whip so then I was cool. But I guess she was still affected by it, she did this whole Honey article.
Angela Yee: She said ‘he was a cheater, and adulterer’.
[Mekhi] Yeah but there was no proof of that.
Charlamagne: You just admitted to it about 5 minutes ago.
[Mekhi] I said we were basically separated, we were only married a year and then we were technically married but we weren’t together. Yeah but there was no proof of that.
Charlamagne: What about DJ D-Nice claims that he stole her from you?
[Laughs] He didn’t say that and I got love for D-Nice, that’s my man. When he started dating Malinda, he was mad cool. I would go over there to pick my son up and we would chop it up. As long as they were happy then that was good.
Angela Yee: You got married a year ago?
I got married a year ago and it’s funny I knew my wife for 15 years. Right around the time when I left Malinda, I met my wife and she was an executive at Universal. I met her at a premiere party.
Charlamagne: That was before or after you got the ER role?
That was before.
Charlamagne: So we know how you got the ER role.
[Mekhi] That’s funny because at the time it wasn’t NBC Universal, they merged years later and she wasn’t even working for them at the time, she was working for another company. So I met her and I’ve known her but we had dated on and off for quite some time. Once I broke up with my ex-fiance, we just picked up where we left off.
Charlamagne: How do you have time for marriage now with Divergent, House of Lies, and A Day Late, Dollar Short?
[Mekhi] We make it work. One thing I’m older, much more mature, much more grounded. Back in the day I had my boys so we would be running around, going out 3 and 4 times a week getting bottle service, but that was another life. The good thing about that is its good to be able to go through all that so you don’t find yourself in a midlife crisis. You don’t want to be 40 years old still in the club trying to holla at someone. Now I’m much more grounded. So even when I get to travel, wifey comes out. When I was in NY and doing Broadway, she came out all the time so we make it work.
Press play to watch his interview in full.