Email She was the youngest artist to have a No. She was a teenage Grammy winner basking in glamor, beauty and newfound fame. Just as pop star Monica stood at the brink of superstardom, a tragedy took her away from the spotlight.
That's not my goal. My goal is to show me after the storm," Monica said. As a child, Monica joyfully embraced music, but when she was 6 years old, her world was shattered by her parents' divorce. She found herself pulled between two dramatically different worlds: When my parents split, I became two separate people," she said. But those two people would eventually collide … Just 12 years old when she was discovered in a talent show, Monica's almost instant fame put her on a fast and slippery track.
The more success she tasted, the more she turned back to the life she knew with her father, a gritty and often dark world. Monica, now 22, said she's learned some hard lessons in her struggle to balance these competing worlds, "Some of the things that I've chosen have had repercussions. I've suffered 'em, I've learned from 'em and then I keep moving. I'm just thankful to still be here. That's the kind of stuff that you just can see every day.
And I went on and I got on the plane and went back to the other side of my other life," Monica said. The other side was the glittery, polished world of a singing star. But it was in the darker part of her life that Monica would meet two troubled men, who would forever alter her life. They were men she thought she could save.
Her first real love was Corey Miller, a rapper whose stage name was C-Murder, a name which would resonate with irony when he was arrested for the murder of a year-old boy. Corey is in jail in Louisiana, but Monica says she is certain he's innocent. Monica's choice in men would prove even more lethal the next time. She would meet and fall for Jarvis Weems, a year-old drug dealer. Monica said Weems' life was difficult. Survival in that world, Monica said, drove Weems to make choices that were illegal.
Don't get me wrong. I would never pretend that I was not aware," she said. But then, Weems would bring Monica face to face with unspeakable horror. It was July 18, Weems called Monica from the phone in his car.
He told her he was on his way to the cemetery where his brother was buried and that he wanted to "be with him. And that's when I knew that his mind was made up," Monica said. Weems had decided to take his own life. Monica arrived at the cemetery and stood pleading, but he had locked his car doors. Monica saw that he had a gun in his car. She recalled, "He said a lot of things, which I feel like are definitely only for me. Most important thing that he said was that the loved me, and that nobody ever tried the way I tried.
Monica ran to the car with her own gun, blew out the window of car, unlocked the door. She was determined to save him. I continued telling him that I loved him, God loved him, and it was gonna be OK. When I asked him, did it hurt, you know, he tried to say something back. But, I touched him. And I could still feel life in him. And that allowed me not to give up," she said. It took 20 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. Monica says she knows the reason why Weems committed suicide, but says she won't reveal it.
She said, "I'll never tell anybody why. Because he didn't tell it. He didn't leave a note. He didn't call home. And it'll stay with me, until we see each other again. She has learned to channel her pain into her music and has found peace in her life. Still, in a sense, Monica says, she remains living in two separate worlds "I'm very comfortable with the person that I've become through all of those experiences.
I don't make stupid mistakes anymore. You know I don't subject myself to unnecessary pain," she said. And for fans it may be difficult as well to unite the image of the glamorous woman with a beautiful voice, with the stories about one ex-boyfriend in jail facing murder charges and another who committed suicide. Learn from my experiences. Don't use me as an excuse to further mess up your life or do things wrong because you say I did it. Use it as a reason to change it.