When Mo'Nique first told her mother, Mrs. Imes, about the abuse, Mrs. Imes says she sent Gerald away to live with his grandmother. He returned two weeks later, and it appeared to the family that everything was back to normal. "It was just like we were mad yesterday but today we're not," Mrs. Imes says.
Mo'Nique and Gerald's father, Mr. Imes, says it was hard for him to accept at first that this had taken place in his own family. "You think of behaviors like this, and you accord them to other people, other families," he says. "When it comes on your doorstep, when it comes into your household, for myself, there was a total state of confusion. Do I immediately turn to the professionals, the counselor, the doctor, the psychiatrist?"
Mrs. Imes says she was hurt when the family secret became public. "This is something I felt should have been discussed first privately within the family," she says. But Mrs. Imes also says she's glad the role of Mary Jones may have in some way helped Mo'Nique deal with her pain. "I only hope with doing this, this can cleanse her heart. This can make her feel better about herself. Okay, it took until she was 42 to do this. I don't care how long it took. I'm just happy it happened."