Karrine Steffans, author of Confessions of a Video Vixen, was 21 years old when she made her video debut. She danced in videos alongside some of the biggest artists in the industry, including Jay-Z, R. Kelly and LL Cool J. She quickly became a full-time booty shaking, breast baring dancer—but success came at a price. Karrine, who says she suffered sexual abuse in childhood and grew up with low self-esteem, admits to doing whatever it took to get the good gigs. In a misguided quest for riches, she says she allowed herself to be exploited and humiliated.
When Karrine finally decided to get out of the business, she found herself homeless and friendless. "My so-called famous wealthy friends that just loved me so much wouldn't lend a hand, because I was no longer the 'good time girl,'" she says. Despite her pain and hardship, Karrine, the mother of an 8-year-old son, says her biggest regret is sending the wrong message to young girls and boys. Being a glamorous music video star, she says, is not what it seems.