Oprah: How were you seduced into this relationship?

Brandy: The guy looked good—and at first, he was so sweet and protective of me. It was like a dream come true. And we were intimate right away. After that I was hooked.

Sonja: Then he became controlling. No one could get to Brandy except through him.

Brandy: I liked that at first—it made me feel safe. But then he was even trying to "protect" me from my own mom and dad!

Oprah: That's what a controlling, abusive person does—he starts blocking out the people around you.

Sonja: That was the battle. I was like, "Oh, no, homeboy. You may have her hooked, but I know what you're about. I've been through a lot with people like you, and I'm still the last one standing. So I'm going to stand on this one."

Brandy: Yet my mom was so cautious about what she said to me—I'd never seen her like that before. Because of who I'd become, she wasn't herself. After three weeks, I was ready to move in with him. He went on tour with me, and it was after the tour that he became abusive—when I wasn't "Brandy" anymore but just a regular girlfriend. I think he'd seen me as this prized possession.

Oprah: Was he ever physically abusive?

Brandy: No. But you know how people shake you?

Oprah: Yes—I call that physical abuse.

Brandy: But there was no hitting going on—he wouldn't be here today if that was the case.

Oprah: But he shook you?

Brandy: Yes. I was shook up a lot.

Sonja: Those were the kinds of things I didn't know.

Oprah: I think it's important that you acknowledge that as physical abuse.

Brandy: Yes. It was the darkest place I've ever been. I felt so bad about myself. I felt like I became his thing, his chick.


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