Oprah Talks to Brandy and Her Mother, Sonja Norwood
Oprah: What kinds of things would he say?
Brandy: He called me a bitch 13 times in one day—I counted. I thought, "How could you have the audacity to call me a bitch when you're not doing a dang thing—not even grocery shopping?" You gotta pay the cost if you're gonna be the boss. But I was as sweet as pie with him and walked on eggshells so I wouldn't upset him.
Oprah: How long were you together?
Brandy: About a year and a half.
Oprah: Is that why you left the Moesha set?
Brandy: Yes. I had no decision-making power on that show, yet I was blamed for so much. The same people who were smiling in my face were talking about me behind my back. Then I'd go home, and there was Satan, tearing me down. On top of that, I was trying to be thin because the camera adds ten pounds. I was abusing my body.
Oprah: Anorexia is really about power, about trying to find at least one thing you can control. Did you feel that?
Brandy: I did. And because I was very thin, everybody was telling me how great I looked. So I felt good about my outward appearance, but my insides were hell.
Oprah: Were you able to tell your mom?
Sonja: She couldn't tell me, but I knew anyway.
Brandy: I was a different girl—I didn't talk much. My newest album is so much about that relationship.
Oprah: How did you finally break free?
Brandy: I broke down. I started to feel very bad on the set one day. My character, Moesha, was being very judgmental of one of her friends, and I was like, "This character has got to go." I couldn't take it anymore. She was too perfect. So I pulled a diva move and left the set—something I'd never done before. I remember turning off the clock when I got in the car and saying, "I don't want to be on the world's time. I want to be on my own." I called homeboy and asked him to meet me somewhere. After we were together, I started to feel very dehydrated, so we bought some apple juice and I felt better. He had a dance audition, and I wanted to go with him because I didn't want to be alone. In the car, I remember scooting all the way down in the seat and saying, "I don't want to see cars or anything the world has to offer. I just want to see sky and trees." After that I blacked out. I don't know how I got back to my apartment.