Although Tyra says she tried to leave her boyfriend many times, she managed to get sucked back into the relationship. At one point, she says she turned to her mother for help. "I said: 'Mama, please, just take me. Pull me out of this relationship. Tell me to leave him. Hole me up in your house. Unplug the phones. Protect me from him.'"

Her mother refused. "[She said:] 'You have to do this on your own. I will be here as somebody to support you in this. But I will not tell you to leave, and I will not cut you off from him, because you'll just run out in the middle of the night and go straight back.'"

Tyra says she then had to make a plan for herself—which is what she says every woman in a similar situation needs to do. "If she would have done it, Oprah, I probably would have distanced myself from my mom, especially when I wanted to go back," Tyra says. "I would have probably closed her off."


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