Jessica White is a well-known supermodel whose appeared in numerous ad campaigns, Sports Illustrated and has starred in a few music videos including Jay-Z (“Change Clothes”), Robin Thicke (“Sweetest Love”), and Trey Songz (“Neighbors Know My Name”). She talks about getting into modeling when she was 14 and working her first job at American Vogue. “I literally went from grammar school to being a supermodel overnight,” she says.
DJ Envy asks if she was nervous because of her skin complexion and how modeling is for women of color. “I don’t have a color complex,” Jessica responds. “My father is half white, so I grew up in a very mixed environment. I didn’t come into this industry thinking that there was anything wrong with my skin color or that lighter skin tones were more beautiful than darker skin. I didn’t have a problem. As far as I was concerned, I could rule with the best of them. Even at 14, I was very ambitious, and calculated. I knew what I wanted, and I was going to work hard to do that.”
For the first time, Jessica tells her side of the altercation that she was arrested for last year. “I was walking out of a pizza shop and I was flagging down a cab, linked arm and arm with five other girlfriends. Now clearly there’s a cab in front of me with the hazard lights on and there’s two other people inside of the cab. So obviously I’m not going for this particular cab. The girl was really drunk and it showed on the surveillance cameras once I eventually saw them. She was staggering even before I came out of the pizza shop.”
“I’m walking off of the ledge and the girl goes, ‘No, you’re not going to steal my cab’, but it wasn’t that friendly, she said something else. And I just grabbed her and said, ‘Whoa’. You know how you grab someone [motions her arms forward] and are just like, ‘Chill out’. She preceded to hit me in my face. Now I never, never, ever, ever declined that I didn’t hit the girl. I just said it was self defense, she hit me first.” The girl pressed charges but Jessica went to court and beat the case.
Angela Yee asks about the controversy she started after her interview discussing her celibacy. “I have a charity, it’s called Angels Wings Foundation,” Jessica says. “It’s for young women and girls who have been sexually abused. And so that’s a huge part of my movement and everything that Jessica White believes in, which is the reason why the whole violence case was really hard for me to deal with. Because I come from a very volatile environment and that isn’t something I promote. That was a weak moment, so it is what it is.For me, I wasn’t trying to seem more important and a lot of people were offended by it. My thing is, just empower women. Do you know the power we hold if we withdraw from sex? I’m sorry, sex is great, but it’s even better when you have that mans heart.”
Charlamagne Tha God asks if she was molested as a child. “Yes I was, I was sexually abused,” Jessica replies. It happened “before and during” her modeling career. “There’s no way of getting into the mind of a pedophile,” she says. “You’re just sick. The majority of the time it’s by somebody you know. And the sad fact was I was living in the house with the pedophile. So I went through it until I was 17 years old and then when I actually came out about it, I was told I should’ve kept it to myself.”
“So these are the challenges that one faces. And I’m very open about it now, and I know it affects everyone. I’m not the victim anymore. But now he has to deal with what he did because it’s out. My job and the calling that God has on my life is to help other young girls who feel like they’re embarrassed, because you go through a lot of very un-sane moments. You’re sick. You become sick yourself.”
“I still struggle with it. But the more I struggle, the more I help other people, and that’s where I find my peace and my refuge.”
She discusses her appreciation for Sports Illustrated saying, “What they’ve done for my career has been absolutely amazing. They took me from being a product into help marketing me become a brand. So you can’t beat that. And they never had an African-American in the issue for nine years. I was hoping for a cover and never got it. That’s just the politics of things.” She’s in talks to appear in Playboy and has been working with Diddy on his Ciroc campaign.