For Althea, being at the center of that bit of scandal was difficult. And she says that her image among fans is often mischaracterized.
“I am new, so a lot of people don’t know that I have my own business or that I had a deal before,” she says. “They assume that I’m just with Benzino, after his money. But, like I said, that was a bad situation [with Stevie]. Right after it happened, I realized … that I’d made a mistake.”
She admits that there is some discomfort with how fans have perceived her on the show.
“It’s just general stuff to call a girl ‘a h-,’ you’re not even getting to know me,” Althea continues. “In one hour — not even an hour — you’re just forming an opinion. Moving along, you’ll see other things. I think it comes with the territory that you’re going to get judged first. All of the bad things will come out first.”
“When you look at the cast members on there, everybody goes through something. Some more than others,” says Benzino. “That’s what ‘Love & Hip Hop’ is. It takes you on a ride.”
And now, as a “veteran” of the reality show game, Benzino seems to get it.
“That was a juicy storyline. You cannot deny that,” he acknowledges. “That’s why they talked about it.”
“In every single storyline?” Althea counters, slightly annoyed. “Every time Karlie [Redd] came on … every time Erica [Dixon] came on …”
“Don’t start nothing,” he says, snickering.
“As far as encouraging drama and all that, we’re all grown. Reality TV puts you in situations that revolve around your life and you have to kind of put things in perspective because … that’s what you’re signing up for. You’re not going on ‘The Price Is Right’ or ‘Family Feud.’ You’re going on ‘Love & Hip Hop.’ And you know what it’s about. For men, it’s hard. Because it’s all about cheating, men being the scumbag, the cheater, the bad guy. That’s what it’s about to me. That’s how I look at it. It’s concentrated more on men messing up. It’s that [Althea’s] situation was different.”
“Sure, it’s coming on TV now but [cheating] has been out there for years — that ain’t nothing new,” he adds. “I’ve been a player like every other man out there has been a player. But there comes a time when you don’t want to play no more. I think the younger generation needs to see that. I think there’s a big divide as far as how you co-exist in love. I don’t think this younger generation even understands love.”