Monyetta Shaw may just have found the perfect balance between righteous and ratchet.
Prior to dating Ne-Yo, a lot of people had no clue who Monyetta Shaw was, and even still, the mother of Ne-Yo’s two kids remained pretty lowkey up until her debut on this season’s VH1 Atlanta Exes show. But if you think the former Lousiana radio personality is here to drag her ex on the show, think again. Although Ne-Yo broke it off with Monyetta (after admitting to his struggle to remain monogamous) he’s moved on to be in another relationship with model Crystal Renay and has been pretty open about the relationship while still sharing a home with Monyetta and the kids. This usually would be enough to drive any sane woman “Bernadine Harris” crazy, but not Mo.
We recently sat down with the Atlanta Exes star and she revealed that she remains optimistic about her “situationship” with Ne-Yo, while encouraging the “movement” that exes can in fact be amicable and co-parent in peace. She also reveals how the two met, why they still live together and if she is dating other people.
Catch a few highlights below:
On Meeting Ne-YoMonyetta is definitely built Ford-tough. It’s good to see a former couple that is not bashing each other in the media. We wish the best for these two, even if just friends!
I was in my hometown Shreveport, Louisiana. He was at a concert. A Jamie Foxx concert. I was just breaking up with a current boyfriend. And it’s funny because I was supposed to take him to the concert. But God has a good ol’ sense of humor and he knows what he is doing. So I wasa radio personality in my hometown, and a mutual friend of mine told me that Ne-Yo was interested [in me]. This was after the concert and I was like ‘Oh whatever,’ I was still dealing with my ex but [Ne-Yo] kept calling. He was so persistent.
Long story short, two weeks later I called him back or something and I was driving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana… he was actually filming a movie in Los Angeles, and the rest of it in Baton Rouge and I was on my way there and I totally believe in fate and everything happening for a reason. So when he told me that [he'd be in town], we both promised each other that we would go out to dinner. And we did. And it was like an instant connection. We became best friends. And the rest was history after that, honestly.
On How She Would Describe Ne-Yo
He’s a great father. He’s a gentleman. Not the perfect gentle man, but he’s a gentleman. [laughs] I will say that. We always have a great time. And the thing about it, both of us are extremely goofy. We always crack jokes and do silly dances and stuff. Just acting crazy and being ourselves. And that’s the beautiful thing about it. Being 100 percent ourselves.
On How She Felt About Ne-Yo Announcing Their Break Up on Instagram
I was shocked. We discussed him going to his publicist and making it known that way. However, he felt to do the latter part. Now it’s okay. But back then, I was a bit shocked.
Ugh, it wouldn’t have been my choice. Let me just say that. But living in the same house, when he comes home, we have to hash it out and talk about it. Like normal couples do. You talk about it, you go back and forth. It was actually- people might imagine screaming matches but it wasn’t [that]. It was like, ‘Look, I’m talking to you. What’s going on? Let’s figure this out. Can we fix this or can we not?’
I was basically fighting for my family.
On Why They Broke Up
He was honest enough to let me know that he wasn’t ready for monogamy at the time and you know, I couldn’t do anything but respect it.
It was a bit much for me. My parents, they were together for 43 years. That’s all I know. So it felt like, ‘OMG, what do I do? I don’t know how to operate in this space.’ So I did a lot of praying and lot of soul searching and you know, had to remain strong for my kids. Because at the end of the day, I am the example. And they are facing me every day. And mommy doesn’t have time to break down and don’t have time to- you know- I gotta be strong. So yeah, I wasn’t too happy about [the breakup] but time heals all things.
I definitely appreciate his honesty. He’s always been brutally honest, eventually [laughs]. But he’s a good dude. I see his potential. He’s awesome- he really is. I have nothing but positive things to say. And like I mentioned, he’s a great father.
On How She Feels About Ne-Yo Being in a New Relationship (with model Crystal Renay)
I really don’t think much of it right now. When it gets serious, that’s when I will dedicate the time to think about it because we have two little kids so it’s kind of not just us. So that person has to be amazing because they’re little kids and they’re so impressionable.
I can’t even think about [Crystal] right now. But when it gets to that point, we’ll cross that point. But I wish him the best.
On Still Living with Ne-Yo
I think it kind of made it harder in the beginning. However, time heals all things. And he’s away more than he’s here. And he has a good heart and he’s a good person. Like I said, everyone has their vices, you know? But he’s a good dude overall and that’s how we’re able to be friends.
I like to say that we’re starting a movement. We’re not going to be the stereotypical ‘I hate my baby daddy. I hate my baby momma’ thing. You’re not going to see that. We’re going to start this movement that we can all get along and we can be classy about the situation and be a great example to our kids. That’s what it’s about at the end of the day.
Keep watching the show. Some things may change. I don’t know. It’s a process. It just made sense for us at the time [to live together]. We always knew it wouldn’t be forever and eventually we’re both going to move on and figure things out. It’s just temporary.
On If She’d Ever get Back with Ne-Yo
I’ll always have that love for him. He’s a good guy. But at the place where he’s at and I’m at, it doesn’t make sense right now. Only God knows.
You know, people grow apart. People change. Like I said, only time will tell. I think I will forever have a special, special place in my heart for him. I know that will never change. I’m open to the possibility of love, whatever that may look like. If God [will] send the right person to me. Now if God works with him and sends him back, that’s on God. And if not, I’m cool with that. Who knows? Right now I’m good and I wish him the best. It’s all love.
On If it’s Difficult to Date After Ne-Yo/Dating Anyone now
I am just now ok- it’s been my process. The world is going to go with me on this process. It’s a difficult process. However, I’m just now open to the idea. You have to be open to it. For so long, I didn’t even see anybody else. I’m sure a cute guy would pass me all the time but I wouldn’t notice them because I just wasn’t in that space… But I will say I’m single and ready to mingle. Not dating yet but I’m open to the possibility. It would take a strong confident man, it’s not just me anymore- who has to be able to love me and my kids.
I was actually the only one on the show that wasn’t married. I was engaged. So I was looking forward to [marriage]. So dating scares me. But I’m gong to trust the process and if I meet that amazing man, I’m just going to go for it. I’m ready now. I wasn’t before but I can definitely say that I’m ready now.
On Why She Decided to Do the Show
I love how positive it is. I love that they don’t [do bashing] and it just shows powerful women moving on. So I felt that it would be a great fit for me. I’ve been approached by other reality shows based in Atlanta and it just wasn’t a good fit for me. So that’s why I definitely went with Atlanta Exes.
On What to Expect from her on the Show
I’m the most recent breakup so some days are like ‘Yess,’ others day I’m going to be crying. You just have to watch. Every woman is going to be able to relate after going through a breakup. Just experiencing life and being strong and moving on. Everyday life. I have two small kids so you kind of get to get a glimpse of them. Me focusing on my charity work and my businesses. I own a company called ‘The Evan Grace Group.’ I have a children’s book, ‘Adventures of ‘Maddy,’ based off my daughter Madeline.
[I'm] just moving on and getting to that space. That happy space and finding me again and understanding what it is.
On Advice for Dating a Famous Man
Amazing strength. Being that backbone to him. Being his serenity is so important. And I’ll throw this back in- while still loving yourself. And set some time for yourself. Because a lot of us, we’re so caught up in it. Just be there, be supportive. But don’t lose yourself in the men. Especially powerful men, successful men, it’s so easy to let that happen and then God forbid it doesn’t work out and then you have to kind of start over.
On the Biggest lesson she’s learned on love
Just love. Love with all your heart. Love yourself first. Because who knows what’s going to happen? Don’t have any regrets and don’t hold back. Even being hurt and going through heartbreak, you still live and you’re living life and you just gotta go into it full throttle. Love yourself first and just be open to love.
Interviewed by Soraya Joseph