It seems at the time the TV One hit show was the only way out of a bad spot for Ortiz. With three mouths to feed, other than her own, and bills to pay she had to do something to change her life for the better.
The singer is best known for her time with the group City High; as well as having relationships with both of her group members. Ortiz hopes that the show will not only bring about a financial increase but also allow her to tell her story once and for all.
Claudette took time out to speak with Bossip in an interview where she opened up about the night she reached her breaking point; right before she got the text to do the show. She also set the record straight on her prior relationships with her groupmates.
Catch a few highlights:
On the decision to do the show
Prior to the show, I had really hit rock bottom and I was at a crossroads where I just had to [do the show]. All the little odd jobs that I was doing; I was a chef in the kitchen, I tried to open my own businesses, I had my catering businesses and I had a cleaning business but those things were not enough to raise my children. So, I had to make a choice of am I going to continue going this way? Where is this going? I was like man, I guess I’ll just go to the air force reserves. […] I felt like it would pay for school. I didn’t have any degree or anything so….
I was having a rough night. I had to leave the place I was at, and I was driving with the things in my trunk and my kids were asleep and I had nowhere to go. And that night Phil Thorton from the show texted me but that night I was upset and I was crying. I was like “God, I know there are people out there that have it way worse than I have it but don’t forget about me. This is still difficult. That’s was when I got the text. I never wanted to be a part of reality shows because I never wanted to expose my children on anything like that.
On moving from the East coast to the West coast for the show
When I [moved to LA] I had to move my children out of their school. It was a big move from East to West Coast and I had just left my four years of being at rock bottom. Four years of being ridiculed and scrutinized on the internet and four years of having to decide between one bill and the other and having to go to the social services building and your case worker recognizes you and says, “Why are you here?” It breaks you down so I was just coming out of that break down and rebuilding myself and trying to get back into the groove of being in [the] spotlight and being in entertainment. That’s a sadness that I believe women do feel and it does show on your face, but you keep it moving, you don’t cry. You keep your head up and you keep going, even though you do have that consistent worry and heartbreak.
On whether she drove her former groupmate Robbie to become an alcoholic
No. Everybody on the show tried to make it seem like I was the reason. No, the reason why I broke up with him was because of [the alcohol.] I didn’t cause him to be that way. I was so young. I was 16 years old. This was before City High was even a group. Once City High was a group, we broke up. My worth was completely broke down to the point where I couldn’t even defend myself.
On her current relationship with former groupmate Toby Ryan
We got divorced. We were separated for a year and half before we got the divorce. I think the divorce was [finalized] in 2010.
We were together for 11 years. It wasn’t like what everyone thinks is a love triangle.
“R&B Divas LA” airs Wednesday at 10/9c on TV One
(Claudette Ortiz Homeless Before R&B Divas LA – Claudette Ortiz Hit Rock Bottom)