Remember Saaphyri from Flavor of Love? She was the squeeky voiced chick who got booted after fighting a chick on the show. That fight and her desire for “lip chap” lauched Saaphyri into reality show heaven and she even competed on VH1’s “I Love Money, but what REALLY made her an internet superstar was her mugshot…
Saaphyri was arrested in November 2008, just as she was launching her own line of “lip chap.” [READ: MUGSHOT MANIA ~ Saaphri Wanda Scott]
She was convicted of forgery and identity theft back in 2005 but had never turned herself in. Now, after spending the past 22 months in jail, Saaphyri is back speaking about her jailhouse experience.
In a recent interview, the former reality show vixen explains her arrest and speaks about that infamous mugshot, lesbianism in prison and more!
What were you arrested for?
The charges they gave me were forgery — unauthorized use of another’s ID is what they said. Not identity theft, but unauthorized use is what they said.
The situation that actually happened is that he allowed me to use his ID. I didn’t get any breast implants. That was some extra stuff that somebody put in. But I had scar on my lip. I had a scar that they were trying to remove. I have a condition – BDD – and with scars and things that I happen to not like, it just really bothers me. It’s body dysmorphic disorder. If I see something I don’t like, like if I get a pimple I will run out and buy acne cream the same day. It’s gotten better, but my uncle knew this. So he allowed me to do it. But there was a mix-up at the doctor’s: the doctor never asked him to come in and my uncle decided to say that he didn’t authorize it. So that way, he wouldn’t pay it, even though he never was really paying it, you understand? It was money that was supposed to come back the following month from probate court. He ended up in probate court because he took 3 or $4,000 that he was supposed to be putting back into the probate.
Why did you have to use his ID in the first place?
It wasn’t an actual ID. He was financing it. I didn’t have the money at the time because I was waiting to get the money back from the probate.
How did the arrest occur? Some say you were caught driving without a license, while it was also reported that you got nabbed coming back from Mexico after I Love Money.
That’s the truth. I wasn’t driving. I had just wrapped I Love Money, and came back to the United States. And when they ran my passport, they saw this thing was still there. Because I was actually convicted back in 2005 but I didn’t turn myself in.
On being shot without her weave in that INFAMOUS MUGSHOT:
[Laughs] But you know what? If there’s a will, there’s a way. And even though I didn’t have my long, luxurious weave, I ended up with some hair anyway [laughs].
But where did you get them? How did you get hair?
Isn’t that something? It’s amazing. I’ll have to tell you that part when I get off of parole. But yes, your girl had hair. Everybody would be like, “Where did that hair come from?” and I would be like, “Don’t worry. I have hair.” Long, luscious individuals, and they were so cute.
Since coming out have you put a weave back in?
Oh, honey-boon, yes! Yes, the first thing I did was stop and picked up some needles and some thread and get some hair. I was so happy. My friends were laughing because the hair is so long. I gotta cut it. I wanted it just lying around my head. I’ve been slinging it around, getting a feel for having hair again. It’s a lot, but I missed that. And I missed my eye lashes! There was no way to get those. I tried to make some out of some hair, it did not work. It did not work. So all those people who want to do eyelashes stitches, where you just stitch in your eyelashes, they don’t look right. They don’t look right at all.
Yuup… she even snuck in her hair! I guess if there’s a will there’s a way. One question though, who was she trying to get “pretty” for? I mean… seriously? And on that note, Saaphryri also addresses the issues of Lesbianism in prison.
What about the lesbian factor? Do a lot of women engage in lesbian activity in jail?
Yes! [Laughs] Yes, they do!
No! You know what though? I will tell you this, the girls that come in, they look like boys. I mean for real, like, really boys. Right? And you start to forget, it’s like your mind starts taking you adrift and all, and I had to tell myself, “No that’s a girl. That is a girl. That’s not a boy, that’s a girl.” But, yes, it’s a lot of that that goes on. And for all the people that are going to read this and think, “Oh, that’s hot!
All these lesbians and these girls,” no it’s not hot. You have to see these people. You got somebody who looks like Tiny Lister, but it is a girl. It is a girl. OK? And her girlfriend has a mustache with two barrettes in her hair, but when she sings she sounds like Mariah Carey. That is the kind of couple that you see there, OK? It is not a pretty sight.
It wasn’t hard for me not to become a lesbian. It was not hard. It was some funny looking couples. I’m telling you, people there that you know are a little slow, you know that can’t do nothing but spell their name. And they come [in a lowered voice], “I got a girlfriend, her name Carmen.” [Laughs] What?! Spell Carmen! “X-O-X-O, that’s Carmen.” It was crazy.
It seems that however miserable it was, it seems there was plenty of stuff to laugh at. Did you use laughter as a coping mechanism?
Yes. I mean I got a million stories about there. Some things are really funny and some things are really heartfelt. There were people that were losing their children, you know, and you feel really sorry for them. And then there’s people like this one lady was there because she stole a pack of tampons because she didn’t have no money. [Laughs] She didn’t have no money at the time and she started her period and she had on white pants. OK? Now she’s in prison.
You were there for 22 months. Is it at all weird now to be away from this thing that you’ve been ensconced in for almost two years? Is there anything you miss about it, even?
Hell no! [Laughs]
I know that sounds like a dumb question but it just seems like you would just get so used to being there…
No, I’m gonna tell you. In my brain, this is what I learned about myself that I didn’t know: I could actually shut down. Everyday was like, “I’m leaving here, I’m leaving here. I am going to laugh, but I am not actually going to become accustomed to being here.” You know what I’m saying? So I stayed focused that fact that I was leaving. It was like, “I’m laughing with you guys, ha ha ha, he he he, but I’m leaving.” [Laughs] And I will not be eating no more noodles ever! I didn’t really become attached to my environment. I guess that goes even for out here in the world, you know? Even if you are in an environment that’s not the greatest environment, you can always get out and go somewhere else. That’s the way I took it.
I felt like I was in the streets. It don’t get no more ghetto. [Laughs] It’s a horrible thing. And they make you where the ugliest clothes. Blue. I don’t want to wear anything blue. Everyone looked like Smurfs. And blueberries. I don’t want to wear blue, no blue.
Woow! I knew she was locked up but I almost thought that the mugshot was a fake!
Saaphyri’s experience in prison is at times graphic and almost always hilarious in her detailed descriptions. Prison lesbianism, the food trade, bathroom woes and hanging out with murderers (including a Manson girl) are among some of the topics she discussed.
CLICK HERE for the full 411 on Saaphyri’s release and for more of her prison stories…