She said she fell into a depression and "self-medicated with alcohol."
There was a time when being a video vixen was a money-making career that millions of women aspired to attain. In today's culture, its equivalent would be the "Instagram Model," but in the 1990s to mid-2000s, women were making a top dollar to pose alongside our favorite hip hop artists in their music videos. Claudia Jordan, Melyssa Ford, and Rosa Acosta were three women who were well-known video vixens, but after Karrine "Supahead" Steffans released her tell-all book, the profession was disgraced.
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On her Fox Soul show Out Loud with Claudia Jordan, the model-turned host sat down with Rosa and Melyssa to discuss sexualization in hip hop. The trio talked about the evolution of their careers and misconceptions about their previous work, and The Game's hit 2007 single "Wouldn't Get Far" with Kanye West came up in conversation.
On the track, Game mentioned Melyssa in his lyrics and insinuated that she didn't have money and was doing shady favors to elevate her status. "Not only have I never had a Honda Accord, at the time the song came out I was driving a champagne-colored Mercedes Benz 550," she said. "Nothing rhymes with that, so the lyrics are, 'Every video girl wants to be Melyssa Ford, but what you don't know is Melyssa drives a Honda Accord, will do anything to go to the Grammy Awards.'"
"He named so many women. Gabrielle Union, Gloria Valez, Meagan Good, he names like twenty girls," Melyssa continued. "Nobody is remembered from that song except me in 2006. That song destroyed my relationship because of the way people talked about me. [Karrine Steffan's] book solidified that I was a whore. Meanwhile, I owned nothing. The activities that she did and that he was insinuating—I didn't even know Game! I only met him once when he was one of 50 [Cent's] G-Unit soldiers. All of this was my cross to bear and it was so difficult because no one stood up for me. No one defended me."
Melyssa said it isn't as if she could prove that she wasn't sleeping around and in a "misogynistic" industry, it was assumed that The Game's lyrics were true. Claudia added that the more you try to defend yourself, the more people believe it because they think you're trying too hard. "I'm defending my reputation because this is costing me money," Melyssa said. "This is my business."
The way Melyssa coped was by "self-medicating with alcohol" while feeling depressed and "humiliated." She added, "My heart was broken. The guy I was with left me because of it...He couldn't deal with it. He couldn't deal with how people were talking about me and how loosely they discussed me, even though I did nothing to contribute to that conversation."