“Sometimes it is you. I got in this business very, very young. I started working straight out of college at 21. Then I got married and had a child and I wanted a break from the steady hustle. But Hollywood is also not very kind to what they obviously consider a disease – pregnancy. During my pregnancy I got dropped from my agency and my management company. It was hard for me to reboot after five years and people saying mean things about me. We didn’t create this game. They’ve been doing it since Marilyn Monroe’s mysterious death and Dorothy Dandridge. Women are mistreated in this industry. We’re different players but its the same game as when Charlie Chaplin and Mr. Fairbanks created the Screen Actor’s Guild.”

Reality TV has proved to be a boon for several performers who are down on their luck (i.e. Claudette Ortiz of ‘R&B Divas’ and others) and that’s true for Parker, who was once homeless and without a car in L.A., despite her lengthy career.

“They lifted me out of the dirt and lifted me up. It took Altanta to come to L.A. and give a sister a second chance. Reality does help you get a home and get a car so I’m back and I’ll be damned if I’ll look back and let my own ignorance and whatever I did wrong happen again.”

‘Hollywood Divas’ debuts on TV One tonight at 10 p.m.

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Paula Jai Parker: ‘Hollywood Divas’ Brought Me Back From Homelessness  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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