Empire star Ta'Rhonda Jones has opened up about co-star Jussie Smollett's drama and how it affected his castmates when over the past year. As we all know, last January, Smollett told Chicago police that he was attacked by two men who put a noose around his neck and called him racial and homophobic slurs. Shortly after, Chicago police said he staged the attack in a bid to raise his public profile, and he was charged with making a false police report.
Ta'Rhonda, who plays Cookie's assistant Porsha, on the hit show, spoke about how things were on the set when Jussie first made the claims. She said, “I mean, everybody was in good spirits, I mean, it was too many people putting their different opinions on everything but you know, my name's Bennett, I aint in it. . . . I stay at home and stay to myself. I don't surround myself around drama.”
Speaking of drama, Ta'Rhonda is starring in her first dramatic role in Lifetime's Stolen By My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story. The film — which is based on a true story, is about a woman named Gloria Williams — played by Niecy Nash, who walked into a Jacksonville hospital posing as a nurse and took newborn Kamiyah Mobley right out of her mother's arms. Ta'Rhonda plays Kamiyah's mom Shanara.
Ta' Rhonda revealed that she actually manifested working with Niecy Nash. Back in 2015, she started writing down her goals and all of the people she wanted to work with and two weeks prior to getting the part, she wrote down Niecy's name. She talked about the moment she found out that Niecy was in the movie, which was during a conference call with the cast of the film.
Ta'Rhonda said, “So, as I'm listening . . . I kept saying 'this lady sounds familiar' and I didn't find out until I flew to Canada. . . and we were having a fitting and the lady was like have you met Niecey yet? . . . The very first time we met, I was like Neicy . . . I just wanna let you know that I manifested you . . . I manifested you like two weeks ago and here you are standingin my face looking at me like I'm crazy! (laughs).”
She also manifested working with the executive producer of the film, Robin Roberts. But before working with her on the film, Ta'Rhonda recalled a very embarrassing moment she had when she met Roberts on the set of Empire. She said, “It was very brief. Im a be transparent. I had a lot to eat that day. I was a little gassy and I blew the whole set out. And when she met me I was like, you might not wanna come over here. And everybody was like why? And Taraji was like 'Cuz she farted!!!' so she said hello and then she skidaddled. . . “
TaRhonda Jones on meeting Robin Roberts for the first time :
TaRhonda Jones on manifesting working with Niecy Nash :
TaRhonda Jones on Jussie Smollett :
TaRhonda Jones on her first dramatic role :