Amber Rose on the Ian Connor Rape Allegations: 21 Women Have Reached Out to Me So Far
The host of the VH1 series The Amber Rose Show, premiering July 8th, dishes on carving her own path, gay Republicans, and much more. “>
Amber Rose doesnt walkshe glides, her impossible curves sashaying from side to side like Lisa Maries Martian Madame in Mars Attacks! She is a Diva with a capital D, and doesnt suffer fools lightly, whether its GQ magazine for labeling her Kanye Wests ex-girlfriend and Wiz Khalifas baby mama, or Yeezy himself for callously insulting her child with ex-husband Khalifa.
Rose is, in short, exactly how youd expect the author of a book titled How to Be a Bad Bitch to be, and its refreshing to bask in her ethereal glow and imbibe her no-nonsense approach to life.
People refer to me as a slut because they assume, but they dont know shit, she says, flashing her perfect white teeth. People are like, Amber, youre a fuckin ho, and Im like, Wait didnt you just suck a random dick last week? Oh, but were not talking about that, are we? And you wont bring that up because you think youre superior? Please.
When I last encountered Rose down in Austin at this years SXSW, she was promoting a 3-D character named MUVA shed created with the app Zoobe. Ever the hard-working entrepreneur and businesswoman, the 32-year-old Philly native is on the cusp of premiering her new late-night talk show, The Amber Rose Show, on VH1. Shes also taking over for Dr. Drew as the host of Loveline on CBS Radio.
Were seated across from each other at a Battery Park restaurant in Lower Manhattan, where shes been making the publicity rounds for her show(s). Its a gloomy mid-June day, weeks before Rose would be one of several celebrities to have their nude likenesses pop up in the R-rated music video for Kanye Wests song Famousright alongside Taylor Swift, of whom Rose is a very big fan.
So, this is exciting: The Amber Rose Show premieres July 8. From what I understand its a late-night talk show. Whats the format?
I love Chelsea Handler, Howard Stern, Conan [OBrien], and I love Wendy [Williams]. I love how comfortable Wendy is in her own element, so I take inspiration from her. My show is very sex-positivewe talk about sex and relationships a lot. I also interview celebrities as well. We talk about celebrity gossip, but in a different way because Im not disconnected from celebrity life. I actually live it. We talk about the rumors that are on the internet, then I provide an insiders perspective. And were very relevant. We tape this show two days before it airs, so itll be the news breaking that week.
There are precious few women in late-night.
Breaking barriers! Its awesome.
I assume youve been offered your fair share of reality-TV shows. Why did you decide to go this route versus that one?
Ive literally been offered a reality show from every single network you could possibly think ofof my life, in my house, and Im so not comfortable with that. Although I enjoy watching reality, its not for me because Im the famous one in my family, and I didnt necessarily ask for this lifeI just went with it, and it worked out for me. My son is kind of born into it, but with my immediate family, Im glad theyre not famous and dont have to worry about internet gossip or any of that bullshit.
It seems like were finally starting to see the real Amber Rose. For a while, the media unfairly defined you through the famous men you dated.
When youre in a relationship, especially with a famous manI was married to Wiz [Khalifa] and we were together for four yearsthere are certain things that you stop yourself from doing. Wiz is a rapper so he talks about fucking hos and doing shit like that, but Im a feminist, so I have my views about that while also supporting my husband in his craft, and supporting him to be creative. That became very difficult. And now that weve separated, I was able to have my own voice and do me. And it worked.
That whole undercurrent of misogyny is rampant in hip-hop. One thing thats very troubling thats going on right now is the situation with Ian Connor. I believe its up to seven women whove accused him of sexual assault, and yet many of his famous hip-hop co-signersKanye, Drake, A$AP Rocky, etc.have remained silent.
Because I have my SlutWalk, all of the women [whove accused Ian Connor] have reached out to me as well. They want to come to my SlutWalk and tell their story on my stage. I have that platform for them to do so. Im not a lawyer. I cant prosecute anyone or say, What shes saying is exactly the truth. I wasnt there. Honestly, seven came out and Im pretty sure 21 women have reached out to me so far. So Im assuming there are more [stories] coming out. Its innocent until proven guilty, but when you have 21 women from all over the world that do not know each other but have similar stories, it gets to the point where its like enough.
Like the song Famous, it seemed like the media was quick to credit other peoplenamely, Kanye Westwith your rise to fame, which seemed like a gendered double standard.
The misconceptionand I still hear this seven years later, to this dayis, Youre only famous for Kanye. Initially, absolutely. In 2009, when theyre like, Amber RoseKanyes girlfriend, I was like, OK, thats pretty accurate. Thats what it is. But I didnt ask to be famous, and I didnt even talk or do interviews for two years, because I thought, I dont want this. Im not famous. Over time, with going out in public, I realized it would never go away, so I didnt have any choice but to progress. Everything Ive done since then is my own doing, and Ive worked my fucking ass off for everything I have. But Wendy Williams put Charlamagne on. Jay Z put Kanye on! But they dont do that to men, and they always want to diminish my accomplishments and put them on someone else when I work really hard.
A lot of people probably dont know that Kanyes best album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is all about his breakup with you. And apparently it was Kanye who cheated on you with Kim, is that right?
Oh, Im not talking about that. I am not talking about that.
OK. There were also rumors at the time of your split that Kanye was physically abusive to you. Is there any truth to those rumors?
Im not talking about that. Im not talking about Kanye at all. I understand why youre asking me thatyoure just doing your jobbut Im not going there.
As far as the recent rumor mill goes, there were a bunch of tabloid reports that you and Wiz Khalifa celebrated your divorce being finalized at a strip club.
Its so fuckin weird! Why would we celebrate one of the worst times in our lives? The truth is wed signed our divorce papers four, five months prior to that night. It took that long to go through the court system, and that initial day we went out is when it was extremely final through the court, so they said, Hey! Theyre celebrating their divorce! We would never celebrate our divorce. We mourned it. It was a very difficult time. Wiz literally just called me and said, Im gonna take my baby mama out. I love you, youre my best friend, so lets go spend some money on some strippers. And he knows that I wont go to the strip club unless hes spending at least $20,000. I just cant do it. Im a former dancer so I need to throw some money. So we went and we just had the time of our lives.
How late did it go?
I think they closed at 2 a.m. if Im not mistaken, and then we went out to eat. Then I slept over that night and we woke up with the baby in the morning, so it was cool. We are the best of friends. Were actually better now that were divorced, which is weird, but its just worked out that way. Hes that dude.
It mustve taken hard work for you two to reach this happy place.
It did. But you know what? At the end of the day, we both really love our son and hes the most important thing, so for us to be amicable and be friends and have family days for Sebastianour son is the happiest when were together. We cant be together in a marriage, but we can be there for our son and thats what we do.
At this point, Rose, whod already ordered a chicken dish, spots a juicy burger being carried on a tray to a table. She spins her head around to her handlers at a nearby table and, flashing a huge smile, announces, I want a burger, please. With extra cheese on it, too! Hook that up! Then she turns back to me and says, Did you want to get something too, babe? I tell her Im good, and the chat continues.
I know you have the talk show, but are you interested in getting more into acting?
Im working on a short film with someone very famous, but I cant talk about it more. Its probably coming out sometime next year. Im taking acting classes, Ive done a couple of movies already, and I love it. Im really good at memorizing scriptsand it helps with my talk show as well. I work with Dr. Phils team so theyve been doing this for 20 years, and theyre just like, OK, heres the teleprompter and Im like, Nope, I studied it and already got it down, and theyre like, Wooooow.
Are we going to see you and your pal Amy Schumer in a movie together?
I would love that. We have the same exact agent, so were gonna make that happen for sure. Shes actually working on a movie now, but I have my show and its shooting in Hawaii. Im gonna go down and visit though, for sure. Theres definitely gonna be some crazy times and crazy conversations!
I saw that Oprah endorsed Hillary Clinton this morning. Are you excited by how we might have our first female president?
I did not even think wed have a black president, either. Tupac even said it. It wasnt even thought of when I was young, to have a black president. And then to be an amazing president, too! And going from that to Hillary? Its cool because this is in my lifetime, and I get to live it, you know?
The alternative, of course, is one Donald Trump.
It is very, very scary. I have faith in America that they wont put him in office. Theres a lot of people that love him, though. I feel like if our country can vote for President Obama twice, they know better than to vote for Trump. I have faith in my country. The scary part about that is I fear there will be riots if Trump got elected, and thats scary. I feel there would be massive riots all over because people would not know how to deal with it.
As an outspoken ally of the LGBT community, what are your thoughts on the recent mass shooting in Orlando?
I mean its Florida, No. 1, which is ridiculous. And two, it starts with the parents, you know what Im saying? Just like the kid [Brock Turner] who raped the girl behind the dumpster, his father came out and called it 20 minutes of action and complained that his sons life was over. That came from his dad, you know? The thing with this guy [Omar Mateen] is theyre saying he had pages on gay websites looking for guys, and I feel like maybe because he was Muslim and came from a strong religious background he battled with that, and instead of embracing it he was mad that he couldnt be as free as the guys in that club. You gotta talk to your kids, man.
The Orlando mass murder also, I think, exposed the hypocrisy of a lot of politiciansparticularly on the rightwho are against gay rights yet mourned the tragedy.
First of all, half of the Republican men are gay anyway and then they vote against gay marriage and go out and fuck their boyfriends while their wife is at home taking care of their kids. Weve seen that quite a few times. Its just ridiculous. Listen: Let people fuck who they what to fuck, be who they want to be with, and mind your own goddamn business. Its frustrating.
Your looks become pretty iconic. I mean dont get me wrong, its working, but do you sometimes feel like Kit Harington with his Jon Snow hair where you perhaps want to change it but feel pressure to keep it as is?
I try to change it and Im uncomfortable. Ive had this haircut for 14 yearspeople dont know thatand it just became me. I feel free, man. I feel free. It just feels wonderful. If I put on a wig or something I just dont feel like myself. Its just not me.
How did you arrive at this look?
I was 18 and I just wanted to do it. I liked Sinead OConnorI knew of her when I was youngerand then when I was older revisited her stuff, and thought, Man, it would be so cool if I shaved my head. I said it to all my friends, and they were like, Dont do it! Youre gonna look crazy! At that time, I was taking the train up to New York and trying to get signed to a modeling agency, and they kept saying, You just dont have it. Then I shaved my head and got signed to Ford Models, which is crazy. But yeah, I finally did it and my hair was really dark so I felt I looked really masculine, so a week later I dyed it blond, and 14 years later Im still here with it. It just fit. I went to the barbershop and made him go down the middle so I couldnt turn back. I was crying the entire time he did it. Even though I wanted it, it felt so dramatic. It took about a week for me to be comfortable with it. Once I dyed it blond, I walked outside and I was causing car accidents. Guys were like, Whoa, who are you?! I was that bitch in Philly after that. For real.
Will we see you pop up in your pal Blac Chynas upcoming E! reality show with Rob Kardashian?
Nope! I dont do reality, man. Thats her thing. Im proud of her, shes doing her thing, but its just not my thing.
The tabloid media has, it seems, started to come around on Chynabut it took quite some time. She was initially painted negatively, as an interloper, and I think that has a lot to do with race. You received similar treatment. If you and Chyna looked like Taylor Swift, I dont think you wouldve received the same level of tabloid scrutiny or vitriol.
They said a lot of fucked up shit about us. And I agree. The fact that we were dancers as well, people just felt like were just users and gold diggers, but were very passionate women. We love so hard. And dancing is hard work and an honest livingits not prostitution, thats a different job. Its not porn, thats a different job. Were not into that business and never have been. Its just dancing and being comfortable with your body. But were both really good girls and love really hard, and Im just so happy for her.
Its a bit strange though, with the whole Tyga and Kylie thing going on as well. Because then, since Chyna has a son with Tyga, its like, if they get married, whos an uncle and aunt and all that? Im not even sure to be honest.
I mean, I dont think Tyga and Kylie are together anymore so Im not sure they have to worry about that now, but love is love, man! You cant help who you fall in love with, and in this case it was Rob. It fit perfect with her. Theyre great for each other.
Hows your love life going?
Im dating and getting to know people. Im very busy though. Im not a convenient girl. You cant just fly me out when you want to and have me on call. I have employees, I have a household, I have a son, I have my show, I have other businesses. I kind of just do what I do when I do it.
Is it tough to date when youre the Amber Rose?
Its tough to date me. One-hundred percent. My lawyer tells me all the time, Everybody wants to date Amber Rose until they date Amber Rose. Guys want to feel superior, and with me, Im a boss as well. If thats uncomfortable for you, then its not gonna work.
It must generally be tough to date when youre famous, too. I can go out and sleep with whoever I want and wont get photographed leaving an apartment the next day, but for you, you cant go out and just pick up a guy at a bar or club because you have to worry about whether or not theyll yap about the encounter to Page Six or some gossip rag.
Right. Thats why somebody like me can only date somebody thats famous, because they understand that. And then you get more judgment for that as well, because its like, Why cant you just date a regular guy? Its like, I cant! Its a risk for a lot of things, and hell never, ever understand my life. You dont know what its like to be famous until you actually live it. Youll never understand what its like. Its a blessing and a curse.