Actress Jasmine Guy, best known for portraying “Whitley” on the show A Different World, is opening up about a very rough period of time in her life. The actress had a recent appearance on The Tamron Hall Show where she touched on everything from her divorce to filing for bankruptcy and how it affected both herself and her daughter.
The Boston-born, Atlanta-raised actress, singer, dancer, and director has had a very storied career. Albeit best known for her role in the highly-acclaimed and impactful sitcom A Different World, in which she was one of the main characters in the show’s six-season run, she’s appeared and starred in many more productions. From School Daze in 1988 to Amazon Prime’s newest sitcom Harlem, Guy continues to press on in Hollywood.
But along the way, the actress was thrust into some hard times. In August of 1998, Jasmine Guy married a man named Terrence Duckett. Their marriage brought forth one daughter, Imani. But after 10 years of marriage, Guy filed for divorce in Los Angeles courts, citing “irreconcilable differences,” according to a 2008 article from People. This would only be the beginning of her issues.
In 2009, the Dead Like Me star fell on hard times due to extreme financial issues and had to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, according to a TMZ report. The outlet reported a whopping total of $123,503.64 in back taxes for Jasmine Guy, while her ex-husband owed $94,354.71. These debts were accrued during their marriage. Then, in 2012, Jasmine Guy reportedly went back to the courts due to Duckett’s nonpayment of child support. TMZ ran a report after obtaining court documents that Duckett had been delinquent in his monthly court-mandated payment of $1,469. The resulting amount left him in almost $40k in arrears.
The problems kept arising when in 2014, theJasmineBrand reported that a tax lien was placed on Guy in the state of Georgia due to more nonpayment, adding $27,523.86 more to her debt. While the multi-faceted talent has kept herself busy over the years in Hollywood, it’s evident that she’s experienced her share of public humiliation and struggles.
But the usually private Jasmine Guy is now opening up about all she’s had to face. She recently made an in-person appearance to speak with Tamron Hall where she revealed that she felt that it was “forced” on her to share the hardships. Due to feeling “outed,” Guy stated that she “felt the need to address some of the issues that were going on,” from the divorce to its after-effects on her finances. “Money provides security,” said Jasmine Guy in response to the show’s host, clarifying her relationship with money and its meaning in life as it pertains to our dependency. “I didn’t want money to go shopping. I wanted me and my kid to be okay.”
The actress begins to tearfully acknowledge the amount of love and support that she has within her life. However, she gets real as she admits: “It’s painful feeling not to feel like you’re going to be okay, and you’ll be able to take care of your kid. It’s really simple.” Thankfully, Guy and her daughter, Imani Duckett, had a loving village as she went on to list her child’s godparents as well as her parents, friends, and sister for stepping in throughout the tumultuous storm. “The love in my life is very strong,” she firmly declared.
With her emotions besting her, Jasmine Guy admitted to being “really happy” prior to currently speaking on the rough times. She then went on to share why she’s not comfortable speaking on it. “I know how many people suffer after a marriage or their family breaks up, and I don’t mind sharing it,” said the actress. “It’s just that now that life has looked up for me, it’s hard to go back there and remember how painful it was. And a lot happened during the pandemic to a lot of us, and I wasn’t used to having a collective, angst-ridden, depressive world.” Usually having to go through those types of feelings on her own, Guy speaks on how the whole world now had its share of worries due to the global pandemic. With this, she found “freedom” to express her fears and emotions as the world was more unified, rather than hiding or “acting tougher than I am.” We sincerely pray for Jasmine Guy’s strength and are happy to see her still thriving on her journey. See below for her vulnerable exchange.